Protecting your bankroll means staying alert

2013-03-29T00:00:00Z Protecting your bankroll means staying alertJohn G. Brokopp Times Correspondent
March 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

During a recent gambling outing I received a little casino "wake-up" call that I'd like to share with you. Here's what happened:

On this particular weekday evening the game was a $10 minimum blackjack table. I was about $50 ahead after playing for half an hour or so. After winning my previous hand, I put a $15 bet in the circle (a hefty wager for me). I pulled to 19 while the dealer had a 10 card showing. Besides myself, there was only one other player at the table and he had 20. We both had good hands, but a dealer's 10 is always scary.

The dealer proceeded to play out her hand. She had a five in the hole for a 15, then drew a seven to "bust" with a 22. All right! But then, much to my amazement, she scooped up the other player's chips and then started to scoop up mine! I said: "Whoa, there, what do you have?" She looked down, realized sheepishly she had in fact busted, then summoned a supervisor over to explain things. The supervisor confirmed that both of us had indeed won our bets. After the bets were returned along with our winnings, the dealer said she was sorry. Play continued.

I'm not relating this little story to condemn dealers. On the contrary, I have the highest respect for them, their profession, and the outstanding and accurate jobs the majority of them perform.

What I am saying is that when you play any casino game, it always pays to be alert and fully aware of each and every decision. After all, what's wrong with protecting your bankroll? Dealers and supervisors are entrusted with the job of protecting the casino's bankroll, and, boy, do they ever take that responsibility seriously! A dispute involving even a dollar chip creates a flurry of activity at the table, and heaven forbid you should ever be overpaid. You should guard your money just as rigidly.

Protecting you bankroll begins with your buy-in. If you put $100 down on the table, make sure you get an equivalent amount in chips by counting them. Not too long ago I saw a fellow buy in for $100 at the craps table and then complain to the dealer he only got $80 in chips. The dealer insisted he had only put down $80, but the boxman came to the rescue by confirming that the player had indeed plunked down $100. The dealer apologized and came up with the missing $20 in chips. It was an honest mistake, but a mistake nevertheless, and one that would not have been discovered had the player not counted his chips.

If you're a slot player always be certain to observe that the proper credits are registered for the money you have inserted. Be prepared to protect your money by being alert!

When playing table games, especially craps and roulette where there are a variety of payouts, always be aware of what you have at risk on the layout, whether or not you've won, and what you should be paid on a winning bet - then make sure you get it!

Don't take anything for granted in a casino. They all do business with integrity, but mistakes do happen and only if you are an alert and informed player will you be able to catch them and back them up with the proper know-how and knowledge.

Guard your bankroll just as jealously as the casinos guard theirs!

The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach him at John Brokopp's Beat the Odds tips air Sundays at 8:20 a.m., 2:50 p.m. and 10:42 p.m. on WBBM Newsradio 780.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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