I love a good casino with good air filtration. I don’t smoke and the air I have to breathe is usually the only thing I don’t like about casinos. Today there was another thing I disliked.
I play blackjack, not because it is the fairest game you can play (it isn’t), but because I like the simplicity of it. The rules are simple and it doesn’t take long to learn them. The thing to remember in blackjack is luck comes in streaks. If you are not on a streak, you bet the minimum, when you are on a streak you escalate with each bet. When you can, you get your money out and play with the house’s money. It is the only way to really have a chance at winning.
I am sitting in the sixth chair, next to last. I like this position because I get to see a lot of cards before I have to make a decision. I’ve been playing for a half hour or so at a $5 table and am about even. I win some, I lose some, but no real streaks. In chair one and two are these two Asian women who are running the table. They know how to play and they are telling everyone when to split pairs and when to double down and when to hit and when to stay. I like them. They know the rules very well.
The dealer sends an eight and a queen my way. He shows a 3. The Asian women start barking orders to the table, “Nobody take a hit. Let the dealer take the face card!” They are correct. We are all over 10 and in good shape. The dealer has a king in the hole and then draws a jack. He goes bust and we all win. I didn’t know it was the beginning of my streak, but it was.
My $5 bet became a $10 bet and when I won that I pulled my original $5 out and was playing solely with the house’s money from then on. My $15 bet turned into a $25 bet as I pulled in my first profit. After 10 straight wins. I had pulled over $250 in profit and had $150 on the table.
We all get low cards and paint, but the dealer is showing a three. Perfect again. Once again the Asian women send out the word, “Nobody take a hit! Let the dealer bust! Let the dealer bust!” We all do as we should till it gets to the guy in chair seven. He has a minimum $5 on the table and 12 showing. He goes, “Should I take a card?”
We all yell in unison, “NO!”
He gives us this strange, drunken look and slams his palm down on the table, “CARD!” he yells into my ear. He pulls a deuce. His 14 is really no better than the 12 he had to begin with, but he stops. We all stare at him in disbelief that he would take a card when he didn’t need to.
The dealer has a 10 in the hole and pulls an ace, which puts him at 14, then pulls a seven. Twenty-fucking-One. I look at the drunken asshole to my left and say, “You need to learn the damn rules you jackass. You just cost me $300.”
“What, what did I do?”
“Think about it for a while.”
He soon left, but his mistake took all the luck from the table. The Asian women left a few minutes later and I lasted ten or so more before getting up and leaving. Yeah, they call it gambling for a reason.
Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.