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Thirteen Against the Bank [Paperback]

Norman Leigh
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: High Stakes Publishing; New edition edition (9 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843440326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843440321
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 221,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This book presents the story of the man who broke the bank at the roulette table in Nice in 1966. It is a dry and funny account of how he organised a team of twelve players ( thirteen including himself ) to work a reverse Labouchere betting progression while placing wagers on all six outside, even-money bets at the same time; odd, even, red, black, high and low. Along the way, he offers insights into the effects of gambling on personalities and describes the winning roulette system that he used in detail, along with the discipline, stamina and bankroll required to apply it.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ne rien de va plus! 8 Aug 2004
Another reviewer casts doubt on this book's authenticity as a non-fiction work (as alleged). I do not know, but it seemed to have the ring of truth for me. I think a fictionalized account would be snappier, somehow. If it is fiction, then the author should have gone on writing as a novelist!
The idea is to recruit twelve helpers to take the roulette banks of southern France using a system called "reverse Labouchere", basically simple, but complex to do as a team. The basic idea is to increase stakes on a WIN and not on a loss, as do the hopeless gamblers. Thus, if you lose, you lose one unit or unit plus unit, whereas if you win, you increase stakes of unit plus unit until the end of a previously-determined run. So if you get a run of, say, 10 losses, you have lost about 10 units, whereas if you win 10 in a row...
A book which can really take you into itself until the end. Brilliant.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norman Leigh 31 Oct 2008
I can confirm that Ms Barratts comments are true as I was in regular contact with Mr Leigh up until his death which I believe was in 1992.We were working on a new Roulette system which I still use to this day to provide me with a healthy income. Maybe one day I will write a book about my experiences, but not just yet as I like to keep a low profile whilst I travel around the casinos.The book Thirteen against the bank is definately based on a true story although some minor details have been changed and whether or not you are a gambler, it is well worth a read.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS A TRUE STORY!! 6 Oct 2004
For all those readers who assume that Thirteen Against the Bank is a novel....... may I correct you?
Norman Leigh was my uncle (my mother's brother). I can assure you that he was a professional gambler, and that he really did have a "cartel" of 12 ordinary people who he trained to use his roulette system, which he had developed over many years.
He and they went to the South of France, and systematically broke the bank until they were banned and deported (but much richer for the experience!).
Uncle Norman was an extraordinary man. He had no formal education and was self-taught. He spoke 6 or 7 languages fluently, had a talent for mathematics, and was a gentleman of the old sort - yet he couldn't resist a challenge and taking risks - hence his life of gambling. He lived in Twickenham with his wife (later divorced) and son, Guy Julian, my cousin, who is in his late 30's now, and spent the latter part of his life in Lymington, Hampshire.
Unfortunately, Uncle Norman lived as a prince but died as a pauper, alcoholic, in a bed sit, and alone, about 20 years ago. I will always remember him for his style (he ALWAYS wore a suit, white shirt and either a cravat or bow tie). He was chivalrous, kind, intelligent, great company, always had a story to tell, and was a typical "lovable rogue".
Sara Barratt, niece to Norman Leigh
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prompt delivery of Thirteen Against the Bank 5 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was pleased to receive this book, well-package, which arrived promptly after ordering. I was totally satisfied with the company's service in providing this book recounting the unusual, true and remarkable story of the man who beat the bank in Monte Carlo.
E Clifford
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a story! 22 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I would love to get a team together to try a modern reverse labouchere experiment and then go empty some casinos. Reads like a thriller, great book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 19 Oct 2009
A great yarn all the more fascinating because it is true. Will make even the most sober minded dream of breaking the Casino back.
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4.0 out of 5 stars DID IT REALLY HAPPEN? 3 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very entertaining nonfiction tale about a syndicate formed to relieve casinos of their cash. Norman Leigh dreams up a legal roulette system to break the bank. Or does he?

The book recounts the exploits of a small amateur team that was put together by him for the noble purpose of parting casinos from their millions.

I first read this book donkeys years ago. The team's exploits took place in an era long before modern day computers. So the book is a trifle dated.

Does Leigh's roulette system work? Almost certainly not. Nowadays the computer simulations can be run and the question definitely answered in the negative. What did you realy expect from roulette anyway? But the fun lies in the thought processes behind this system. It is amusing and ingenious. We are curious to see what actually transpires in the casinos when the team is finally let loose.

Is Norman Leigh a 100% truthful and faithful narrator of events as they actually happened? I am skeptical. The phrase "lovable rogue" comes into mind.

Read this book if you want a bit of entertainment and a good gambling story thrown in. Just don't take it as gospel. Caveat emptor!
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Opinion 9 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very interesting--all i have to do now is try it out.
Just shows you that systems can work if you do them properly!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!
As at the time this book was written online casinos hadn't been dreamt of.
This book inspired me to program its system into a computer program for live online casinos. Read more
Published 7 months ago by C.Preston
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
I read this many years ago when I was stationed in Central Africa. Extremely evocative, and very nostalgic of a gentlemanly world now gone. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Thierry
5.0 out of 5 stars A pre-review
Not had chance to read the book yet but arrived well packaged and as described in the listing. Looking forward to reading this one!
Published 18 months ago by Chris
4.0 out of 5 stars FACT EMBELLISHED
As the ex-wife of Norman Leigh and mother of his son Guy Julian may I add a comment. We had a 5-bed-roomed house in East Twickenham which I ran for paying guests whilst Norman... Read more
Published 22 months ago by A. G. Ruffhead
2.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Finctional Non-sense
Sorry to all of you who are looking for a get-rich scheme. The maths don't add up. The beauty of this book is that no one can realistically (re)apply the methodology. Read more
Published on 5 July 2010 by Mr. M. Mcnicholas
4.0 out of 5 stars Truth or lies?
This supposedly true story of a gambling coup at roulette reads like a novel and is an exciting account of an infallible system of betting. Read more
Published on 23 April 2009 by William B. Parkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 Against The Bank
There appears to be some confusion about this book - Fact or Fiction. Its all fact, but told as a gripping story. Read more
Published on 23 Nov 2004 by D R FOSTER
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