Friday, June 27, 2008

More on gambling in Macau

Earlier we mentioned that Macau is marketing itself as the "Las Vegas of Asia", and as you wander out of the old downtown section you quickly move from the feeling of walking in Portugal to walking in Las Vegas. The somewhat recent additions of big name American casinos such as MGM Grand, Wynn, The Venetian, and Sands definitely add to that overall feeling.

But yet something is very different starting, as we mentioned, with the fact that the gambling floors are not the prominent item in the hotel and with the fact that when you find them they are fairly quiet. Having to go through a metal detector and have your bags checked or at least searched was another item that is in marked contrast to how things operate in Las Vegas, or even Atlantic City.

Another difference is the games themselves, the majority of the tables are Baccarat, Roulette, and Sic Bo. Thrown in around the Baccarat tables are some Blackjack, Caribbean Stud, and other card games, but there's not a lot of them. In all the casinos that we went to we only saw one craps table.

The new one, at least to Tina and myself, were the Sic Bo tables. The setup reminded me of the old board game "Trouble" where you'd push down a bubble to flip the game die, this was like that on steroids. Inside a glass dome are three dice, a bottom plate starts flipping the dice and then they cover the dome with a brass cover. The dice settle and everyone bets on the outcome of those three dice on a board similar to the following one.

Seem simple, you just add the totals, bet odd or even, big or small, or pick what any two of the three dice will be. It turned out to be just a simple way for the casino to take my money. I'm sure had I spent more time there we could have won a hand or two, same as you do with roulette, but we didn't bother to chase our money and find out.

As for the Roulette tables, something that I love in Vegas, we headed over to a simple 25 HKD table, handed in 100 HKD and asked for chips. We received 4 back, ah, no we would like them in 5HKD increments please. Similar to playing a $5 table at home where you can place 5 $1 chips on separate numbers. Nope, here you have to play with the minimum for the chip, feel free to spend more at once. We both lost with our 25 dollar chip so we cashed back in and walked away. Granted, even if we had both played 5 numbers we still would have lost, but we would have played again. It's just that even when we know we are going to eventually lose our money, we'd like to do it slowly...

From there to the Blackjack, something we know, where the rules are simple and well documented. Or so we thought...

...more tomorrow.

No comments: