Saturday, January 07, 2006

Casino gaffes 

Just like minor-league baseball players or small-market TV newsfolk, there seems to be a difference in skill level between the blackjack dealers at small casinos, and those at big-time venues. Case in point....I've now gone to the Seneca Allegany Indian Casino in Western New York three times, and have encountered numerous dealer errors. Here are three examples:

1. Dealer busts. She starts paying out. I'm the first person to her right, so she pays me. At that moment the pit bosses interrupt to do their chip inventory thing. When they're done a couple minutes later, she's mixed up about whether she paid me. I have already taken my winnings away and re-set my next bet. I pretend like I'm not paying attention, and she pays me again. Before you think I'm a dishonest person, remember that this is a casino. When the guy at the convenience store gives me change from a $20 when I gave him a $10, I tell him. But a casino? Yeah, right.

2. I have 18. Dealer has 18. He pays me anyway. At first I thought I must've counted wrong, but my suspicions were confirmed by my gambling mate. This dealer was simply not very good at math. Numerous times he took longer than normal to count up people's totals.

3. I get blackjack on a $15 hand. I immediately clear away my winnings, and leave $20 for my next bet (while the hand is still going on for others). The next time I look up, the dealer has busted, and she's paying me for that $20 bet, even though it was the same hand in which I already got blackjack -- and despite the fact that there were obviously no cards in front of my bet.

I've had a couple of similar experiences in Vegas and Atlantic City, but those errors were less blatant and the sample size was larger.

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