When I receive notes about players harassing other players, they’re almost always about blackjack. A player makes a strategy mistake, other players lose, and someone decides the way to handle it is to shout down the offender.
Never mind that the mistakes of others help the rest of the table as often as they hurt. I’ve never heard from a player who was told, “Standing on 16 was the wrong play there, but it gave the dealer his bust card. Thanks!”
Recently, however, I’ve received a few emails from harried players who were on the receiving end of ire at other games. Let’s let them tell their stories.
Nan: I got up early and went to the craps table. That’s when I like craps best, when there are only a few other players and the pace can be a little more relaxed while we have coffee.
The only open table had only two other players. One just sevened out as I bought in, the other didn’t want to shoot, so the dice passed to me.
The dude who didn’t want the dice started in on me right away. “We’ve got another loser here. I can’t wait to take your money.”
I looked at the other player and the crew, and they all rolled their eyes. The player said, “Don’t mind him. I don’t think he’s had his morning hemlock.”
Turns out my harasser was a don’t pass bettor who’d been doing the same thing to the other player.
My first two comeouts were 7s, and that got him going even more. “Oh, we have a seven-shooter here. Those are going to look sweet when the real money’s on the line.”
It turned out I had a nice little roll, making four passes, so I won a little and he lost a little – both good things. Then he started in on the other player, and I decided sitting down to breakfast might be a better early option.
Blaise: You wouldn’t think I could get in much trouble minding my own business and playing video keno, but I really upset this other guy.
It was a crowded Saturday night, and the bank of machines I was at was full. I was on the end, and the woman to my left had a video poker game going. A man came up behind her and said he’d play too, but the machines were full of video keno time wasters.
I didn’t look up. I just kept playing.
The next approach was more direct. He edged closer to me and said, “You like the keno, do you? I’ve always found it a complete waste of time.”
I said, “That’s OK. It’s my time to waste.”
He said, “Meanwhile, you’re keeping people out of the real games.”
I did not want this to escalate. I said, “Sorry,” but kept playing. Thank goodness the woman told him he should check out other banks.
Cy: Three Card Poker, believe it or not, I was chastised for being too picky for following basic strategy and folding with less than Queen-6-4.
Another player was betting every hand without even looking at his cards. “I’m here to gamble, not to wuss out like Mr. Picky over there.”
Once was funny. I laughed with everyone else. But he kept on and on with Mr. Picky this and Mr. Picky that on every hand. When I said, “OK, enough already,” he said, “Now Mr. Picky wants to pick my sense of humor.”
Winning would have made it more fun, but there wasn’t much of that.
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