Last week my nephew invited me to go to the casino with him, his girlfriend, and my sister. Now I shouldn’t have to tell you I wasn’t sure I should go. I mean, first of all, I wake up at 4 a.m. every weekday, so staying out late at night just about kills me. Secondly, I had things to do…like watch Ghost Adventures and re-read all of Marjorie M. Liu’s Dirk & Steele novels. And thirdly, I hate throwing money away. It’s different if I’m buying something, like books, but to put money out there with no guarantee I’ll get it back kills me.
Lots of things kill me apparently.
But I went because what the hell. It’s only money right? It’s only the difference between buying three books and one *cough* So I went. I wasn’t allowed near the slot machines because as my nephew tells me “You’ll definitely lose”. No, he said he’d teach me how to make money.
And promptly led my sister (who’s just as wary of casinos as I am) and me to the blackjack table. I was scared. I mean…this isn’t just pulling a lever or pressing a button. I was sitting down with a real live person who was dealing actual cards I could see. I was scared spitless and with my little sixty dollars, felt like a very small fish in a big, dangerous pond. I started sweating and pretty much begged a waitress for a drink. I was going to need one if I was going to last longer than twenty minutes.
Those twenty minutes turned into two hours where I steadily increased my winnings with the input of my nephew. Once or twice, or three times, the dealer had to tell my sister to keep her hands out of the betting circle, but other than that we didn’t do too badly. Then they all left me there alone with a new dealer. All I could think was, “Oh crap” and promptly lost until I was down to a little less than half of my original stockpile of chips.
Everyone was losing and they were ready to leave. My nephew said, “put it all in, see if you can double it.” My palms start sweating and I could feel everyone staring at me. It was twenty-five dollars. If I walked away from the table, I’d have that twenty-five dollars. If I stayed, chances were I’d have twenty or less. Then the annoying boy said, “If you’re scared, go to church. But play big or go home” or something like that.
Feeling like a complete idiot, I slid all of my chips into that circle. The dealer looked at me with a sly smile. I’d been losing since he came back from his break. I tried not to dive onto the table to grab my chips, but managed to refrain, although I did take a big sip of my drink.
The first card fell: a king. The second card fell: a jack. I had twenty. The dealer had a ten showing. He could have twenty as well and I’d end up pushing. I stood and waited. He flipped his card, showing a seven. I’d doubled my money!
I can promise you, the instant he put my winnings on the table, I jumped off my stool and ran for the cashier, still not believing I’d only lost ten dollars in two and a half hours. Do I think I’ll make a habit of visiting the casino? Hell no. However, I do know my days of sitting at the slot machines is over. I know gambling is in my blood. My real last name possibly means “the dice” if that gives you any hint as to what my family is like.
No, I’ll stay out of casinos for the most part. I’ll go once in a while, but there won’t be any heavy gambling from me. I like having money in my bank account too much for that.
How about you? Are you a gambler?