You go into a
game hoping to learn a little something about yourself and perhaps life in
general. And also, of course, to make a killing.
Five-Card stud is
a good game. At times its simplicity is annoying (especially through the haze
of three vodka tonics, when it begins to look like War, a children's game in
which each player turns over a card, high card wins). Other times, you're awed
when you conjure up a straight. The odds against a straight are about 250 to
Banks had long,
thin fingers, probably from being careful with rolls of dimes. He gave me the
six of spades, down. I didn't know what he gave the others. I also hoped Banks
didn't. My up card was another six. Other up cards were 10, jack, trey, king. I
was no longer coordinated enough to match them to faces.
The king bet $25.
The trey called and raised $25. I nodded, tossing in $50. Fifties take more
time to toss than nickels. Fifties float. Everybody else called for reasons
that would have been obvious only in a seance.
I asked for
another drink. Junior, his hair now cocked so the part was over his nose, said,
"Deal, deal, deal."
"Sorry." It looked real good on him.
I got the six of
hearts. I reached out and took the six of hearts from Banks. I didn't tell them
I had three sixes because my tongue had passed out.
I bet $10. The
chip stood on its edge in the middle of the table, then fell into the pile, as
if it had been shot. Banks called his king-10. Oils called with his four-jack,
and raised $25. Did anybody say fours and jacks were wild? Pard, now with a
pair of treys, called the $35 and raised $50. Junior, deuce-10, called the $85
and raised $50. I called a mere $135. My sixes were now appraised at $65
If they were
trying to upset me with deuce-10, four-jack raises, it was working. The pot was