I was in Buffalo this weekend, and at one point me and two friends had about an hour to kill. We decided to head to a casino.
Me and casinos are not friends. I could write a horror novel based on my experiences with them, and I typically leave casinos with a deep feeling of defeat and regret.
I’m not much of a gambler. I do like to play Blackjack, and know all of the strategy, but still always somehow to end up on the short end of the stick. And all it takes is a little bit of an alcohol-induced buzz for me to get a little reckless with my wallet.
Basically, I am the exact type of person that casinos target and feast on.
My experience at the Buffalo casino was no different. After several hands of Blackjack, I was actually doing well. I started with $60 and was about $50 up, and remember saying aloud to my friend that I should quit while I am ahead. The next moment, we got a text from our other friends saying they were ready to meet up at Duff’s Famous Wings for lunch, a popular spot in the area and one I highly recommend.
I proceeded to lose that hand. Wanting to end on a high note, I decided to play one more. I lost. Figuring the odds dictated I wouldn’t lose three in a row, I played another, and lost again.
I was back at even. I could have quit there. But I was determined to leave with a profit. Because I can safely estimate that in my approximately 20 times going to a casino, I think I’ve only made money twice. And it was a marginal amount.
So I said that I’d bet $10, double it if I lose, and bet the rest if I happen to drop both of them.
My thinking was that there’s no way I’d lose three more in a row — six in total — and if I just won one of those hands, I’d either end up in the money, or even.
I lost all three. And I hated everything.
I only lost $60, which actually makes it one of my better casino experiences, but the way it happened could not have been more disheartening.
The lesson? Just quit while you’re ahead. Even if it’s just $50. Because it also comes with the feeling of knowing you just took some money from a casino, which is basically the most villainous and unforgiving type of facility our world has to offer. Casinos make jails look like three-ring circuses. Even Guantanamo Bay is a more fun alternative.
Or the better lesson? Just don’t go in the first place. Maybe take the money you would have gambled and donate it all to charity.
Who am I kidding. Next time I’m throwing it all on red.