I’m not a gambler.
I never have been.
I don’t know that I ever will be.
I can usually think of a lot of other things I’d like to do rather than gamble.
Maybe it’s because I don’t live close to a casino.
Or maybe it’s because I’m poor.
But either way, it’s just not something I’ve done a lot of.
I have family in Emmetsburg, where there is a casino. On certain occasions, I would go out and spend a few dollars. It wasn’t anything serious, just a little fun. I would usually spend my time playing slots. There wasn’t much thinking, just a matter of luck.
Well, I decided to come out of my shell a little bit this last weekend.
I was in Omaha for Michael Brauer’s bachelor party. A group of his friends all met at a casino and it’s attached hotel.
We started the night with a delicious meal at Hooters (yes, the wings were very good), and proceeded to play a 10-team tournament of NCAA football ’12 on the Playstation 3.
In case you were wondering, I finished second. Just couldn’t quite get anything going in the championship game.
One we were done with the tournament (which took quite a while and prompted two calls for noise complaints), we all headed to the casino.
There, we dispersed. I threw a couple dollars in the slots — only to see it disappear quickly. A few were playing craps. Others were at various tables and some were at the roulette table.
I watched as a few played Spanish 21. It was basically blackjack, except the deck of cards didn’t have an 10s. Not quite sure how that worked, but a few people from our group were there, so I threw my hat in the ring.
It was amazing how little I knew about the game. Sure, I know the object of the game. I know that you want to blackjack.
But I was quite clueless as to the rest. When to double down, when to split and what in the world is insurance?
I won a few hands and I started to pick up on some of the subtleties of the game.
From there, it was onward and upward. At one time, I had about five times as many chips as I started with.
I was on a roll, with no signs of slowing down.
Of course, they don’t build these elaborate casinos because they pay out a bunch of money.
I started losing.
And losing quickly.
So then the question was, at what point do I cash out?
Being a rookie at this, I probably picked the wrong time to do it. But hindsight is always 20/20.
I waited too long.
I might have played for hours and hours more, but the rest of my party was leaving. It was 4 a.m. and I had been awake for 20 hours.
It was time to quit. I ended up doubling my initial investment, so I was pleased.
Of course, now I look back on the game and think of the things I would do differently next time.
Now the only question is when that will be.