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Best of John Grochowski

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The reality of the casino

28 November 2019

Sometimes the best laid plans of casino players run hard up against reality.

Maybe you’ve set limits before a casino trip. Maybe you’ve carefully set aside money to play with separate from money from other expenses.

But players often found they’ve lost track during the course of play, leaving them with a bankroll situation that wasn’t exactly what they’d planned.

Jo, a penny slot player, and Tom, a video poker player, emailed to tell of trips that went awry. Fortunately for them, they were able to recover and didn’t leave with empty wallets.

Not every trip that starts badly will end so happily. That takes a little bit of luck.


Jo: I NEVER lose more than $100 in a casino. I am really, really cautious and know where every penny is going. I play penny slots and bet one coin per line, so I’m betting 30 cents, 40 cents, 50 cents at a time. I never take more than $150 with me, and I fold up $50 of that separately, not to be used for slots.

That system has done well for me. Sometimes I win a little, more often I lose $20 or $40, but I have a good time and don’t go crazy.

Imagine my surprise one day when I found I’d lost the entire $100, and I didn’t even realize I was that far along.

I was at the casino with four friends from my condo building. The husbands didn’t come. It was just the ladies.

We found machines near each other and we were talking while we played. What must have happened was that I got caught up in the talk and didn’t want to leave the others, so I must have put a second $20 in the same machine. That’s something I don’t usually do. If I lose $20, I go looking for another machine.

So in the back of my mind, I’d lost $20 when I’d really lost $40. After moving to some other games and not having much luck, I stopped at one of those Crazy Money games with the big wheel on top. (Super Sky Wheel.) That’s when I found I’d lost all the playing money and had only the $50 folded up.

I had to decide whether to play with some of that, or just stop. This might not sound like it, but it was a really hard decision for me. I didn’t want to cross that $100 barrier.

I risked one more $20 bill. It worked out OK. It took a few spins, but I got to play the big wheel, and it landed on a mini jackpot. That was worth $68 and some change. So now I could fold up my $50 again and make sure I left with that, and I still had about $60 leeway.

It wasn’t much longer before we all decided to leave. I counted up, and had $50 of my $100 gambling money and the full $50 in reserve, so it all shook out as a normal day. I just got there by a nervous route.

TOM: I shudder at some of my gambling trips when I was young. I took so many more risks then.

On one, I was down close to $2,000 late on a Tuesday, going home Wednesday morning. On quarter Triple Play Poker, I was dealt Ace-Queen-Jack-10 of diamonds. I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, hit the button. Up came the King on two hands. Two royals, $2,000!

The luckiest part may have been that I had an early flight the next morning, I didn’t give anything back.

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
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. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

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. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski