This Ain't Vegas But It'll Do : Argosy Cincinnati

An accidental run-in with a riverboat casino somewhere near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Posted by Chuckmonster

I barely finished unpacking my travel bag from the WSOP/Golden Nugget trip when Miss Monkay and I we're beckoned to Northern Kenfuckingtucky for some family business. With a coupla nights open we inquired to various folks about where the riverboat queen we spotted from the plane just might be located... Reply? Here' tis: Argosy? It's about 30 minutes away, just over the border in Indiana, we go there every Saturday night... wanna go tonight?. And to think they thought we were joking when we blurted out a resounding YES!. Not only were we going to witness the once every 17 year resurgence of the Cicada locust, but we were going to get a little unexpected action in the Heartland of America. Repeat after me: C'mon.... Jackpot!.

The Argosy [ ] is one of six riverboat carpet joints spanning the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers from Baton Rouge to Chicago. This particular one called The Cincinnati (which is really in Lawrenceburg, Indiana) is a 3 floor establishment that hosts 2,500 slot machines, various table games (BlackJack, Three Card Poker, Craps, PaiGow, Mini-Baccarat, Baccarat, Roulette, Carribean Stud, 21 + 3 Card Poker, Boston 5 Stud Poker, Let It Ride and the Big 6 Wheel.) Access to the joint is quite easy, its probably a 5 minute drive from the Interstate to the parking complex. Parking itself is in a large, free parking garage... the casino entrance is on the RED level (two levels up from the entrance).

Our relatives passed on to us their Argosy Preferred Player card which has a dated membership sticker on it (kinda like a local pool pass.) If you don't have a pass, there is an entrance fee of $3 or $5 dollars. From what I can gather from the Argosy website, there are nights when you can't buy tickets, its members only. If you're in town and want to go, give em a call to see what the entrance situation is like. They also check IDs pretty strictly so be sure you bring yours. This joint is 21 and over.

A short bridge takes you from the finely appointed Buffet/Coffeshop welcome area onto the riverboat itself, past a second phalanx of Security/ID Checkers/Greeters (all of whom said Good Luck! to us) then empties out into the center of the casinos 3rd floor. Immediately facing us was a couple of craps tables, a floatilla of card tables spread out lengthwise, both sides and a bevy of slots circling the perimeter. The width of the river boat itself is probably about 30-40 yards, the length approximately 100 yards. Immediately to your left is the Preferred Member sign-up desk, beyond that a cocktail bar (drinks at the tables are not free... two rum and cokes came to $5.50 - half the price of drinks at Pechanga a coupla weeks ago.) To the opposite side is the cashier cage, stairs and elevator.

I took a quick walk around to see what the table minimums and blackjack rules were. On average the table minimums were $15, with a handful of $10 blackjack tables and a coupla $25 tables as well. To the north end of the boat was a High Limit area with $50-$250 minimum tables. Since I'd literally just blown the rent in Vegas (doghouse) four days before, I was destined for the $10 BJ table or nothing at all. The Argosy is a smoking OK joint, however there are some non-smoking areas tucked away on each of the floors. The first available spot at a $10 BJ table was in one of these non-smoking areas, we stood around and watched for a bit, remembered our lesson at the Pechanga non-smoking table then bolted to the smoking section. Gambling just isn't right unless you're enveloped in a cloud of smoke and eminating booze.

As our accomplices headed off towards the penny and nickel slots (huh?) Miss Monkay and I circled the joint in search of some 25 Wild Cherry luvin. We finally found a machine on the 1st floor that was currently occupied. We could both tell by the way the current player was laxadasically hitting the Bet Max Credits button that his time was numbered on this Triple Double Wild Cherry spinner... we feigned the Jedi mind trick and after a few short minutes, Mr. Player packed up his Ticket-IN/Ticket-OUTs and bailed. We barely gave the gent a fighting chance to change his mind before we tentacled ourselves outward and Miss Monkay stuffed a Tenner into the cash hole.

Playing slots 'as a team' is one of the things Miss Monkay and I do very well. One team member parks it onto the stool while the other performs remote voodoo from a location a few feet away. Gambling isn't luck folks... it isn't even a science... nor is it stupid... its performance art. After a few spins and some minor second line 2x and 3x solo Wild Cherries, Miss Monkay turns to me and says This machine is taiiight. I shrugged then noticed the the gent on the Red White and Blue machine is hitting multiple triple sevens in succession... he's looking around in a weird way too. Almost as if he's waiting for security to come by and bounce him... i gave him the once over to see if he had some kind of cheating device. Apparently no... but he steadily built his stash to about 873 credits before leveling out (The Math: $218.25). The sign outside the entrance said 'Loosest Slots in Indiana' which, I guess, is great. But how many slot joints are there in Indiana? Regardless the tag team button pushing/remote voodoo continued and some Green BAR | BAR | BARs came out in sequence, sending us back towards our original stake... a coupla more close calls, a coupla more orphaned 2x and 3x second like Wild Cherries then WHAMO... 7 | 3x | 7 second line Cherry payout. Jackpot in-fucking-deed, albeit a mini. Our Hamilton upgraded itself to Three Benjamins and a coupla Washingtons... which was pretty awesome considering the aforementioned 'gambled-the-rent-away' debacle I endured at the hand of Binions.

Miss Monkay spun a coupla more times, ran up some minor scores then pulled the plug and cashed out. We headed over to the $10 BJ tables where I muscled into 5th position (of 7) with our new found $60 in hand plus a $20 I already had in hand. I laid my cash face down on the table about 2/3 of the way through a shoe... the dealer Jeff chipped me up and i dropped two reds into the circle. I noticed the gent to my right (playing two hands... position 3 & 4) had a pretty righteous stack of greens and reds. He was betting from $15-40 on each hand... seemed like he knows what he's doing. He mentioned to me that he was down to his last $10 an hour or so ago, but the last coupla shoes have been falling in his favor. The gentleman to my right was an older 'countray boi' who didn't split 8-8, A-A, double on 11 and continually hit 13s, 14s, 15s, and 16s against dealer bust hands... somehow he managed to pull all manner of small cards to stand on 20 or 21. The third baseman on the other hand played good basic strategy and got 2 blackjacks for every 5 hands dealt. Relatively quickly my stack whittled down to about $20.

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