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biggest casino wins in history

Big Casino Wins

Call it luck or recklessness, or a combination of both, but some people risk large sums of money on the off chance of an enormous win. And it does happen, with some paydays so ridiculously huge they are life changing, turning ordinary people into millionaires in a matter of hours.

Some of the luckiest casino wins of all time have happened to ordinary people, many of them down on their luck. But luck always has a way of surprising everyone, although higher payouts do tend to come from the larger bets.

Here are 12 stories about some of the biggest casino winners of all time…


Known as the “king of the casinos,” Archie Karas famously turned $50 into $40 million. Karas worked as a waiter until he learned about pool hustling, where he amassed serious wealth — to the tune of $1 million. Never afraid of losing, he would bet, in a single throw of the dice, what many gamblers might earn in a lifetime. While playing high-stakes card games in Los Angeles, he won plenty of money and was also completely broke on numerous occasions.

It was in December 1992 that Archie began what many consider the greatest hot streak in the history of gambling. He had just lost $2 million during a Los Angeles high-stakes poker game, so he only had $50 to spare. But it was all he needed to start winning big.

Karas began in Binion’s Horseshoe casino where a friend spotted him $10,000 to play high-stakes Razz, a game in which the lowest hand wins. He went head-to-head with 15 of the world’s greatest poker players, including Stu Unger, Chip Reese, Johnny Chan and Puggy Pearson.

He won millions at poker before winning millions more at craps, eventually coming into possession of the Horsehoe’s $5,000 chips — worth $11 million. By the time his run ended, he had won $17 million playing craps and poker at the Horseshoe. Incidentally, he was able to repay the $10,000 loan with 50% interest.

His winning streak continued for over two years, until he had amassed $40 million. He was able to turn $7 million into $17 million by besting some of the best poker players in Vegas at seven-card stud.

He also earned over a million dollars playing nine-ball pool. Even the occasional losing streak was not enough to keep him from winning far more than he lost.

His winning streak, however, did eventually come to an end over a three-week period in 1995, where he lost $11 million playing craps. He also lost $17 million at baccarat and another $2 million at poker. He soon lost the remainder of his $40 million — although he was eventually able to borrow $40,000 to win back $1 million.

Archie’s luck may have ran out in spectacular fashion, but his phenomenal winning streak remains the stuff of legend, and it is proof that anything is possible in gambling.

In 1989, a man won $4.6 million on a Megabucks slot machine at the Cannery Casino & Hotel in Vegas. His name was Elmer Sherwin, and he beat the odds, not once but twice, on the same slot machine. Some people consider certain machines lucky.

After Sherwin won his $4.6 million, he continued playing the same machine until he eventually won $2.1 million in 2005 at the age of 92, despite the odds of winning being estimated at one in fifty million.

Sherwin said he had been a fan of Megabucks for a long time. He believed it would pay off eventually, and that belief sustained him for years until his second win confirmed his instincts. It took 16 years playing the slot machine to duplicate his original feat.

Sherwin’s first win came on the casino’s opening night, leading to speculation about how big wins occur on opening nights. But as everyone attempts to explain what cannot be explained, a mythology arises. People may wonder how to duplicate Sherwin’s feat of superhuman luck, but so far, he remains the big winner — twice over.

There are other big winners of Megabucks slots, including a retired flight attendant who risked $300 in 1998 and won $27.5 million. Such wins may be rare, but they do happen from time to time.

The honor of winning the largest online gambling payout belongs to a Norwegian gambler by the name of Peter. It may not be his real name, but that is not what is important.

What matters is that he became an online casino winner by playing a progressive jackpot slot called Arabian Knights — and it was the fruit slot machine that made his surprise win possible. His winning streak netted him 11.7 million Euros, which translated to 38 million Norwegian Krone.

Peter played at the Betsson online casino which features the slogan, “Anything can happen.” Peter may have taken that to heart, and it was a good thing he did….

Mike Ashley, multi-billionaire owner of the Newcastle United Football Club, was already famous when he won 1.6 million pounds in the span of three hours at a roulette table in a London casino. His lucky number was 17, and his method of betting focused on every possible combination of that number.

As luck would have it, the roulette ball dropped into the 17 slot, converting his initial 480,000 pounds to three times that amount. Ashley retrieved his winnings and called it a day.

The odds of hitting 17 were high. But Ashley must have known that even a lucky number rarely strikes twice in a row. Then again, stranger things have happened. Although in 2011, Ashley lost one million pounds in the span of two hours. Easy come, easy go.

Sean Connery, aka super spy James Bond, also had tremendous luck betting on the number 17. While at a casino in the Italian Alps, in true Bond fashion, Connery put his money on 17. He missed the first two times, but on the third spin, the ball found 17. Leaving his winnings there, the croupier spun the wheel.

Surprisingly, the ball found the 17 slot again. What may have been even more surprising, or perhaps insane, was the fact that Connery once again left his winnings in place. Miraculously, the 17 came up a third time in a row, against odds of 50,000 to 1.

In Bond fashion, Connery coolly collected his winnings of 10,000 pounds, which in today’s market could very well be worth 163,000 pounds.

Curiously, there was a time when “17” was one of the most commonly played numbers in roulette. Not only did Connery win big on the number 17 in 1963, but he did the same in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever.

Although some have won fortunes on the number 17, it does not mean the rest of us will have the same good fortune with that number. If we have lucky numbers, the challenge is in figuring them out, and they do not always come neatly wrapped in fortune cookies.

BGO Casino Review

electric sam slot

Electric Sam slot review – free spins

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A mixture between trolls and neon fruits, the theme is as unusual as the gameplay, but Electric Sam mobile slot buzzed our buttons.

Yes we rated this game highly, and lovers of 243 ways to win might salivate at getting something higher in variance a la Game of Thrones slots.

But Electric Sam video slot is not that. It is 243 ways to wins, but that’s about the only things that these games have in common.

This Elk Studios slot machine is high octane, free spin filled, electrical, low variance, fun. With betting strategies in-built to add a certain spice, beginners to slots and lovers of easy to play mobile casino games will enjoy a light, but highly amusing time.

An odd theme, but a strangely fitting one

It’s like they wanted a to make a fruit machine, and starting putting in your traditional bells and sevens and cherries… but then they got bored.

They started turning the symbols neon, because why not! Look how bright and marvellous they look!

But now they need a reason for all the neon. So they come up with an electric King troll… because… who care! It’s fun! And lets add some pretty troll girls, all equally obsessed with the power of electricity.

And why not hey?

Electric Sam slot game is full of free spins

Which easily trigger, and when you are within the game, easily re-trigger. So you may start with 5, 10 or 15 free spins, but you’ll probably end up with 10, 15 or 20 of them in the end.

That said, winning 50x your bet is at the top end of the scale, though you can potentially get as much as 2,000x your bet in this slot. Which is unusual for a machine that’s more about entertainment than the big jackpot wins.

And the Electric Sam slot is all about keeping you hooked to your screen. It’s about getting sticky wilds electrifying the screens, or multipliers from the cocktail sipping troll, or even watching the symbols explode in a buzz of neon flash by the cascading troll. Visually stunning, and pure value for money.

You’ll stay stuck to your Android or iOS screen, as you figure which of the three betting strategies is the best to use (we answer that in the bonus features below by the way.)

It’s electrifying in the best possible way.

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5 reel drive slot

5 Reel Drive slot review – free spins

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The 5 Reel Drive slot was one of the first 5 reel video slots by Microgaming. We were expecting boredom, but surprisingly had some great spins on our mobile.

This 5 Reel Drive slot is a ‘classic’ in the same way that bread and butter pudding is a ‘classic dessert’. Chances are you’ll have found memories of it but rarely have the occasion to eat or seek it out. Every once in a while however, you’ll see it on a menu somewhere and you’ll be tempted to try out a treat that’s not particularly good for you.

This is how we felt about 5 Reel Drive mobile slot when we first came to try it out. Cautiously curious, thinking we would soon be too sick to take another bite of a very simple 5 reel slot that only has Wilds and Scatters to entertain. So imagine our surprise when we spent far longer than we expected on it, spinning away on our Android phone.

This is down to two factors. First the simple theme works well on small smartphone screens. Giving you a ‘road trip’ Americana feel, what looks simple and dated online, works well on small screen where simplicity often means faster, smoother game-play. We like the Cadillacs, the cheeseburger and fries and blueberry pies on display.

Secondly, the features might be simple, with only wilds and scatters, but the payouts, when they come are very decent, with the percentage of your wins, comparatively to how much you are betting, decent enough to keep you fixed on the game.

It’s not action filled, but for those who like their mobile slots uncluttered or have become disillusioned by the million bonus rounds where you lose slowly rather than make any significant wins, then this is an excellent choice. You might find that you’ll head back to find your other favourite desserts before too long, but at least you had a fun nostalgic taste of one of the original online video slots.

In-game bonus features

Wilds: The ‘Bend in the Road’ road sign is the Wild symbol substituting for every other symbol except scatters.

Scatter: The Police car is the scatter symbol, paying any way and with wins multiplied by total number of credits staked.

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bubble craze slot

Bubble Craze slot review – free spins

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IGT introduce to you the hexagonal Bubble Craze mobile slot, that’s more than a little different, yet still much of the same.

The craze for slot games that aren’t slots continues. First we had a bet real money Bejewelled, then Betsoft came long with SugarPop! and Play’n Go brought you the strangely captivating Gemix slot.

Now IGT have done their own variation with the techno crazy Bubble Craze video slot game. Played in portrait only (you’ll understand why when you load the game), it’s far more suited as an Android phone or iPhone slot than tablets for that reason alone.

A game is still a game, even if you can bet on it

The little coloured bubbles float from the bottom up. You’ll need to get four of the same colour touching to get a win. Though we found that unless you get at least 8 symbols on screen, the wins in this Bubble Craze slot machine are pretty minimal.

Thankfully there are a couple of symbols helping your wallet along the way. The multiplier bubble gives you either x2 or x5 your win, though it’s far rarer than the unique Transform bubble. This little beauty turns every bubble adjacent the same colour, which if it sits right in the middle of the screen, gives you at least a 6 of a kind win, if not usually more.

As you can see, this isn’t your run of the mill slot machine.

We want an IGT video slot

The thing is, that IGT do slot machines beautifully well. But Bubble Craze lacks that IGT magic. The sounds are something that a 16 year old created at home with their electric keyboard, which meant we turned the sound off early on.

And once the sounds were off, the theme become fairly boring and standard, even with the special symbols.

But, IGT can be relied on to do one thing right: the free spin games.

The Bubble Craze slot free spins round

Here’s where the real wins come, and the real excitement lies. You only get 5 free spins, but every one of them counts, as you are guaranteed a multiplier and a transform symbol on every spin.

Meaning you can actually walk away with about 40x to 50x your bet on an average free spin round. Sometimes a lot more.

Still, unless you catch those free spins early on, we suspect that Bubble Craze mobile slot will get old very quickly.

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winter berries slot

Winter Berries slot review – free spins

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This Winterberries mobile slot game is incredibly simple, with sticky wins, not all the winter berries on these reels will leave you fulfilled. Yet some are just plain delicious, leaving you wanting more.

The second of the Yggdrasil slot games ever released, we have to admit that it’s a little better than the Jokerizer, and we rated that game quite nicely as a first attempt – certainly better than some of the others on the market. It’s also a great Android tablet slot or iPad slot – that big screen just loves the detail in the design.

Yet, much like it’s predecessor, this is a one trick pony, so you’ll have to be after beautiful yet simple slots to enjoy this one. However, fear not, there is an upside.

The Winterberry slot theme

And it’s not the theme. Look, it’s very pretty and all, with the northern lights cascading in the background and bright, vibrant berries all over the reels. When the symbols freeze, it does so beautifully glazing the fruits into convincing ice cubes. So the graphics are pretty.

It’s just a shame that it didn’t transport us anywhere. For that matter the annoying theme tune was reminiscent of a dark Caribbean jam that a pirate band put together. It didn’t quite fit or spark the imagination. But it’s certainly pretty.

The big in-game prize

This slot won’t be for everyone, but what it does hides is a x1250 your bet win. How are those numbers for you? Unlikely? Sure of course, what in game jackpot wouldn’t be. But the point is that Winterberries mobile slot is no lightweight.

This is where the sticky wins (much along the lines of Jack Hammer & Jack Hammer 2) are your best friends in the world. We explain what they are exactly on our bonus features section below, but needless to say, it’s a great feature.

Would we love to have had some free spin bonuses thrown in there? Of course. But if you had to only pick one feature to entertain, freezing the symbols on the reels and giving you free re-spins for as long as that symbol shows up on screen is… an acceptable choice. The addition of multipliers on the reels if you freeze whole reels is also brilliant, giving you hope for wins on every spin.

For the more experienced player

This slot machine is certainly for the more experienced gambler, who, in all honesty, can bet bigger and play through the dry spells. These will happen, where you might wonder why you are playing this game, but don’t forget that slot jackpot of getting all the symbols frozen across all the reels.

And if you are wondering how we know it’s there, it’s because we hit it once. Those yellow berries froze on our entire screen and it was a sweet, sweet moment. Will it happen ever again? Maybe. Maybe not. But it gave us enough of a rush that we’ll be back to try.

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prowling panther slot

Prowling Panther slot review – free spins

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Will you beat the top predator of the jungle in this 720 ways to win IGT game? Prowling Panther mobile slot isn’t as hard to tame than most, but not exactly easy either.

When you first load these five reels, you’ll be forgiven for getting excited enough to think you’re playing on the Siberian Storm slot but with a different feline theme.

And whilst the look, feel, and 720 ways to win reels are familiar, this panther is merely a cousin of it’s white tiger of the north.

For one, the wins are not as impressive. Well duh. Everyone knows tigers are more powerful than panthers.

That said, there’s actually no reason why the Prowling Panther slot should be less impressive than Siberian Storm.

Stacked wilds with 2x multipliers

This is the major difference between the two IGT slot machines we just mentioned. That and the green lush jungle in the background of course. If storm was all about the scatters, Prowling Panther helps you through the dry periods with the multiplier stacked wilds.

Which goes some way to explaining why most of the slot symbols in the Prowling Panther slot are worth less than in Siberian Storm. On every spin, one of those wilds could show up and double your win.

It’s effective and if they come stacked over multiple reels, can bring some nice 20x to 40x your bet wins during the base game alone.

Which you’ll need to get you through the long periods of nothingness as you wait for the free spins.

The free spins in the Prowling Panther slot

You knew as soon as you started reading that this review that as an IGT mobile slot, you’ll be chasing free spins.

Here the value of each symbol increases and you get more stacked wilds with that 2x multiplier.

On an average round you’ll get about 50x your bet on this hexagonal game. On a really good round, you’ll easily be able to walk away with 100x up to 500x your bet or… more? There’s rumours there’s more, but it’s no easy task. But when is it ever with these high variance slots?

The Prowling Panther slot game plays far more like a real-landbased machine than most. The return to player is fairly low and you really have to chase the wins to get anywhere, which with this mobile slot, can leave you severely out of pocket. But get one big win, and the lights will flash and the casino cashiers will be on the phone congratulating you in minutes.

If you know how to budget, and want that real Vegas feel rather than all the pretty graphics of the likes of Tornado Farm Escape or the Alien slot, Prowling Panther can bring you straight to the casino floor with your Android phone, iPad or mobile device.

Because when you win big, and you can, it will hit you right between the ribs and devour you whole, body and soul.

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star fall slot

Star Fall slot review – free spins

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A simple and fun to play casino game, this Star Fall mobile slotprovides wild action in a classic fruity theme.

Push Gaming have created a 5 reel, 25 payline game with crisp symbols that you’d be more use to finding on a classic fruity.

These include diamonds, bells, cherries, grapes, lemons, and watermelons, then they have added the familiar A – J symbols to bulk up the collection across the 5×3 reel layout.

But it’s the uncomplicated bonus features that brings the thrills in this Star Fall slot game.

Falling Star Wild Re-spins can make a difference

Find a wild symbol on the reels, and you’ll trigger the Falling Wild Respin Feature.

Here, the wilds will move down (or fall) down the reels and every time they do they hopefully create a new winning combination, much like the Divine Fortune Slot by NetEnt.

A feature that shows up every 30 spins or so, and can help get some decent 20x your total bet wins plus if you’re lucky.

Free spins with fixed expanded wilds

Finding a centre reel full of golden coins will trigger 6 free spins, which isn’t many but they do have the potential to pay out big.

Triggering every 40 base game spins or so, the free spins provide the most excitement and biggest potential in the whole Star Fall game.

Here the background will change from blue to red and you’ll get extra coin symbols above each reel.Fill these by finding gold coins on the reels and you’ll get a full reel of wilds, which is easier said than done, as 6 spins doesn’t give you much time.

It’s like a high octane Untamed Giant Panda slot game.

Also even though you do have the chance to win over 100x your total bet, here don’t be surprised to walk away with little more than 5x your bet.

They are hit and miss, but the fact that they show up often means that you get plenty of chances to try and win big.

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jungle trouble slot

Jungle Trouble review – free spins

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Jungle Trouble is a video slot with 5 reels and 15 pay-lines powered by Playtech software provider. This slot is inspired with wild animals that reside in the jungle. The slot is cartoony looking and it looks as if Mowgli or Tarzan is about to show up. Thee reels are framed in wooden boards and the symbols are set on wooden crates. The whole reel structure, however, is set against the deep, green jungle backdrop. Give this slot a free spin here on this page or visit Playtech Casinos to play for real money.

Before you visit this green jungle, you are advised to set your bets. By clicking on “+/-” you will control coins size which ranges from 0.01 to 5. “Spin” will set the reels in motion once, after you choose your betting range. “Auto Play” is used to spin the reels without interruption for a chosen number of times, and “Turbo” is used to spin the reels twice as faster than usual.

Monkey is the Wild symbol and it substitutes for all the symbols except for the Scatters. The Wild appears only on the reels 2, 3 and 4.

Coconut is the Scatter symbol and if you land 3 Scatters on reels 2, 3 and 4 you will trigger the Coconut multiplier feature. If you land 3 or more Scatters you will trigger Free Spins feature. The number of spins depends on the number of scatters you land. You can win 10, 15 or 30 spins.

When you trigger Free Spins feature you will get to choose 1 out of the 3 bonuses. You can choose Multiplier Free Games where you can get up to x10 multiplier, High Win Free Games with only high win symbols, scatters and wilds on the reels or Nudging Wild Free Games where each Wild you land will nudge down on every spin. Remaining Free Spins are locked when Wilds are on the reels.

Coconut Multiplier feature is triggered with the scatter symbols on reels 2, 3 and 4. Each time you land a scatter on one of these reels the coconut located just above the reels will turn into x2 multiplier. Each subsequent scatter will further increase the multiplier. During the base game the multiplier can go up to x5 and during free spins it can go up to x10. If a Wild appears on the same reel as the coconut multiplier and participates in a winning combo the coconut on that reel will fall down and multiply the win.

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Butlers Bingo was launched in 2010 and is a firm favourite among online bingo fans across the UK, also, as seen on TV adverts and growing fast globally, Butlers is quickly becoming a major player in the online bingo world.

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Once you’ve joined Butlers Bingo, the promotions keep coming. Butlers have a fantastic Loyalty Program which converts to cash to play with, free spin promos, reload bonuses, birthday promotions and much more besides.

They've got two separate progressive jackpots that run for both slots and bingo. The slots one has been known to make millionaires and the bingo progressive jackpot has seen some amazing amounts won too! Butlers Bingo also runs Guaranteed Jackpots in their Broadway Bingo Room along with fun extras like free spins for trivia quizzes and chances to win vouchers for spas and high street shops.

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Butlers Bingo offers bingo over 75 ball, 90 ball and Immortal Romance Bingo. Their bingo games are split over various rooms and one in particular to check out is their Broadway Room. This is separated from the rest of the network and you’ll find some of their best promotions in there. You’re also playing against a smaller playing pool with a great community spirit.

Butlers have hundreds of slot games available along with fun slot variants like multiplayer slot tournaments, scratchies and fruities. Add to that a full selection of casino classics like roulette, blackjack and three card poker and you are spoiled for choice at Butlers!

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Butlers Bingo have a good presence on Facebook too. When you join, we recommend you to like them on Facebook as they are always giving out freebies to their players and running competitions.

Deposits at Butlers can be made via debit or credit card, PaySafecard, Neteller or Skrill. You can withdraw your winnings back to your card or use Neteller, Skrill or cheque. First class encryption means your funds are safe. Deposits are instant and withdrawals are completed within a few days.

Customer Support at Butlers is based in Ireland and treated as the most important part of their business. Run by The Butler’s lovely assistant Astrid, they are available over Live Chat, email and phone from 8am to 11pm, 365 days a year.

We made every effort to ensure that this review was accurate and fair, but we’re only human. If you think we’ve got something wrong, or that the review does not reflect your own experiences with the product, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us all your thoughts and questions to betkingcompare@gmail.com

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