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Gambling/General : Compulsion and Pleasure at the Gaming Table

By Andrea Klein

Level: May 31st 2007
When speaking about gambling tales, people almost automatically think about big wins. But there are also delightful stories about near misses. Just go and sit around a casino buffet table among a group of players and you’ll certainly hear a few stories of the thrills of victory and the agonies of defeat:

Joan: This happened in Las Vegas. I was in front of a Fifty Play video poker machines. I thought I should give it a try. I have never played at such a machine. Usually, I play Triple Play and Five Play Poker. So, I paid $2.50 per hand because they had it for pennies. After about 10 or 11 hands, I was holding an Ace-King-Queen-Jack of clubs, along with a 7 of something. I thought I was lucky. I had fifty chances at a royal flush. It’s not too much to win $40 on a penny machine with a royal, but it can help you to stay in the game another few hands. Moreover, there's always the chance to draw two or three royals, or even more. Guess what? Not that I didn't even get one, but also I didn't even get my money back. What to do with only a few high pairs, flushes and a couple of straights? All in all I played well on the machine, but the royal didn’t appear.

Tom: Funny thing - I actually won with a royal on Fifty Play. I had to wait a little bit, but it worth $10,000. It was on a nickel machine with a suit of hearts. I still have the picture with that moment. It was amazing because I’ve never been holding a royal in the first five cards before.

Wanda: Well, I’m not a fan of poker. I play only the slots. I remember that my bad playing scene came on a nickel Jackpot Party machine. I inserted in $20. Then, the five green 7s appeared in a straight line. This meant a great pay and I was very excited. Instead, the machine only gave me five cents. What was happening? I'd one bet one coin, and that only gave me the center payline. It was my fault. I didn’t paid attention what bet was selected, I just hit the repeat bet button. And of course the player before chooses one coin on one line. I was very irritated. Now, I’m not playing until I’m sure I hit the button for all the paylines.

John: One of my bad play days was on the go at a blackjack table when I misread the dealer's hand. I was handling a 9 and a 7 and the dealer had a 6 face up. I indicated that I want to hit. The dealer looked at me surprised because I'd been playing straight basic strategy to that point. I drew a 4. The dealer came and turned up a 6. The next card was a 9. Having 2 of six and a 9 the dealer beat me along with the other players at the table. My mistake was that I misread the first card as a 9 instead of a 6. If I hadn’t made this bad step, the dealer would have got the 4 for a 16, then the 9 would have busted his hand and the whole table would have won. All the players were looking at me. Moreover, one guy was so angry he immediately left the table. It was an embarrassing moment.

Frank: I was trying my luck at an old Multiple Action Blackjack game. This is a game where you have to put three bets. You play only one hand and the dealer plays three hands, each one starting with the same face up card. This kind of game I was playing a lot at the Four Queens in Vegas for a while. One time, I had a blackjack hand. I was pretty sure I’ll beat the dealer. Surprisingly, the dealers starting card was an Ace. He asked if I want insurance, but I declined. Then, he played the first hand and flipped up a King for a blackjack. He moved the Ace for the next two hands that brought him a King and a 10. So I had to face that I was losing. After a few hand I had another blackjack. Guess what? The dealer again had an Ace. His first hand was a Jack, the second one a King. Oh, my god! I was on the point to lose again. For the final hand he tuned up a 6. Finally, I won this time. It was such a relaxing moment.

Jack: Oh, I played this game too. I had a great time. Can you believe that all my blackjacks won? It was the last time when I played Multiple Action Blackjack at Las Vegas. Maybe I was too lucky and that’s why they removed the game.
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