The wife and I went to a casino to see Ron White perform, and stuck around to play after. She won $1900 playing slots, and I won $1850 playing 3-card poker. We drove home happy. Over my life, I am about even
I have only really participated in gambling in a casino once. I watched my uncle throw away $100 in about 5 minutes at the roulette table placing minimum bets. He never hit a single number, and we walked away.
That same uncle once bet me $100 if I could pick the next door to open in a room full of dressing rooms (about 30 of them, it was a wedding gown shop). I picked a number, then went and opened the door. He gave me $100. That’s the kind of gambling I like to do.
My wife and I go periodically to a local casino and just play the slots. I think I’m destined to be a lifetime casino loser, but my wife once won a grand jackpot for just a little over $13K on a video slots game on a $1.50 bet.
When she hit the jackpot, the alarm bells on the machine went off, and the casino concierge person comes over to the machine, asks my wife if she wanted it in cash (of course), and came back with a stack of $100 bills and handed them to my wife. Craziest thing ever.
I don’t go to casinos, except with others. I probably went more when I was a kid (two or three times with my parents). As an adult maybe once or twice with my middle brother. It’s not a moral thing; the whole pursuit just never made enough sense to me. I don’t find it enjoyable or otherwise appealing. And the math seems to indicate against (I mean, unless you’re Rain Man and/or you’ve got a system; and unless you’re brilliant with the maths, I don’t trust your system).
But I have a story about gambling.
My mom had a boyfriend who gambled variously; she didn’t seem to be super opposed to it per se, but he was really into it–the horses, the cards. I don’t know that she ever got super upset with him (because I was a kid and I might not have seen that interaction if she did), but one weekend she decided to take us kids to the track to “show us the evils of gambling” (again, it was half joking to begin with; probably more that was a side benefit). She explained win, place, show, told us about the trifecta, etc. “Okay kids, here’s 20 bucks. Tell me what you want me to put it on.” Yeah, well, anyway, our horse won. But that was the end of it. It was a good story, because, yaknow, “people mostly just lose” (which I know to be true and knew at 10 or 11 however young I was), but we won. Oops. Like I said, I don’t have strong feelings about it. I don’t think she had strong feelings except when it gets out of hand.
Also, my mom, a fundamentalist Christian, had all kinds of friends. Two of her friends were a gay couple we called Daddy Jim and Uncle Bill. She loved and trusted them so much (and they seemed to adore us) that she sometimes let them babysit us. I remember them almost as far back as I have any kind of memories, so maybe back to the age of 3 or 4. We all knew they were gay; they were maybe a little flamboyant too (not that gay people have to be). Conservative Christians definitely didn’t own to having gay friends back then. But my mama did. Anyway, they famously taught us to play poker. My elder siblings seemed to get into it. It was kinda fun, but I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as they did. Again, no big whoop.
Turns out my biological father was a big poker player. But as with the casinos generally, poker really never made enough sense to me. Alas, I wish it had; seems like poker (as opposed to most other gambling games) is an actual skill and one can make some money with it.
Best I ever hit was for $1,000 on a quarter machine. My Mom was the lucky one, she hit a progressive multicasino jackpot in AC. That was the good news. The bad news was it was only a few hours after someone had hit it for about $2M. Mom sitll ended up with about $13K after taxes.
My birthday is in the winter so for my 21st I took my dad to Vegas. Coming from the heartland all innocent like I didn’t budget for just HOW F-ING EXPENSIVE the Strip can be. $20 for a margarita? I’d never paid prices like that in my life and at 21 I wasn’t exactly rolling in dough. I gambled MAYBE $50 total the whole weekend and decided I wanted to spend the rest of my money on food and booze.
@show_the_maw It didn’t use to be that way. Food and drink used to be cheap to keep you at the casino gambling. My workplace was on Convention Center Drive and we’d go to casinos all the time for $1.99 lunches, cheap buffets, etc.
Still remember all you can eat crab dinners with a decent steak was about $11… sigh
The most at one time I have won was $800 in a slot tournament in Vegas at the late great Riviera. I was there for a billiards tournament and the casino held a slot tournament just for league players. I came in second. First prize was $1500. I’ve also won a bit at the casino local to my folks in NW Louisiana.
I have friends and family that will regularly proclaim something like “I won 3 grand at the casino last night!!!” when that really was just their high water mark. Only if you press them will they admit they were much closer to break-even (perhaps in the red) when the night ended.
A good friend of my sister’s, who I think is “on the spectrum”, is very very good at poker. She’s so good that the casino guards sometimes come and watch her, trying to catch her cheating. But she just has this mental ability.
@Kyeh Even if it just mental ability, most Vegas casinos will ask you to leave if they believe you are counting cards. It’s not illegal, but Nevada law allows casinos to operate more like private clubs and they are pretty quick to crackdown if they suspect it. Most other states allow card-counting but use measures to combat it (e.g. multiple decks)
I don’t gamble, but I got sent to Vegas to represent my company at a conference when my boss couldn’t make it. I was about 4 months pregnant at the time and had 2 strong cravings–oranges and crab legs. I hit that buffet HARD. Best Vegas weekend of my life.
Way back in my teen years, I was a camp counselor. A few years after, several of my campers, with whom I had stayed in contact, turned 18 and wanted to go to the casino. I went with them, and tried to show them why their desire to just play slots was a money waster, so I popped a $20 into a slot machine and hit max bet, max bet, max bet… Win ~$180. I tried to say it was a fluke and went to play blackjack, where I lost $40 by busting every time (I was dealt 12-14 on every hand and received a face card for each hit). I think the universe was laughing at me, but I still walked out with over a hundred.
I don’t gamble but I went to Cherokee, NC once with friends. I took $20 in quarters. I won enough to play all afternoon and lost my winnings and my $20. I just considered it playing video games for entertainment.
I spent $5 on a ticket to win a new (1998) Jaguar at a raffle in the airport in Djibouti, Djibouti and a month later was told I had won. Cost of transport was $25k, taxes to the IRS would have been $15k, there was a cost to get it to American Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) such as safety glass, bumpers, crash bars in the doors, ($10-15K), plus the cost to bring it to California EPA standards ($5k). The car was initially valued at $70k, but by the time all the work was done, the value would have depreciated to about $55K. That was a tough letter to write telling them that I couldn’t afford to import it to the USA. Sweet little forest green XK8 convertible. Now you can get them for $8-14K, but the cost of labor and parts? You have to be a millionaire. Still, …