Manly Monday: How to Gamble Simplified

If you’ve ever been to a casino, you’ll immediately notice some things right off the bat…first is that there’s a lot of different ways to lose (or win!) copious amounts of money, and second is that there’s a lot of different types of people there. The games can vary from mind-numbingly easy pulls of the slot machine to extremely complicated, obscure table games (Like really, Pai-Gow Poker?) and the people can vary just as much.

From the homeless with gambling addictions to high rollers dressed in custom made suits who throw down $100K without a second thought. Regardless of where you find yourself in this spectrum (hopefully not on the homeless end of it), the FTS man should always know how to handle themselves in a casino. That being said, this article is catering to those FTS’s who are going to a casino to have fun/go clubbing/party and want to do some simple gambling on the side…not those who may need to be checked into Gamblers Anonymous.

See my old casino stomping grounds in Atlantic City, NJ below:

For just a casual night of gambling, there are three games you should stick to: Blackjack, Craps, and Roulette. These are (relatively) simple to understand, can be played quickly, and most importantly allow for a social interaction. Do not play slots…not only are they boring, but you’re playing with a machine instead of playing with friends. Also, if you observe the average age of those playing slots, you’ll notice it’s definitely not twentysomethings — and more like seventysomethings. While there’s nothing wrong with that, remember it’s easier to share drinks and stories with other twentysomethings at the table games than sharing pictures of your (hopefully) non-existent grandkids at the slots.

Now as far as actually playing the games mentioned before, I like to keep it simple if I’m just out for fun and not serious gambling and outlined some of them below. (If you’re interested in some of the more complicated strategies, I’d be more than happy to share some of those as well.)

Blackjack – You start with two cards (face up) and are trying to get the total of your cards as close to 21 as possible without going over. You’re only playing against the dealer (Who also has two cards to start, one of them you can’t see)…not the other people at the table. While there are other ways to play aside from the standard “Hit” or “Stand”, where you get another card or keep the cards you already have respectively, you can go through playing Blackjack with just these two words. Blackjack is a necessary casino stop for anyone looking to gamble so sit down with some friends, get some drinks, try and get to 21.

Roulette – Some people have a love/hate relationship with Roulette. Some hate it because you can lose money fast…but the on the flip side people love it because you can win money fast as well. You can bet on essentially every combination of what number (0-36) and color (Red or Black) the ball will land on, but for the purposes of starting out…most people start will start out with betting the color. As you get more and more complex you can start combinations (ie. Red and Odd) and betting directly on numbers…but you don’t need to, stick with Red/Black, or Odd/Even and that can be more than enough for your Roulette gambles.

Craps – One of the more complicated games in the casino, most people only focus on something called the Pass Line or Don’t Pass, these bets are essentially opposite of eachother. There is one person in the Craps table who is designated to roll the dice (If this is ever you, make sure it hits the other wall and only use one hand to throw the dice…take it from me) and the first throw is called the come-out roll, there can be additional rolls after this one as well. Here’s a breakdown of both bets.

Pass Line – You win on 7 or 11. You lose on 2, 3 and 12. If any other numbers come up, you want that number to be rolled again before a 7.

Don’t Pass – You win on 2 or 3. You lose on 7 or 11. You push on 12. If any other numbers come up, you want a 7 before that number is rolled again.

Pretty simple, although they can get MUCH more complicated. But there’s only so much information you can get through reading…look at some videos and actually go to a casino. Although you’re bound to make some Freshman mistakes (like trying to shake the dice in Craps), it’s all part of the experience and that’s what us twentysomethings are all about. So get out there, win some money and feel free to send me a cut of your winnings. I’ll be sure to provide my address.

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