Zeljko Ranogajec is a self-made billionaire who is an inspiration to thousands of aspiring professional gamblers around the world. During his early gambling days, he was just another amateur card counter in Australia.
Today he is worth $610 million AUD. Zeljko Ranogajec’s winning ways were initially sparked by Blackjack and his devious card counting methods got him a name on the blacklist of nearly every casino in the land down under.
With anti-card counting measures becoming commonplace at casinos everywhere, Ranogajec needed to figure out other ways to keep the cash flowing. Apart from being witty and crafty, he is also a quick learner and he picked up the tricks of another trade soon enough, horse racing betting to be precise.
Today, he is said to be one of the most prolific professional gamblers ever and has demonstrated mastery time and again when it comes to thoroughbred horse race betting. So much so that he is widely considered the world’s most successful horse race bettor.
So, how does he do it? Well, apart from being the ‘rebate king’ whose betting company gets considerable kickbacks from gaming companies for high volume betting, Zeljko is a practitioner of advanced gambling methods which have allowed him to win on a consistent basis for the last couple of decades.
Zeljko has a betting syndicate known as ‘the Bankroll’. It is not just successful bets made by this syndicate that earn Zelko his billions. He also rebates from gaming companies like Tabcorp of between 8-10%. This essentially means that even if ‘the Bankroll’ makes a 2 percent loss on its bets, it is still ahead of the curve when compared to the everyday punter who doesn’t get any rebates.
Zelko’s Early Life and Education
Zelko’s parents were struggling Croatian immigrants trying to make it to Australia. Born in 1961, he had to make do with very little growing up. Zeljko was the studious type and knew that if he had to get out of poverty and make a better life, education was the only way out. His diligent school work and studying bore fruits in the form of a scholarship from the University of Tasmania.
The world’s richest gambler today wanted to actually become a lawyer after graduating with a major in financial banking.
Introduction to Blackjack and Card Counting
So, how did he go from wanting to become a lawyer to the most successful gambler? Well, he went to the University of South Wales in Sydney for higher education and the campus was located in close proximity to multiple swanky casinos.
In order to make some extra pocket money for himself, Zeljko took up a shift at Wrest Point Casino. This was his introduction to the world of casinos and gambling. He seemed to take to it like a duck to water. After learning the ropes of the different games, he would play a little during his break time.
Since the game of Blackjack offered some strategies and a little bit of control over the outcome of the game, it became Zeljko’s go-to game. Being good with numbers, he picked up card counting. He practiced his card counting at different tables until it became second nature.
Before he knew it, he was earning much more by playing Blackjack than through his actual profession. Zeljko realized he could make a future from this and the more he played, the lesser time he committed to studies and college. Eventually, he dropped out of collected and even resigned from this job at Wrest Point Casino to start gambling as his sole source of income.
Since he knew the staff at Wrest Point Casino and was familiar with the tables, he continued to play there. However, he played far too much and won considerable amounts of money far too often. The casino data analysts took notice and flagged him, he was barred from Wrest Point and that was just the beginning of his spree. He would then move on from one casino to another in the area and get barred from each of them.
He started flying out to Las Vegas to put his card counting to the test. Zeljko even formed a team and shared his card counting tricks with this team to increase profits. Unfortunately, one of the prominent members of the team was killed in a car crash just when they were starting to see profits and Zeljko had to go solo again.
Move to Horse Race Betting
Post marriage, Zeljko was a bit tired of being banned from casinos and had a stint at online gambling instead. He supposedly accounted for more than 1/3rd of all of Belfair’s bets at this time. Exploring different games, Zelko eventually took a liking to horse racing and even formulated his own betting strategies.
A few highlights of his horse race betting strategies are – going for bets with high liquidity, using data and algorithms to identify winners and negotiating rebates with bookmakers for a high volume of bets placed. He now has a network of over 300 people unofficially working for him to pursue his horse race gambling on a much larger scale.