I just want to point out a couple of things before I tell you the tale of my experience at the Hoosier Park Racing Casino. One, I’m not a gambler at all. I would much rather save what little money I do have than to risk it for a slight chance at winning some kind of large prize. I mean really, my luck isn’t that good anyway! And the second point is this was my second time at a casino. Oddly enough, both times were with my buddy Zach. The first time we stopped at a casino on the way home from another adventure we had in Pennsylvania. That’s another story for another time though. So let me tell you about what happened last night.
I was hanging out with Zach and he asked if I wanted to go to the casino. I told him that I didn’t have much money and what little money I do have, I need to save for food, gas, and other essentials. He finally convinced me when he said, “I have a coupon for two free buffets.” Who am I to turn down free food?! He said that we would be riding down with one of his friends, so it wasn’t going to cost me anything in gas either. So far it sounds like a win-win situation all around. We met up with Zach’s friend, Mike and his wife and headed to the casino.
Once we got to the casino, I wasn’t sucked in by all the lights, bells, and other noises the machines were all making. To me, this seemed like a place people went to lose their paychecks to the machines and get a little thrill out of the atmosphere. Zach walked up to the desk and I followed him there. That’s where I registered with the casino. The lady printed out a card for me, gave me some reading material about upcoming events at the casino, gave me a coupon book, and told me I had $5 “house money” to play on. I thought to myself, “Five bucks for free? I’ll use this and then call it a day.”
We walked over to a bank of machines and the three of them sat down and started playing. I was still trying to figure everything out at that point. I walked around a bit, looking at the different machines and just taking everything in. Zach text me a few minutes later and asked if I was ready to eat. We met up and headed towards the buffet. Zach exchanged his coupon for our buffets and we fixed our plates. I had some steak, brisket, barbeque pork chops, mushrooms and some ziti. A GREAT free meal indeed! I washed all that down with some lemonade then we left the buffet. In my coupon book there was a coupon for buy one sushi roll and get one free. Zach and I went to the sushi place and got a couple rolls of sushi; pretty good stuff. After finishing our sushi we walked back to the casino floor and that’s when I decided I would spend the “house money”.
Zach and I sat down at a couple machines, I put my card in, and started pressing buttons. Watching the “house money” get eaten up by the machine. At first I didn’t completely understand what all the buttons meant, but it wasn’t too long before I understood the theory behind lines and bet amount. A lot of money can be eaten up by a simple one cent slot machine. Honestly, I got pretty bored with it right off the bat. It wasn’t very interactive at all. Press a button, watch the wheels spin, you lose – then repeat. I ended up turning that free $5 into an actual voucher for $2.75. At that point, I had just about had my fill of gambling for the night.
I took that voucher for $2.75 and cashed it out. I had two crisp one dollar bills and three shiny quarters in my pocket that I didn’t come with. I was a pretty happy camper at this point. Oh, and my belly was full of delicious free food. Thank you, Hoosier Park Racing Casino!
I followed Zach to another bank of slot machines and watched him press that little button. Watching the lights and listening to the sounds. He told me to put a dollar in the machine I was sitting in front of and I figured, “Well, I suppose it is technically still “house money” that I’d be using.” So I took one of those crisp dollars out of my pocket, put my card in the machine, fed it the dollar bill and started betting on one line, one cent per line. So I could press that awesome little button 100 times; on the house. What happened next, was apparently something rather spectacular. Of course it would have been even more spectacular if I had been making the maximum bet each time. That still doesn’t make it any less impressive to me. I turned that dollar into $2.50! You see, what happened was I hit BIG on this little Wizard of Oz machine.
So, if you’re following along with me, I came in with no money, the house gave me $5 to play on, and I am now at a positive $4.25. I’d say that’s a pretty decent day for someone who doesn’t gamble. Not to mention that my belly is still full from the free buffet we had!
Zach still had money, so we walked over to another bank of slot machines. This time it was a machine with a Survivor television theme. Going on my same theory as before, still having “house money,” I figured I’d put another dollar in to see if I could double that dollar too. So I put my card in the machine, put a dollar in, and began betting one cent, one line. After doing that for a bit, Zach looked at me and gave me some advice. I won’t divulge the details of that advice, because it may or may not be proprietary advice, but I can say that he suggested I bet more than one cent on one line. Following his advice on the next spin, BOOM, I turned that one greenback into $33.25!
I decided to cash that bad boy out and call it a night! I started the night out with no money of my own and $5 “house money”. I turned that into an actual $4.25 of which I put one dollar into the Survivor machine. I then turned that dollar into $33.25. So, if my calculations are correct, and I’m sure they are, I was up $36.50! All in all, I’d say that was a great night. We were only there for a couple hours and some of that time was spent eating. It was definitely better than sitting around doing nothing all night.
Would I do it again? Probably if I was going with friends. Would I spend much of my own money? Definitely not. Even after leaving there with $36.50 I don’t think I could ever bring myself to bet “big” on any of those chance machines.