Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Casino Filipino

My mom and sister and a few relatives from Bacolod are in Cebu for a couple of days, and yesterday I went with them to the Waterfront Hotel to try out the casino.

This is the first time I was old enough to actually enter the casino. They are surprisingly strict about the age requirement there. It's strange that once you're 18 you can work, drink, smoke, vote, marry, and view or star in pornography, but you need to wait three more years before you are allowed into a casino. You need to be at least 21 to get in, and I just happen to be 21 years and 8 months old. :) Outside the casino entrance there were a few not-yet-21-year-old people sitting around the fountain looking bored, and I walked past them feeling very smug and satisfied.

My mom is no big gambler, but since we were in a casino it would seem prudent to make the most of the opportunity. She exchanged P1000 for casino chips and split it evenly with me, so I had 5 chips worth P100 each. These chips are plastic and colorful, and probably designed to make you forget that you're dealing with real money. In that sense they serve their purpose very well.

I came to a table of Big/Small, apparently known in Chinese as Sic bo. In this simple game, three dice are rolled and you bet on what the outcome will be. You can place your chips on Big (11 to 17) or Small (4 to 10) and if you are right you get back double what you wagered. There are a lot of other outcomes on the table to bet on, such as a specific triple combination where the odds are something like 50-to-1, but the promise of higher winnings was eclipsed in my mind by the much diminished possibility of winning. I stuck simply to the Big and the Small.

So here goes: I first lose P200 betting on Big. More cautious this time, I win P100 betting on Small. Invigorated, and telling myself I'll just win back what I lost and then stop, I lose P200 on Small, and then I lose another P200 on Small. If you're doing the math, yes, that left me with zero. Elsewhere, my mom had the good sense to win P200 and stop at that.

I guess you could say I had some degree of "fun" with my first casino experience, but I can't help but think that there are so many more cost-effective ways to have fun with P500.

Afterwards, I went to my sister (still too young to be allowed into the casino) who was waiting at the restaurant. We ordered ice cream, which was quite expensive, but at least everyone is a winner with ice cream. ^_^

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