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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Good Bye Craps

Alternate title: Probability, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Throughout my adulthood I have been an infrequent patron of casinos. As in, maybe once a year. It made me feel a little dirty, but I found a game that was fun, social, and that I could reliably win, or at least not lose much.

I had many justifications! I had math, for one. I didn't mindlessly feed my quarters into the loud, blinky machines with the terrible house advantage. I didn't sit down at a blackjack table, barely understanding the game, begging the dealer to relieve me of my chips, the sooner the better.

I played probability, not possibility. I played a game that had nothing to do with luck! Every event an independent event! The lowest house advantage in the house! Still more likely to lose my money than not, of course, but the least likely! Barely likely!

For around six years, this worked out fine. Sometimes I would lose a small amount, say less than $30, but I rationalized that a couple hours of entertainment was a fair trade. More often, I would come away ahead by $50 or $70. Soooo smug I was.

Well 2 winters ago, disaster. I walked away from Turning Stone $200 poorer. That stung. So much that I didn't go back last year.

This year I was feeling confident enough to give it another go...but...pffft. At first I wasn't going to play because the lowest table minimum was $10. I prefer $ least if you lose money there, you do it slowly. But, since I was there, I felt silly for not playing at all...and 45 minutes later had donated $112 to the Seneca Nation.

You win, craps. I give up.

I hope they at least support some decent schools with all that profit.