We started our trip with one night in Las Vegas, as sort-of a spontaneous, last minute addition to the already lengthy itinerary.
…Suffice it to say that it was not a profitable decision.
If you’ve been to Vegas, or spent any time gambling, it’s a good practice to give yourself a limit at the beginning of the night. Your maximum amount, should the evening turn sour, that you would be willing (or otherwise financially capable) to lose – after which you would cut your losses and call it quits. Seeing as how I am going to Portland jobless, and with the very little contributions I’ve been able to make to my savings account this year (READ: San Francisco sucks), my personal limit for the night was $150. And folks, that was gone in the first 45 minutes of the evening.
I’ve always been partial to Black Jack – 1.) statistically, it has the best odds of any casino game, 2.) there’s enough strategy involved that I don’t feel quite as much like I’m relying 100% on luck, and 3.) unlike, sayyyyy, craps for instance, I at least have some vague idea of what’s going on in front of me.
But for some stupid reason, Roulette is where we stopped first.
Make no mistake, y’all: Roulette is for suckers. For those of you unfamiliar, this is the one where they throw a little white ball into a wheel of numbers, and you’re betting that you have the moxie to predict where the ball will land. Do you understand what I’m saying here? There is a THIRTY-EIGHT TO ONE CHANCE that you will guess wrong. WHO WOULD PLACE THAT BET? Who?
The answer, I guess, is people who are blinded by the other side of the 38-1 odds, the one that says: “If by some unimaginably small chance you guess correctly, your $5 bet just became $175.” (READ: suckers)
But then, there are also (smarter, more rational, probably better-looking) people, who prefer to play the “outside” of the table… that is, I’m not gutsy enough to predict the actual number, but suuure, I’ll bet that it’ll be an even number. Or, for instance, that the number will be a red one. These 50/50 odds are much more comfortable to me.
And yet, even then – every time I bet on red, the number was black. I put money on even, and it came up odd. New strategy: I left my money in the same spot, every round, on the gamble that it would have to be right eventually. Which it was, but not before watching the dealer sweep about $80 worth of my chips into the little hole at the end of the table.
Our luck didn’t improve, even as we made our way around to other casinos and tables (including Black Jack, which I took as a personal betrayal). Needless to say we called it a night early, grumbling about our losses to the cab driver and me trying to lighten the mood by saying at least we saved money by not flying. Tomorrow, we embark on the rest of our three-week journey, with (hopefully) better days ahead.