We started at the blackjack table.
Three animated Asian guys were betting $25 a hand while flatmate Jez Stevens and I more or less stuck to the $10 minimum.
Jez was popping an extra $5 on perfect pairs, which was good because he twice picked up a 12-1 shot – once with two red Queens and then two red eights – and after 10 minutes was up a decent amount. So he ordered a cider.
We hit a flat patch but then the deck ran hot for us and by the end of the shoe we were both up and decided to pull the pin.
“You can’t stop now …you’re on a roll,” the dealer said.
Jez replied: “That’s how they get you … I’ve heard that before.”
I was rolling in $40 profit. Jez had cleared $100.
We hit the roulette table, betting very methodically. I went with a good friend’s lucky number – 33 – and Jez did too. We both bet huge, dropping $2.50 each on a four-number spread – 32, 33, 35 and 36. Red 32 came up. Close enough.
I’d also unloaded – $5 to be precise – on red so all up made a tidy $25. I decided $65 profit was a top result.
My last thought as the wheel spun again was to throw a lazy fiver on 21 … it’s my favourite number. But I didn’t.
Jez did, straddling 21 and three other numbers. And yep, you guessed it … the ball came to rest on 21.
Jez carried on throwing chips around with gay abandon, whilst saying things like: “This is my last time.” And: “You want to leave but you can’t because you just keep winning …”
Jez won five spins in a row and eventually got his pile to $185, having started the night with $60.
To the slots. Choosing a machine isn’t easy, so many lights, colours and bells. We saw one called ‘Cats, hats and bats’ and Jez, sticking with our methodical approach, said: “Well, it is Halloween”, before pumping in $2, the change from his drink purchase.
In mere minutes, Jez had converted it to $4 for a 100 per cent return – and cashed up, his total winnings at $127.
We hit the lounge to debrief on a lucrative 25 minutes. Jez drained his glass, licked his lips and said: “Mmm … always enjoy a free drink.”
All you need to know
What: SkyCity Casino Queenstown
Where: Second floor, Beach Street
When: Noon to 4am
Cost: Nothing…this time
Thrill-o-meter: 8/10 (dependent on results)