Soaring Fleecer Casino

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

It's bad enough the house always wins, but it's even worse when it cheats.

Quick rant about my trip last weekend to the casino in Mt. Pleasant.  Yeah, the one with the Eagle.  I went up with a group of people to see Brooks & Dunn.  Great concert-- even in the pouring rain.  Afterward, I was ready to gamble a little.  Maybe a lot depending on how the firs 45 minutes went. 

I sit down at a blackjack table and immediately tell I have an inexperienced dealer.  Number one, he's young and number two, he's not interacting with the players.  Even rude, crusty old dealers talk about something-- even if it's the rules of the game and procedure.  Those are short conversations though:

Player: I would like to go again.
Mean Dealer: You mean, you'd like a hit?
Player: I want a hit?
Mean Dealer: I'm asking if you want another card-- it's called hitting.
Player: Can I just slide them if I don't want to--

Nice dealers are much cooler than that, but I've seen both.  This guy was just young and not conversational yet.  I was cruising along ahead a few bucks when I got a pair of 6's.  The dealer had a two so I thought I'd get a little risky and double down.  For those of you that don't know, doubling down means you have to match your bet on the table and you get one card only.  So it's good when the dealer has a bust card like 6, 5, 4, 3, or 2.  The absolute best double-down situation is when you have 11 and the dealer is showing a 6.  Perfect bust card for them and you have a great chance to get a face card and hit 21.  I ran into a guy on my cruise who loved doubling down on 12 no matter what the dealer had.  he swore by it, but I wasn't ready to believe him.  He did get me to believe that it's not as bad to hit on 12 than I always thought.

So, I slid my money out and got my card-- a 9.  Bingo!  21!  I'm a genius.

But then, the dealer kept looking at me and had slid the 6 away from the other one slightly.  I looked up and informed him I was doubling down, not splitting the 6's.  He said he asked me if I was splitting them before he gave me the card.  Now getting worried that my $20 on the table might not find its way back home responded that I never heard him say anything and who splits 6's anyway?  Turns out, 6's aren't the worst cards to split, but I was going to win this argument.  I immediately called the pit boss over.  The 40-something, short and stocky fellow with double-piercings in each ear, sauntered over.  I called out that I was doubling, not splitting and never heard the dealer say anything.  It was a misunderstanding and I would just like my 9 and go about my business.  He quickly cast judgment-- split 'em.

No way.  I hate to admit, but I loudly voiced my displeasure.  Instead of being overcome with emotion, I should have asked him to go to the video and shown him that the dealer never slid the cards apart like he's supposed to.  He didn't do that until after the 9 came out. 

So, now instead of 21 I have 15.  Seeing red, I stay.  Next card coming.  A 10 to give me 16.  I sigh and stay again.  Of course, the dealer has 12, gets a 3 and a 6 for 21.  My 10 would ahve been his bust card so the whole table would have won.  I am beyond pissed now.

The next hand the girl next to me is getting advice from the fam behind her-- never a good sign for the table.  She has 15 and the dealer has a 6 and asks if she should hit.  Her sister shrugs as the guy next to me tells her she shouldn't hit.  I realize what's happening and as she asks for a hit I yell out, "No, the dealer has a bust card!"  She gets a 10 that would have busted the dealer.  Another sign of a bad dealer.  A good one would've helped her out and informed her it was ill-advised to hit.

On the verge of insanity, I put down a big bet for one last hand and win.  I'm up $30 and decide I am not giving another cent to these... people.  Here was the last exchange of the evening:

Dealer: Changing 130.
Me: (Eying the pit boss) Careful! He's going to make you only pay me 100!

We exchanged pleasant looks and I went home swearing that FireKeepers Casino will be the ONLY place I will gamble from now on!

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