Some of you reading this article will remember these lyrics, the rest of you will clearly understand their meaning though you won?t be able to hum a few bars:
I?ll be loving you always/With a love that?s true always
Not for just an hour/ Not for just a day/ Not for just a year
The sentiments expressed here are idealistic, wonderful, definitive and wrong. To fit today?s reality of 50/50 divorce probabilities for marriage-contemplating couples, the lyrics would have to be changed to something such as this: ?I?ll be loving you always, unless of course you make me blue, always; then I will sue you, not for just the house, not for just the bank accounts, not for just your pension but for everything always...?
Yes, some couples will find that true golden love that glows more brightly as the years pass. These are the ?always? of love, and marriage is their natural state. Some others will find in marriage a hell so horrible that contemplating a long life manacled together, enemies sharing the same bed, makes the celibate monastic existence look pretty good by comparison. Obviously, these are the ?nevers? of love. And some others will find both heaven and hell in their nuptial vows, depending on what aspects of the marriage are being scrutinized. Charles might be a delightful animal of a man in bed, but in the drawing room he is an unbridled beast. Gertrude might cook wonderful meals but unfortunately she devours them all herself. These are the sometimes of love, whose marriages often survive though they never thrive.
Playing casino games might not be as much of a gamble as love and marriage, but it too has its always, nevers and sometimes. These range from manners and decorum all the way to which bets to make, how to make them, and which hands to play and how to play them!
If you are at a fancy restaurant, you know not to eat your penne ala vodka with your hands. It is bad manners. It?s also disgusting. In casinos, manners count, too. When you buy into a table game, never hand your money directly to the dealer. Always put your money on the felt. Dealers are not allowed to take money, or anything else, directly from players. Besides, if you were a dealer, would you want to touch all those players? hands? Who knows where they?ve been!
Never offer advice to other players about how to play their hands, or what bets to make, or what games to play. Leave that to busybody gambling writers such as me. The only time you should ever consider giving advice at a table is if you are asked for advice directly, such as: ?Excuse me, sir, should I hit this hard 20 against the dealer?s 10 upcard?? Sometimes it is appropriate in such cases to kindly and gently inform the patron of your opinion: ?What are you, an idiot? You never hit a 20 against anything!?
Never touch the cards in blackjack games where the cards are dealt face-up. Make your standing, hitting, splitting and doubling wishes known by hand signals. Indeed, if you are the type of player who likes to complain at a table when you lose, learn American Sign Language, and use that to ?voice? your displeasure and spare the rest of us at the table your incessant whining. In games where the cards are dealt face down to the players always touch them (the cards, not the players!) -- otherwise the game can?t progress!
In craps, never touch the shooter and never say the word ?seven? after the point is established. Doing so will cause the 7 to come up on average about 17 percent of the time. Never shove your way onto a crowded craps table while a roll is in progress. And never throw money onto the table when the shooter has the dice; always wait for the dice to be in the middle of the table under the control of the stickman before you buy in. Violate those rules and the dreaded 7 might rear its ugly head. It also might result in a big punch in your face from the professional wrestler who blames you for bringing on the ?devil? 7.
Always hand in your players? club card when you buy into a game but never bet more or play longer than you intended to in order to cage comps. Always put your players? club card in the machine you are playing, but remember to put it into the right slot -- never put it into the bill changer as this will seriously affect the ability of the next player to have his bills changed for credits and, when the card is found, everyone will know you were the idiot who screwed up the machine.
Never use the ATM machines that sprinkle the outskirts of many casinos, as the fees and interest you pay on that money are greater than the vig charged by Bent-Nosed Benny, the beak-breaking bandit from Brooklyn. If you worry about carrying cash to the casinos, always take out a line of credit at the casinos where you intend to play. These are interest free loans. Always pay them back.
Next time: The always, nevers, and sometimes of craps and roulette.
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