Cover the Zeroes

My two sisters and I are all very different.  However, we have three key things in common:

1)  Political leanings

2)  A love of Motown

3) A real affection for roulette

Actually, it’s four things if you count our collective and pronounced disdain for Keanu Reeves.

But today I’d like to focus on #3.  Because on Sunday, they are taking me to Atlantic City.  It’s my 40th birthday present — how excellent is that?

{And yes, this is officially the last mention I will make of celebrating this birthday, two months after the fact.  Unless you’re my husband, in which case, there are still ten more months in The Year of 40 to celebrate.}

We love us some roulette, my sisters and me.

How did this happen, you ask?

Hmmm.  It’s hard to pinpoint.

Oh wait, it’s coming back to me now.

Something in my childhood home.

Perhaps a piece of furniture.

Could it have been:  This?

Yes, yes, it’s true.  We grew up with a roulette table in our living room.

Is our father a bookie?  No.  Just Italian.

See, my grandmother used to take a lot of trips back to Italy.  And she usually brought home some very cool things from the homeland.  Like jewelry.  Or dishes.  Or wine.  Or a nice leather bag.

Or, this one time, an Italian gaming table with four matching chairs.

They make them in Sorrento.  On the outside they simply look like your typical Italian, gaudy furniture sets.

But, no, they hide a treasure trove of gambling fun.  You remove one leaf at a time to find ornately handcrafted backgammon, black jack and poker boards.

Then.  You open up the bottom layer to find the roulette situation.

God, I love the Italians.

Look, it’s not like we sat around playing roulette as kids on Saturday mornings.  My parents used the table for parties every now and then, and we actually weren’t allowed to touch it.  But, on the eve of my spring break trip to the Bahamas in my senior year of college, my mom had three of my friends and me stay overnight at our house.  And she busted out the roulette table.  You know, to show us the ropes before we lost the shirts off our backs.  {We were all 21, if any of you are feeling litigious.}

And, there, in that Bahamian casino, my love of roulette was complete.

I guess it’s genetic among us sisters.  We love the game.  Not in a lose-your-house-kind-of-way.  We’re not high rollers, by any stretch.  In fact, we’re pretty happy to sit at any $5 table we can find and stretch out $100 for hours on end.

We like to talk strategy.  I’m not saying we’re academic about it, but there are major decisions to be made.  Like playing the inside versus the outside.  Doubling down on a winning number or vacating it.

We like to talk numbers.  I mean, everyone has their numbers.  No, I won’t tell you mine, but I hope you know to always cover the zeroes.

We like to sit back and watch the tables for a bit before committing to the one we like.

We like to decry what my uncle has dubbed The System.  For years, he had our extended family believing he had cracked the code on roulette.  It worked for a while, in small doses.  But my sisters and I, after years of experimenting with it in different iterations, have officially declared The System to be bullshit.  Or just dumb luck.

Speaking of dumb luck:  Yes, I realize that roulette has the statistically worst odds in the house.  I know that counting on a ball spinning in a wheel is absurd.

But I do love it.

So.  Wish us luck.  And if you have a favorite number, let me know.



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  1. Marcos says:

    Best of luck in AC…and be sure to bet on 22! I look forward to next week’s entry with a picture of the three of you in front of a pile of winnings!

  2. Meredith says:

    Amazing! My family would never have been cool enough to have roulette table at home. Have a blast and consider focusing on #2 in a future post? Motown has to bring some good blog material!

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