Monday, November 14, 2005

Vegas Baby! - Part 5

The Big Gamble:

On my 21st birthday, my Aunts Mildred and Sara took me to what we in black St. Louis call “the boat.” This is strange, because there is in fact more than one floating casino boat on which you may gamble in St. Louis. It's also strange, because they took me to Harrah’s, which is not a boat, but a piece of legal trickery disguised as an island.

They gave me $40 with which to play. After about an hour at the slot machines, I hit big with a $100 win on a 25 cents bet, played for 20 more dollars, and went back to college with $80 tucked in my happy little pocket.

In other words, I’m not a real gambler.

In Las Vegas, CH introduced me to Pai Gow Poker at The Paris hotel’s casino. This game is awesome for people like me, because it’s pretty low risk, about $10-$50 a hand, depending on where and when you play, and the way it’s set up allows for you to sit at the table for a pretty long time before your conservative spending limit runs out.

Basically, your dealt seven cards, and you have make the best two hands you can, with one hand being made up of two cards, and the other being made up of five. If both your hands beat the dealer's hands, then you win. If only one of your hands beats the dealer's hand then you "pass," meaning you don't lose or win, just play again.

If you’re like me, and have never played poker, this is an awesome way to learn what’s what.

And the best bit is that if you’re not sure what the best two hands are, you can ask the dealer to advise you, and s/he'll actually give you good advice, because there is no house advantage (they take 5% to make up for this.)

At Paris, I got an amazing hand and ended up winning $150 on a $10 bet with a five dollar side bet. We played for about five more minutes and left about $135 richer than when we’d first come in.

But then after Avenue Q we lost it all at the Venetian on Pai Gow and roulette.

Ah well, as it's been said time and time again, the house always wins.

But at least we'll always have Paris.

1 comment:

frank's wild lunch said...

Are you taunting me??