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Time to Be a Good Samaritan?
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Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, March 28, 2023


This blog suggestion was sent to me by a friend, “Al.” It happened at a casino somewhere in the Mid-West. I honestly don’t know where exactly.

Al was playing video poker near a bank of Quick Quad machines that weren’t very popular. Possibly players knew how to play the machines and avoided them because they had lousy pay schedules, or maybe they just didn’t know how to play. I don’t know. I haven’t seen them. (If you’re in the latter boat, you can get a free copy of “Quick Guide to Quick Quads” on www.videopoker.com.”)

A player came up and decided to play quarter Ten Play, Double Double Bonus Quick Quads. Since Quick Quads is a 6-coins-per-line game, this was a $15 bet each deal. 

Al didn’t pay much attention to him as both players were quietly playing their own game. At one point, however, the Quick Quads player was dealt 22259. He held the deuces, of course. One of the hands turned into 22266, another into 222AA, and another into 22227. The other seven didn’t improve.

I’m not sure of the pay schedule, but 22266 probably paid 45 coins. 222AA might look like a full house, but the two aces add up to 2, and that makes 222AA a Quick Quad, paying 400, and 22227, a natural 4-of-a-kind, also paid 400. The other seven hands returned 15 coins apiece. This totaled 950 coins on a 60-coin bet. A nice hit!

Except the player, I’ll call him “Bo,” wasn’t satisfied. He believed 222AA should be counted as “four deuces with a kicker,” which paid 1,000 coins in this game rather than 400. He started making a lot of noise about the machine cheating* him and demanded the slot supervisor come and fix this injustice!

Al walked over to see what the fuss was about. Al has played enough Quick Quads that he knew 222AA was an ordinary Quick Quad and Bo had been paid the correct amount. He knew 2222A was deuces with a kicker (worth 1,000 coins) and 222AA was a Quick Quad (worth 400).

Al debated whether he should get involved. Before I tell you what Al did, what would you do in this kind of situation? 

Al didn’t know Bo and had no reason to believe that Bo would be mollified if this stranger told him he had been paid correctly. He also figured that just explaining the intricacies of Quick Quicks could identify himself to the casino as a knowledgeable player. Al had previously played there “under the radar,” so to speak, and didn’t know if the casino discriminated against strong players.

Al didn’t want to risk this, so he just kept quiet as Bo ranted to everybody who would listen — including several casino employees. The slot shift manager wasn’t familiar with Quick Quads, so he deferred to one of his floor people who was also a player. This floor person was adamant that Bo had been paid correctly — and said so.

Bo swore he would call the Gaming Commission — and the casino employees said, “Go ahead!” Both the player and one of the casino employees took a picture of the screen so there would be no dispute about what actually happened, and the casino employees all went away.

Bo kept muttering. He glanced over at Al, presumably wanting support, and Al just shrugged and said nothing.

I, for one, think Al handled himself perfectly — for all the right reasons. 

And, for that matter, Bo was correct in finding out for sure whether he had been mis-paid or not. IGT machines almost always pay out correctly — but mistakes happen. If he wasn’t convinced that the machine paid correctly, he should definitely take it to the Gaming Commission. In this case, he deserved to lose, because he was paid correctly, but if Bo wasn’t positive that that would be the end result, taking it to Gaming makes a lot of sense.

*(Author’s note: In my original draft, instead of using the phrase “the machine cheating him,” I wrote “the machine gypping him.” To me the phrases were equivalent. I was informed by my editor that the term “gypping” is offensive to certain people. I was told it originated as a stereotypical derogatory phrase about gypsies. 

It sounds like that’s a likely origin to the term. I grew up with the phrase and hadn’t really thought about its origin. While being “politically correct” is not one of the major things I worry about, I’ll stop using the term. I can still communicate effectively without it.)

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