I was playing at a local casino on a Friday night and for most of the night I sat next to a guy that played the worst game I’d ever seen. He was only playing 5 dollars a hand, but he was SWEATING it! He would stand on all stiff hands. Yep you heard right. 12 against a ten; stand…13 against an Ace; stand. He just wouldn’t hit anything that could bust (this casino offers surrender by the way). On top of that, he would rarely double down. Even when he had an 11. I saw him double down a couple times but only if the dealer had a six up! Oh and you know what else he would do when the dealer had a 6 up? Split tens. BOOM! Extreme ploppie!
An hour or so later, a young blond woman and her MMA fighter boyfriend show up and split a $100 buy in. She was super nervous and she would hem and haw over every hand, not knowing what to do. And then she said something I’ll never forget… She said, “I’m sorry guys. I’m from Vegas, everything is so different here.”
I’ve been to Vegas more times than I can count… There was nothing different about this game that you wouldn’t see ANYWHERE in Vegas! I had to contain my laughter.
So then the dealer pipes in and says, “If you’re from Vegas you should know basic strategy. It’s the same basic everywhere you play.”
Her response was, “…but they don’t used 4 decks in Vegas so it’s not the same.”
At this point I can’t help but crack a smile. We were playing a 6 deck shoe.
The dealer comes in again with, “This is a six deck; they have those in Vegas. They have 8 deck and everything. It’s the same basic.”
She grumbles under her breath.
Meanwhile she has another hand that she doesn’t know what to do with and solicits the table’s advice. I told her what I usually do, but that it’s her money. Then the 5-dollar-stiff-stander next to me sows a ploppie seed, and says to her, “I usually stand on those and just hope the dealer busts.” ….. She had a 12 against a 10! She took his advice and the dealer, of course, did not bust.
This was one of the most ploppied-out nights I’ve ever seen. Earlier in the night I saw a guy at 3rd base double a hard 5! He caught another 5. It was hilarious, and bewildering, to watch the dealer sweep a doubled hard-ten against a dealer 17. This was, of course, after he made a couple comments about how 3rd base has a lot of responsibility to not screw up the table, ignoring his own false logic.
Not many nights later I had another amusing encounter that really gets to the core of gambler’s wisdom (or the lack thereof).
There was a ploppie and his new-to-blackjack ploppie-pal playing at my table. They looked like a couple of blue collar white guys in their mid 20’s. The type of guys that would spend more on their car than they do on their appartment.
The “seasoned” ploppie was betting green chips and the ploppie pal was betting red chips. The new guy was seriously new. Like picking up his cards with 2 hands, new. He was prime for a ploppie-seed planting from his seasoned friend.
The Seasoned ploppie started this rant about how he really liked the no-midshoe entry rule at this particular table. He’s said, “It’s good because you don’t have all these people coming into your shoe and messing up all the cards and making everyone lose.”
The new guy sat there and I could tell he really thought about what his friend just said. After about 5 seconds of contemplative silence he piped in with a voice of reason and asked his friend, “but couldn’t it just as easily help you win?”
At that point I was visibly giggling, trying to contain myself, when the seasoned ploppie throws the smack down and says, “No! That’s f***ing stupid man! When you got a table going you start seeing how everybody plays and you help each other out and start playing as a team! You new players mess that up!” The new guy just sat there silently contemplating his hand, outwitted by the notion of tucking his cards under his bet.
And thus a new ploppie is born! Truth is swiftly destroyed in a world ruled by luck. Don’t let a ploppie seed get planted in you!