Virtual Reality Too

10 Sep 2010 | 20:19

I spent the majority of my gaming time playing Blackjack, and personally, I preferred it to sitting in the casino.  Having played exclusively in Vegas for the last ten years, I never thought this would be the case, but there were several reasons for my preference.

The following are those reasons:

1)  No Tipping

First (and by far most importantly), I didn't have to tip. 

I didn't realize until last night just how much I actually tipped at the BJ table.  Downtown or on the Vegas Strip, it was pretty common for me to tip every time I hit a natural or went on a 5 hand+ run.  Even though it was just a little bit here and there, it really added up at the end of the night.

I tipped so goddamn much that the difference between 3:2 and 6:5 BJ really didn't make a difference to my bottom line.  It was more the principle.

Playing 21 online, I keep all of my winnings.  Depending on how much you tend to tip, this may or may not be a factor for you ... but for me ... it's quite big.  I make significantly more money per-hand playing Blackjack online than I do in a brick-and-mortar casino.

2)  3:2 ... every hand, every time.

What can I tell you, online, Blackjack is Blackjack and all of the tables pay at normal odds.  This is the way it used to be in Vegas too, and the proliferation of 6:5 is one of the reasons I started turning sour on Dusty Detroit.  You can insult me or you can have me as a loyal customer, but rarely both.

3)  No Drama Queens

I like splitting tens in certain situations, and last night I got to split 10s to my heart's content without having the entire table yell, groan, or get up and leave. 

Of course, it didn't always work out.  I got dinged for some "double losses", but overall, I came out ahead.  Even if I had lost every ten split, it was my money and I didn't have to justify my play to anyone.

You know, I still don't understand all the drama.  I think people feign disgust over split tens because of peer pressure, not because it's a truly "poor strategy".  Yes, I know the math says it's an inferior play with negative EV, but gambling itself has a negative EV.  I find it strange when people willingly play a statistically losing game, and then go batshit when a tablemate willingly plays a statistically losing hand.

The purpose of gaming is to have fun, and sometimes it's more entertaining to go to battle against a dealer 6 with two Kings.  Sometimes, I am willing to risk a little more edge for a little more creative gameplay.  Playing perfect strategy can get boring, and sometimes I like to play like an idiot.

It's my money.

Some meatspace dealers even get pissy when you split tens because it causes some of the other players to leave.

Against a dealer 4-6, I will probably continue to split tens online from time to time.  If I win ... I win, if I lose ...  I lose, but at least it will be up to me and I will be glad not to hear your supposedly "expert" ass whine.

4)  My Choice of Ambient Entertainment

Casino entertainment is hit and miss.

Sometimes you get a performer, sometimes not.  Sometimes you get recorded music, sometimes not.  I've always been a fan of "party pits" such as The Fetish Pit, but let's face it ... most pits range from boring to downright depressing.

In a brick and mortar room, you have to listen to the drunk guy from Des Moines babble on while the bluehair from Boston puffs toxic shit in your face.

Online, it's MY gaming pit and I get to call the entertainment shots.  From the music, to the temperature, to the people around me ... it's all suited to my preferences.

For instance, while playing multi-hand Video Poker last night, I watched concert video on YouTube from the 2005 Hammerbox reunion concert.  Try doing that at the Wynn.

Seriously, try it.  While sitting at the Blackjack table, summon the pit boss and say "Hello, I would like to watch some footage from the 2005 Hammerbox reunion concert.  What can you do for me?"

If you do this at the Wynn or Encore, my guess is that he will say "I'm sorry, we cannot help you with that, but I would be happy to hook you up with some LMFAO tickets.  They have this great song out right now called 'Shots'.  It's all the rage with the douchenozzles of America."

At that point, Paris Hilton will run by your table, grab your cocaine, stick it in her purse, and flee into a waiting car which has thick clouds of marijuana smoke billowing out of it.  Later in the night, she will be arrested, and while reaching for her lip gloss, out would fall your cocaine.  Instead of copping to a possession rap, Paris will finger you for the crime, and you will spend the next 24 hours getting a colonoscopy with creme filling from some guy named Lebron while Paris gets bounced out of jail in three seconds because rich people don't get favorable treatment.

However, this will never happen while playing Blackjack online.

After getting my fill of real 21, I decided to fire up a Video Poker machine.

Unfortunately, my game of choice (Bonus Poker) was not available, but they did have Jacks-or-Better.  The odd thing about the online Video Poker games is that they were all multi-hand machines.  You had to play anywhere from 2-4 hands per play at $1 per hand.  I'm not sure why this is.

Now $2/hand Video Poker is a little out of my comfort zone, so I only played for about 15 minutes, but the little I played was actually profitable.  The cool thing about playing two hands is that a good hand on one row translates into a good hand on the other row.  Of course, the converse is also true, but it felt as if I almost always won something on at least one of the hands.

The other thing I liked about the online software is that it automatically held any payable hands.

For instance, if you get 5-5-6-6-9, the machine automatically holds 5-5-6-6 since it pays 2:1.  On single machines, I've thrown away winners before because I was not paying attention.  This fail-safe is nice for those who may be busy watching a Hammerbox video during their VP session.

Anyway, along with the Washington State Lottery, the non-Vegas casinos, and now online gaming ... I've busted a lot of cherries this month.

What can I tell you, I'm just that good.

Next up, your sister.

Read: Virtual Reality

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