Coping: Gambling- Stocks vs. Slots

Every so often, Elaine and I decide to run off to a new place to explore, learn about each other, about other people, and to just have fun as humans, being.

This was one of those weekends.  We try to save up and do a couple of these a year.  It’s cheaper than a cruise…the same money would barely have gotten us out of port on a cruise ship.

Off Friday at 11 AM for Choctaw Casino in Durant, OK.

We like casinos for a number of reasons.  Clean.  Great security.  The good restaurants are very good.  They sometimes have interesting entertainment – so we took in the Commodores and the Jacksons on Friday night.  Good old school R&B (lemme hear yah say Brick-(brick) House (house)!).  On the way out, had an interesting chat with event staff – name the songs the Jacksons did that were hits without Michael…

So the entertainment was good.

The Food?  Well, that was a little more problematic.  The buffet (brunch Sunday morning, Butterfields) was good.  The Saturday morning fare at the other restaurant (Blue Moon) was disappointing.  I am just not one of those “pre-formed hash browns” kind of people.

Elaine knew she wasn’t, so she opted for a Reuben sandwich.  It’s probably my fault for spoiling her with my 5-hour low-simmer, fall-apart with a harsh glance, corned beef.  This was more like thin jerky. 

On the positive side? Good staff and upscale food was good.  One of the restaurants is called the Parrott Bar.  Their specialty is something called the Parrot Burger.

So when staff came over to ask what we’d like, I immediately began with “Do they have much in the way of feathers on them?

A moment of head-scratching followed until I explained that “If you’re going to make a burger out of parrots, a parrot burger sez here, do you de-feather them first?”  (groans…but it gets worse…)

Then Elaine says (while we are waiting for the drinks to show up) “Look!  They’re making baskets!”

Since it was a new resort for us, and the outside (where E seemed to be looking) was surrounded by palm trees, I carefully studied about a dozen of them that were in view and announced I was having no luck, whatsoever, seeing the basket-making she referred to.

Look up.”


OVER the outside window was a big screen with NCAA whatevers and a selection of kids popping free-throws for charity.

Oh crap…THAT kind of basket-making.  The drink showed up shortly thereafter.

Did you know in Oklahoma that if a bar serves 2-doubles, you can’t buy another drink there for four hours?  I asked the server is they sent our mug shots around to the other dispensaries in the joint.  They don’t.

Every so often I wonder if I should ever be allowed of the ranch, anymore.

What passes for “music” in the restaurants is that boom-box and rap-meets-shrill, over-equalized crap for the most part.  No one seems to notice but us.  It’s like walking on an alien planet.

After our lunch we wandered the casino trying to learn what we could about the differences between stock market investing and people who go gambling at casinos.

Since I’m working on the outline of a new book for Peoplenomics readers, which will be on the learning processes involved in “rolling your own” approach to investing in stocks and indices, I wanted to get a good grasp of what people see in casinos, that they didn’t see in markets.

The Truth is that in operating in markets, you evolve a personal Rule Set and you invest, log on short, based on rules that statistically work.  At casinos, you’re in effect, suspending your belief in statistics for a while.  Hoping that the exception Run will go your way.  It’s like when I go flying (alone) and practice emergency procedures including shutting the engine down.  If it goes on too long, the outcome is (how you say?_) inevitable.

Along in here, Elaine made a pretty interesting observation.  “See how a lot of those people (gesturing) over there are gaming?  They look like monkeys that have been trained to peck for bits of food if they press the right buttons…”

I inspected the area closely, and sure enough. there was a whole see of gray and white haired people and except for a few that were smoking, (smoking people usually had a collection of tats, in my study) and they had to all appearances been hypnotized by the machines in front of them.  It was a pretty cool insight.  There were some people who wouldn’t move for 10-20 minutes, except to maybe put more money in a machine.

And this is a business model?  Well, hell yes, it is!

When I play stocks and manage both our nickels, the only one setting the odds is me as the seller and whoever is on the other side of the trade.  In Gambling, it’s a certainty that the House ALWAYS has the advantage.  (Except for a rare, small asterisk in craps.)

The best game in the house is electronic roulette where you can use a double-up strategy.  Using this, you can somewhat reliably make money by simply doubling your bet starting with the minimum 25-cent bet each time you win, because you can double eight times.

Of course, runs of 8 DO happen and then you are out.  But for a couple of hours while studying other players, you can make about $5/hour reliably.  Until you can’t.

Yet here’s the social oddity:  How is it that people can take off on a Friday (as we did) and go to nice casinos, knowing that statistically, they are not going to win?

In fairness, though, the one “skill” that you can work on in a casino (and I did on this trip) is the art of walking away while you are ahead of the game. Once you learn how to get a little ahead and then leave with a few dollars ahead,  you have a skill which is somewhat transferable to other areas in Life.

It’s like the old Kenny Rogers so, The Gambler

You got to know when to hold ‘em

Know when to fold ‘em

Know when to walk away,

Know when to run…

So that was the insight I was working on this weekend.  Along, of course, with Elaine’s long discussion of how no one looked like they has 2-cents to rub together, anymore.

And she had a point. I’d guess over half looked like they had just come in from doing yard work.

At the concert Elaine and I were (as always) mesmerized with each other.  But every so often she’d dart her eyes, one way or the other.

That meant one of two things:  She had seen some member of humanity and she wasn’t able to figure out which gender they were. (“It doesn’t matter to us, dear…”) OR she would be pointing out yet another “couple” that were sitting together connected to entirely different texting realms.  It’s the new “Being together is being apart…”

Odd place the world has become. 

We also got another dose of traffic reality on the trip, too.  Within 60-miles of Dallas the traffic is impossible, even on a Sunday.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Sometimes it’s good to get off the ranch for a while.  Even if the (#$%^&*(*&^%) county can’t fix the roads, maybe it keeps the riffraff out. 

But if they ever do show up, I hope they’re still dresses for yard work.  We’ll be able to fix ‘em right up.

Write when you break-even

11 thoughts on “Coping: Gambling- Stocks vs. Slots”

  1. I had business and a funeral to attend last week. I drove from Houston to Ft. Worth to Shreveport, LA. The outskirts have expanded around each of these cities. The traffic is worse farther out from each of these cities. The policing is more aggressive for ticket-able violations, and the drivers far less courteous.

    Every intersection contains the same stores, the same businesses, the same floor plans – their order is just shuffled around. Every scrap of land near these cities is monetized (developed), with zero regard for nature or esthetics. As you saw in the casino, there really are zombies of all types – I-phone zombies, slot machine zombies, work zombies and even sports zombies…

    It doesn’t matter if you run to Mexico or any other place – the business model for humanity is established. So I can go to Tabasco or Quintana Roo Mexcio, and still see Chilis, Burger King, Holiday Inn and much of the same stuff as here. The development pattern is identical with the same players in many cases.

    None of this changes, until you get away from large agglutinations of humanity – where there is less free money and less of the bureaucrat and kleptocrat classes. Which is why I think moving elsewhere is something to think about carefully, especially since your own research led you there as a good place to be in case of multiple threats…

    • Homogenized America. The scary part is when you sit down to eat somewhere and when it’s time to leave, you momentarily forget that you are 600 miles from home… The draw for visiting not-America is the scenery changes, often dramatically, in as little as 100 miles.

  2. Why yes George, like I have said before, crappy roads keep the visitors away. It’s just tough on Elaine’s Lexus so you’ll have to fix her a stealth route through the mayhem.

    And ewww, preformed hash browns. You know what those are made of right? The recipe includes wall paper paste squeezed through an old sweat sock.

  3. “Even if the (#$%^&*(*&^%) county can’t fix the roads, maybe it keeps the riffraff out.”

    This is a seriously important comment! You do want to keep the devil you don’t know far away.

    If Elaine wants a nice Lexus, perhaps keeping one in a storage unit in a nearby town might make sense. Keep the current Lexus or a real SUV/pickup/van(along with the ranch truck) for back and forth to the staging area, and you can get into a nice car for social occasions. I’ve considered this where I live and the roads here are OK in the summer, but they are long enough that most of the riffraff will run out of gas. The alternative is to rent a car, but I always prefer owning.

  4. Best gamble statistically in a casino is Crap/s. Almost even odds, less about 1% and even (ie., true odds) odds altogether when they let you bet behind the line on the point only (eg., pays 6-5 true odds on the 8 coming out befroe crapping out, rolling a 7 but can only bet usually 1/2 of the front line bet)

    Of course, BJ players will tell you that thiers is the lowest odds against you and they are right in a sense. IF you have some skill you can play very close ot even odds and if you can count cards, you then have an advantage and will win money. OF course, once the casino figures this out, they will then ban you from there. So, you cant even win when you CAN win! lol

  5. Thanks for reformatting the comment section back to how it was before, much appreciated!

    Re: Parrot Burger – There’s got to be a Monty Python sketch in there somewhere….

  6. Congrats on your travels, George. I am in my early 50s and cannot even get my wife off the couch. I would love to travel but there are reasons that I cannot. Namely work would allow it – I work from home in the IT world. Why can’t I work from Norway or New Zealand for a few weeks? I had planned a personal trip to Germany in June but backed out when the market went down in Jan/Feb – but realistically could easily go.

    Get out there and experience the world. We choose and create the world we want to live in.

  7. “At the concert Elaine and I were (as always) mesmerized with each other.” That is so awesome. You are a very blessed couple.

  8. Jokes? Best joke I ever made was in Spanish. Been trying to learn Spanish for many years. I was in Nicaragua last year and tasked to go to market and buy a chicken breast and chicken leg to make soup. I do speak Spanish, but not fluently. I am also a smart (dumb) ass I waited in line at the butcher counter. Being pure gringo I was not going to let a good joke opportunity pass. “Por favor, quiero un perchuga de pollo y un pierna de pollo. Ah, qual es mas barato, pierna derecha or pierna izquierda?” The butcher said, “the same price”. The people behind me were very amused! How do you say, “huevos rancheros in Espanol?”

  9. When we came to Ecuador seven years ago, people from other countries used to say, Americans, great people, lousy government. After Obama was elected the SECOND TIME, that talk stopped. Let’s put it this way. I would never wear an American flag, nor would I ever have a marking on my luggage indication association with the USA.

    Sounds like you folks are finding the same thing in your travels. With 94 million adults not working, and 45 million on food stamps, and the majority medicating themselves with pharmaceuticals, booze or street drugs, (gambling is just another addiction used to self medicate) they have good reason to be ragged and churlish. Telling someone to just get a job and save your money is now a fantasy. They call it the American Dream, because you gotta be asleep to believe it–Carlin.

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