Risks are built into everything but the noteworthy ones exist in moments that make your heart beat faster: trying to throw down a new trick in Ante Up, asking a girl out, taking your first run in the back country, starting a business. In my opinion, the biggest risk is to not take any risks.
There’s no one right style for skiing (or anything really) and there are many different ways to experience Heavenly. Some people want to take some freshly groomed runs then grab a drink. But some people-and these are my people- come here to ski fast, go big, then let it ride.
I remember the first time I gambled- it was on a cruise and my dad snuck me into the casino. I remember the feeling I had the first time I went to an underground game in New York City. Life is sweet here in Tahoe when two of my favorite things-snowboarding and cards- are down the street. Want to gamble and don’t know where to start? Here are some tips for gambling in Tahoe:
1. Decide how much money you’re willing to gamble and stick to that limit. Say adios to that money before you get to the casino. Pretend you already lost it and if that really hurts- don’t gamble!
2. You’re going to a casino, more than anything else to have fun so be friendly.
3. Don’t ask other people if they’re winning or losing. If they want to tell you, they probably will.
4. You want to be the guy, or gal, that tips the dealers and the drink servers well.
5. Speaking of drinks, order a nice one and enjoy it. Usually drink Johnny Red? Order Johnny Black. Alcohol is “on the house” but don’t drink so much that you forget about tip #1.
6. Know something about the bet you’re making. What are all these crazy games?
Craps- a game featuring a pair of dice that consists of two phases. Phase One: 2, 3, 12 lose. 7,11 win. Any other number becomes the point. Phase Two: the “point” number wins big. 2,3,11,12 are ok. 7 is terrible, everything else is pretty good.
Slots: Insert money, press button, see if you won. Comes in a variety shapes and sizes- Sex and the City, Hercules, etc.
Blackjack: Start with two cards with the option to “hit” for more. Get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over and you win.
Sports: If one team is -200 they are the favorite to win and the odds pay accordingly. The other team will have odds around +180 which means that they are the underdog. Over/Under numbers refer to total points in the game. Do you think the game will be high or low scoring? This is a fun first timer bet.
Poker: In most casinos you’ll find poker rooms spreading Texas Hold ‘Em, sometimes Stud, rarely Omaha. You’re playing against your table mates, not the casino.
Other: casinos will have various different variations such as 3 Card Poker, Let It Ride. If one’s calling your name- give it a try, otherwise stick with the classics.
8. Know the lay of the land. Here are the main South Tahoe Casinos and a reason to go to each one:
HARRAHS- the nicest casino in Tahoe.
HARVEYS- Biggest poker room- StrawHat pizza delivers right to the table and is delicious. Some of the friendliest dealers.
MONTBLEU- Nicest sports book. $0.25 pony racing game.
HORIZON- Pool tables, movie theater.
LAKESIDE- Delicious, cheap tacos. Lower betting limits than other casinos.
If skiing/boarding all day then getting your gamble on sounds like the perfect day- Heavenly is the place for you.
See you on the slopes or in a card game, Jesse Plate