CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of The Midnight Skulker

Gaming Guru

 

Where Has All My Money Gone? (Long Time Passing.)

7 September 2003

Even knowledgeable and experienced players have had occasion to sing variations of the Pete Seeger song suggested by this article's title. The sights, the sounds, the beverages, and according to some reports, even the air in a casino are designed to make time and money fade from consciousness. There are no clocks or windows to indicate the time of day, so that good run that one remembers having just a few minutes ago may actually have occurred a few hours ago. The substitution of tokens, credits, and most recently, pay slips for coin of the realm introduces not only another layer of obscurity between those objects and their value, but also another layer of inconvenience to obtaining that value (by having to redeem them at the cashier's cage).

Casinos also try to make "in here" seem much more attractive than "out there." In my experience, most casinos accomplish this by selling fun: the good times are "in here;" "out there" is reality. Other casinos sell respect: "in here" I'm Mr. S.; "out there" I'm not even a number. Still other casinos (by far the minority) challenge me to prove I'm a real gambler, which of course I can do only by owning the joint before going "out there" and admitting defeat. Regardless of the technique employed, its purpose is to keep me, the player, playing.

To defeat this inertia the casinos attempt to create, players must generate what we computer nerds call an interrupt, a signal to the players to assess their financial status relative to the time they have been playing. This can be a problem for the slot player since there is no guarantee that anything will happen to break into the routine of making bets and activating the game before one's stake is exhausted. Setting the alarm on one's wristwatch, using the appearance of a bonus round (or getting a full house or better in video poker), or noting the appearance of a change person offer possible solutions.

Table gamers have it easier: they can use "the changing of the guard" as their interrupt. Craps dealers rotate every 20 minutes, and most other dealers in most casinos change tables on that schedule as well. (In some casinos dealers may stay in one position for 40 minutes or an hour, but never longer than that.) Players should use these interrupts to decide whether to continue (if things are going about as expected) or to take a break (either to savor a victory or to recover emotionally from taking a beating).

Quitting is probably the toughest challenge you as a player face. The challenge is lessened if you sneak up on "out there" by taking breaks periodically. Stop by the cage and cash in, then go wash your hands. Step outside for a breath of fresh air (or if you're in your room, sit down and turn on the TV). Away from the heat of battle, and with real money in your pocket, quitting isn't as difficult. And if you decide to return to the tables or the machines, at least you're making a conscious and hopefully rational decision to do so instead of being sucked along by the flow.

The Midnight Skulker
The Midnight Skulker has been playing craps for over three decades and has played almost everywhere in the country. He is a computer expert and a frequent contributor to Internet newgroups, where his opinions and observations have earned him much respect.
The Midnight Skulker
The Midnight Skulker has been playing craps for over three decades and has played almost everywhere in the country. He is a computer expert and a frequent contributor to Internet newgroups, where his opinions and observations have earned him much respect.