How many people remember the movie ‘Vegas Vacation’, and the character Marty, the blackjack dealer, played by Wallace Shawn? It’s amazing how many people actually believe that the dealer knows, what the next card will be, or which number the ball will drop in, or when it’s going to be a seven-out!
Just the other day on a craps table, after a point-seven, point-seven, point-seven, game, the player told us;
“Yeah, you guys are good!” He sneered at the dice crew.
“You threw the dice, asshole, not us!” I wanted to say, but what was the point? He really believed it was something we had done.
I’ve tried to explain to people, that although there are dealers out there who are just anti-social burn outs, most of us actually want to see the player win, unless of course, you’re a total dick! It’s hard to get tips out of someone who’s losing, and that is how we get paid, tips! Just like the cocktail waitresses, bartenders, food servers, and bellboys, we work for gratuities. It’s harder for dealers to actually make tips. We have no end product. We can’t serve you a drink, or place a meal before you, or carry your bags, or park your car, but we have the ability to make your gaming experience an enjoyable one. Ever had a dealer who started out smiling and chatting, and then an hour or so in, just came unplugged, stopped smiling, talking, lost interest in you? Chances are, he knows he’s not going to make a dime on that table and kinda wishes you’d piss off and let someone sit down that might put him up for the occasional bet. Nothing personal, just trying to make a buck people!
The other week, I had a player on my blackjack table, who I considered to be a ‘nice’ guy. He was what we call a positive progressive player, which means that he increased his bets when he won, rather than when he lost. He had originally been playing green chips, ($25) but had managed to build up his bank roll, and was now playing black chips ($100). He was winning about four grand, and I was happy for him, he was betting the occasional green chip for me. See, we all happy!
After quite a good run, he had managed to get his bet up to seven black chips. Not bad for a guy who’s original bet was fifty bucks. I dealt him a pair of threes, I was showing a four.
“I’ve gotta split those right?”
“Absolutely.” I agreed, separating the cards.
He matched his bet, fourteen hundred in play. I dealt another three to the first one.
“Shit.” He grinned up at me. “I gotta do it.” He placed another seven black chips, and I split his threes again, making three hands. Twenty-one hundred in play. I dealt a six to the first three.
“Shit. I’ve gotta double that right?” he said, looking at my four.
“That’s what the book says.” I told him.
He put up another seven hundred. Twenty-eight hundred in play. I slid a card face down under his nine double. I dealt another six to the next three. We both stared at it. He slid another seven chips beside the bet, for the double. I dealt another card face down. Thirty-five hundred in play. I dealt him another three to the third hand.
“Are you shitting me?” he asked laughing. He shook his head. He was starting to get nervous.
“Oh my God.” I didn’t know what else to say.
“So who wrote that book?” He was playing the hand exactly as he was supposed to.
He stared at my four. He knew he had to split them again. He pushed up seven more black. Forty-two hundred in play. I was getting nervous for him.
“Eight!” I yelled as I hit his third three. Crap, another six?
“That’s f**ked up!” he said, cradling his head with both hands.
His cache was dwindling. He pushed in five black, and eight green chips. Forty-nine hundred in play. I dealt his third double down, face down. I was kinda scared to hit the last three. Another frickin’ six! Are you kidding me? He sighed heavily, as he counted out what was left in front of him. Three hundred in green.
“For less.” he said. I slid the double-down card in place. Fifty-two hundred in play.
I patted the layout in front of him, the dealers’ sign for good luck. I turned over my hole card, an Ace. I had a soft fifteen. I hit it with an eight, down to thirteen.
“Face!” I yelled, as I hit it with another ace, fourteen.
“Face!” we both yelled, as I hit it with a two, sixteen.
“Face!” we yelled again. He was on his feet now. I hit it with a four, twenty. Crap!
“What are the chances of them all being aces?” The color had drained from his face.
My heart sank as I turned over the first card, a ten, for a total of nineteen. I picked up the chips. I slapped the table hard in front of the next hand.
“Come on, Ace!”
I really wanted to see at least one, just to keep alive. Nope, a queen. The next hand revealed a Queen also, the final hand a Jack. I felt like an asshole, as I picked up the chips. Four hands of nineteen, and I had to draw to twenty. It wasn’t my fault, and he had played the hand perfectly. It just wasn’t to be.
“Well,” I smiled weakly, “I guess you’ve got your Vegas story.”