Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sucker bet (or Scutch is incredulous)

On Friday, I had a deposition in Durant, Oklahoma, which is about a two hour drive from Dallas. On the way there (after a stop at Whattaburger) I saw the Choctaw Indian Casino. Of course, I wanted to check it out on the way home, but I needed help with the decision. I called Scutch: "What should I do?" "Dude, you have to stop." Exactly what I was looking for.

I'm trying to learn a new blackjack system. (It deals with how you bet, not how you play.) I have never actually tried it before, other than on my computer, so I was hoping I might find a $5 table and try it. The casino was pretty crowded (and smokey) but not too much action at the table games. I looked around and found a table that advertised limits of $1-$25. I had never seen a $1 blackjack table before, but I thought this would be the perfect chance to try my system. How could I lose, right?

So I put $60 on the table (fanning out three twenties) and the guy gives me a stack of $5 chips, a stack of $1 chips, and a stack of .50 chips. My new system starts with a bet that is twice the table minimum, so I put out 2 $1 chips. This is where it gets weird.

One time we were in Vegas (at Bally's) and Rachel and I sat down to play blackjack. There was a small circle in front of the betting circle that was about the size of a chip. The dealer explained that you could make some sort of side bet. Rachel said, "Oh, the sucker bet."

When I put the $2 out, the dealer said that I needed to put a .50 chip on the little circle in front of my betting circle. I asked what the sucker bet was and he mumbled something about the state. When I balked, he said it was mandatory. So I put it out and asked what I could win. Nothing. If you play a hand, you have to give a .50 chip to the state. Having lost my fair share of blackjack hands I was immediately concerned that I would not be able to win at a $1 table if each hand costs .50 off the top, like an ante. So I said that I assumed the same tax was required at all the tables and he said it was unless you bet $50, then the tax is a $1 chip. But it was just .50 and I needed to try my system so I stayed.

So I'm playing my hands and this well-dressed dude sits down next to me, and just like I did with my three twenties, he fans out three one-dollar bills and puts them on the table. The dealer promptly gives him 2 $1 chips and 2 .50 chips. He then tells him he can't have his cell phone out and he has to remove his bluetooth. (His pride had already been removed, apparently.)

This dude at first base is down to his last $1 chip, and wants to play one more hand, but he doesn't have the tax money. So he takes out a quarter and three dimes and puts them on the table for a .50 chip. The dealer, after stacking up the dimes and the quarter in separate stacks and with a complete straight face, says to the guy, "I'm going to have to short you the nickel."


Scott Blume said...

You were in Durant, OKLAHOMA? A short 150 miles from my house. I would have met you there, I guess to play a little cards, and catch up. You are in the dawg house Z. But, because you are a Reds fan, I will extend grace this time. But, if you are ever in Durant again, give me a heads up. I will bring my Strat-o game.

Dave Zahniser said...

Blumer, I thought about calling you, but I was on a very short schedule, flying in and out of Dallas.