Spoilers, I guess, for those who care and haven't seen the episode yet.
The bank is about to foreclose on Mapleton, N.Y.'s Episcopalian Church unless the minister can come up with $135,000 by end of business, tomorrow. The minister digs up $20,000 in cash from a hiding spot in his friend's backyard, and drives to what they call on the show the "Indian casino in Connecticut," but what is really Resorts World Casino in Queens.
The minister takes his rolled-up wad of 100s and asks for it "in chips" at the casino cage. The dubious cashier reaches down into a strange mixed rack of what look to be incredibly cheap poker chips:
And gives him a stack of 20 $1000 chips. "$20,000. Good luck."
Our hero proceeds to the loneliest roulette table in Indian Connecticut...
...And, inspired by some pigeons he saw roosting on a red stoplight, the minister bets all $20,000 on red!
The straight-out-of-central-casting, bolo-tie-wearing Native American floorman silently nods his consent to the dealer to book this unusually large bet.
As the wheel spins, he also dramatically announces, to no one in particular, $20,000 on red."
The ball lands in slot #3, and the dealer announces "Winner! Red!"
He then pays the minister with a fresh stack of 20 $1000 casino checks he conveniently had all ready to go at this dead table in the middle of the night:
"$40,000!" he announces, strangely including the amount wagered in his verbalization of the payoff.
Well, $40k is clearly not $135,000, so the minister says "again, please," not even touching his 40 $1k chips on the felt.
Our stoic Native American floorman once again quietly gives the dealer the go-ahead, and this time it's the dealer who announces "$40,000, on red!"
Winner! 23 red! (Lost fans will recognize this number, one of Lindelof's favorites.) Although once again, the dealer does not announce the winning number, only the winning color. Just as quickly, he slides 40 more $1000 checks into the red betting box.
"Congratulations," the dealer announces. "$80,000."
Now our minister is only $55,000 away from saving his church! Surely he will bet the $55,000, leaving him with $25,000 even if he loses.
But why not do the full parlay when God is on your side?
"Once more, please," the minister says, wanting to let the full $80,000 ride on red.
The silent pit chief is not so quick to accede to this request. He makes a 9-second call with his cell phone, because sometimes matters are too important to use the pit's house phones. But approval from On High comes, and he lets the dealer spin the wheel: "$80,000, on red. Good luck."
The wheel spins and spins and spins....until....
Winner! 25 red.
Now, some of you might be thinking, my, it's silly to bet outside on roulette for all this money, with a house edge of 2.70% 5.26% on this single-zero double-zero wheel. But did you know that if you bet $80,000 on red and win, the casino will pay you a full $100,000? That's a really nice little bonus on your money. What's more, they will pay you this $100,000 with a full poker rack of $1000 chips, for a total of 180 $1k chips on the felt:
But maybe the minister ran into JuiceyJennie on the way back to the cage, because the now-smiling clerk pays him only the $160,000 he should have had.
Did you know when a casino pays you $160,000 in 100s, it gives it to you in a sketchy-looking, overstuffed manilla envelope? It's true:
With that kind of cash, it would probably be a good idea to get a security escort to your car. But this minister truly is a gambling man!
When you get inside the car, at least lock the door, Rev! (You can see the Resorts World Casino sign in this shot, out of focus.)
I won't spoil the rest of the episode, but thought you guys might appreciate my review of this little casino scene in tonight's show.
I wonder what the posted limits on the wheel were? And where, oh where, were the hookers who would be materializing out of nowhere once there was 20 grand in play and one unattached male?
Security escort to my car? Reminds me of that cashier at what was then The Barbary Coast. I was losing and I didn't want the casino to get my last dollar so I went up to cash this sole white check and the cashier tells me I should have bet it and asks if I'd like an escort to my car. And this was after they had frisked me.
I didn't see the movie, so I don't know what the wheel itself held, but the long shot photo of the deserted table shows both a 0 and a 00 on the layout. So the bet's even worse than you mentioned.
You're right, Babs. You can clearly see it's a double-zero wheel in this shot:
When writing my post, I was fooled by this shot, where it says European roulette in the pit. But then the bet would be even better than I said, depending on how Resorts World NYC Indian Connecticut handles imprisonment.
So many people don't realize single zero roulette exists. But even FEWER people realize that high roller roulette players that play even money bets are clued into this little detail.
Sometimes like cocaine pinky nails on a pimp, it's the details that offer the authenticity of the scene.
I think we're forever doomed for movie and TV watchers to think 7 is always a winner on the craps table, people "crap out" instead of "sevening out" and that everybody always talks about "snake eyes" instead of simply "two craps aces double."
Hollywood is its own world of self-confirming truths that are detached from the real-world.
Don't forget you always win at counting cards. Start with a small stack and end with multiple racks of higher denomination chips, every time. All you have to do is read a card counting book on your drive from LA to Las Vegas.
Wonder what the ruling would be if the dealer was Raptured during a blackjack hand. They'd probably have to burn a card when they put in the new dealer. Totally mess up the order of the cards.
In some of the close up scenes the ball is spinning in the same direction as the wheel. In other scenes the ball is spinning opposite of the wheel.
The closeup of the ball in the pocket shows a wheel that's not of regulation size.