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Best of John G. Brokopp

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Game Plan for a Valentine's Weekend Casino Date

1 February 2000

Do you have plans to take your Valentine on a date to a riverboat casino destination this Valentine's weekend? It certainly could be an exciting way to spend some time with that special someone. After all, not too many years ago the only way to experience Las Vegas style action was Las Vegas itself!

Today there are nine locations in the Chicago-area from which to choose. In order to keep the fun in your casino outing, however, it's important to stick to a budget. After all, you don't want to risk losing so much money that you'll have to scrap plans for that romantic dinner and dancing afterwards.

With that in mind, today let's formulate a "game plan" for a Valentine's Day weekend date to a casino. The plan is probably geared more toward couples who are infrequent visitors to casinos, but it certainly could apply as a special occasion adventure for recreational gaming enthusiasts.

The purpose is to prevent you from going into the casino haphazardly, blowing all your money in the slots, and in less than half an hour discovering you have spent more than you could really afford to lose.

Let's get started. You're a team, right? Attack the casino with a combined bankroll of $75. Too little, you say? Or, perhaps, too much? It all depends upon how you look at it. On this Valentine's weekend it's an investment in fun and action for the two of you. Sure you could lose it, but you budgeted the money for that purpose. Who knows? Maybe you'll win enough to pay for that special Valentine's dinner and more!

Even though the bright lights of the slot machines may beckon you when you first step on board, don't fall prey to the temptation. The first place to go will be the craps table, perhaps the single most exciting and fast-paced game on the floor. Buy in for $25 at a $5 table and proceed to make a couple of place bets on the 6 and/or the 8 at $6 apiece. For a little added excitement, bet a dollar "hardway" or two on the 4, 6, 8, or 10.

With a little bit of luck, the shooter will be hot and you'll collect $7 every time a six or an eight is rolled. A hard eight or hard six will pay you $9 for a dollar. If you get on a little roll, you may "press" a bet or two. At worst you'll be out $25. If you do turn a profit, make sure you walk away with some of it and put it toward your evening out.

After your craps table experience, you will probably enjoy the slower pace of the roulette wheel. Once again, buy in for $25 at a $5 table. Your first bets should be on the 2-1 propositions--the columns and/or the "dozens". If you hit a couple of those, you may feel like playing some of your lucky numbers "straight up" and go for a 35-1 payoff. (Hey guys! Bet a 17, 007's favorite number, watch it hit, and feel like James Bond.)

If Lady Luck was on your side at the craps table, the roulette wheel, or both, you have your original bankroll intact and then some. If you're down to your last $25, you still have a shot to make it grow. In any event, your last stop on this Valentine's adventure will be to the slot machines, but ONLY with $25.

You have some options available to you here. You may want to pick out a $5 slot and take five pulls in a quest for a lucky hit for a tidy sum. Your best bet will probably be to buy a roll of dollar tokens and pick out a $1 slot. Run the money through. If you hit for $80 or more, take the money and run. There's your romantic dinner!

If you make lesser hits, take half the money and pocket it. Play with the other half, either at the same machine or another one. Repeat the process until you've exhausted your playing money. Hopefully you'll have enough profits in pocket to have made your slot fling worth your while.

If you've made some money and still want a little more action, you may want to give the blackjack table a try, but only if you are familiar with basic playing strategy. It's the one game that requires you to play correctly in order to derive the most benefit from it. If you don't feel up to the challenge, don't gamble your money.

There you have it. You've had some fun, you're walking out with the money you came with or maybe you've even made a little (or a lot!). Lost it all? Don't be sad. You walked in with a plan for fun and excitement, not financial disaster. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp