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Best of Mark Pilarski

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Deal Me In: "Money plays!" revisited

14 June 2013

Dear Mark: I walked up to a blackjack game, put $100 in the betting circle, and said "money plays." The dealer said I had to change it into chips. I chose not to proceed with the wager. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Donald P.

Back in the day when I pitched cardboard, your money could always play. As a rule, the dealer would shout out, "money plays," and that's that.

Interestingly, two weeks ago I wrote, and then withdrew, your question when an expert on such matters, Bob Walters, said that I disregarded The Patriot Act of 2001 and the Nevada Gaming Commissions repeal of Rule 6A. He explained to me that The Patriot Act was designed, among other things, to specifically restrict or eliminate the use of large cash transactions to finance terrorist activities.

Initially, Nevada's casinos were granted an exemption when the Nevada Gaming Commission approved Rule 6A. Although it was supposed to be the state equivalent of the federal requirement, it was considerably weaker, and it allowed money to play at the casino tables.

Ever since the Nevada Gaming Commission repealed Rule 6A (June 2007), cash transactions in all Nevada casinos, and across the US, are governed by Title 31 of the US Code, and money no longer plays anywhere in the country.

Good thing Bob Walters read all 342 pages of the Patriot Act. Yours truly, along with most in Congress, didn't. Interesting, though, how the frenzied player who feeds hundred-dollar bills into a $25 slot machine avoids any such regulation while you, Donald, have to exchange your $100 into chips. Mr. Walters can chime in if he wishes.

Anyhow, the long and short of it is that it is to the casino's advantage when you bet chips instead of legal tender. Think of the illusory nicknames a casino chip has. A $5 chip is a "nickel" and a $25 chip a "quarter." Betting with your own hard-earned moolah makes you realize its genuine value. Chip betting doesn't.

So, Donald, anytime you turn your bankroll into chips, always spend that extra moment and cautiously think about the exchange.

Dear Mark: Last year you wrote on a blog that you were considering re-releasing an updated version of your audio series "Hooked on Winning." Is it available yet, where can I find it, and will the price still be $9.95? Bill P.

Yes, Bill, I did get around to updating "Hooked on Winning," plus, depending on where you download it, I made it easy on the pocket. Can you spare a dollar?

Besides having its price lowered from $9.95 to $0.99, it has been updated with a lot of new material as well as changes in the casino landscape since the first edition.

You can digitally download the updated version of "Hooked on Winning" at cdbaby.com for $0.99. I recommend cdbaby.com, Bill, since based on its 2.5-hour length, iTunes charges a premium.

Purchase it at iTunes if you wish, but my goal here, Bill, is to save YOU a whole lot of your hard-earned money, by offering YOU and other readers alike a whole lot of gambling education for just a measly buck.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "The house doesn't beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself." – Nick "the Greek" Dandalos
Recent Articles
Best of Mark Pilarski
Mark Pilarski

As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.