Thursday, October 2, 2008

What to do in Vegas

People keep telling me you can’t go to Vegas and NOT gamble.
I admit it. I gambled. In fact, every single time I have gone to LVegas I have gambled on something. Usually $20 on slots. If you pick a nickel machine, that $20 can give you hours of entertainment. That’s me, living on the edge.
This time I tried roulette.
Why roulette? While I was in school we had a prof that talked about the best single event odds that you can get in a casino is to play ONCE for either red or black at a roulette wheel. If you only play it once, you have a 49% chance of winning. About a month after that lecture, my buddy Poker Player and I were out for an after work motorcycle ride and since we couldn’t come up with a better idea we went to Riverside Casino in Riverside, Iowa. It was a decent distance away and made for a nice ride after work. When we got there, Poker Player wanted to gamble. I didn’t really want to but I told him about what the prof had said. Keep in mind, Poker Player really enjoys pitting his skill against other people. He has an incredible memory and is very smart and as a result he does pretty well playing poker in tournaments. In his mind, he isn’t playing a game of chance but a game of skill. So I was very surprised when he listened to my roulette story and said, “sure, I’ll try that once” He went over to the table and dropped a $20 on Red. And won. Then he double dog dared me to do the same. Well, I am not a chicken (although Loren called me a girl!) so I dropped $20 on black. And won. Winnings in hand, we left.

So while I was wandering around watching people and while Wife was studying (sleeping) in the room, I decided to play roulette a little bit. I sat down at a table and watched a few spins. When I saw that Red had come up twice in a row, I put $20 on Black and won. I should have left then.
I watched a little more and watched a young couple put $10 on two different numbers and one of them paid off, 35:1. $350 and good for them. After a little longer, I put my $40 on Red because there had just been two Blacks. And doubled my money again. The waitress brought me a beer and I thought I was pretty smart. So I watched a while longer and saw two Reds in a row and put $40 on Black. There goes $40 as Red came up again. Three reds in a row.

This time it HAS to be Black. Another $20 on Black and it comes up Red again. So I am left with my original $20. I could walk away, having gotten two ‘free’ beers while wasting 45 minutes in the MGM at a table. But SURELY it will come up Black this time. And goodbye $20.
And with that I remembered the lesson I had learned in college. When I sit down at the table with my money and look around for the patsy, I don’t even need to bother. Because it is me.
When I got up to leave the dealer (spinner) said to me that the most times she had seen one color come up in a row was 17.
I was glad I got out of there when I did.

1 comment:

loren said...

17 times?!? That's crazy in the odds department.