Saturday, February 02, 2008

If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time. (Chinese proverb)

Another traveling sock.
This one was taken at Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, FL.
(I'm not so happy with the sock, so it's probably
going to be visiting the frog pond next.)

Mom and I joined a group on an expedition to the Hard Rock Cafe, and we had a wonderful time. Hard Rock, run by the Seminole Indian tribe, is a beautiful, large hotel with stores, restaurants, a theatre, and gambling. The gambling is the biggest attraction, and there are hundreds of slots machines blinking attractively for your money. The problem was that neither mom nor I are gamblers. Neither of us wanted to give away our money to the machines, and more to the point, neither of us knew how to give away our money to the machines.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. Playing the slot machines isn't hard. You put money in the bill-taker (it has cute little pictures as well as being labeled, so you can't miss it), push a button, and the machine lights up and -puff- your money is gone. Sometimes it credits you with winnings, but mostly it just takes money away.

But mom and I are very cautious when it comes to our money. (See how nicely I'm blaming this on her. I warned her I would do that.) We both prefer to understand how and why our money is being taken away. So we spent quite a bit of the day trying to understand the way the machines worked. We limited ourselves to the 5-cent machines, figuring that with all the choices we really needed to specialize and it would be better to specialize with something we could afford. It was bad enough that the 5-cent machines cost 25-cents to play...can you imagine how much the $1 machines would have cost us? Then we tried to figure out through trial and error what the different buttons were for. Some buttons give you more chances to win, but that also costs you more. Other buttons make the machine pay out more when you win, but that also costs you more. So we figured out which button took the lowest amount of money, and that's the button we used. Then we tried to figure out what combination of pictures we needed to win, but that's basically pointless. If you push your favorite button, the pictures change around, lights flash, and either you get money back or you don't. Then you push your favorite button again, and the process continues. Eventually you run out of money or get bored.

I was lucky enough to get bored while I was still $16 ahead. Mom managed to walk away with $3 extra. So we sat out by the pool for the rest of the afternoon, knitting and bragging about our gambling skills.

No comments: