Starwoods was next to several other casinos. Went in the Wynn and they had poker but 12 people in the queue already. Stuff that. So decided to go in search of the cheaper blackjack.
Across the road was the Lisboa. They had £20 a hand blackjack so thought fed up with traipsing around let’s give it a go. Guy next to me looking like an apparatchik. What did you do in the Cultural Revolution I thought? Blackjack was fairly flat early on but then started to pick up. Soon one guy started betting behind me. What this means is that he bet money on my hand and if I won he won and if I lost he lost. I’m really not too keen on this on the whole as Im losing someone else’s money if I do mess up. Also this game allowed surrender (give up a bad hand and get half your stake ) as an option which helps the player but wasn’t sure when to use this. Still kept winning and soon the apparatchik was playing behind me too. And still won so they stopped playing their own boxes and just backed me. And then got a double down opportunity so £160 on this one hand between the three of us. Got an ace which was the worst card to get but the dealer got two pictures to bust. Exciting said the apparatchik. Indeed. Carried on and I did make a mistake and the other guy started screeching in Chinese – and the dealer actually let me change it. At this point decided to walk away with £200 in profit. Back to the hotel and went to the bar for wanton noodles and a beer. Not sure if using the chopsticks as a spaghetti fork is the correct way to eat noodles but works for me.
Next day was feeling rather chipper and gave a friendly hi-di-hi to the guards. Decided to spend some of my winnings in the Shoppes. Brought my bought-in-10-minutes-in-Vegas Converse which get just a teeny bit uncomfortable after a while and so decided to buy some more comfortable footwear. Felt so much better so bought them and kept them on. Spent 10 minutes walking around the fake Grand Canal and it was bliss. Bought a few other things and then got the bus back to the Taipa ferry.
Final thoughts on Macau. It is quite different from Vegas. Vegas has its high rollers but has plenty of places like Hooters which cater for the Ordinary Joe. Macau just seems to be for the high rollers. There were plenty of people playing £100 a hand blackjack and I hate to think how much was spent in the high limit areas. I read that people here will bet more than people in the west of a similar income level. This is because gambling is seen as a sign of high social status.
It feels like the sheer size and opulence of the casinos is more for show than practical purposes. I do wonder what old Chairman Mao would think of it all. One thing I read is that the Communists do have people checking up on who is here and are looking for corrupt officials spending their ill gotten gains.