I am sitting at a blackjack table in Las Vegas.
A month ago, I decided that I was going to gamble for first time in my life in Las Vegas.

I had made up my mind not play the slot machines. No, I wanted to play at one of the tables.
I wanted to be part of the cheering and cursing people, to get the feeling of holding your breath and crossing your fingers while cards are thrown into the playing field.

After surfing around the web for a bit, I had chosen to study the ‘easy’ game of blackjack. I read the book Casino Gambling for Dummies and learned all of the hand signals. I knew when to tap the green felt to get an extra card and when to stand. I was proud of myself for having a well prepared strategy. But then I arrived in Las Vegas…

I walked through the different casino’s looking for beginner black jack tables (read the ones where you can start with $1).  I wasn’t going to bet big time and made sure it wouldn’t hurt to lose all the betting money.
I watched how the dealer dealt the cards, how players raised the stakes and how chips were moved from player to dealer.
All of it happened in split seconds.

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I was about to chicken out because I knew I could never do math, hand signals and hold a poker face in the blink of an eye. But I gathered all of my courage and walked over to one of the pool side tables at the Golden Nugget hotel.

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I bought in chips while trying to ignore the gigantic pile the woman on my left had.
The dealer in bikini – stay focused here ! – dealt the cards.

A pair of tens! I got lucky on my first hand.
I doubled my money and couldn’t hide the gigantic smile on my face.

A few seconds later however I got too bold and lost all of my money.
The smile on my face however stayed.

I knew I was always going to be a rookie player and that the house would always win.
But the adrenaline racing through my veins was worth the loss.