New Thing #236: Video Roulette

Roulette_WheelI don't spend a whole lot of time at casinos. But every once in a while I'll scratch that itch, realize it's not as easy as I think it is, and I'll go home poorer and think, "I'll get 'em next time."

And next time won't happen for a long while.

If you'd asked me if going to a casino would have ended up on the agenda for my trip to Florida, I would have told you that was very doubtful.

But I wouldn't have ruled it out completely - you know, things happen.

And as it turned out, there was a casino and Hard Rock Cafe on some Seminole land in Tampa.

And Kevin and I decided to check it out.

The casino was mostly slot machines. There were very few tables. And my favorite game - roulette - was only available in the video format you see above.

I didn't know whether or not to take the plunge..then I figured, New Thing. So we sat at the video roulette table.

You sit at a console like this:


And in the middle of the various consoles is the wheel, automated and under glass. And above the wheel is the board that shows you the current number as well as the last few that came out.

As sometimes happens, I started off kind of hot by just playing the outside - picking red or black, and the occasional "first 12" or "bottom of the board" or whatever.

But then I start thinking it's easy, and I start to lose money. Fast.

It happened quickly for Kevin and I. (Speaking of quickly - the amount of time you have to place your bets is timed, and it's not all that much. Like 30 seconds or so - much faster than when there's a human spinning the wheel. So when I say it happened quickly - it happened quickly.)

Usually I have some stock numbers I pick when I play the inside - 8 is a big one because it's part of my anniversary, my wife's birthday, and, of course, it's Gary Carter's number. Rarely, though, do I hit on the inside numbers.

When things started to fade I returned to the outside. A string of black numbers had come up. Obviously (I'm such a sucker) the next one was going to be red. I put my remaining chips on red, chasing my losses.

Not only was my final play of the day a black number - it was an 8. It was like the universe telling me, "Not today champ." (And probably not ever.)

Kevin was not much luckier.

All told, we drove about 40 minutes to the casino to spend only about 40 minutes wasting some money. Then it was 40 minutes back.

But the more I thought about it - the casino might have actually saved me money. I only brought a limited amount with me - who knows what we would have done otherwise. I might have spent more doing something else.

You might see this as a disappointment.

Sure, we would much rather have won some money. But we were back in St. Petersburg by lunchtime. It worked out rather well.