There are some weeks that Lollipop Tuesdays sneak up on me like the Hamburglar. And it’s usually those weeks that I find myself doing something ridiculously late and in a ridiculous location, which is why last night at midnight you could find me playing the slots at the casino.
Happy Lollipop Tuesday, friends.
I have to admit that when I thought I’d mosey on over to the casino, I had a few concerns. Well, really just one concern: addiction. I read all the tips and I had a good game plan. I took a hundred bucks and split it off into five 20’s. I would play a 20 at each game, and if I got a big win on it I would immediately cash out, pocket the ticket with the winnings, and moved on to the next 20. It was a good plan and I felt confident it would do me well.
Until I remembered the World of Warcraft addiction of ’06.
Not so long ago in a land not too far away, I was huddled up on my desk chair, 3-days-unshowered, with pizza boxes piling up on my bed, running around the land of Azeroth as a Night Elf Hunter, raiding over and over again until the epic shoulder pads I needed would drop in the dungeon. I wasn’t sure how big the difference was between gambling and WoW, but last night I was a little concerned for my well-being.
I have to admit that when I first walked in, I was pretty disappointed. Well, actually I was shocked that casinos are open 24/7, was baffled by the variety of machines, and I was pretty darn overwhelmed by the size of the place. But then I was disappointed. Pretty much everything I know about casinos is based off movies that feature casinos. You know, like Sister Act, Ocean’s 11, Rounders… I was expecting people to have cards at the table and levers for the slots.
As it turns out, it’s all digital.
Call me crazy, but if I’m going to stick a twenty in a machine and lose it all in 10 minutes, I’d really like to be pulling a lever. Clicking a button 100 times per bill is incredibly lame. And even if I could have afforded a buy-in at a table, I wouldn’t have done it. Because there’s something so unsatisfying about watching a bunch of cards flip up on a screen instead of holding them in my hands. Illogical, perhaps, but true. So I stuck to the slots for the evening. At least there I could click more times.
Apparently people must find slots to be very straightforward and in no need of explanation because aside from a few cryptic images above the machine, there was never any indication as to what you were hoping for when you clicked the button. I, for one, could have used a bit of help. Because half the time I didn’t know whether to get excited or whether to sit there clicking until my eyes glazed over. There were two times that my screen said “Big Win!” and had a bunch of coin and cash images on the screen, but I didn’t know what my “big win” was relative to. I mean, when we’re on penny slots, big wins could be 10 bucks.
And as it turned out, they were.
For the most part, I found them uninspiring and wished I could go over and lay down my black jack prowess. I hated not having any control whatsoever on whether I won. That was, until I found the Wizard of Oz slots.
There were only 5 of them and they were tucked over near the bathrooms, but there were folks filling every single seat. I had a friend that was willing to come along with my for the night and she suggested that they were the best because “there was actually a chance of winning something.” That was really all I had to hear to wait around awkwardly mouth-breathing behind folks as I waited for one of them to rip their sweaty backs of the seats.
I got myself a seat and finally found the magic fun of the slot machines. It probably had a lot to do with winning a big bonus where a bunch of flying monkeys came and ripped my images off to reveal wild cards. Then something about a “big win” came up on the screen, my machine got real loud, everyone grumpily stared at me, and I sat there for 2 minutes while my winnings piled up. I made 40 bucks. Not bad.
I pocketed the ticket and stuck in my next 20, waiting to see what the Emerald City had in store for me next.
I think the real appeal of the game was that the seats had speakers built right into them. The biggest wins came from matching three bonuses across the board, and every time one came up in the right place, a huge drum sound would rattle the bejeezus out of your seat and make you pee yourself with anticipation.
Or maybe that was just me.
At any rate, I spent the rest of the evening on the Oz slots, hoping that Glenda the Good Witch would pay me a random visit and switch my rows to wild cards, or that I would link three bonuses together and get some flying monkeys to come give me a big win.
But alas, I stuck to my plan. And though I went through the hundred I put aside for the evening, I had pocketed 70 bucks of winnings. It may sound like a lose-lose situation, but believe me – if I didn’t have a plan beforehand, there would have been no tickets in my pocket and I would have walked out at 100 in the hole instead of just 30.
All in all, it was an enjoyable evening. You know, in comparison to someone just coming up and mugging me for 30 bucks. If I were a baller, I could have sat down and used some of my card-playing skills to see what I could rake in. Because let’s face it: the slots are a total ripoff. Unfortunately, the lowest buy-in at a table game was 10 smackos. And since I only came with 100 to gamble, that didn’t seem like a wise way to spend my evening.
Apparently, clicking a button 100 times and waiting for flying monkeys to descend upon me was. ♣