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Best of Alan Krigman

Gaming Guru

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How to Deal with the Occasional Inconsiderate Player

10 July 1995

mit it. You've occasionally wanted to chase away some inconsiderate person or people betting near you and ruining your chances.

Maybe you've been matching wits with your favorite poker machine, savoring the sweet song of slot success. Some stogie-chewing gorilla grabs the next machine and your luck instantly sours.

Or, you're at a craps table where every shooter has been hot. Some weasel buys in with a big bankroll and bets the "don'ts." Before you can blink, the dice turn cold.

Perhaps you're just climbing out of the hole at blackjack. Some jackal usurps "third base" and starts by standing on 16 against a dealer's seven. The dealer has nine in the hole, and picks up a five, sweeping the table instead of busting.

I could go on. The bear who bowls over everyone else's roulette chips. The hyena who slaps the baccarat table and pierces your eardrums screeching "monkey, monkey."

Most solid citizens in the casinos are mature adults who say "please" and "thanks" like real ladies and gents. Still, in rare instances, rude or thoughtless individuals threaten your fun, not to mention the money your personal 900-number psychic advisor predicted you'd win. In olden days, you could get such turkeys to turn tail with ethnic epithets, sexist or racist remarks, cruel slang about physical characteristics, even barracks language. Not now. This is the era of political correctness or PC.

You already know what you can't say. My job is to suggest what you can. Just remember, no one right hat fits all heads, so you'll have to improvise under specific circumstances. Here are five rules to help you think in the right direction.

Rule 1: It's easier to keep bozos from starting than get them to stop. Before they begin, try "Don't waste any money at this table (or slot carousel). It's been losing all day. I'm only here 'cause I'm waiting for a comp to the gourmet buffet."

Rule 2: Nobody likes a know-it-all. When those you want gone win, sneer "Hah! Beginners' luck!" When they lose, say what they should have done based how it actually turned out.

Rule 3: Crybabies are annoying. Grouse no matter what happens. When you lose, bawl "Unbelievable. Ya just can't win." When you win, whimper "I should'a bet more. I had a hunch I was gonna win, but I've lost so much I was afraid to go for it."

Rule 4: It's comforting to think everyone's pulling together, so buck the trend. For instance, at minibaccarat, when folks you want to get rid of check their scorecards and bet Player, go for Banker and say "The only way to win is to bet with the house." Then, if Banker wins, say "Player is a sucker bet." If Player wins, keep mum unless someone chides you, then reply "They do it once in a while as a come-on."

Rule 5: Everyone playing anywhere else has an inferiority complex about Las Vegas. In Las Vegas, people who play on the "strip" have this feeling about downtown, and vice-versa. Make your "victims" feel like dodos for wasting money here. At blackjack, say something like "In Vegas they deal from one or two decks; these sharks mostly use eight." At craps, say something on the order of "Downtown they give ten times odds with as little as a buck on the line; these magpies make you bet too much." At the slots, say "In Vegas they have machines that pay out more than they take in; these hogs keep 10 or 15 percent."

Space and common decency prevent my giving more rules. You see the idea, though. It takes more élan than callously calling a giftedly girded person "fatso." But, by being PC, you'll get what you want and the pit boss will still respect you in the morning.

Oh yes. One other thing. References to animals in this column are all allegorical. The research did not require that a single real gorilla, weasel, jackal, bear, hyena, monkey, turkey, grouse, dodo, shark, magpie, or hog be brought into a casino and forced to perform unnatural acts or subjected to unwarranted risks. Fittingly, Sumner A Ingmark, primeval poet pondered:

Most human beings' lives are mild,
Compared with creatures in the wild.
Is this why folks are so beguiled,
By risks casino bosses styled?

Alan Krigman

Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.