What Are The Odds?

My son and I spent Independence Day weekend in the All-American city of Las Vegas. We are on our 30+ hour road trip from MN to California where he is going to work remotely for a few months.

I love almost everything about Vegas except the gambling. I’ve never had the gambling bug, but we couldn’t miss the fun since we were in Sin City. We each bankrolled ourselves $100 and headed to the ‘Pleasure Pit’ in the Planet Hollywood Casino, where we were staying.

This is only the third time I’ve done this in 10 years. I set my goal simply: double my $100 or lose it all. In 2011, on a cruise ship, I doubled my $100 playing craps. In 2016, newly retired, I lost my $100 playing blackjack. I’ve been to casinos many times besides these two times in the last 10 years but never gambled.

This time, I came home a winner. My $100 was quickly (20 minutes) doubled despite some sketchy bets. We were getting counsel from some of the other players at the table, but later we discovered that some of the situational odds weren’t quite as favorable as they had claimed.

I was happy to walk away from the table and cash in all my chips. My son was close to tripling his money at one point (his goal), but he ended up falling back to his original $100 bank roll. Since we were switching spots at the table, we both got an hour’s entertainment out of the experience.

There’s something about my personality that prevents me from being a big gambler. Perhaps it’s the same instincts that made me a good saver and practical investor during our early retirement journey. It’s said risk – like a fire – will consume you if you don’t watch it. As much as I love the colorful atmosphere, a casino is a bonfire just waiting to happen, in my mind.

How much of a gambler are you? Biggest win or loss? How do you limit your risk at the casino?

Image Credit: (c) MrFireStation.com

11 thoughts on “What Are The Odds?

  1. I’m not a gambler at all! We went to Vegas and I hated the casinos. Overall the city was fine, but not my cup of tea I guess. I made one bet, lost less than five bucks and decided to just keep the rest of my “gambling money” in my pocket! Haha…I’m just not cut out to give away money when the odds are stacked against you!

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    1. Oops … misresponded!
      I agree. I’m often nervous just sitting there trying to do the cards/wagering math in my head each hand or roll of the dice. Tiring when you know you have to play ‘perfect’ just to cut the House’s advantage.

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  2. Gambling days long over but they were never big. Once I was up $75 at Blackjack when someone got my attention to the television screen. Thanks to OJ Simpson being chased on the 405 freeway, my attention was diverted from the game. OJ caused me to lose $75, but the story was told many times so it was worth it. Actually I walked away even so technically no loss.

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    1. Blasted OJ! 🙂
The casino tables at Planet Hollywood have bikini-wearing dancers to divert attention from the card play, too! Anything to give the House an edge …

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  3. Being from So. Cal. going to Vegas on the weekends was a regular thing at one point of our lives. Best night we had was at a craps table and we were down to our last $80. $40 for me and $40 for my wife. We played for 4 hours straight at a very hot table and walked away with almost $2k. Watching red chips turn green and green chips turn black was a blast. It was one night of luck which never repeated itself.

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  4. When I am out there for a work event, I bring $100 for each day. I will only use my $100 for that day. If I lose it in 5 minutes, I’m done. The last two times I have come back with more than I went with and spent 6-8 hours playing craps while there. Typically when I get up by $100, I put my original in my pocket and start playing with the houses money. Then my bets get a little bit bigger, and if I go up by $200, I quit for the day.

    I can certainly see myself gambling large amounts of money, but I use it as a test of will power. And frankly I’m scared of what my wife would say if I lost more than my 3-400 dollars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s amazing that $100 can but as little as 5 minutes or as much as 8 hours of entertainment. Craps is a fun social game in a casino.

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