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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ten And Thirty

Day 8 - Saturday

Ah, Saturday. I love waking up and realizing it's Saturday. I love even more waking up and realizing it's Saturday in Vegas.

On the other hand, in Vegas, every day seems like Saturday, and every night is Saturday night.

I take stock of my budget. There's not much left. Creeping up over the 'grand in the hole' mark has me feeling edgy. Maybe today I'll make back some ground. I shower and shave and dress like my very best gambling self. I'm a winner today.

In the California casino, I play 1400 hands of electronic gambling with out of focus computer cards. I play carefully, methodically, every hand held to perfection. It's a thing of beauty to watch (I'm sure) and I do nothing but win money.





Breakfast... where? The buffet at Main Street Station, that's where. Just outside the cage, though, the progressive on a bank of dollar machines is at $7800 for the Royal. I'm underfunded for any kind of dollar play, but I have to take a shot at it. I fire two twenties and get nowhere fast. Poondammit!

Manny is on duty at the buffet and he whips me up a beauty of an omelette. It's got every kind of vegetable, including jalapeno, and it's got cheese, melting on the inside. I build on that with some home fries topped with a little of the beige bounty - that Vat-Tastic Buffet Country Throw-up Gravy. It's slobbery good!

I want to make some bets on the Indy 500 which runs on Sunday, so I head back to the room and on the way, I stop off at the Cal sports book to pick up an odds sheet. The little Cal sports book is a gem. It's loungy, it has a bar with video poker, it has comfy seating... it's like a giant home man cave.

Back up in my room, I spend as much time as possible fucking around on the internet, blogging, posting stuff on message boards, and researching drivers for the race.

Every year, Takuma Sato is our mascot, because almost every year he crashes out and often diabolically takes someone with him. He has shocked us by actually winning the race once, though. On the other hand, he has also crashed on the last lap of the race when challenging for the lead.


I get some good advice from a fellow Flushie, Tony B., and pick four drivers.  Down in the sports book, I buy my tickets, and of course I put some money on Sato.

The Keno lounge seems like a good place to make my fortune. I sit down and work out a multi-way ticket. It's much the same as the typical multi-way ticket I have been playing, but I adjust the the number selection from my typical choices.

It took me a while to understand how to play Keno using 'ways'. Now that I know this, I can lose money faster.

Basically, what you do is age until you are 40 years older than the average retirement age. You have your choice of cane, walker, scooter, pallbearers, or wheelchair to get to the Keno lounge. In any case, your movements should be about a quarter of normal speed no matter what you do.

At the Keno lounge, you find a desk you like, and build up a portfolio of about 500 different tickets, none of which you know are over or not. So every ten minutes, you shuffle/roll/crawl up to the front and spend a lot of time scanning tickets, looking confused, and sorting through your pockets for that lost dollar you need to buy the 501th ticket.

You do not drink alcohol in order to play Keno 'way' tickets - you drink coffee. There should be at least four styrofoam cold half-cups of coffee situated around your Keno nerve center.

Ways are really simple, if you can get past the mathematical complexity of them. They are just a method to play more than one bet on the same ticket.

The simplest keno ticket is a straight ticket. You pick numbers from 1 to 20, put your bet down, and if your numbers are pulled, you win whatever the table says you win.


Let's say I play a six number ticket with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. I also play a ticket with 1, 2 and 3, and a third ticket with 4, 5, and 6. Three tickets, three bets. 

To create a way ticket you circle groups of numbers that you want to play and combine. So, using the same numbers on the ticket, I mark 1 through 6, and then circle (1, 2, 3) and (4, 5, 6). Now I mark my ticket to say I want to play two groups of 3 numbers, and one of 6 numbers. It's the same as the three separate tickets described above. One ticket, three bets.

And I finally know what a 'King' is! It's a single number that acts as a group. For example, with (1) (2, 3, 4, 5, 6). I could play one group of 1 number (the King), one group of 5 numbers, and one group of six numbers.

That's the basics. So what I do is break the six numbers I like into smaller groups and bet four groups of 3, three groups of 4, two groups of 5, and 1 group of six - that's ten different bets, all on one ticket.


The ticket is shown above. Letters are used to show the groups. There are two groups of two numbers A(8 - 9), and D(20 and 30). There are two groups of one, or kings - B (10), and C(19).

At the bottom you can see the bet strategy. The four lines read like this:
Four groups of three numbers, 25 cents a way. AAB, AAC, DDB and DDC
Three groups of four numbers, 25 cents a way. AABC, AADD, BCDD.
Two groups of five numbers, 25 cents. AABDD, AACDD.
One group of six numbers, 25 cents. AABCDD.

That's ten different keno bets all on one ticket.

Want more? If you wanted to you could also bet groups of two, and single numbers on that same ticket. I'll let you figure out how many ways that is. Jimmy Poon figured this out in about 2.19288 seconds.

Disclaimer: The house edge on Keno makes it a game for idiots. And 99-year-old drinkers of half cups of coffee. And yet... I find it strangely attractive. Maybe Keno is the 'bad boy' of casino games.

The cool thing about way tickets is if some of your numbers come in, you probably get paid. And, you might win more than once on the same keno game.

And the holy grail, for me anyway, is two-fold. I've never hit 6 out of 6 in all the years I've been trying. And if you hit 6 out of 6 on my way ticket - you win all ten ways. You get paid for ten different bets.

(The other holy grail is to actually be watching a game when all of your numbers come up, another thing that has happened... I'm not sure it ever has. We've hit about three 5 out of 5s but we found out about the win after the fact in all three cases.)

So, I finally get my numbers picked and my groups laid out and my ticket marked up and head up to the counter, where Max is holding court.

He rings up my ticket and hands it over, and I tell him "this ticket... is going to be a huge winner."

Max nods with a wizened smile that says in all his years of experience... that he knows better. The other thing is, I tell him that every time I buy a ticket. But you have to be optimistic to be a savvy gambler, right?

Right.

Lucky keno ticket in hand, I wade through the sea of walkers and coffee cups and make it to the coffee shop, where I demand a table with a view.

A view of the keno board.

You can gamble while you eat? Hell yes, you can.

Lunch is a chicken teriyaki bowl. It's pretty good. It's delicate flavors do not help my numbers in any way.

All caloried up, I sort of hunt around for a place to play video poker where I can keep an eye on one of the keno boards sprinkled here and there in the casino.

I find a board near the west entrance to the casino. I can't see it from my triple play Deuces machine. But I can see it if I sit on the left end of a row of Diamond Head uprights.

I pop in $20 and start playing. It goes pretty well - I'm winning. The keno board is just in my peripheral vision, so when a new game starts, I notice. I stop playing video poker and watch the futile numbers come up one by one, and when the game is over, go back to video poker.

A typical keno scenario is you might get one or two numbers early, or even three, making you a bit keno-moist, but none of the next 12 numbers match your ticket, and you start thinking about maybe winning on the next game.

I play some more and a game starts. I look over and the first ball out of the sack is number 9 - one of mine. A few more go by and hey, there's my number 8. There's a dud number, and then my 20 next. I've already won a little bit of money - nothing serious though.

I kind of sit up and take a bit more notice and muttering, "C'mon, bring in a few more and give me something... C'mon... Halfway home, let's go numbers..."

As the left side of the screen fills in, 19 shows up and then dud 34. Good ole 19, which is one of mine. Half the numbers have been drawn and I've got four out of six. Depending on how I grouped things, I'll have some three out of threes, and hopefully a four out of four.

I forget all about video poker and stand up. I have a genuine shot at this, needing 2 numbers - number 10 and number 30, with 10 draws to go.

The second half numbers start to appear, each one showing up in a big white circle initially, and then sliding over to be stowed on the right side of the board as a little puny circle.

"Ten and thirty... ten and thirty... come ON!!!"

There's 17, right near my grouping, and useless to me. There's 18 right next to my grouping, and which is usually in my grouping - and which I didn't play this time. Fuck!

"C'mon... be there..." I say loudly, like I have many times before. "Ten! Thirty!"

Getting even one of the two numbers means a pretty good payday - I'd have a five out of five for $250, a four out of four for $50, maybe three three out of threes for $11 each...

Useless 43 shows, and there are five numbers left. Mentally, I kind of give in a bit. I know how this ends. Now I'm whimpering and pleading.

"Please? Ten? Thirty?..."

Four numbers left. Three numbers left.

"Fuck."

I sit back down. Two numbers left. It's like the last minute of a 7-3 hockey game. I'm just going through the motions.

There's a bit of a delay. I ponder the fact that there are two numbers left to be drawn, and I need to it on both of them - I need ten and thirty and no others. No way.

I wait and a big white circle shows up. I honestly can't believe it, but it's thirty. 30. THIR-TY. Holy dogshit! I've hit 5 out of 6! I'm going to make some damn money here, and have a good 'one that got away' story!

But I start chanting anyway.

"Ten... ten... TEN... for once... ten. C'mon ten... ten... TEN!"

3 comments:

  1. Classic Flusher cliffhanger...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm a day behind so I don't have to wait, I can find out what happens now! Here goes, and good luck Flusher...

    ReplyDelete

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