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Stand-Up Thursdays: Vegas

In a few months, a good friend of mine will be taking his first steps down a road we can't follow; marriage. In keeping with time honored traditions, several important duties have fallen on an other friend who was named as the best man. One of these duties wa planning the bachelor party. So, also in keeping with time honored traditions, he decided on Vegas as a good setting for our needs (his decision was based mostly on a stirring documentary called The Hangover).

Most men at bachelor parties in Vegas have one thing on their minds. No, it's not the plethora of shopping oppertunities, the world class cuisine or even the Broadway caliber shows. Yep, you geussed it. Most men at bachelor parties in Vegas think about Gambling. What did you think I was going to say? Excuse me? He is about to enter into a sacred bond, why would you even bring that up? Get your mind out of the gutter, you sicken me.

With that in mind, I thought I would give you my quick opinion about some of the more common games of chance to help you in case you're ever in Vegas, for whatever reason (no reason counts as a reason).

Black Jack:
Your best odds at actually winning, but don't think that just because you read a book on basic stratgey and card counting that you'll be clearing out the house. Unless you're Rain Man and keep a six deck count going in your head while acting nonchalant and ordering a drink, I wouldn't get my hopes up.

I like them the same way I like something that sounds a lot like them: cheap, easy, and loose. I usually end up at the slot banks if I have lost all my money or am waiting for a connecting flight.

Why go to Vegas to play poker when Lucky Chances is so close? Is it the increased talent of the professional poker players that work in Vegas? Is it the joy you get from watching new players completely mess up the flow of a gmae? Or is it the fact that you're tired of playing games of chance that you will statistically always lose at and want a game where skill is actually a factor? Probably the last one.

No we're talking. Craps is a great game for beginers and verterans alike. There are hundreds of bets to be made, which keeps it exciting for the vets, but your bets never affect other people's, so everyone is usually more than happy to teach new comers (especially if they're on a hot streak or a beautiful woman). Find a cheap table, watch for a bit, and never walk away from the table when you're rolling (even if you're done gambling).

This is my bread and butter. I love roulette. It's fun to play, watch and even say. Roulette. Go ahead, say it. Roulette. Pretty good, right? I like roulette for a lot of the same reasons as craps; lots of bets but they don't affect anyone else's. Roulette also takes a little bit of time for each spin of the wheel, which means you can't burn though money as quickly as can at other games (note - unless you put in all on 00). Some of my most treasured memories from Las Vegas come from the $1 roulette table at the end of the strip.

Other Games:
Pi gao, three card poker, war and countless other games fall itno this category. They can be really fun, but only if you find your flavor. Most have lots of side bets and strange rules that play much more of a role than these hidden traps do in the more common games. Try them out, but don't sit down at a high stakes game until you feel really comfortable with your flavor of choice.

Video Anything:
Trust video poker. Finding the right machine can be hard, but they all list their payout and chances clearly and are very closely regualted. Do not trust video anything else. Not sure why I have this stigma, but video roulette belongs in the 6th circle of hell. I just don't trust a bouncing ball that isn't affected by gravity.

On Nick Swardson's new comedy special, Seriously, Who Farted?, he talks about a new game I can't wait to try.



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