Gamblin’ Fool and the Lucky Ladies
The Valley of the Sun in Arizona has casinos
And some of the Blackjack tables have a side bet called Lucky Ladies
Bet a buck or more on the Lucky Ladies
And if the two cards you are dealt total 20
You have won at least four bucks
Even if it’s an ace and a nine.
If the two cards are the same suit you have won at least nine bucks,
If the two cards are identical face cards you have won at least nineteen bucks,
And if the two cards are both the Queen of Hearts,
You have won
At Least A HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE BUCKS.
The Two Cards
Are BOTH QUEENS OF HEARTS
AND THE DEALER HAS A BLACKJACK
You Have WON
A THOUSAND DOLLARS
FOR EVERY DOLLAR YOU BET.
It is called a “Sucker Bet”
Because the odds are much against you.
(Let’s have a brief interlude into Probability;
Please skip this stanza if uninterested.
For a double deck, which is close enough for our demo,
The odds are two in 104, or one in 52,
of you getting the first Queen of Hearts,
And the odds are one in 103
Of you getting the second Queen.
So already you’re looking at odds of one in 5,356 of getting those Queens.
Of the 102 cards remaining,
Eight are Aces
And 30 are face cards.
So of the 10,202 ways the dealer can get two of the remaining cards
There are eight ways he can get an Ace on the first card,
30 ways he can get a face card on the second card.
So, of course, there are 30 ways to get a face card on the first card
And eight ways to get an Ace on the second.
So 240 times two is 480 ways she can have a Blackjack.
Divide 480 by 10,202
And you get odds of a little worse
Than 1 in 20.
So the odds of you getting two Queens of Hearts
And at the same time the dealer getting Blackjack
Are less than one in 107,120.
That means they pay out less than 2 cents on the dollar
Of the true odds
That it happens.
But sometimes Suckers Win.
And the Gamblin’ Fool
On this auspicious occasion
Had not one but THREE dollars bet on the Lucky Ladies.
He let out a Whoop when the Queens appeared,
And felt light-headed when the dealer, in a sweet conspiratorial voice
Said “I do have the Blackjack.”
So there he was, winner of THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS…
Or WAS he?
First they called Upstairs
To run the vid
To establish that everything was on the up and up.
The Gamblin’ Fool had to fill out a couple of forms.
One was a W-2G
Which meant the three grand was Taxable Income.
Another was an Agreement
With the option to let the Casino use the event and his likeness
In promotional material.
When the smoke cleared the dealer,
A sweet person of color,
Who seemed genuinely thrilled for him,
Handed the Gamblin’ Fool
Six purple $500 chips
And he in turn handed her a hundred-dollar bill as a tip
Wondering if he was being a Cheapskate.
When he turned in the chips he tipped the cashier $20,
Saying “My lucky day.”
He left the Casino with his head held high,
Finally Walking Away A Winner,
By his sides.