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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Pokies and Bar Fights in the Aussie Outback Marina

For lunch, we agreed on what looked like a creative local take on pub and steakhouse food - Hog's Breath Cafe - Australia's Steakhouse.

It had saloon doors, rustic decor, and a bunch of old crap on the walls to make it look interesting.

It turns out this is one of a chain of restaurants, and its menu and interior design are meant to evoke the spirit of an American Route 66 roadhouse or some such.

Couldn't be helped, we were hungry. And it had the additional attraction of the promise of pokies nearby, based on a sign we'd seen.

The Quad Queen's burger was pretty good and I had a steak sandwich that was... average I guess.

Fairly brilliant plastering your business name all over the dinner plates in today's food foto frenzy.

Tourist trap pub food. When will we learn?

I had an interesting conversation with a little dog that seemed to be just hanging around the marina, but I didn't give him anything. It would just make the begging worse if I did.

A Rare Australian Dingo
After lunch, we headed over to the aptly named Fisherman's Wharf. Now this place smacked of a real local's drinking hole. It featured dining, and live entertainment sometimes, too.

We'd finally get to see pokies out of a casino setting - the real Aussie animal, spinning out in the wild.

Are you wondering why we didn't eat here? I am too.

Maybe it's because I don't generally go for wharfing down food.

It turned out that we were entering sort of from the back, and the dining and stuff was all out front.

(Down, boy.)

There's a pool table on the open deck where probably all sorts of cue-swinging brawls break out over misunderstood bets, over beautiful Sheilas, over sports teams, in alcohol-fueled displays of chest beating, and over whether the concept of wave-particle duality in quantum mechanics holds true.

Don't mess with this Sheila!
To my surprise, quite a bit of space was taken up by a sort of redneck sports book, with multiple screens, lists of odds, and so on.

The game of Keno was supported through the use of an automated terminal that you use to select numbers, buy tickets, and check results (of which there is no need, really, because you won't win).

Then there were a few clusters of pairs of back to back pokies! The real thing, in their natural habitat!

There were two or three players who looked like outback toughs that would as soon kill you as eat a Tim Tam. I kept my shouted greetings to them brief.

Most of the machines were part of the Progressive Jackpot Max Coin conspiracy. I shun these, preferring machines that I can play min coins on without the fear that I'll miss out on a life changing jackpot because I didn't load up the machine.

We settled on some baffling game with whiz-bang sounds and animated displays, dazzling and delighting, but ultimately part of a demonstration the purpose of which was to indicate that you'd won 12 cents.

There were a few aspects of these machines that took us a while to figure out - like the Gamble button and the Reserve button. The Gamble button seems to let you gamble your win using a double up feature - or is it to gamble the last few cents when you don't have enough on the machine for a spin? We never quite figured it out.

At one point I hit cash out, expecting maybe a ticket that the bar would pay me for. Instead, I was rewarded with a handful of coins.
Australian dollar coins feature a bust of Nicole Kidman on one side.
I then had to feed them all back into the machine.

We played some sort of game that was a typical video slot thing, with all sorts of symbols and actions that you can't quite figure out. Then we played a different game that seemed identical to the first, but with more unfathomable symbols.

A series of messages appeared under the reels.

Take win that you already won. Just in case you weren't sure you wanted to take it.

Great news! Gamble available!
We probably have the same games in North America. I'm not a huge video slot fan, so I wouldn't know.

I do know that there weren't any Beeefffallloooo!!! machines in the Fisherman's Wharf.

Bonus rounds gave you the choice of more games with lower volatility and lower potential returns, or the opposite of that, which is the all-or-nothing fire all of your guns at once option.

I worked my machine up to $40, and then increased the stakes - I had no idea what I was doing, and figured I might as well go for a big win, or zero out. I certainly did not want any more inconvenient handfuls of Nicole Kidman to cart around Australia. (Apparently, neither did Tom Cruise.)

Guess what happened?

Yeah, you're right. I lost it all. But it was fun, and nobody showed me how big their knife was or anything.


    1. I think "Gamble Available" translates to "Play Max Coins".
      wpete aka Lucas McCain aka Jealous as Hell of RF

    2. You got me curious so I had to look it up.

      Gamble: This is just double-up. You can do it up to 5 times on each win.
      Take Win: This is cash out.
      Reserve: At pubs this will hold the machine for you for 3 minutes. (That's not much time for a trip to the restroom.)


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