Tom Hits

    Honza placed the glass marker down and announced the winning number. "17, Nice bet sir." he said as Tom stacked in his winnings.  The smile on his face looked out of place.  Honza knew it probably wouldn't be long before the chips were back home in the dealers rack, but he was pleasantly surprised by the tip.  A fiver was generous from such a careful gambler. 

    Tom sat out the next few spins, but Honza noticed his lips moving silently; counting numbers, or calculating.  The man was working a system.  Casinos love gamblers with systems.  Eventually, they all fail.  You just can't beat the odds in the long run. 

    "Place your bets" Honza announced, prompting another flurry of activity on the table as the several gamblers placed their wagers.  He noticed Tom placing a bold bet. His thin sweaty hands pushed a tall stack of 19 green chips onto a single number; 20.

    Honza glanced at the bet twice to verify the amount.  He was supposed to verbally announce bets above a certain size, so the pit boss could take note.  This bet was just slightly under that amount.  He almost announced anyway, just to cover his rear with the casino, but decided to let it slide.  Chances were it would loose anyway, and it wouldn't matter.  

    Genuine surprise showed in Honza's eyes as he marked the winning number.  The other gamblers cheered as Tom won a once-in-a-lifetime bet.  "Very nice bet sir." Honza said genuinely as he payed out with seven of the black $500 chips and some change.  His surprise turned to shock as Tom quickly slid the entire stack to another single number; 34.  With a quick mental calculation, he turned his head to clearly announce this monster bet.  The pit boss would definitely want to watch this one.  Before he spoke though, Tom's frail hand touched his arm. 

    "Please" he said, "Just spin?"  Tom was holding out one of the black chips, offering it to Honza as a tip.  The implication was clear.  He wanted to make the bet without attention; probably to avoid paying taxes. 

    His instincts shouted at him to do things right, but for a quick moment, Honza calculated the risks in his mind.  It would mean taking a fair amount of heat from the casino for not following proper procedure in the unlikely event that it won, but if the bet lost, as was very extremely likely, he would have an easy, and much needed five hundred in his pocket.  Tucking the chip in his shirt pocket and gritting his teeth, Honza snapped the ball in the groove on the wheel and let it spin.     

The End

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