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Best of Frank Scoblete
The Insane of Gambling18 October 2007
Casino gamblers are a cross section of the American public, albeit a little richer, a little less religious, somewhat more adventurous in travel and dining plans, quite charitable, and, of course, we like to gamble. At least that's what the latest Harrah's survey has to say about all 54 million of us who make over a billion visits to the casinos.
But let's be honest here now. Some casino gamblers are, to put it gently, completely bonkers, as in nuts, crazy, ill-tempered, stupid, and whatever other negative adjective you'd like to conjure up. That shouldn't shock anyone, should it? After all, it's not as if our 54 million have all the completely levelheaded and sane individuals and the other 140 million adults in America contain all the wackos.
We've seen our share of crazy gamblers and we are sure any dealer or pit person can match us story for story.
Let's take the most important kind of story first - as in death. At the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City in the 1980s a large man was playing craps. He was an orange ($1,000) player and the shooter, known as "the Arm," was in the midst of one of her fabulous rolls. The large man just keeled over and died. Right there. He hit the floor. The Captain, a legendary Atlantic City player, asked the pit boss to put a towel over the large guy's chips while the EMS crew was on its way to the casino to take the large one away.
The game did not stop, however, except for a brief moment for everyone to lean over, give a look at the dead one, and then go back to playing. That's not the crazy part, as we all know craps players are quite insistent about their favorite game. No, the crazy part was this one rat-faced guy who rushed to the table and stepped over the large guy to take his place at the table! This rat-faced man was adamant that he should be able to play the spot vacated by the deceased.
"I'll put my chips right next to the towel, no big deal. I should be allowed to play here, there's a spot open, right?"
When they carted away the corpse, the pit took the deceased one's chips to give to his wife and that was that. The adamant rat-faced one had his spot and, yes, "the Arm" rolled for another twenty minutes. Some rats are very lucky.
Several years ago, a craps player at Treasure Island casino slid to the floor, an inert mass. Frank Scoblete was there and being the gentleman that Frank is, he checked to see if the guy was dead. He wasn't. He had just fainted. Then Frank stepped over the guy's body and took the spot at the table!
There are some nuts in the slot aisles, many of whom have bizarre notions as to what is really going on inside the machines they crave. There was once a big confrontation between a blue-haired grandmother and an orange-haired grandmother.
Madame Orange had been playing a machine for quite a while and she stood up to stretch. She turned away from the machine for a split second and the Blue Lady swept right in there and started putting her coins in. Needless to say, Blue Lady hit a big one on her first spin and Madame Orange went ballistic. She raced over and yelled at the Blue Lady, "This is my machine. I have been waiting for that jackpot. Give me the money! You stole my jackpot."
The Blue Lady, cigarette dangling from her blood red lips, stood up and said, "Drop dead." Madame Orange made a big mistake then - she pushed the Blue Lady.
Now, the Blue Lady must have been a wrestler or some such in her past life because she grabbed Madame Orange by the hair and swung her to the floor with such force that Madame Orange lost a fistful of her hair, which was sticking out of Blue Lady's fingers. Guards rushed over right away, so any more carnage was averted. But Madame Orange was screaming, sans that fistful of hair, "She stole my jackpot! That was my jackpot! She stole it!"
She tried to get up but her muscles weren't responding.
The Blue Lady just kept saying, "Drop dead!" or "Go tell her to drop dead!" Not much on the use of vocabulary that one. A casino executive tried to explain to Madame Orange that no one could steal a jackpot because of how the RNG in the machine worked. This fell on deaf ears as Madame Orange had a faraway look in her eyes as the executive said, "You see, the RNG is continually picking number sequences. The jackpot just comes randomly. If you had put in your coins it would have been a split second sooner or later and the jackpot wouldn't have been there. You understand?"
Madame Orange nodded and then screamed, "But she stole my jackpot!" To which the Blue Lady replied, "Drop dead!"
Some crazy people you actually have to deal with at the tables, especially when you are playing blackjack where both the sane and insane think they are experts. Of course, we all think we're experts but if you are quiet about it, that's fine. The madness comes in when you are not quiet about it as you badger other players who are not making the right moves, according to your expert opinion.
Frank was playing with one man who never let up. "Why did you hit that 12 against the dealer's two? The dealer made his hand, right? What a stupid move that was!"
Frank just said, "Well, I just play my strategy."
The man said, "Your strategy is stupid."
Then a lady split her fours against a dealer's upcard of 6. This was a game where you could double after splits, so the lady had made the correct play. Unfortunately, she lost both parts of the split.
"You never split fours," said the mad one. "God, everyone at the table should know that! None of you better split fours."
Another man doubled his 11 against a dealer's 10 upcard. The man got a two, for a 13.
"What a dumb move," said the mad one.
Finally the mad one started talking about how one player was ruining the "flow" of the cards by his hand decisions. Frank then got a hand of 10 against a dealer's 9. He asked the mad one, "Since you know the flow of the cards, what should I do? What card is next?"
A sane person would have just seen that Frank had topped him, but this man was not sane, so he said, "You double that hand and you are going to get a card that's under six. You watch."
Frank doubled. He got a five.
The mad one smiled and said to Frank, "You are a moron!"
Okay, so sometimes the insane can guess right.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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