Much like the Yetti and the stripper working her way through law school there is an urban legend that an entire table full of blackjack players can sit down and all walk away winners. I’ve heard friends claim it happened on that ‘best night ever’ stories, but since I’ve never experienced it in real-life I assumed it was just drunk revisionist history to make themselves look good.
I’m now a believer after my last trip to my current favorite place on earth, Planet Hollywood Las Vegas.
To set the scene it was the last stand of our 48 hour gambling bender at the $25 Pleasure Pit tables at Planet Hollywood. My buddy and I were playing together and holding our own at break even when two guys came and sat at first and third base.
The first sign that I liked these guys was that they asked if they could join us or wait until the shoe ended. THANK YOU, a pet-peeve of mine is the guy who barges in no matter what the situation. Our shoe was about to end so they waited a couple of hands for the shoe to end and the shuffle to take place.
Another good sign was the guys introduced themselves and had a very positive attitude. If you’re going to try to win some money together it is nice to be able to root for each other by name and be able to share some laughs and pain.
The clincher for me was the 2nd hand in when 3rd base surrenders 15 vs. 10 showing and the rest of us win when the dealer busts. Gotta love someone at 3rd base who knows how and when to surrender.
Now we’re off and running. Everyone is drinking, cheering, and most importantly, winning. 3rd base is a good player, but erratic bettor. One hand is $25 and the next is $150 without any rhyme or reason. This doesn’t affect our play so it makes things interesting to watch. After shoe 1 I’m level, 1st base is up a couple hundred, my buddy is up a couple hundred and 3rd base is up at least 500.
In shoe 2 is when we know this is going to be good – 3rd base splits a $150 bet with 3s against a 3. First hand is a 13, 2nd hand another 3, split with hand 2 a 13 which is hit to get to a 19 and then hand 3 is an 8 for a double which the dealer deals down. He has $600 on these three hands and the dealer turns a 5 – next card is a 10. The rest of us win, push, lose, but we don’t care. 3rd base is tied and looking at $300 riding on his face down double card. Dealer turns it over and we go nuts – King – 21 – winner!
Now we are off to the races. We play through several shoes, a few of them are pushes, but most are winners for everyone. We are getting drunk, having fun and winning some serious money. At one point a guy hovers thinking about sitting in the one vacant seat, but we all give him the silent stink eye treatment and he wanders away. If he had sat we all would have left.
After one more great run, my friend is about to fall over drunk so we all declare that the end of the shoe is the end. The shoe ends uneventfully, we shake hands with our new best friends and we all head our separate ways. This might be the first and last time we all experience the Yetti of blackjack tables.