Gambling 101

By on October 4, 2001

Though Las Vegas is considered the casino capital of the world, Connecticut has two of its own gambling meccas, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. For a first time gambler the sight of all the casinos and craps tables is an awesome one.
At Mohegan Sun there is a balcony by the entrance that overlooks all the action. But it’s a whole different world downstairs. By traveling down one flight of stairs, a person can get transformed from a merry visitor to a money hungry card shark.
There are rows upon rows of slot machines. They come in the 25 cent, 50 cent and one dollar varieties. They have catchy names like “Money Storm,” “Triple Diamond” and “4th of July.”
It seems most sensible that the 25 cent machines are the best way to go because they are the cheapest. But there is a cruel irony in sitting in between two senior citizens who are watching their winnings pour out of the machine while you are feeding the stupid thing as fast as your hand cam move.
The slot machines are cunning and deceptive. They will offer you a glimmer of hope by almost matching up three symbols, so of course, the gambler has to try again. Then just when the gambler is getting ready to move along to the next machine, he or she wins two quarters back. Never mind that the gambler just spent two bucks for that small victory. And so, the two quarters (big winnings!) are put back into the machine which then does not spit back any more quarters until the next two dollars are spent.
However, to the unsuspecting, first time gambler it is hard to distinguish between how much money was spent and how much has come back. Those slot machines have a way of making the slightest bit of change seem like the biggest win ever. The aforementioned two quarter win produces a significant amount of whooping and hollering from the machine. Then ten quarter win, with even more whooping and hollering, drops out the quarters at a measured pace to give the sound of a big win.
The dollar slots are worse. They are the same games as the 25 cent slots but with bigger losses. Instead of putting in eight quarters to win two back, the gambler throws away eight dollars to get two back.
But all around are those senior citizens with full buckets and machines with money just pouring out of them. There may be a secret to old age gambling. We are too young to know it yet, but there has to be.
These casinos are the biggest money making businesses around. Where else do people go and literally throw money into a machine, knowing full well they may never see it again? Most machines have a opening where experienced (or really dim-witted gamblers) can insert a debit card. That way it eliminates the pesky routine of digging quarters out of a bucket and inserting them.
The best thing a first time gambler can do is take out a set amount of cash, preferably under $100. Take cash and a valid ID and nothing else into the casino. Do not take credit cards, check cards, checks and especially ATM cards into the building.
The casinos have a way of sucking money out of anyone even the tightwads. And beware of those senior citizens. They know what they are doing and they are feisty.


About Sarah Netter- Editor-in-Chief