Steve sat slumped over the blackjack table fumbling nervously with his chips while the dealer shuffled the cards. Steve’s body felt like it might collapse at any moment, yet he was so wired on caffeine he doubted that he could sleep right now if he tried. He had been playing blackjack almost non stop for 4 days now, only occasionally grabbing a couple of hour’s shut eye here and there. When he wasn’t playing with the team he was playing alone wherever he could find a single or double deck pitch game with decent playing conditions.
Though on the verge of collapse, Steve’s diligence had been paying off. Lisa’s prophecy about a big come back had come true, in fact, as things stood right now, they were only about $2,500 down. Steve knew he really shouldn’t be playing as tired as he was, but he had been on a good roll at this table and if his luck held he might even catch up within a few more hands.
The elderly dealer with silver hair was slow and Slot Online deliberate as he dealt the cards. And Steve was thinking that under the circumstances he couldn’t ask for a better dealer. Steve felt like his brain was operating like it was one time zone behind. Even though he was having no trouble counting the cards (fortunately he could do that in his sleep), he did have to stop and think and force himself to associate the count with the proper hitting and betting decisions. Right now Steve wasn’t even completely sure what casino he was in. But the surroundings were familiar and he knew he had played there several times in the last 4 days.
Steve looked down at the cards he had been dealt. He held a 6 and a 5 and the dealer’s up card was a 7. “Got to double down on this,” Steve said as he pushed another purple chip out and laid his two cards face up on the table. The dealer placed a 5 on top of the two cards giving Steve a total of 16. Steve groaned and muttered and expletive under his breath knowing he had lost that $1,000. However, the dealer turned up his hole card and it was a 6 to go with his 7. He hit it with a 3 then another 6. “Hallelujah!” Steve thought. He busted with a 22 and now the count is +7. Steve decided to get really aggressive since all the 10’s and Aces were still in the deck. He placed two purple chips in each of two betting circles thus playing 2 hands with $1,000 bet on each. If he could win these hands he would have completed the long journey back to even. For the first time in days Steve’s heart was pounding with excitement and anticipation.
From the corner of his eye, Steve saw the Pit Boss talking on the phone while staring directly at him. But Steve was now too excited to worry about pit bosses or the fact that his play, not only today, but for the past several days, had made it pretty easy for a casino professional to spot him as a card counter. In fact, almost every time Steve had sat down to play recently, the phone in the blackjack pit started ringing and he had overheard his name being called on a couple of occasions.
Steve looked down and picked up the first hand he had been dealt and let out a little yelp of joy when he saw the Ace of Spades and the King of Hearts. He turned the cards over to show the dealer who congratulated Steve on the natural and paid him $1,500. Steve noted that the dealer had an 8 up as he picked up his second hand to see what lady luck had bestowed upon him. It was the Ace and 10 of Diamonds! Steve couldn’t resist a show of emotion as he thrust his fist into the air in triumph and let out a resounding, “Yes!!”
Steve held his own and pretty much broke even for the next few hands. Suddenly a tall thin dealer who looked to be in his late 20’s tapped out the elderly dealer who had been treating Steve so well. The new dealer wore a scowl on his face and almost seemed to have a chip on his shoulder as he dealt the next round of cards to Steve. The hand was stiff and Steve busted it but he only had $500 bet so it wasn’t a big deal.
Steve tried to start a friendly conversation with the dealer asking him how long he had been dealing blackjack. The young man stood up straight and dealt fast and instead of answering Steve’s friendly question he said, “Look man, I’m telling ya, you’d best take your money and leave because you’ve won your last hand here.”
Steve was so taken aback by this statement that you could have knocked him over with a feather. At first Steve thought he was joking, but when he looked into the young dealer’s eyes, he could see he was dead serious. Not only the dealer’s statement, but his attitude and demeanor made Steve very angry. “Who does this kid think he is?” Steve thought. “He needs to be taken down a peg or two and he certainly isn’t going to run me off that easily.”
Steve should have realized that because he was so tired he wasn’t thinking straight and his emotions were on edge. Steve played 3 more hands and lost all of them but the count was now rising. It was time to put out a big bet. Steve was angry at this insolent young man and he wanted to beat him badly. He desperately wanted to see him eat his words. On impulse, Steve put out $2,000 on two different betting circles. The young dealer just laughed at him and shook his head. “You enjoy giving away your money don’t ya pal?”
The cards were dealt and Steve drew a stiff on both hands and wound up busting both of them. Steve came to his senses and realized he was falling behind again very quickly. Finally common sense gained ascendancy over his anger and Steve picked up his few remaining chips and went to find another table.
He spotted another single deck game a few feet away and walked over to the table and sat down. There was one other gentleman at the table but one player, besides himself, was acceptable for a single deck game although Steve would have preferred to play the dealer heads up. No sooner had the dealer at this table shuffled the cards than the tall slender dealer with the bad attitude tapped her out. She looked surprised and told him that she wasn’t due for a break for at least 20 minutes. “Boss says take a break now,” was Mr. Bad Attitude’s reply.
Steve picked up the cards he had just been dealt and it was all he could do to resist throwing them back at the insolent dealer. Steve had been dealt a 10 and a 6 while the dealer had a 10 up (as always). Steve knew he had to hit it, but he also knew as well as he knew the sun was coming up tomorrow morning that he was going to get a card high enough to bust his hand. Steve wasn’t disappointed. He tossed his hand in and picked up the few chips he had left and departed the casino.
Steve couldn’t believe he had been so gullible as to let them run a mechanic in on him. Actually, he was very angry with himself because it had taken him so long to figure out what was happening. The kid had been so cocky and so blatant and had actually as much as told Steve he was a mechanic and still it had taken him much too long and too much money to figure it out. Now, instead of being up a few thousand, he was down $6,500.
Steve knew that playing while he was so tired had cost him plenty. He had to get his emotions under control and get his self discipline back. But most of all, he had to get some rest.