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Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

"This is the end result of all the bright lights... and the comp trips, of all the champagne... and free hotel suites,
and all the broads and all the booze. It's all been arranged just for us to get your money.
That's the truth about Las Vegas. We're the only winners. The players don't stand a chance. "

-- Sam "Ace" Rothstein, Casino, 1995

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Life in the Pit -- Story #2

Through the years my friends and I have been pounding the BJ tables in LV and Reno. We have gotten into all kinds of "situations" with dealers, pit bosses, other players, and casino management while playing blackjack. I thought it would be interesting to share some of our experiences.

"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.

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