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We All Make Mistakes

24 July 2014

By John Grochowski
Everybody makes mistakes. Mostly they aren’t too serious, whether it’s forgetting to set the oven timer for the frozen pizza or leaving the inevitable typo for my good editors to fix.

The same goes for mistakes at the casino. Most don’t cost you much – you lose one bet and move on. Sometimes, though, mistakes can get a little embarrassing. Check out these readers’ tales:

Linda: I was waiting for my husband, playing quarter video poker at the bar. I’d been playing slots right before, and had a ticket for $20.75. That’s what I used in the poker machine.

I didn’t really win much. I guess I had a couple of full houses to keep me going. But after a while, I was losing and I was down to the 75 cents.

You can guess what happened. I NEVER bet less than five coins on video poker, but I decided I might as well play off the 75 cents. That was a three-coin bet, and THAT’S when I drew the royal flush. I was dealt the Ace, Queen, Jack and 10 of clubs, and all the time I was holding cards and hitting the draw button, I was half thinking, “Please don’t be the King, please DON’T be the King.”

But it was the King of clubs, and I had a royal flush. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much about it. A 750-coin win is something to be happy about most of the time. But two more quarters bet and it would have been a 4,000-coin win.

What was really embarrassing though is that the bartender came over and said, “Royal flush! Congratulations!” And then he looked again and his face fell. “Oh, you only bet three. I’m sorry.” He probably uses my story to warn other customers.

I told my husband about it, and he laughed and laughed. That made it worse, too.

Mary: It was when the video slots were new. I’d never played before, and decided to try Reel ’Em In. It was a nickel machine, and there were no ticket printers yet. Payoffs were in nickels dropping of the machine. You could even still drop nickels into a slot to play if you wanted to. There were five paylines. That doesn’t sound like many today, but I’d been used to the three-reel games with one line or three lines.

So when on my first play I had five oranges line up across the bottom, I was excited. I didn’t know how many nickels it would be, but five in a row had to be pretty good, right? I was so excited I called over to my husband, “I have five oranges!” He shouted back, “Cool! What did you get?” But I didn’t get anything. Apparently I had just hit the spin button without choosing a number of lines, and the player before me had been playing one line. I learned my lesson. I’ve always made sure I have all the lines working ever since.

Carla: I don’t know if this counts, because it’s not playing or strategy or anything, but it was in a casino and it embarrassed me. I’d only played in Las Vegas, and was used to the waitresses bringing free drinks. So I was playing the slots, and the waitress came by and I asked for a beer.

She came back, and said it would be $5. I was shocked, and I was unprepared. I only had $20 to start with, and that was in the machine. My husband and I figured we’d get cash when we got to the casino, and he hadn’t come back from the ATM yet.

Anyway, while I was fumbling though my purse trying to come up with $5 in loose change, my husband found me and handed me some money. I paid the waitress and apologized for keeping her. Another couple of minutes and I’d have had to tell her I didn’t want the beer after all. Awful.

Ian: I misread my hand at blackjack, and really made the other players angry. I had a 14, and the dealer’s card was a 6. I guess I was thinking 14 against a 10 or something, and I signaled for a hit. The dealer did a double take, and I signaled for a hit again.

I drew a 6, had 20. I think I heard “lucky bleep,” or something like that, from more than one player, and then I took in what I had actually done. Even though I had 20, I was pretty embarrassed.

If the dealer had busted, that probably would have been the end of it. Of course, he didn’t. He had a 10 face down for a 16, and the next card was a 6. The dealer had 21. If I’d stood, he’d have gotten my 6 and busted with a 22.

There was no “lucky” to go with the name calling after that..

Look for John Grochowski at, on Facebook ( and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at


Tight Slots and Loose Roueltte

20 July 2014
QUESTION: I’ve liked the video slots for a long time now. I noticed right away when that one with the fishing lures (Reel ’Em In) came out on nickels that it gave me a little something back a lot more often than I got on the reel slots. I could keep going and going, where on the reels if I didn’t hit something good I’d sometimes lose my money really fast. ... (read more)

The New World of Video Keno

17 July 2014
When I started going to casinos in the 1980s, I played a little of everything – blackjack, roulette, video poker, slots, some early attempts at craps and a game that’s rarely seen today called red dog. Keno? A little bit over breakfast. Nearly every casino in Las Vegas had keno runners then. Many still do, but some have dropped the runners. ... (read more)

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13 July 2014
QUESTION: Please tell my new daughter-in-law I’m not crazy. She and our son had their wedding at a casino resort, and the whole extended family gambled a little along with some shopping and shows. Some of the women decided to relax in the keno lounge for a little bit over a drink. I started to fill out a card and told my daughter-in-law I was going to start with four races. ... (read more)

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John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago, with podcasts at Look for John Grochowski on Facebook ( and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).

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