After dinner, we walked around the casino, and happened to find some nickel video poker machines. Lisa asked for $5 and told me to go play blackjack if I liked. Just as I found a table that looked playable, she came back and announced that the band had just started playing in the lounge next to the video poker, and neither she nor I like gambling when there is loud music playing.
We took her bucket of nickels diagonally across the street to the Silver Club, which was quieter. Lisa settled in for video poker, while I headed to the blackjack table.
There were only a couple of tables, and the $3 table was full, so I sat at the $5 table. In the end, it was a pretty good evening, although it had its ups and downs. An hour later, Lisa came by to report that she had finally run out of the original $5 worth of nickels and asked me how I was doing. I had a relatively big bet on the table. By my own system, I really should have been betting $80, but I didn't want to drop below my original $100 stake, so I had $60 out there. Pushed with a 17 and left the bet in. Got a 20 and the dealer busted. I called it a night.
I'd had ups and downs, but that was finishing on a high note. Total cash out was $231, less the original $100 and the $5 I'd given Lisa. My blackjack winnings more or less paid for the three dinners we had at the Nugget these past three evenings.
The dealers and the pit boss at the Silver Club were very nice, even though I was a low-stakes player. The pit boss invited me to sign up for their affinity club. (Lisa and I are theoretically members of John's Club at the Nugget, but we both forgot our cards this trip, and it's years since we played, so we may well have deadwooded out of their system.) I don't think I'll play at the Silver Club enough to make it worthwhile, but he was nice about it, so I signed up anyway. I felt a little bad that I called it a night only a few minutes after he brought me my club card.
I did remember to make an occasional small bet ($1 on top of my main wager) "for the dealer." I've been told that this is the best way to tip dealers. Of the four bets I made, I won three and lost won, so the dealers -- who I assume pool their tips -- made $6 in tips off me, and the two dealers I had seemed appreciative.
Having called the evening to a close, we quickly made our way back to the pickup and headed back to the hotel, stopping only to gas up the pickup, as Lisa wanted to have full tanks when we leave tomorrow afternoon for Tahoe.
It's been a fairly nice weekend here in Reno. I hope the weather isn't too awful tomorrow, but the forecast is not reassuring, with 80% chance of snow.