"Do you know what a flat bet is?"
Where: Binion's Horseshoe
When: Circa mid 1990's.
The Setup: The Horseshoe may have been the greatest casino ever before it got run into the ground after Benny Binion died in 1989. They tolerated card counters up to a point, but eventually the hammer would come down. This story is about one of those backoffs.
We are playing blackjack at the Horseshoe and pushing things with our bet spreads. Like I said the pit bosses at old Horseshoe would tolerate bet spread variance up to a point -- then it was over. We had been in there about an hour when a pit boss walked up to my friend and to have a "chat" with him. Now, the Horseshoe had some real characters for PB's -- Texans, old school guys that had been around the block a few times. They had seen every trick in the book. So, this PB with a really thick Texas accent has a conversation with my friend that went like this:
PB: "Excuse me, do you know what a flat bet is?"
Friend: "I am sorry, could you repeat that?"
PB: (Irritated) "Do you know what a flat bet is?"
Friend: "Yeah, it's a truck."
PB: (Really annoyed now) "No, I am not talking about a truck. I am talking about a flat bet. That means if you bet $10 on the first hand, you have to bet $10 on the second hand."
Friend: "Yeah, I understand what a flat bet is. Sorry, I thought you said flat bed."
PB: "Well, if you want to play blackjack anymore at the Horseshoe, it will flat bet only."
Friend: "Why is that?"
PB: (Now pissed off): "You know, we've been watching you and your friends for a while. Don't try to play at another pit or any other day in here. We got your pictures. You boys are done.
Friend: Would we be able to at least get a comp for the snack bar?
PB: (Starts writing out a snack bar comp, then points over to another friend playing BJ at a table about 20 yards away). "And that guy over there, we ain't sure if he is in on it, but we're watching him too."
Friend: "I still don't understand what's wrong?"
PB: We saw the way you bet, $10 up to $70, then down to $5. Up to $65, then down to $5.
Friend: What about if we only go up to $25?
PB: It's too late for you boys. The gig is up. You boys are too greedy.