Mar 13, 2016
How a Non-Gambler Warms up to Gambling
As someone who likes to gamble a good bit, a recreational Advantage Player as it were, a willingness to accept that I love gambling is a necessary component in a relationship I'm going to have with someone, all the better if she'll actually join me! One of the chief complaints I get among some of my fellow gamblers out there is that they have a lot of difficulty getting a significant other into a casino with them and showing them a good time.
With respect to relationships, I do think that it is essential to have solitary pursuits, but at the same time, when one of the two people in a relationship has a serious passion for something, it is certainly beneficial when the other person can take at least a bit of an interest in it.
For my part, I had almost no interest in TV or Movies, in general, prior to getting together with my girlfriend...but she has gotten me into a couple of movies and shows that I am not going to publicly discuss for fear of ridicule, (cough, Once Upon a Time, cough) but I think a relevant discussion that we can have is how she warmed up to gambling.
With that, we're going to conduct an interview with my girlfriend of twenty months, Alexandra, and we'll hopefully get some insight on how a non-gambler can warm up to being with someone who most assuredly has a passion for almost all things gambling:
Mission146: Alexandra, can you describe your feelings towards gambling prior to us getting together, did you know much about it?
Alexandra: The only thing that I really knew about it was that it can be addictive and that people could have serious problems as a result of gambling. For example, my Mom almost lost her house due to a gambling addiction. I also never saw the point of going into a gambling establishment, losing $50, and having nothing to show for it.
Mission146: So, is it fair to say that your entire experience with gambling prior to us meeting was negative?
Mission146: I want to say that I was pretty upfront early on about the proclivity I have for gambling, I remember parking in a casino parking garage and walking to the restaurant where we went on our first date, for crying out loud! What were your initial thoughts about the fact that I enjoy gambling?
Alexandra: It made me a bit uneasy, at first, but then it occurred to me that everyone has a vice. I also think that virtually every vice borders on addiction, anyway, whether it be marijuana, alcohol, pills or gambling. With that said, I did recognize that some people can keep it under control and still enjoy themselves. So, it worried me, but it wasn't a deal-breaker.
Mission146: It took me awhile to actually get you into a casino when we started dating, though, didn't it?
Alexandra: You got me to go with you eventually, but I did have some worries about how you would react if you lost, or if you would maybe lose a lot of money and lie about it because that is what my Mom did. Winning and losing has different impacts on peoples' personalities. I also didn't want to be second fiddle to the gambling.
Mission146: There's a ton to discuss there! I definitely try to get you involved in whatever I am doing most of the time, do you ever feel like you play second fiddle? If ever, do you feel that way often?
Alexandra: I don't feel that way too often, but there are occasions where you end up getting stuck on a play and I get tired and go to bed. I figure you'll be up after an hour or so, but then you don't hit whatever it is you're trying to hit until later and I don't see you for several hours. Also, I feel more like a buddy than a girlfriend when we go from place to place, sometimes.
Mission146: Trust me, I wish the machines would cooperate sometimes! The worst part about slot plays is that they are mindless activities, so you can drink while you're on them, but if you've ever stayed up and stared at a machine until you were basically sober, that part sucks...
Alexandra: (Laughter) I'd definitely have to agree with that.
Mission146: It's hard to resist a really good play, though, and you have to admit that you like the free food and rooms and accompanying stuff that comes with it. I mean, sometimes you hit the hay by yourself for the first few hours, but those beds are really nice!
Alexandra: (Laughter) Every cloud has a silver lining.
Mission146: Is it really a cloud, though? You seem to genuinely enjoy playing negative expectation Video Keno for small amounts.
Alexandra: It reminds me of Bingo.
Mission146: We've not played Bingo together, and Bingo is gambling, so your memories of gambling before meeting me must not be all that bad.
Alexandra: No, playing Bingo with the old ladies in the synagogue was always fun, especially when one had a heart attack and the other old ladies were screaming at the caller to keep calling the numbers.
Mission146: Did that REALLY happen?
Alexandra: Not like that right away, but when she was somewhat revived and the paramedics got there, the ladies were yelling at the caller to go back to calling the numbers before she'd even been wheeled out. It was also funny listening to the old ladies gripe when someone would bring her husband there.
Mission146: How was your presence taken? They don't tend to like young people, generally.
Alexandra: I used to go with my Mom and my Grandmother, so I flew under the radar. Also, I think it helped that I never got any Bingos that weren't shared, maybe they'd have been more pissed if I was the sole winner at some point.
Mission146: Bingo is undoubtedly gambling, though, and you did it with your Mom. So, how does that mesh with your earlier apprehension to gambling?
Alexandra: Even though you buy the cards and you either don't hit any Bingos and walk out $30 lighter, or you do hit something and win some money, I never really thought of it as gambling because it is more of an experience.
Mission146: Does it occur to you now that a casino visit can be an experience?
Alexandra: Yes, definitely!
Mission146: It can suck when I end up on some boring open-ended slot play that takes forever, though, so how do you deal with it when that happens?
Alexandra: It's actually pretty fun when we, "Tag Team," it. (We call it, "Tag Teaming," and how it works is we'll switch seats back and forth every time one person or the other goes up or down an arbitrary amount of money, or maybe after x consecutive losing spins) When we Tag Team it I feel involved, even if it is only your money in there and we're at least talking about what is happening or cheering for or against each other. Sometimes we talk about other things, too. It's more of an experience.
Mission146: Will you please share your opinion of just the hotel rooms at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, because I always feel like nobody believes me.
Alexandra: They're pretty amazing rooms, high beds, super-comfortable mattresses, always clean, big pillows, down comforter. The rooms are a good size, two people can be in the bathroom at once easily, the windows are big enough to allow natural light. The HVAC units all work well. I just wish they'd actually have HD channels with the HDTV's, because the picture quality sucks.
Mission146: They don't have many channels, either.
Mission146: I think that's intentional.
Alexandra: I think there are different screens they want the players to be watching, instead.
Mission146: You seem the most bored when I'm playing Video Poker.
Alexandra: I was really bored with it, at first. I also like it when you play at a casual pace because you can have a conversation and play correctly because you are taking your time, but still talk. The only time I get bored is when you are on a mission, and I'm not even sure what the mission is other than to play really, really fast.
Mission146: I'm trying to earn points to keep our offers consistent, the faster I play, the faster we can move on to other stuff. It seems like we kind of eased into the whole casino thing, but then, little by little, you actually started to enjoy it, do you think that would have happened had you dove into it head first?
Alexandra: It would have been overwhelming to have jumped into it, so I wouldn't have tried to understand what you were doing, which is really something I try do to now.
Mission146: While I play negative expectation games sometimes, do you think casinos are beatable by a knowledgeable player?
Alexandra: I've learned a lot watching you, I'd say yes, as long as you don't do TOO much negative expectation gambling.
Mission146: Unfortunately, we can't go into much detail about it, however, you had the chance to observe me working with some guys on a play where a TON of money was being made, unfortunately not really being made by me, but what did you take away from that experience?
Alexandra: I learned that serious money can be made gambling, as long as you know the right way to play something.
Mission146: Having the money to commit to something like that helps, too! Do you think that if we were to stop seeing each other that you would go to casinos at all?
Alexandra: I actually think I would to see if I could do any of the things that I've seen you do, but I'd probably have to go with people. I couldn't go there alone like you do.
Mission146: I also don't think you'd much like watching thousands of slot machine spins when you're not actually playing it, fortunately, machines are so complicated these days that I almost never have the opportunity to do that...or maybe it is unfortunate, I don't really know. I probably didn't earn much per hour from doing it.
Alexandra: (Laughter) I don't have the attention span for that.
Mission146: So, what advice would you give to the guys out there who want to get their significant others to give casino gambling a fair shake?
Alexandra: You'd have to do it gradually, for one thing, and you actually have to find a way to involve the girl. What made it easy for me is that the first couple times we just went in there to eat and you just briefly said this machine could be good and here's why...but we didn't really play anything...by the time we started actually staying awhile, I was genuinely interested in what you were doing. I think it's also important to be willing to leave the first few times when the girl you're with wants to leave...when I understand that you have a good play and can't leave until something hits, that's fine, but that wouldn't have went well if you had done that on one of our first visits.
Mission146: So, introduce gambling gradually, and make sure you're paying equal attention to the person you're with, basically?
Alexandra: Yeah, you have to involve the person, or they're not going to enjoy it.
Mission146: And, while they do suck, those hours-long plays do happen sometimes, but that's something you can tolerate now?
Alexandra: A little sucking up goes a long way. Just make sure you make it up to her later.
That concludes my interview with my girlfriend, so my suggestion to the guys out there who have difficulties getting their significant others interested in casino gambling is just to make sure you are including her in the process. You're a player, so help her to become a player, too, rather than a spectator!
Wow, very personal stuff here!
>I feel more like a buddy than a girlfriend
Oh, yeah, that one! I think that was what kept me a bachelor till I was 43. Even my first girlfriend as a teenager complained about that.
OK, my own experience with this thing of spouse/girlfriend into it, largely a bust ... was going OK, maybe, then the without-gambling-background wife lost $200 playing BJ and it was like it was $10,000. She won't gamble at all now. Won't grasp the concept of what to expect on average being more important at all. What do you do about that?
Wheeling Island? But I thought? ......... I've said too much already!
I Honestly think it's a bad Idea to introduce someone to gambling if they didn't like it or weren't into it in the first place. Warning to it is a slow process as is the possibillity of becoming addicted.
What happens if have a GF but then you break up? Now that you showed her all the good plays in such a small area. What if she tells her new BF and he starts sucking up all your UX and penny must hits or messes up some coin in play ;).
no pic of GF makes Baby Jesus sad :)
I was fortunate because my wife worked for Anthony at LasVegasAdvisor & Huntington Press before I met her. She had a good general understanding of AP and doesn't generally question my plays. The hard part is when we go in to churn some points and free play she will always want to play some penny slots. When that happens it is usually a losing proposition for me.
Yeah, that comment was actually referring to something a bit more specific. She's referring in that one to parlor-hopping, I could clarification on that, and which we almost never do because I know she'd rather we just stay at the casino when we have a room there.
Fortunately, I've never experienced the issue of someone treating a loss as though it were 50x the amount actually lost. My girlfriend really doesn't sweat my action. Unfortunately, that also means I have no advice when it comes to that.
Those are all good points, but I'm really not concerned. She's also an honest person and knows she is sworn to secrecy. Besides, naive as it may sound, I can't envision a set of circumstances that would lead to us breaking up...and at no point could I have said that about my ex-wife.
You'll just have to come meet her sometime!
The first part of that is a huge plus, but not so much the second! My girlfriend is good to have around because I'll get ahead x on -EV Video Keno (when there are no good plays) and want to keep playing and she'll say, "How is your expected win on the play earlier comparing to your expected Keno loss? It's getting worse every time you hit the button.". Speaking my language because she is actually just ready to go upstairs...but it works!
LOL you live in a dream world if you think a scorned(or not) EX will uphold a sworn to secrecy deal. That's absolutely ludicrous and EVERYONE knows it. How you don't know this fact of life is way beyond me.
Well that's absolutely crazy if at no point you could say that about someone you choose to marry and have multiple kids with.
Axel does bring up one thing that would worry me, and that is introducing someone to gambling and it turns out it's like heroin to them and you didn't know that was going to happen.
Otherwise, Axel, I think the die is cast with this gal.
dump her and find someone else.
Neither of the pregnancies were intentional, per se, and the second one was like hitting 7/7 in Keno when you've only bought one card in your life.
That's a good point that I never thought of, but it would be difficult for anyone to be with me and never be exposed to the casino.
She's younger than me, does that count?
Thanks for the compliment, Memma!
any girlfriend photos :D?
That's pretty rude, especially from someone brand new to this forum.
Very interesting article. It's a situation (not necessarily a problem) that is common to many couples----one likes to gamble, one doesn't. What I've realized is that my wife does not like gambling or the casino environment. Like others, she says if she spends $50 or $100, she'd rather have something to show for it---she means some piece of clothing, something for the home, or a pedicure, etc. What's good is that she has her own checking account and lets me do what I do (playing craps) without a word---knowing that I'm very conscientious about not going overboard spending money I haven't budgeted.
So, here's "Plan B:"
Now, the fun thing for me is that my daughter also loves craps. She'll go very willingly with me and we have a neat "father-daughter" morning or afternoon time to visit. Her 16 year old son is on an American Legion baseball team and their next tournament is the end of this month in Reno....we can't wait. Life doesn't get much better than Craps and baseball.
Plan B might be amended to have some baseball equipment donated by the "Reno Team" of 90s crapsplayer, his daughter and a beneficiary, team player or two.
I loved the conversation. The most important aspect is that you listened to each other without any real judgmental rudeness. It seems that during all of this gambling introduction there was no talk or play at craps or other table games. I expect that was by design, so have you ever exposed the GF to that side of gambling? Her reactions would be interesting to hear about. Your play as shown is totally slots and getting points for offers. Does that play provide you with enough "offers" to make your AP profitable, unprofitable, or pretty much "even"?
1.) My play is profitable.
2.) My play does not totally consist of, "Getting points for offers."
3.) We have played Table Games before, but not often, and not playing at any sort of an advantage when we did.
4.) She doesn't really care for table games.
On a side note, gambling and writing about gambling are very much a job for me at this point. This article was written almost six years ago and, while my girlfriend at the time is now my fiancee, she doesn't really ever go to the casino with me because she doesn't personally care much for gambling and I don't go to the casino to have fun. Honestly, it's tough for me to even drag myself there most of the time as I like doing the online stuff and also like the zero-risk PA Skill Games (and process of cruising from place to place looking for plays) better.
At the time this was written, I think I was still managing the hotel and writing/AP were both on the side.
Oh, and thank you for the compliment on the article...do excuse me for forgetting to say that in the previous comment.
Brandon: You are welcome. I do know that the article was written six years ago. I just "discovered" the Articles section recently, so I have been able to peruse a bit. It sounds like you have a great relationship going with mutual respect and "personal space" being the keys.
Can you explain or define for me "PA Skill Games" and tell me if those are only on-line or can they be found at casinos?
I look forward to reading more and commenting. I may disagree, but I will not be disagreeable.
One other thing, I am sure that you have been published and paid for such. Can you direct me to some of those offerings?
I certainly hope that you continue to enjoy some of my articles and I appreciate you taking the time to read some of them!
Honestly, we do have. a pretty good relationship. Jealousy doesn't really exist in our relationship because we trust each other...well, she trusts me when it comes to THAT, anyway. It's definitely a good point that you hit on that we appreciate that the other has their own interests that the other person might not so much care about. It was novel for both of us, at first, but now her going to the casino with me would be like if I hung out at her workplace for a day! I don't care much for physical casinos short of +EV opportunities...no real interest in just being there.
PA Skill Games are unregulated devices that can often be played at an advantage with absolutely zero risk. With some, such as Pace-O-Matics, you always have thew opportunity to place a WILD on a 3x3 grid which will create one, or more, winning lines---if there are any to be made. Fortunately, there is a button that says, 'Next Puzzle,' which you can use to determine if there will be any winning lines before even making a bet. You don't even need to have cash in the machine!
Some PA Skill Games have a button that says, "Prize Viewer," which literally just tells you the monetary amount of the next result.
Some PA Skill Games do not have either of these components and the only difference between them and slot machines is that they run on an infinite series of predetermined spins. If they are all exhausted, then they just start over for that game and bet amount. Some of these machines have something called, "Take a Penny," which means you can just hit a little penny and get $0.01 of your bet back if you lose.
Other games do not have an advantage component, but have some element of, 'Skill,' in either moving a symbol up or down to the winning spot (if applicable) or placing a symbol (or selecting from two symbols) to put in the best possible position.
The only, "Hybrid," games that I have seen are a Fishing-themed game where getting four lures above any of the three reels turns the reel Wild for four spins, which are almost always profitable taken on their own. I consider 3-3-3 and any combination of 3-3-2 good enough to play. My experience is that both configurations are profitable and 3-3-3 is a slam dunk at lower bet amounts. The winnings aren't typically huge.
The other hybrid game is one where you shoot fish and your, 'Bullets,' cost a particular amount of credits. I'm not even certain that game can even be played at an advantage...I have determined that some fish/sealife offers a strong amount of credits returned in exchange for the credits needed for the bullets to kill them, but there's also the matter of getting clean shots at those ones without other things getting in the way. Gun to my head, I'd say it could probably be played at an advantage, but not to any extent where the expected value would be worth the time expense.
As far as published + paid offerings, you're reading one of them now and are with any of my articles in this section. If you run out, let me know, and I will happily direct you to other stuff in our family of websites!
I should also mention that there are a few, "PA Skill Games," that have no identifiable, 'Skill,' component whatsoever. The player just spins and need make no other decision and cannot know results in advance...there's no difference AT ALL between those and slot machines other than running spins in an infinite series and then repeating the order.
Those ones are exploitable only in theory. The theory being if you could somehow know the entire series and recognize where you are at in the series, then you could play to the most profitable point, stop and wait for someone else to play at some point. There are some 100,000+++ spins for every game and bet amount in each series, though, so if someone somehow knows the entire series of managed to figure it out, more power to them...when and whether they find themselves in a profitable spot in the cycle would still be essentially random.
***ADDED*** The Pace-O-Matics and some of the Banillas also have a little feature by which you can play a game after a losing spin to get your bet back and some added amount. 104% on PoM and 105% on Banillas. In theory, you could combine this with, 'Next Puzzle,' on PoM's to essentially check puzzles at the highest bet amount forever...but each game takes a few minutes to play and is insanely boring, so I don't think the hourly would be worth doing that.