I recently visited a casino in Oklahoma to claim a couple hundy in freeplay and enjoy some time with my friends. While the resort is nice enough, I don’t have much to report about it as we were on a mission: drink and gamble.
Now, with a Vegas trip on the horizon, I couldn’t go crazy. Usually for any trip, I’d want to take $400-600 a day to enjoy my regular tempo of degeneracy. This trip, which technically included two nights, I had $225 in freeplay and $300 in pocket. BUT, I also had two friends along. Between them, they also had $700. So, with at least $1000 total, we decided our bankroll was best used TOGETHER.
So, friends, I present the group gamble!
Group gambling can be super fun AND beneficial if played strategically. In short, the concept is simple: put a pre-set amount of money in a “pot” for all to share (in our case, it was all but my freeplay). Decide on what your loss and win limits are and how you want to play the money. One joy of the group gamble is you generally want to play higher than you normally would play. Why? Because risk is fun and more risk is even funner!
But also, if you have more people invested, that’s more people to split the win. Let’s say you are playing dollar slots by yourself. If you hit a $300 line win, that’s $300 for you. In a group gamble, that’s only $100 for you. However, if you’re playing $5 slots and you hit the same line win for $1500, that’s (technically) $1500 to split or $500 each (we’ll ignore that it’s a taxable win for now).
You can do this with any game, not just machines. But there are some things to consider:
Try to do your group gamble in an area where you aren’t imposing on other players’ space. If there are four of you in the group, then one might want to sit AT the machine or table and three stand behind or off to the side. You can sit at a nearby machine but don’t be a jerk if someone wants to play. Get up and out of the way!
The biggest group gambling rule is knowing when to say when. My BFF Emily and I do a traditional Vegas “$400 Challenge” on VP when in Vegas. We find a good paytable VP machine at a higher denomination than we usually play (usually a wager of $15-30 per hand) and each play $200. One person plays first until they reach half of THEIR two hundred OR double it. Then, we either cash out the win or, if losing, switch players. The double or half rule works for us because we both get to play without waiting too much. Now, when I go with another group of friends that are strictly slot players, we invest $40 each and play dollar slots and each take a turn standing around one machine. If we don’t “feel” the machine anymore, we all must agree to move on. So, the rules are the rules but you should have some. After all, it’s not all your money.
When you group gamble, you’re playing bigger on a bigger pot of money, someone will definitely want to take advantage of that average bet and play history. But who? In my case, with my slot friends, I always get us rooms comped on my play so they easily concede that I can get the points…in exchange, they keep getting the benefit of free rooms. However, when Emily and I play, we generally decide to split the play in half. Because we both play at about the same level, this is the most equitable solution for us. In both cases, whoever has their card in the machine is also responsible for doing the tax form on any W2-G wins. This did happen before indeed on a group gamble with my friend, Debbie. We hit for $1450-ish on a penny Hot Shot $2 max bet (group gamble pot was 20 bucks each!). I took the tax hit and Debs gave me an extra bit of cash for dealing with the guvmint.
Make It Special
This one is more a me thing than a requirement but when I group gamble, even this introvert appreciates the prize that is good times with good friends. So, we agree on things like tipping our server more than usual (for good karma duh), dancing for big wins, or having a pre-gamble round of shots. Lots of groupies (group selfies…) are also always involved. Make it about the group and less about the gamble and you will have a good time fo shizzy (ß who says that? I do.)
Alright that’s all folks! Just a little quickie on a fun tradition you might want to try on your next gamblin’ adventure. I’d love to hear how you group gamble and any fun group gambling stories so follow me @VegasIntrovert on Twitter and leave some fun words in the comments! Next trip…Vegas…September. EPIC.
n.b. – during our group gamble in Oklahoma, we started with a great first night up $600 and then even after 4 hours (and much drunker…with lots of groupies taken) – after night two…all but $200 gone…and a nice invitation from a host to return soon!