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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 18, 2010

Etiquette at tables a bit intimidating


By Rodney Lee

One of the main reasons we all head to Vegas is to "play." And by play, I mean gamble. But the word "gamble" has a negative connotation, so we just refer to it as "play." For example, one might say "I'm going downstairs to play," or "What machines did you play while you were there?"

I'm sure everyone has their favorite games in Vegas. For some, it's craps. For others, it might be the "tables," meaning anything with a live dealer. And for folks like me, it's the "machines."

Honestly, I'm a bit intimidated playing at the tables. There's a certain etiquette that's followed while playing at the tables. And since I'm not familiar with the etiquette, I stick to the machines.

My machine of choice is the Treasure Chest poker. That's the one where any four-of-a-kind will get you the bonus game where you can pick one of five treasure chests. And behind each treasure chest is either 140 coins, 180 coins, 250 coins, 500 coins, or the jackpot. It's just a matter of picking the right treasure chest. On the 25-cent Treasure Chest poker machines at The California Hotel and Casino, the jackpot is $1,199 one dollar short of the dreaded 1099 form.

On the $1 Treasure Chest poker machine, the payout for a jackpot is $5,000.

Now if the $1 machine pays out that much more, you might ask, "Why not just play the $1 machine?" Well, to qualify for the jackpot, you must play the maximum coins for each hand which is five. You do the math.

My second favorite game to play is Keno. Specifically, multi-card Keno. You can win big or you can lose big, as the outcome is proportionally equal to the number of cards you play. Play four cards at a time, lose four times as much or win four times as much.

And when the poker hands aren't coming out, and when the Keno numbers picked aren't lighting up, I resort to the slot machines. Some nights it'll be a poker night where I can win at poker and only poker. Other nights it might be a Keno night. Or a slot machine night.

And some nights, I just don't win at all. Those are what I refer to as "deposit" nights.

But no night is complete until I drop $21 into the MegaBucks machine. That's seven pulls that might change my life forever.

I'm still waiting for my life to change.