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Hit me! I only need an Ace to make 21!

"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO, sportsnetwork.com

MGM Grand
The casino "game" room is designed to draw in and overwhelm the average player.
Hatboro, PA (Sports Network) -- Yes, I have actually found myself seated next to someone that said that to the dealer as everyone else at the table almost leaped across the felt to restrain the dealer from touching the shoe while throwing their other hand over this person's mouth at the same time lest he speak again. Mayhem at the MGM would be stating the circumstance mildly.

He got off the same bus with Martha and Lester who was overheard to say, "Now, Martha, you go over there to them thar slot doohickies with the handles on the side. Don't you put no more than a nickel in any of them and, y'al remember, we are going home in a couple of days when we lose the $200 we done brought with us."

They are the essence of the buffet meal, the very reason for its existence. Forget the fact that you could feed Bolivia with one evening's worth, or that the selection offered is not half bad...sometimes good, this meal's for you is the battle cry of the folks that help build billion dollar resorts.

But, gambling is a serious business. That is why you must raise your glass (the comped one, with wine, of course) and toast Martha and Lester. They are the ones that more than balance out those that are hoping and planning to win. It may be called gaming over here but it is hardly a game. Perhaps the furthest thing from it. It is a one on one face-off. They, the casinos, are the competition and you are here to thwart their efforts at increasing the bottom line. You are there to meet their challenge head on and invade their territory.

The fact that it is called gaming does not make it a game. This is you against them. Armed warfare with chips, cards, dice, wheels and shoes. It is not a game. If you want to tell all of your friends about your trip to Las Vegas, the big buildings, fantastic electric signs, top name entertainment and how you lost some money at the tables as though it was expected of you while expressing some macho indication of your manhood, send me any amount you wish and, rest assured, I will tell all within earshot that you lost ten times that amount and trumpet your seeming "player" status to the waiting populace. It is that simple.

Card table
Casinos rely on players who are unfamiliar with statistics and probability as they sit and play games such as blackjack.
Going to Nevada is fun for the meals, shows, tours and visiting Mars here on Earth. Get involved in the gambling aspect of it and the amusement nature of it is relegated to the slot machines where merriment and clowning around are not only permitted, they are welcomed. But, even there, how many people do you think go home driving one of those sports cars that are perched up above the ring of slots? Did you ever see it? Did you ever notice anyone pulling the big handle and watch three giant blue sevens come up while sirens blared and so many lights went on and off that you thought the police were conducting a round-up?

Does it happen? Yes. But, people also win the state lottery. How many times did you cash in your ticket(s)?

Even with the slots, there is a time to stop. To know when to unscrew your derriere from the seat. If you want to play until you win the car or the giant jackpot and that is your mindset for "X" amount of dollars, knock yourself out! The odds are decidedly against you. Are there "hot" poker machines like there are "hot" tables? Again, yes. Be patient, look around, remember where you were on your last visit and hang tough. However, what was your starting kitty? $200? $300? $500? If you won $100 you have increased your bankroll by 50%, 33 1/3% or 20%. Not bad. Not quite the kind of interest the local bank is giving these days.

That is when greed sets in accompanied by your innate desire to get rid of those quarters because who wants to look like a tourist toting that bucket across the casino floor and into the elevator? Ich!! How gauche.

The name of the game is knowing the rules, where rules are applicable...as in blackjack, craps, and baccarat. Playing like a machine and not like a person with a heart or some inner being Jiminy Cricket that is directing you whether to take a card, wager on pass or don't pass, player or bank. Play like the dealers, croupiers and stick men. With discipline and a bred knowledge of percentages so that they can be swayed to your favor at every opportunity.

You are a machine. An automaton. Go by the book. Listen to the experts. Become one yourself.

The name of the game is that it is not a game unless you make it so. That is when you have to be prepared to make the infamous deposit about which you will joke with neighbors, family and friends. If that is what turns you on, go for it! One would have to believe that winning is a much bigger thrill.

Let Martha and Lester have their fun. They earned it. As for you, come armed to the teeth to win. Can it be done with relative consistency? Do fish fly? You gotta be kidding me!