I always say you should learn the rules of the game you are playing before investing any money. That's a pretty simple concept, but I still made a rookie mistake the other day. My wife and our children stayed at the Orleans in Las Vegas because it is very child friendly for gaming vacations. They have a play center, theater, bowling, and an arcade. If I get good cards in the poker room I can usually make enough to pay for all the kid's games!
Anyway, after dropping the girls off in the play center I headed to the poker room, checked on my wife's success in the Omaha high-low tournament, and then went to a blackjack table. I had a $10 match play coupon they gave me at check-in, so I plunked it down with a $20 bill at an empty table. The deal shuffled the double deck, I cut it, and we were good for launch.
I noticed the cut-card was placed about 15 cards from the end of the deck, making for a very good game. The dealer dealt himself a four-up and I got a pair of threes. I got $100 in chips, split the threes, and put $20 in front of my second card. Goober! Goober! A serious rookie mistake. The split was right, but I just assumed I couldn't match the $10 value of the match-play coupon! That was dumb. But, I got lucky when the dealer said, "Sir, you can bet another $10," so I ponied up two more red chips and we were in action.
Thanks to the Orleans liberal rules I wound-up with another three to split and got to double down on two of the hands. The dealer busted, I got paid on all five $30 bets, and then enjoyed the rest of the ten and aces-rich decks, losing only one hand. I cashed $500, the dealer got $50, and I headed to the poker room ready for some friendly $1-2 no-limit hold'em.
So, next time you get one of those coupons in the mail or at check-in, take advantage of it - the odds are in your favor!