Sonja and I go to a casino an average of about once a year. Yesterday, however, was the first time since Titus was born 16 months ago that we made it to one. With our little guy safe and happy back at the ranch with his grandparents, we took the afternoon in Deadwood and moseyed our way into Saloon 10, an old favorite.
We prefer to play blackjack, with the lowest minimum possible to extend the day without going broke. Saloon 10 is the only place I know of anywhere with a single deck game and a $3 minimum bet (although last time we were there it was $2 – damned inflation). When the waitress asked if I’d like a drink, I requested bourbon and coke, and was politely informed that “top shelf” drinks were reserved for the big boys at the poker table. What was free to me at the three dollar table? Busch Light, Chardonnay, or Merlot. I chose the Merlot.
To be honest, it wasn’t horrible. Served in a tall rocks glass sans rocks, it had a definite layer of tannins that kept it from being flimsy. I was able to enjoy it as I played, though after one glass I switched to Busch Light, with an occasional cola to keep from overdoing it. No matter how good (or decent) the wine, a blackjack table in a dark saloon just isn’t the place to enjoy it.
Sonja and I spent around 3 hours at the table yesterday, chatting with the three dealers in rotation and the patrons from all over (including two from our home area 500 miles away) and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We sat down with $80 in chips, and when we were finished walked out with $126.50 and treated ourselves to a nice dinner. It was an enjoyable afternoon, one of the very few that isn’t made better by wine. (Don’t worry, I had a glass with dinner.) I look forward to the next time we go to a casino, in another year or two.