FROM SKIP: You recently sent me a copy of your book “The Virgin Kiss” and I want to thank you for it. I read it cover to cover though I admit reading the section about the Captain’s Monster Roll several times. What an experience to have been there with the Captain. The astral projection experiences you have had are very intriguing to me as well.
You have had a fascinating life. You deserve your beautiful wife and you are a good person. There is something about your writing style that makes your childhood stories close to my heart.
OK. Enough praise and on to Craps stuff.
I recently spent eight days on the Las Vegas Strip while my wife attended a health care symposium. We stayed at New York New York which was convenient since her symposium was across the Boulevard at the MGM.
I play a lot of craps at NYNY and we enjoy invited guest status with comps on half our room stays and about half of our dining.
While walking around the casino looking at Video Poker machines, I observed players sitting at a craps machine. This is a multiplayer game in a circle with giant dice that bounce around in a dome in the center. I watched for a few minutes and walked away feeling somewhat righteous that my play supports a boxman, a couple of dealers, and the stickman whereas these “players” are promoting what craps might become in the future.
I mentioned these observations to a dealer while I was playing craps later that day and he disagreed. He said the craps machine provides a way for people to understand the game without the distraction of playing with the noise and pressure of a live craps game. He said a lot more couples play the machine than at a table.
My wife is a slot and video poker player. That night at my request she played craps at a real table for the first time. The dealers assisted her in my absence and were patient and courteous to her.
What do you think about these damned machines?
FRANK’S RESPONSE: Thanks for the compliments. As for the machines? I agree with you they are “damned machines.” I prefer the live game of craps. A machine is just a machine.
I am sending you a free copy of my new book “Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!” I have become quite fond of Pai Gow Poker and there are ways to beat it. I hope you enjoy the book!
FROM PATTI: I have played slots in several casinos in Oklahoma, Vegas, and New Mexico. I usually only play with $100.
My husband plays with me and he also limits his to $100. We can usually play for hours on this. Most of the time we break even, which we consider winning considering the fun we had playing. We have won a few hundred dollars at times and on occasion have left with out the money we came with but that is after playing for several hours.
We recently went on a cruise to Alaska (Princess ship) and were allowed to gamble when the ship was at sea. Both my husband and I played the same way we always do, trying different machines and playing penny and quarter machines. We did not win anything. Usually when we play we win a few small wins on the machines to keep playing.
The only thing we won on the cruise was a $2 win. We stopped when we had gone through $50 each and this took less than one hour. Do they have the same rules and regulations as the U.S. casinos?
We don’t play online because we don’t know how honest or regulated it would be. We are now thinking the ship casino might have been set for low or no payouts.
FRANK’S RESPONSE: Many of my slot readers have written the same thing about their experiences on cruise ships. The machines are programmed to pay back some money but these percentages are probably worse than the worst casino venues in the country. After all, you can’t jump ship to go to another casino.
I do think you were wise to limit your losses and I also agree with you about online gambling. I am sure most sites are honest but do we really want to bring gambling into our homes? I don’t. I prefer to go to the casino and soak up the atmosphere.
As an aside, I went on the same Princess cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago. I loved the state. It was a fun trip. I just returned from Hawaii. You can check out my thoughts about that great state http://frankscoblete.com/travel/fear-and-loafing-in-hawaii-by-frank-scoblete/
I am sending you my new book “The Virgin Kiss” for your letter.
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