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Roulette: The Game of Remarkable Comebacks


In casino gambling, sometimes even the most knowledgable players turn to blind luck to make it through their day. Of course, luck can never be relied on; either things will go the right way for you or they won't. The great thing about casino gambling is that luck has to be with you for only a moment to make a difference in what could've easily been a bad day.

Roulette is, in my opinion, the best game to play where you can turn blind luck into a great casino story to tell your friends.

Recently, my family dragged me down to the casinos of Atlantic City. I'm not going to lie to you - I wasn't feeling very lucky and would've much preferred to stay home. Since I was 'forced' to go, my goal was to go into hiding, play slow and steady, kill time and grind it out until my folks were ready to come back home. I thought I had everything covered.

Well, I spent a little time at the $10 craps tables, but mostly I played $20 pai gow and then some $15 blackjack. I couldn't for the life of me get anything going and instead of treading water, I was bleeding money the whole afternoon. After about 4 hours I was down $435, which could've been worse but it was obviously far from the result I wanted.

I was close to broke and ready to go home as I met back up with my family. Suddenly I had a crazy idea. "I have to do one more thing before we go. I've gotta go to the roulette table." My family gave me an indifferent shrug and followed, as they're mostly slot players and all table games are Greek to them.

The plan was to throw down a few more bucks and try to get back all the money I lost in one shot. I went over the math in my head as I walked over to the roulette table. I was down $435, so I knew a $40 bet at 11-1 could get me back to even. Hopefully.

I found a roulette table and gave $40 to the dealer, to which she handed me 8 red nickels. I reached and put all the chips on '28 Street'. (It's a three number bet - either 28, 29 or 30 would win for me.) The dealer spun, I stood near the roulette wheel, and prayed!

The ball slowed down and bounced around the wheel for several tense seconds as I rooted for one of my three numbers. It popped into number 2 and stayed there for a moment - and then dropped into the number two slots over.

Number 28, black, even.

I went absolutely crazy! I screamed and pumped my fists, hollering and running up and down the aisle as the dealer paid me $440 on my $40 bet - eleven to one - and the floor supervisor tried in vain to get me to calm down. My family was in as much disbelief as I was that I had such a dramatic comeback.

Just like that, I got my money back! I tipped the dealer $5 leaving me with exactly as much money as I came with. I'll take a draw over a loss any day! On that note, we left and headed home. Dinner that night was on me.

It'd be irresponsible of me to recommend you try something like this on a regular basis. American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%, so over the long run this move will lose you more money than you'll win - theoretically 5.26% of what you bet. Roulette's not the best game to play if you plan on sticking around the table for hours and hours because of this house advantage. For a single spin, however, it's pretty much a given that you're relying on luck, so house edge really doesn't matter as much.

If you do choose to try this out the next time your back's against the wall, here are some recommendations:

It's better to bet in a way so that you get just enough to be even for the day as opposed to trying to hit a home run, so to speak. If you're down $350, try betting $10 on a number straight up for a possible 35-1, or $45 on a corner (4-number) bet which would pay 8-1. Sure, you could win more if you bet, say, $25 straight up on one number and it hits, but the odds of it happening are a bit on the long side, and you'd be down that much more money if the play didn't hit.

Consider this type of play a last resort. If it doesn't work the first time, don't try it again! If you do, you could easily be caught in the trap of chasing your money, where your bets would get bigger and bigger with the hopes of hitting just once. Rarely does a bank-chasing situation have a happy ending.

A blind-luck roulette play could very well get you through your next day at the casino, but here hoping it doesn't come down to all that.

Until next time, take care and good luck in the casino!

Shawn Tinling runs 21 Nights Entertainment (http://www.21nights.com), a casino entertainment and events company in New York City. He's an avid player and a full-time casino events dealer.


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