May 18, 2005
more on gambling
When I was at Lake Tahoe a few years ago, I hit a hot streak at the blackjack table. I KNEW that I was running a string of cards, so I bet them. When I was $500 ahead (on a $10 table), the pit boss came over to watch me. When I was $700 ahead, the pit boss introduced himself to me and asked if I wanted anything to drink. When I told him "no," he just stood around giving me the hairy eyeball.
I think I ran my bank up to close to $1,000 before the cards turned (after the house sent about four different dealers over to ruin my luck) and I cashed my chips as a $600 winner. I didn't cheat. I am incapable of counting cards the way they play blackjack at Harrah's Casino. I simply cashed in on a streak of good luck when it came my way.
When the luck ran out, so did I, and I took $600 of the house's money with me.
I enjoy playing blackjack. The house has only about a 2% vigorish on you in that game, and if you realize that your are playing the DEALER and not playing "21," you can actually win a little money at that game. I did it in Costa Rica and I've done it in other places, too.
I've also lost my ass, and I have a $185 tee-shirt from a casino in San Martin to prove it. That's why it's called "gambling."
But it's never failed anywhere I've been. If you start winning fairly big, the pit boss comes over to scrutinize what you're doing. If he can't figure out how you're cheating, he'll change dealers on you. He'll offer you free drinks and have some very pretty wimmen start rubbing all over you. It's all an act of distraction, designed to make you lose. And I think the $500 mark is about where they start to become suspicious and kick their shit into action.
The house doesn't exist for you to take THEIR money. They want YOURS. You'd better understand that simple fact before you ever walk through the door.
But sometimes, the cards flow just right and you can beat them at their own game. Fair and square, too.
All content © Rob Smith