I read that the Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas has closed. What
happens to any sports futures bets that I had placed on the Super
bowl back this summer? Will the new owners honor these tickets?
I believe your tickets are safe,
since Harrah's Entertainment has signed a definitive agreement
to purchase Binion's Horseshoe Hotel & Casino in downtown
Las Vegas, giving a new lease on life to the last family-owned
casino in America, and home of the legendary World Series of Poker.
The transaction is expected to close before the end of the first
quarter, subject of course to regulatory approval. According to
Charles Atwood, Harrah's CFO, "The agreement in principle
contemplates that Harrah's will assume the property's liabilities
to bona fide creditors who submit verifiable evidence of claims."
Although unraveling that quote may not specifically state that
Curtis is gonna get paid, my best guess is that your futures bet
on the Super Bowl will be honored. Why? Well... a little housekeeping
disclosure first, Curtis. Of my 18-plus years on the inside, 10
of them were at Harrah's (Bill's). The 10-year pin recently exhumed
from my memory drawer so attests. Anyhow, if I were to do it over,
I would work for Harrah's again, as there probably is no finer
gaming corporation in America (Another disclosure: Regrettably,
I don't own any of their stock).
So, Curtis, even though I cautiously said my "best guess"
was that you are going to get paid if you pick the winner, I just
can't see Harrah's putting the screws to you; they ain't that
kind of folks.
By the way, Curtis, next time tell us whom you picked so we can
root with you.
You touched on a game called "faro," and explained
some things about it. However, when and if anyone watches any
documentaries on the birth of Las Vegas, they will see "FARO"
signs outside all the casinos and bars. Obviously, it was a popular
game. So, how was it played? What was the object of the game?
The object of all casino games
is to transfer money from the bettors to the house, as you know.
Faro is an even-money game you can set up on your kitchen table
and learn in less than a month; in fact, two minutes should do
it. So, Peter and other readers, go fetch yourselves two decks
of cards and learn by doing.
Lay out in neat rank order-ace through king-the 13 cards
of a single suit (traditionally spades) face up on the table top
(or on an enameled green cloth if one happens along). It is on
this spread that you do your betting. The other deck is for the
As the bettor, you "back a card" by placing your chips
on any rank (card), or on more than one if you like. With the
other deck shuffled twice, cut once, and put face up in a topless
box, the deal begins. The top card, called the "soda"
for some obscure reason, is pulled off and laid aside, then the
next card is dealt. Anyone whose chips are on that rank (regardless
of suit) loses. The next card is then drawn, and anyone who bet
on that rank wins. That constitutes "a turn."
Bets on any of the other ranks, can be withdrawn or left standing
for the next turn. The house derives its advantage when a pair
is dealt. Here the bank would take half the money that had been
staked on the paired cards.
There's another guy standing beside the dealer with the title
"casekeeper." He keeps track of the cards that have
been played, and when only three card remain in the box, bettors
can have a crack at a heftier win by guessing what they are.
Gambling quote of the week: "Bart, if you really want something
out of life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about
to announce the lottery numbers." -Homer Simpson