Rubys Lucky Day
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The Real Secret to Winning Casino Games

It turned out to be a lucky day for Ruby. But when I first saw her, that steaming hot August afternoon in Las Vegas, she was worn to a frazzle. I had ventured in through an open door on Fremont street, where the arctic air conditioned blasts were competing with Mother Nature's definition of a heat wave. It remained an eternal mystery why anyone would leave an open street door on such a sweltering day, with cold air rushing out of the building, blasting its way against the sun's heat and battling the tourists for bragging rights. It had to be a Management decision, but if it were my Utility bill to pay, I would have been more aware of the costs.

I had ducked in out of the heat for the sole purpose of taking them up on their 99 Cents Buffet. Imagine that. All you can eat, beverage included, for less than a buck. My stomach was grumbling, as I had skipped breakfast, and now it was time to get my dollar's worth at the buffet table. Making a quick dash inside, it was too late to see a pair of outstretched female legs, and I was tripped up, falling to the floor giving a lame Jack Tripper impression as I heard guffaws, snickers and laughs all around. All I saw was a closeup of the red background, green shamrocks, in the carpet.

"Oh I am so sorry." I heard her say, as she reached over to me with an outstretched hand. "Let me help you up. I'm so sorry."

Suddenly aware of my surroundings, yet not quite sure what I was doing there, in that place, my eyes were glued to a flashing neon sign on the first row of slot machines announcing the Progressive Jackpot was now at a remarkable sum of $124,900. Those numbers kept flickering, the sounds of coins coming out of hoppers, being fed into the machines, falling again into the hoppers... it was symphonic and sounded better than anything Beethoven ever composed. In fact, it was Pink Floyd's "Money" I was hearing and I knew I had to be hallucinating. Dr. Timothy Leary said there would later be days like this.

"Are you all right? Should I get you medical attention? Say something! Please say you forgive me." Her concern had grabbed my attention. I saw a big-boned woman, corn-fed plump, in her early to mid-sixties, grey hair and small eyeglasses standing before me and I responded without malice, "I'm fine. Shouldn't have been too rushed to begin with. Thank you for helping me get up."

"My name is Ruby.... from Council Bluffs, Iowa. I'm part of a tour group on a chartered bus, and it seems we've been riding for days."

"Nice to meet you Ruby. I live here in Vegas now, moved from Florida four years ago and it's been an adventure from day one." I answered.

Just then the neon numbers rolled to $125,000 and I realized it was due to hit soon. In fact, it was long overdue. Progressive jackpots at this Fremont Street casino rarely made it to the $90,000 range.

"I'll bet you know a lot about gambling. Four years is a long time. I've never left my home town, except to drive across the river into Omaha from time to time. I'm a Librarian and the most excitement I've ever had was vicarious, reading about other people in books."

Suddenly, I felt a kinship with this Lady. I had an extra dollar. It was lunch, my stomach reminded me by grumbling again. I took her by the hand and said, "Let me treat you to a good meal."

"But I'm waiting for my room to be ready, so I can check in and take a long bath."

"Your room will still be here when we come back from lunch. Let me tell you all I know about gambling." And with that, I escorted her to the stairs, up to the second floor mezzanine, and into the Buffet.

Over salad, my words to Ruby: "You'll have good days, and bad days. Some days you won't get anything right. You'll come close, but you're not pitching horseshoes. Start slow, with small bets, minimums if you can exercise restraint. Don't try to break the bank. It'll break you."

During the main course, Ruby was taking in every word: "Play random games where you can bet your hunches. Everyone gets a hunch. Only the smart players gamble on them. Roulette, Keno, Craps, Slot Machines, Video Poker. If you bet at all, bet to win. Go for long odds. They do come in."

While savoring dessert, Ruby was taking it all in, like a sponge: "Don't bet people games, like sports, poker, blackjack, or baccarat. When people make bad decisions, like fumbling the ball on the playing field, or doubling down on tens at a blackjack table, their bad play effects everyone else in the game."

By now, we're descending the stairs, back to the main floor where the Slot Machine progressives were flashing $125,313. That was a lot of quarters. "Can I play slot machines?" I heard Ruby say, as she digged deep into her purse, scooped up some coins and exchanged a $10 bill for a roll of Quarters from a nearby Change Girl.

"Sure." I answered, amused at the thought of this Iowa tourist gambling on her first day in Las Vegas. "It's not a People Game, so all you'll need here is luck." I was so tempted, but this was her bright idea and I wanted to give her some encouragement, not competition.

"Let me see... eeny, meeny, miny, moe." She was choosing which machine to play and, at the same time, a Casino Hostess came to her side with a room key, money saving coupons and advertising flyers. "Clink, Clink, Clink..." Three quarters dropped. "Is this enough?"

"Go all the way. You've got to play 5 quarters if you want to win the jackpot here." She looked hard at her hand, unwrapped the roll of quarters in her purse, found two more and, "Clink, Clink". She pulled the handle, watched the reels spin, transfixed on the lights, the symbols, the sounds, the slowing motion as everything came to a stop.

Seven... seven.. another seven, then another SEVEN, and finally stopping on the final Golden SEVEN. Incredible, there were five golden sevens in a ROW! Immediately, there were bells, sirens, and whistles blaring from that one lucky slot machine. It roared like a fire was in progress and had to be extinguished. I've heard fire sirens before, but not quite as loud as this.

"We have a JACKPOT WINNER!" The Hostess screamed out at the top of her lungs.

"Oh Lordy me! Have I won?" She couldn't believe it. Immediately surrounded by well wishers, and flashing bulbs courtesy of the casino publicity photographer, I kept hearing her Praises to God as I inched backward to the door.

"Thank you! Thank you so much! I won! I can't believe it. I won!"

My presence was no longer needed. Had I stuck around, it would have put pressure on her to share her largess. It was her good luck to win this small fortune which would afford her a new car, paying off all her bills, helping a needy loved one. I deserved not one nickel for being kind to a stranger who had been kind to me. That was the last time I saw Ruby.

Ladies are quickly becoming a dominating presence at nearly every casino, and not just as some manís ďlucky charmĒ. Back in 2002, a study revealed that women made up about 60% of all casino online players. Only the Cashier really knows what the numbers should be today, however, one study puts it at 53%. But you can bet on one thing for sure: long gone are the days of gambling, whether online or off, when it was strictly a manís world.

The anonymous nature of the Internet makes it easier for women to be taken seriously as they sit down at the casino game table. Many times has a lady taken full advantage of not being taken seriously, and ended up rolling all over the table. Many male gamblers present themselves as women, with feminine screen names, in order to profit from the deception. Likewise many female gamblers disguise themselves at the casino online as men, in order to reap the rewards of such deception. A newly coined popular name for these gender benders, incidentally, is Betrosexual.

Take the game of multiplayer poker -- one of the many games in online casinos where women can be found everywhere. A full 62% of all women surveyed in the U.S. play poker games as often as 4 times each month, with 5 out of 6 preferring to play at the casino online. Statistics suggest that at least 1 in 6 online poker players is a woman, with that number surely expected to grow. Table and multi-player games notwithstanding, the Gals still enjoy a good adrenaline rush as much as any Guy, and itís nowhere more apparent than at a casino online.

Whether itís the comfort and safety of playing slot machines from her own computer, or sitting in at a Blackjack table with a bunch of faceless men, who otherwise may not treat them as equals, the emergence of women in business and leadership roles has taken them straight to the casinos, and theyíre not going away. Don't be surpised if we start seeing beefcake male models, like the Chippendales, displayed on the landing pages of every casino online. They'll be front and center right alongside the buxom females who have successfully enticed new players through their virtual casino doors for years.

If it doesn't change your luck, make your mouth water, or cause your palms to itch, at least it will still serve a purpose. It's eye candy, pure and sweet. Beautiful people, risk takers, and adventurous fortune hunters of all ages and sizes are drawn to casinos. And all one really needs to win at any casino game is... LUCK. Remember that show-stopping tune that made "Guys and Dolls" the great screen musical that keeps entertaining? "Luck Be A Lady Tonight" ! Is now the right time to play casino games online?

Who knows? "And if you've ever been a lady to begin with... LUCK be a Lady tonight!" Maybe this will be your lucky day.

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