Play the field…it pays off!

Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003

So I’m back from my Vegas trip.

Our story begins on Saturday around 1 PM. I am at the Barbary Coast casino with Backstreet and Partytom. Sit down at a $5 blackjack table, and buy $100 worth of chips. Play a few hands, up and down. End up about exactly even. Toss my $5 chips at the dealer and ask for color. She gives me a $100 chip, and I get ready to walk away.

But something inside me says “Go for it, asshole!” So I toss the chip on the betting circle and say “let’s go for it.”

Cards are dealt, and the dealer and I push (for those of you unfamiliar with blackjack, it means we tied). Backstreet says “Don’t push your luck,” encouraging me to take my $100 chip and run. But I left it out there.

Dealer gives me a ten and a three…and she’s showing a picture card. Shit. Nothing to do but take a hit. And get an EIGHT! Whoohoo! Mugsy wins $100.

Flash forward to Saturday evening after dinner. We are at the Frontier casino. Play a little blackjack and win a couple bucks. Then Backstreet and Partytom want to play craps. Now, normally, I don’t play craps. I don’t really know how to play it, and I never win much money doing it. But I figure, why not.

Walk over to the table. Five dollar minimum bet. I only want to gamble with $40, but I just have hundreds, so I buy $100 worth of chips and put $60 worth in my pocket. Gambling progresses; I do decent, and end up about $11 up. Whoohoo. Decide it’s time to walk away. Put my playing chips in my pocket, and say “let’s go find the rest.”

But no, we have to wait for Backstreet’s cocktail to arrive. So Partytom says “Fuck it…I’m going for the Hail Mary,” and throws $50 on the field.

(Quick sidenote…the field bet is a one-time bet which states simply: if the shooter throws a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 then you win. If a 5, 6, 7, or 8 are thrown then you lose. At this casino, the field paid even money, except the 2, which was double, and 12 was triple. This will be important later.)

So I figure I’ll play along with Tom; I pull out my chips to toss them on the field bet, but quickly realize that I have $100 worth of chips, which I don’t want to bet. By the time I pull out what I do want, the shooter has tossed the dice, and Tom has lost the bet.

It’s time for drama. So I take the $111 out of my pocket and place it on the field. “All in on the field,” I say.

Shooter rolls a 10. Bam! I just made $111 profit on that bet. Kick ass.

“Want to let it ride?” the stickman asks sarcastically?

“Hell yes,” I said. That’s right. I now have a $222 bet on the field. This is a bet where the house has a 5.5% advantage over the player. But what the hell.

“Come on 12!” Partytom yells. “Let’s see those boxcars!”

The shooter rolls a twelve. That’s right. I hit a 3 to 1 payout on $222. Backstreet, Partytom, and I look at each other and whoop it up.

“Let that one ride?” the stickman asks.

“Nope. Give me color!” I shout.

The dealers pay me out. I toss a $25 chip down “for the boys” and give the shooter a $25 chip of her own.

For those of you keeping track, I’ve just made a little over $800 on two rolls of the dice.

I’ll post the blackjack story a little later; it happened about 30 minutes after the craps story, and long story short – in an attempt to make my friend Sean feel like a jackass, I made him about $170 and $170 for myself as well :)

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