“Although lacking the romance of card sharps, or the freakish genius of card counters, slot cheats are uniquely innocuous, almost laudable characters. If you cheat at table games, you’re siphoning money from your fellow gamblers. But if you cheat at slots, it’s just you versus the casino. There’s a reason that slots are nicknamed ‘one-armed bandits’: we intuitively sense that their gains are ill-gotten.”
“On September 24th, 1980, a man wearing cowboy boots and carrying two brown suitcases entered Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. One suitcase held $777,000 in cash; the other was empty. After converting the money into chips, the man approached a craps table on the casino floor and put everything on the backline. This meant he was betting against the woman rolling the dice. If she lost, he’d double his money. If she won, he’d lose everything.”
“Benter taught himself advanced statistics and learned to write software on an early PC with a green-and-black screen. Meanwhile, in the fall of 1984, Woods flew to Hong Kong and sent back a stack of yearbooks containing the results of thousands of races. Benter hired two women to key the results into a database by hand so he could spend more time studying regressions and developing code. It took nine months. In September 1985 he flew to Hong Kong with three bulky IBM computers in his checked luggage.”
Last Saturday, Chris and I ventured into the casino in the video game Ni No Kuni, and saw that you could buy rare familiars there (but could only purchase them with casino chips). As a result, we spent a lot of time playing the slot machines and Blackjack, grinding and trying to build up our chip stack.
On returning, Chris handed me a voucher for 15 cents. This is all that remains of my $5, which according to him disappeared rather quickly. His game of choice? The Sex and the City slot machine, of course.
Don Johnson is a blackjack player who’s done well for himself. He’s done really well for himself, actually. He’s made nearly $15 million from three Atlantic City casinos (and won nearly $6 million in one night at the Tropicana).