I’m not a high roller by any means, and there are no $20,000 slot jackpots or $10,000 runs at the craps tables on my resume. Mostly, I stick to $5 and $10 tables, and 25-cent video poker. When my wife and I play together, it’s usually on penny slots
So when people ask about my largest casino win, it’s easy to pick one. It came in the late 1990s at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, at the end of a good run on my usual games. I decided to take a $200 flyer on a $2 video poker game, 8-5 Bonus Poker. Dealt two high spades, I hit the draw button, and the other three popped up. That $8,000 royal flush stands far above my collection of $1,000 royals that mark great days on quarter machines.
When I’m asked about my biggest win --- and that happens fairly often, when I’m talking with other players --- I like to turn the question around and have the askers tell me their tales. Nearly everybody has a story, and players love to tell them:
Carla: It was about three years ago. Blackjack is almost all I play, and I play low limits. I’d just learned about betting progressions, so I tried one out at a $5 table. I was starting at $5. If I won one hand, I stayed at $5. If I won again, I increased to $10, then to $15, then $20. I kept adding $5 to the bet after any win as long as the streak was alive.
I had a streak where everything when right. Every time the dealer had a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 up, he busted. If I had 18 and he had a 10 up, he had a 7 down. I won and won and won. It was crazy. I started with a $100 buy-in, and I ran it up to $1,875. Then I lost a little, and played it down to an even $1,800.
I’ve learned it doesn’t work every time. BELIEVE me, I’ve learned. But that moment was magic. I was used to betting the same every hand, and I’d never won more than $100 before.
Matthew: You know Ultimate X Poker, right? If you have winning hands, it give you a multiplier for the next hand. You get a different multiplier depending on your winner. I was playing quarter Ultimate X Five Play. I was dealt a full house before the draw. That put a “12X” next to all five hands for the next hand.
Usually, when the big multipliers come up, you get losing hands. This time, I was dealt a 10, King and Ace of hearts, and two low cards in other suits. I kept the Ace-King-10, hit “draw” and hoped for the best. Four of the hands wound up losers, so that 12X didn’t do anything. But on one hand, I got the Queen and Jack of hearts. Royal flush! And it was 12 times, so instead of $1,000, I got $12,000. I’ve never had anything to compare with that.
Cynthia: This is so cool. I was playing a dollar Double Diamond progressive. I’d won some nice slot jackpots, but this was really special. The three Double Diamonds came up, and the jackpot was $22,358. My heart skipped a beat for sure. While I was waiting to get paid, my husband Jim ran up and said, “Cyn, look at this!” He’d been playing Blazing 7s and he hit a progressive for $1,429. He was so excited. I hugged him and kissed him and he wanted to high five, and finally I said, “You might want to look at this,” and pointed to my game. It was hug time all over again.
Ernie: I happened to have the good fortune of playing craps with a woman who was having a good run of beginners luck. She said it was her first time shooting, and I can believe her. She was really nervous. She also wasn’t betting very much, just $5 on the pass line and then $6 on 6 and 8 if they weren’t the point. No odds or anything.
I was betting $5, the minimum, on the line, and following with two $5 come bets. I was backing all that with triple odds at first, on a 20x odds table. As she got rolling, I increased to 5x odds, 10x odds and at the end was at 20x odds.
She held the dice a good long time, with nothing but numbers. I don’t know how many points in a row she made, but it was a bunch, and when she wasn’t making her point she was rolling come winners. I won $6,000 and some change. She didn’t win that much. It might have been less than $100. I flipped her a $100 chip --- she deserved it. So did a bunch of the others, so she made out OK.
Look for John Grochowski at www.casinoanswerman.com, on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
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