Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of John Grochowski
One of those days at the casino3 November 2009
My friend Jack had just had one of those days at the casino, and he phoned me to vent.
"You know those days when nothing goes right? This wasn't quite one of those," he said.
I asked if that meant he didn't lose his bankroll for the day.
"No," he said, "but not for lack of trying. I brought $500 with me for the day, and figured I'd play some $5 blackjack and some quarter video poker."
A man after my own heart.
"I know, you like the strategy games too. Well, the strategy didn't do me much good this time."
There are days like that. If the cards are bad, making the right plays won't always help.
"Yep. I wasn't bankrolled for counting cards, so I bought in at blackjack for $100. It was a $5 minimum, so I thought I'd play a conservative little progression. First bet $5, next bet after a win $5, then $10, $15, $20. Back to $5 after any loss.
"I know it doesn't change the house edge like card counting can, but a little winning streak can pad the bankroll. Well, the winning streak never came. I lost my first eight hands, including a double down. I'd barely been there five minutes, and I was down $45. Longest winning streak I had was two hands, and you know what that means — the $10 loss cancels out both of the $5 wins.
"After 20 minutes, I'd lost my first hundred. What would you have done?"
I'm stubborn. If I liked the dealer and the other players at the table, I'd probably have pulled out the second $100.
"I'm that way sometimes. It didn't feel right to me this time. I went to play quarter video poker. They had 9/7 Double Bonus Poker with a progressive jackpot in quarters, and the progressive was at $1,847 when I sat down. That's pretty decent, right?"
With the jackpot at a rollover value of 4,000 coins for a royal flush, 9/7 Double Bonus is a 99.1% game with expert play. It becomes a break-even game with a little less than 5,800 coins — that's $1,450 on a quarter game — on the progressive meter. So at $1,847, it was pretty decent.
"I thought so. I wanted to take a good shot, so instead of starting with my usual $20 on a quarter machine, I put in $100. If the jackpot came, great. If not, any four-of-a-kind could keep me solvent.
Sure. At $62.50 for four fives through kings, $100 for four twos, threes or fours, or $200 for four aces, the quads keep you going.
"They never came. Neither did full houses, straights or flushes, and the threes-of-a-kind were rare. It seemed like all my winners were high pairs or two pairs, that just get your bet back. The $100 went faster than I could have imagined."
"Back to blackjack. Lost another hundred. Back to video poker. Moved from game to game this time, but still lost a quick $100."
OK, down to the last $100. But something good must have happened.
"You won't believe this. I did something I never do. I played a dollar slot machine."
I chuckled. Jack's wife is an occasional slot player, and he keeps telling her she's wasting her time and money. She wasn't with him on this trip, but when she plays, it's on the slots.
"Well, I wasn't winning anything and wasn't having any fun at my regular games, so I put my last $100 for the day in a dollar Blazing 7s machine. And there I got my first decent win of the day. Three double 7s, for $500. I quit when the meter was down to exactly $500, and cashed out."
That's break-even for the day, right? Time to go home.
"Maybe I should have. I figured fresh bankroll, I'd make one last blackjack stand."
"I went home with $400."
I laughed. It could have been a lot worse.
"Yeah, I got lucky. But after my wife got done teasing me about being a big slot player, it got me to thinking about what I should do next time."
"Well, I really debated with myself only for about a minute. I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to play blackjack and video poker. Those are the games with the skill elements in my comfort zone."
And your wife?
"I suppose she'll go back to the slots. That's in her comfort zone. That, and giving me the business about my games."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of John Grochowski