How to waste your life in Sydney, Australia.

Go to the Star Casino and spend your week’s rent in 12 minutes at the blackjack table.
Double down on an eleven against a dealers 4. Get a 2 for a 13. Dealers pulls a ten then a five. Dealer has 19. Lose.  F#ck this shite.  Stagger around like a drunk.  Shell shocked from the sudden loss for five minutes until you bump into the craps table and continue to lose another $300 in three quick rolls. 7 out.  Screw you guys, I’m going home.  But I can’t afford a taxi.  Uber on the credit card then.  Get home and pout around some more.  Take a nap.  It’s Sunday.  and midday.


Let’s Roll
Let’s Roll

According to this site, About 115,000 Australians are classified as ‘problem gamblers’ with a further 280,000 people at ‘moderate risk’ with around 70 per cent of Australians participated in some form of gambling in the past year.  Good thing I’m not Australian!  Otherwise I would be a problem gambler.  More Stats here.  This is a country with an obsession with “pokie” machines too. AKA slot machines to the rest of the world.  Every pub seems to have them and there are plenty of slot clubs around town.  Plus online gambling is super easy.  I set up an account in less than five minutes, losing money better on Australia in the rugby last weekend.  Wankers.  Get your wallabies together!
I have been putting off going to the casino for a while, however my roommate has won over $5,000 at the casino. So I thought I would give it a go.


Blurred Lines of $3025. Winnings. Sadly not mine.
Blurred Lines of $3025. Winnings. Sadly not mine.

My Review on the Star Casino.

Back to the Casino.  The whole place is different from Las Vegas.

Here are my initial thoughts:

  1.  No Free Drinks.  The star, unlike Las Vegas does not hand out free booze to the players.  Also the drink service is ridiculously slow.  The waitresses do not work on tips in Sydney, there is less incentive to come by and help you.  Vegas wins on the drinks side of things.  I did find free coffee with a lady pushing a trolley (cart). I just had to sit at the slot machine and act like I was playing.  But effectively a $500 coffee. Considering my losses.
  2. BlackJack is different.  Sure the same game where you try to get 21 and beat the dealer, but some variations on the set up and rules.  The dealer does take a hold card immediately.  i.e the dealer only pulls one card initially and then waits after all players play to pull more cards from there.  So it feels like the players have more control of the game.  But still probably a lot of luck involved.  Where this comes into play is when the dealer’s first card is an ace.  Seems utterly stupid to be hitting against a dealers Ace showing when he could very well have a natural blackjack (eventually in this case). Just a bit more drama I guess.  Someway that must give the house a better edge.  More chance for the player to bust and immediately lose.
    A tie is not called a push.  It is a stand off.  Not that big a deal, but said with the Aussie accent and when you are down a grand, it gets quite annoying to be told “stand off!”  piss off, I would rather win.
  3. Side bets and betting behind the player.  This has to be the biggest thing I hate about the way blackjack is played at The Star.  Other players can bet with you or in “your box.”  Ultimately, you as the player control the hand, but other people’s money is betting with you.  Also there are side games like any pairs that people bet on who are not actually playing any box or blackjack hands.  Moochers.  GTFO.
  4. Roulette is everywhere.  I have never seen so many roulette tables.  A large portion of the customers are asian and they sure love the roulette!
  5. Lack of Craps.Only one craps table. I am assuming the payouts are the same. However max odds behind the pass line (or “win line” at the Star).  The playing surface of craps table itself is also more jumpy. The dice fly off the table more frequently.  The dealers are not as friendly.  Very Very pushy to get you to throw the dice.  To why inquires the dealer responded “we don’t work for tips here. “In Vegas they do and will be more friendly.”  Interesting point.
  6. No smoking inside.  Could be a positive for some, negative for others.  I remember that people were allowed to smoke wherever in Las Vegas.
  7. Can’t wear hats inside.  Fascists.
  8. New card games to me.  What the hell is Ponton?  Blackjack Challenge?  Plenty of options to throw your money around.


Where you’ll be after a few hours in the casino if you have my luck.
Where you’ll be after a few hours in the casino if you have my luck.

All writing has an element of sales as the author tries to sell you on his idea.  Now is my pitch on the hypocrisy of the Australian laws on liquor versus gambling.  The Star is conveniently located in the non-lockout section of Sydney.  For a city that has cracked down on liquor and booze (essentially killing the kings cross section of Sydney and moving drinking to the Casino and Newtown.  Article Here), they sure don’t care about the problems gambling can produce.  In fact there are plans to build another Casino in Sydney (link) by 2021.

If you do go to the casino, make sure to enjoy some ice cream.  Er, I mean Gelato.  Get yourself an overpriced $7 a scoop at Get some overpriced Gelato Messina. Probably a better investment than gambling.

Now for next week I am taking the ferry to Manly. Far away from the casino.





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