ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
  • Threads: 42
  • Posts: 735
August 30th, 2010 at 1:05:23 PM permalink
Hello, my first post on this forum. Came across the WOO site and found my way here. Good times! Read the rules (just 6? really?), so hopefully I'm good to go.

Yes, I'm a crazy US soccer fan, was one of those guys you saw on TV with the face paint and the crazy outfits. It wasn't me, but it could have been me who the camera showed bawling after we tied it against Slovenia and after Donovan's goal against Algeria.

Anyway, went to two casinos (kind of) while in South Africa: Sun City about 15 miles north of Rustenburg, and Emperor's Palace (?) in Joburg just north of the airport. Some interesting differences:

1. Entry onto casino grounds is heavily guarded. It's not hard to get in, but it is guarded heavily. You pay for parking, usually about R10 ($1.30), and have to state why you're there and about how long you'll be there.

2. You can't walk into a casino "campus" (for lack of a better word). If you arrive and, say, need to pick up your car that you left on the grounds for the US-England game, you had to stand at the front gate until a shuttle came around to pick you up.

3. The casino campuses I saw were more like a cross between Caesar's/Venetian/PH/any other shopping/gambling casino in LV, and Disneyworld. By this, I mean that the campus has other things like museums, shebeens (their version of speakeasies), hotels, etc. that have NO GAMBLING at them. For example, before the England game, we had our pre-game party at a shebeen on the Sun City campus. The bar was on the back side of a small museum and adjacent to a mini-safari trailhead. The bar, unbelievably, had NO GAMBLING IN IT! This may make a little more sense in light of ...

4. The sportbooks are not part of the casino, but are more like space rented in the shopping mall. You go to the storefront, place your bet, and go somewhere else to watch the game. This also means that the "store" closes. In my case, I place a R1,000 ($130) bet on the O/U of a game. I won the bet, but when I went to collect, the "store" had closed for the day. I had to go back another day and collect. Not cool. Maybe the shebeen was just a "storefront" too, I don't know.

5. By "shopping mall," think of all the things at any high-end casino mall or regional mall here - high-end retail, restaurants, food courts, movie theaters, etc. Then, add to it all the stores you usually find in a strip center: grocery stores, pharmacy, laundry, etc. This means that people are walking around in a casino retail area finished as expensively as any property in LV with their grocery carts, dry cleaning, and the like.

6. Drinks aren't free when you're gambling unless the dealer/pit boss says so.

7. Got introduced to Blackjack Switch, a pretty fun game that I can't imagine would catch on here because of the "dealer's 22 = push" rule. If they revise the payouts, it might work.

8. The two casinos I went to each had a large, glassed-in smoking section. NO SMOKING outside of this section, even at the music stages and walk-up bars.

Any other questions or anyone else who's gambled in South Africa, would love to hear your thoughts!
dlevinelaw
dlevinelaw
Joined: Dec 3, 2009
  • Threads: 15
  • Posts: 230
August 30th, 2010 at 1:11:42 PM permalink
Nice review.

Vegas has some blackjack switch, but not at very many casinos. To my knowledge, casino royale, palms, and bally's have it. Not sure where else.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
  • Threads: 295
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August 30th, 2010 at 1:13:18 PM permalink
You can find Blackjack Switch in the US. The WoO covers it in that site. [edit:this posted simultaneously with the above]

You get free drinks when it is determined you are not too drunk, or is it when you reveal yourself as a High Roller?
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
  • Threads: 42
  • Posts: 735
August 30th, 2010 at 1:24:54 PM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

You can find Blackjack Switch in the US. The WoO covers it in that site. [edit:this posted simultaneously with the above]

You get free drinks when it is determined you are not too drunk, or is it when you reveal yourself as a High Roller?



Thanks for the tips, both of y'all. I am new to the site so there's definitely still some exploring to do.

I don't think they would care if you are "too drunk" there. This could be wrong, but the "vibe" I got was, "men are men, we're all adults, and if you're going to drink too much we're not going to stop you but we're also going to take your money or take care of you if you get too drunk, throw up, or have a wreck on the way home."

I think I got free drinks at the Switch table on the back of a regular who was also there. He was a little annoying, but for all the right reasons (explaining rules, strategies, etc.). After all, we were foreigners and one thing about the people there, at least during the Cup, was that they would absolutely bend over backwards to make you feel welcome.

I stuck to basic BJ strategies since I don't know the Culture of Gambling there and I didn't want to do anything untowards. Basic strategy is always defendable. And, the annoying guy was coaching that. All the SA folks I met around the table were exceedingly nice. Taught me a few words in Swahili or other languages of the nation, all the small talk of the game and stuff. Me and the other 2 guys that were there just had a great time. Ended up losing R1,000 but it took a while, and we ended up having a few drinks with some of the other folks at the table.

Good times!

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