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Top 10 most memorable experiences at a casino table game

11 October 2021

Everyone has their own memories from their gambling past, such as the first time they sat down at a table or their first big win. I have some similar memories myself, but also have some others that could be categorized as lucky, or just plain frustrating. Here are some moments from my “gambling career” that are the most memorable.

10. First time at a casino
Before turning 21, gambling had never really been something I was looking forward to doing, but soon after I was of age, my father brought me down to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, about a two-hour drive from our home in Massachusetts, to get the full experience.

I was surprised at how large of a resort Foxwoods was and how many different games it had to offer. The first thing I did was sat down at a blackjack table. I knew the rules and a decent amount of basic strategy before sitting down because I didn’t want to look or act like a fool in my first session.

I did pretty well winning around $200 at a $10 table, but after leaving the casino with a positive experience, my father reminded me what every gambler has probably heard in one way or another, “the house will always win so knowing when to get up and walk away can’t be stressed enough.”

9. Splitting three aces
One of my memories that I won’t forget happened at that first blackjack table that I ever sat down at. In fact, it was within the first 10 hands I ever played.

I had just increased my bet to $15 and I was dealt two aces with a dealer showing a six. It was a simple decision to split the aces but what I wasn’t expecting was to be dealt another ace on my first split hand followed by a nine on the second.

Everyone at the table was making it known that I should definitely split it again and I agreed even though my $15 hand turn into $45 in the blink of an eye. Luckily, I was dealt an eight on the second two aces so I sat on my two 19s and one 20.

The dealer flipped over a king followed by a seven, bringing him to 23 and busting as I was lucky enough to cash all three hands.

8. First time at a craps table
Craps isn’t my primary game, but is definitely one that I will find myself at for some period of time to change it up from blackjack.

I had seen craps tables get very animated and show a sense of comradery, which caught my attention and I was interested in giving it a shot.

At the time, I didn’t know much about craps besides the basics, so at a table in The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip, I found myself betting mainly just the pass line with some money on the point. Other than that, my bets were tossing a few bucks on the player to my left who was cleaning up so I tried riding his streak.

I have to admit, my first time rolling couldn’t have been much worse. After setting the point at nine, my next roll was an immediate crap-out which had me cash my chips in and head out.

7. Double suited match
In July, I took a trip down to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut again with my father, but my brother accompanied us for the night, as well.

We all found a $15 table during a Sunday afternoon and the first few hands had us all in the red. However, a fun side bet in blackjack, “Match the Dealer,” changed that.

I dropped just $5 on the side bet. I was in the first seat and the first card out was a three of diamonds and as the dealer made his way around the table he showed up a three of diamonds. In my head, I was already expecting just to be paid for the single suited match but as I looked at the felt to check the payout, I heard my brother say “Three!” As my eyes turn back to my hand, there was sitting another three of diamonds paying out my side bet at 22-to-1.

Nothing like a quick, pretty lucky win to turn things around for you.

Las Vegas in May 2021

Las Vegas in May 2021

6. Eight reds coming up in a row
In my most recent trip to Las Vegas in May, a group of my friends and I were looking for something we could all play together at the same table. It is difficult to find four empty seats at a blackjack table sometimes so we decided to head over and play a couple roulette rounds before dinner.

The three players outside of us were betting on black along with two of my other friends. However, one of my friends and I placed our bets on red and, yes, it may have been just to be against others in our group.

The first roll it came up red so it was no big deal. Everyone kept their bet on and the next two rolls also came up red so it began to be a little funny let alone profitable. After most pulled off of black and some had even left the table, the two of us left our bets on red until it lost.

We never would’ve guessed it would take another six rolls for us to lose. Eight straight reds came up for us, which paid out nicely and once the ninth roll came up black, we knew our luck must have run out and it was time to take the money and run, which we did.

5. Winning all four of my roulette bets
Two days later, I found myself at the Aria Resort & Casino and walked by two roulette tables that weren’t full. I thought I’d try my luck again. After a winning and losing a couple of bets, I found myself barely ahead, but wanted to place a few more.

I threw money on red, even, 1-18 and picked a row as well. I was hoping to hit at least two out of four or maybe three out of four if I was to be lucky enough. However, all four bets got a checkmark when the ball landed in its spot and my chip stack rose.

I will admit the next two rolls combined for $0 in winnings for me so I had to walk away but it was a cool thing to hit all four when only a handful of numbers would make that possible.

4. A drink that ruined a blackjack run
I am definitely not always lucky and as my father wisely told me, “The house always wins.” But in this case, both the players and the house lost, you could say.

During my first trip to Vegas, I was at The Mirage again for some blackjack during the day. At the table were three players, in addition to myself, and we all started out very well. The table was definitely hot and we were all on a run increasing our chip count, but then someone joined us and changed that.

I wouldn’t have been super upset if they joined and the cards changed and we started losing hands because that does happen in the blackjack world. But after about three hands the fifth player knocked his drink all over the felt.

Because the gin and tonic was all over the table and even getting on some cards and into the dealer’s chip stacks, we had to all be removed from the table while they cleaned everything out and dried the felt, which took too long for me to wait around.

It was incredibly unfortunate to not be able to find out how long our hot streak could have gone but again, things like this do happen. But don’t be the guy who literally douses a hot table. Be aware of your drinks and table etiquette when at a casino.

3. Six-card blackjack bust
One afternoon I was in the sportsbook at Caesars Palace watching a hoop game that my buddy had some cash on. It was nearing time that we would have to head back to our room in The Mirage to get ready for a dinner with the rest of our group.

He wanted to stay a little longer to watch his team hopefully come out on top and cash his ticket, which they failed to cover on a buzzer beater unfortunately for him. But that’s beside the point.

On my way back to the hotel, I was heading toward the elevators and figured I’d sit down for 30 minutes at a blackjack table. I had only played at a blackjack table with the “Dealer Bust” side bet and it didn’t really pay for me, but I figured I’d give it another try.

It did redeem itself because after about 15-20 minutes of playing I was nearing the time where I had to actually head upstairs to avoid being late for dinner. Then the dealer took six cards to bust and paid out my $5 bet at 30-1 turning it into $150.

It was a much happier dinner for myself when I basically turned that dinner into a free meal.

2. Hitting an exact number in roulette
In one visit to the Encore Boston Harbor, I did something I rarely do and sat down at a slot machine. I landed four scatter symbols in my third spin. Now, trust me, I am not always this lucky but this memory does have a good amount of luck in it.

During my bonus spins round I found around $125 after putting in $20. So I pocked my $100 and took the $25 to a roulette table.

The minimum was $25 and I wanted to play the inside bets so I played the birthday dates for my family and one of the numbers actually hit and my $5 bet turned into $175.

1. A bad blackjack hit
While in Vegas for the first time, I did experience something I hadn’t seen at a blackjack table ever. While playing blackjack, two women sat down at our table claiming the remaining two seats. I had been at that table for about 30 minutes and was up roughly $75.

In her first hand, one of the women had a hard 18 with the dealer showing a five. I immediately looked past her hand to the player on her left until I heard, “Hit me.” My attention quickly rushed back to the woman’s hand and up to her face thinking she made a mistake. Even the dealer was taken back, but repeated, “Hit me.”

I, along with the other players, were in shock that someone would do this. The dealer flipped her next card, which was a face card, and busted her. The other players acted on their hands and when it got to the dealer, he flipped his down card which was a nine. By hitting, the woman took the dealer’s bust card and cost everyone a table win. I was sitting on a hard 17 so I was not thrilled by this play.

The dealer flipped his next card, which was a six giving the dealer 20. That decision cost me and other players and it made me decide to color up and get out of there before losing more money.
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.