The Cooler

People who manipulate the non-scientific, yet perfectly true tenets of gambling

Posted by Chuckmonster

The CoolerThe Golden Nugget, sometime in 2003. I've been working this $5 blackjack table for 90 minutes - give or take. It was an even game at first, but the slew of 19's, 20's, Blackjacks and prime double and split opportunities in the last two shoes has grown my chip stack immensely. The flow of cards has been relatively easy to count, and i've been upping my bets when the count is in my favor. About half-way through this shoe, the count is in my favor, the asian lady next to me had three Five Card Charlie's in a row, rapidly draining the shoe of its low value cards. The excitement of this rare occurance caused a bit of commotion on the casino floor, a small throng of onlookers had perched themselves around the table. One of these onlookers decided to get in on the action. He pushed the stool at 3rd base aside and slapped $10 cash into the betting circle. "Money plays!" the dealer shouted to the pit boss leering nearby and out came the cards.

"Are you gonna split those fours sir?"

"Absolutely, you didn't think I was going to wither like a lily against the lousy 6 you've got showing, now do you?"

I pushed another $15 to the betting circle. With finicky attention to detail, the dealer spread the cards, adjusted the bets then laid a 4 of clubs on top of the 4 of clubs I already had. "I love it when a plan comes together... lets split this bad boy too." I toss out a trio of reds, and the dealer spreads my bouquet of 4s into 3 seperate hands. Turning our focus back to Hand #1 - a luscious 7 turns my 4 to 11 - another three reds move to the betting circle. Dealer delivers the double down - face up. The uneventful 8 makes 19 on Hand #1. I wave off and we move to Hand #2. Another 4 snaps from the shoe - four hands of 4s. This is where you make the big bucks in blackjack. Dealer slides me a 6, making Hand #2 a 10. I double down and get a 9 of spades - another 19. Again, I wave off and we move to Hand #3. Dealer pulls out Ace of Hearts for a soft 15. Basic strategy says you gotta double the soft 15 vs Dealer 6 and I do. Dealer tosses a 6 of hearts making a three card 21 - plus a three card flush - too bad this isn't Three Card Poker! After a coupla high fives around the table, the dealer slaps a deuce onto Hand #4 which brings the total to 6. HIT. Three of spades makes it a 9. HIT. Queen of Diamonds gives me my third 19. Whew... now its up to the dealer to bust. All these low cards have drained even more junk fish from the shoe, probability is really high the dealer has a face in the hole and will pull another one to bust.

The dealer turns to the Asian lady who waves off her 18 then slides his index finger along the "Insurance Pays 2 to 1" inlay to the pair of Kings Sitting in front of the Money Player at third base. As if by instinct the dealer sees the KK 20 and moves to flip his hole card. Money Player says "WAIT!" and begins digging through his doughboy pockets. He whips out a $20 and says "I wanna split these". "Are you sure?" the dealer says. "SPLIT EM!" Money Player reprimands. Dealer makes change for the $20, places the split bet and returns the $10 change.

The kling-klang of the slot machines and gasps of the asian lady barely disguize the extremely loud THUD sound my jaw makes as it hits the ground.



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