Three Oranges on the Slots – Am I Rich Yet?

Three Oranges on the Slots – Am I Rich Yet? I have, over the years, been called a slots connoisseur a time or two, at least I think that’s what I was called, I didn’t quite catch it really. And to be honest, it’s more that I grew up around slot machines, or a slots machine at least. It all sounds rather bizarre looking back, but as a child we had our very own slot machine is our garden shed. It wasn’t one of these new-fangled slots, it was in fact an old fashioned one armed bandit that my father picked up at an auction. Even the currency was outdated with the opportunity to win 5D (what?!) and the like instead of pounds sterling. There was no funfair style accompanying sounds either, just a few clunky noises and light bulbs flickering on and off.

What really irked me though was that the winning didn’t seem to align well with what I thought I’d receive. I distinctly recall being peeved off by my return from three oranges, rapidly brought down from my assumption that I’d be catapulted out of the shed by a deluge of coins.

Of course nowadays slots are so varied that the hierarchy of what is or isn’t a big win is anyone’s guess. The number of reels has expanded and there are countless ways to win, so now you may well find yourself on The Times Rich List on account that 12 space aliens, or 8 Pamela Andersons rolled in for you. That’s part of the fun with slots now though; the variety of what’s on offer. Slots based around game shows, TV series, sports teams, cats, dogs, lizards, wizards. You name it there’s a slots option that ticks the box. Of course this is true of offline slots too, but it’s online slots where it goes next level. There are countless fun and vibrant games on sites like Avenger Slots Casino that cover the gambit of themes including Rainbow Riches, Starburst, Joker’s Jewels, Bronco Spirit, the list goes on. New player bonuses and loyalty rewards are also available.

It’s no doubt easy for online slots sites to streamline the process of bringing an idea to life much sooner than a bricks and mortar casino. As such, online play offers the benefit of having access to a wide range of ‘hot off the press’ slots games – and a great way to enjoy your downtime. If luck’s on your side too, who knows, it might even benefit your bank balance too and if you’re really lucky you might even get three oranges! Maybe it offers a better return now!

Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer It would be fair to say that the late Kerry Packer could be described as ‘legendary’, both metaphorically and literally, because it is difficult to know which of the countless tales of his gambling exploits are entirely fictitious and which contain at least a grain of truth. One of the most oft-recounted, and believable, anecdotes of his derring-do at the gaming tables involves an encounter with a Texan, who had made his money in cattle, or oil, depending on whose account you believe, while playing baccarat in Las Vegas in the Nineties. Apparently, when Packer spurned his approach, the Texan boasted that he was a ‘big player’, worth $100 million; in response, Packer said calmly, ‘If you really want to gamble, I’ll flip you for it.’

What is definitely true is that, at the time of his death in 2005, Packer was the richest man in Australia, with a estimated net worth of A$7 billion, or approximately £5 billion by modern standards. Born in Randwick, New South Wales in 1937, Packer became chairman of a media empire, which included Australian Consolidate Press and the Nine Network, following the death of his father, Sir Frank Packer, in 1974. Aside from his business interests, Packer was known as a larger-than-life gambler, prone to turning up a casino at any time of the day or night and playing baccarat or blackjack, several hands at a time, for up to $US150,000 or $US200,000 apiece.

Known as the ‘Prince of Whales’, Packer won, and lost, millions of dollars; so much, in fact, that he could, single-handedly, affect the quarterly earnings reports of the casinos in which he gambled. In 1997, he reportedly won $US26 million playing blackjack at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and, two years later, suffered the biggest loss ever sustained in Britain, £11 million, or $16.5 million, over a three-week period at Crockfords in Mayfair, London. Back in Las Vegas, he also reportedly lost $US20 million playing baccarat at the Bellagio in 2000, followed by another $US29 million at the same venue a year later.

Ida Summers

Ida Summers Popularly known as the ‘Vegas Vixen’, Ida Summers was a petite, attractive woman and, as such, was hardly an archetypal cheat, and particularly not in Las Vegas in the Mafia-dominated days of the Sixties and Seventies. However, a bold, skilful and, ultimately, notorious cheat she was, employing distraction and sleight-of-hand techniques to swindle casino blackjack tables out of tens of thousands of dollars.

Reputedly from Newport, Kentucky, Summers moved to Las Vegas in 1961, by which time she had already mastered the technique of ‘hand mucking’, which involves concealing a favourable card, such as an ace, in the palm of the hand and surreptitiously substituting it for a less favourable card as an when required. This type of deception provided Summers with easy pickings but, later, she took her cheating activity to another level, by recruiting male accomplices to help her substitute not just a single card, but the whole blackjack shoe.

At an opportune moment, when the dealer was distracted, Summers would lift the original shoe off the blackjack table and conceal it in her lap, while a pre-stacked shoe, known as a ‘cooler’, was slipped onto the table in its place. She would offload the original shoe to a standing accomplice and make herself scarce at the earliest opportunity, leaving her remaining seated accomplices to take advantage of a series of guaranteed winning hands, albeit with a few losing hands thrown in, for good effect. Eventually, Summers became the subject of a surveillance operation conducted, jointly, by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the FBI; although ultimately betrayed by a former accomplice, was sentenced to just twelve months’ probation.

Quarantine Casino

 

Fouad al-Zayat

Fouad al-Zayat The late Fouad al-Zayat, who died in Lebanon in 2018 at the age of 77, was a Syrian-born businessman, known in casino circles as the ‘Fat Man’. A prolific, but secretive, gambler, the twenty-stone billionaire regularly frequented Aspinalls Club in Mayfair, in the West End of London between 1994 and 2006. Initially, al-Zayat gambled tens, or hundreds, of thousands of pounds in a single visit but, towards the turn of the century, satisfied the definition of a high roller, or ‘whale’ in casino industry parlance, by raising his stakes to a million pounds, or more, in a single visit.

All told, in a twelve-year period, al-Zayat gambled £91.5 million at Aspinalls, losing £23.2 million, or 25% of his stake money. However, in March, 2000, al-Zayat drew four house checks for £500,000 apiece and lost all £2 million playing blackjack. He subsequently cancelled a cheque for £2 million, following a row over a croupier and, in 2006, Aspinalls sued him for that amount, plus £50,000 in costs. Initially, al-Zayat was ordered to repay the debt, but successfully appealed to the High Court on the grounds that Aspinalls had allowed him to defer payment for twelve months and, thereby, effectively allowed him credit that was illegal under the Gaming Act. The High Court judge agreed and the original ruling was overturned, effectively wiping out the debt. In 2015, al-Zayat was tried in absentia, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery in Greece and, at the time of his death, was also wanted for fraud in Cyprus.