Thursday, February 3, 2011

How I Became a Gambling Addict in Macao

Macao is an interesting place. There are plenty of sights and historical buildings to fill the boots of any avid tourist. There's enough delicious Cantonese, Macanese and Portuguese cuisine to stuff even the heartiest of bellies. And then there are the casinos...

The misleadingly named, Wynn Casino in Macao

I have to say, when I arrived in Macao I didn't really think I would spend much time in the casinos. I've been to Vegas enough times to have lost interest in casinos, BUT I do have a weak spot when it comes to casinos: massive dinner buffets and playing Craps.

Do I need to explain why I'm drawn to the massive casino buffets? Who can possibly NOT love the huge spread at the buffet tables of gaming casinos? Certainly not a lover of food like me!

I LOVE buffets!

As for gambling, Craps is the ONLY type of gambling I've ever done and I think it's probably going to be the only game I'd be willing to bet money on. It's just so fun but darn if I could tell you how to play it!

Matt and I started playing Craps our first night in Macao. We were up by the time we got hungry and decided to splurge on a buffet dinner at the Wynn Casino. We stuffed ourselves silly!

Enjoying round 1 of our epic buffet dinner

After dinner, we immediately returned to the Craps table and made off with almost 500 HKD before we called it a night. We were absolutely over the moon!

Our first night's winnings

The next day, we walked around the sights of Macao, getting lost in the small streets and alleyways and even catching a lion dancing show, before the lure of the gaming tables beckoned us and we returned to the Craps table to ahem, make more money.

Lion dancers drawing a crowd around them in Macao

As we were winning several hundred Hong Kong dollars again, Matt and I treated ourselves to yet another buffet dinner. This time it was at the Hotel Lisboa and in our ecstatic mood over winning, we both decided to be adventurous and tried oysters for the first time.

Matt's reaction to his first oyster

My reaction to my first oyster

Then back to the dice! Matt and I walked away from the Craps table the second night with almost 300 HKD in our pockets. Success! And now it's safe to say: we're officially hooked on gambling.

The third day, perhaps we overdid it because we weren't so lucky. Matt and I played Craps all afternoon (yes, a little excessive but hey, that's addiction for you) at the Sands Casino but lost 700 HKD in the end before calling it quits.

The stealer of gambling dreams (and our money)

The fourth day, Matt and I did our best to avoid the gambling tables, we really did! We went sight-seeing again, trying to take our minds off the Craps table.

The ruins of St. Paul's Church

We got lost making our way through Macao's small side-streets.

Losing our way in Macao

Unfortunately, being gambling addicts, we inevitably returned to the Craps table at Wynn not too long after we finished sight-seeing, hoping to recover our losses. As this was our last night in Macao, Matt and I decided to just go all in and have a good time (while you know, making our millions). We ended up losing 1000 HKD before cutting our loses, saying goodbye to the casino workers who had become our friends during the many hours we spent at the gaming table, and leaving.

So Matt and I didn't exactly make our millions in Macao as we had originally hoped, but it was definitely fun and we sure did have a good time.

I guess you just need to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em in Macao! Just try to fold 'em while you're still up!

Have you ever played Craps before? Isn't it fun? Can you tell us how to play the game?

© Connie Hum 2011


  1. I lived in Vegas for a couple years, and I can only understand blackjack and sports gambling. Cna you bet on the Super Bowl there? I had no idea there was more to Macao than gambling ... great post and thanks for showing the other side to me.

  2. @Scott Sorry to say but there's no betting on the Super Bowl in Macao. And I'm glad to have shared with you a different side of Macao. It's definitely worth a visit and the food is AMAZING!!!

  3. Hi Connie,

    I have no idea how to play Craps (or any casino game for that matter, except a bit of Blackjack and Poker), but Macao is where I was born! I haven't been back since then, but lots of people have told me about the casino boom there so it's interesting to hear your experience with the city. Good job quitting ahead of time - the only way to win at gambling is by being the casino :)

    - Lily

  4. I spent a night-day in Macao two years ago when I started working for my current employer (no, my employer is not a casino.... I wish!). I did a training in HK and went over on saturday evening with 8 colleagues... it was one of the funniest nights ever! I didn't really gamble, but we went to many casinos to have a round of drinks and food! We also had breakfast at 9am (dumplings!)... an all nighter. I loved it! And miss it!

  5. Ha! I was going to ask you how to play since I'm going to Vegas soon. Someone will have to buy Craps for Dummies and let us all know. Good to know you can win even if you don't know how to play. :-)

  6. @Lily You should definitely go back! I bet some of the changes will astound you.

    @Katherina Sounds like a fun night indeed! Dumplings for breakfast after a night of drinking = AWESOME!

    @ramblinbess I bet on the numbers once the token is marked "on". You basically win money every time the roller hits the number you bet on. The table clears when the roller rolls a 7. Good luck! Craps is so much fun!

  7. Well you know what they say, the house always wins in the end LOL :) bon apetit with the buffet dinners though - I'm exactly the same :D

  8. Looks like you had a great time in Macao!~ I'm not a gambling person too, I probably eat my way out there too haha

  9. Love the oyster photo! Glad you didn't lose too much in the casino. My game is blackjack and like you I like to walk away once I'm a little bit ahead (or not)

  10. @Essie and @Sarah Wu The food is reason enough to go to Macao! Honestly, I gained a two-month pregnancy from all the food I ate!

    @Andy Jarosz The oyster photo may be cool but the oyster itself wasn't! I think the way to win money at the casinos is too keep walking away when you're up a little. A little adds up and I think you cut your chances of losing to the House that way. At least, that's my hope!

  11. Thanks very much for stopping by my blog and telling me about the beautiful plate you bought in Istanbul. I'll be headed for Singapore, Hongkong and, yes, Macao in September. I'm not a gambler and don't have a clue about craps, but I love to watch.

  12. @inka Sounds like a fun trip! Hopefully I'll be a bit more settled in Hong Kong by September but if you let me know, I'd be happy to meet up with you and show you around! Maybe we can even go to Macao together and make some ahem, money. =)

  13. As someone who visits Las Vegas every year, I can relate to the vagaries of gambling. It's so easy to feel like you're "in the zone" when you're winning, but inevitably, the tide turns. It's fun, though, as long as you stick to your budget. I LOL'ed at the photos of you guys eating your first oysters. I think I had the same reaction.

  14. @Gray Gambling is such a dangerous activity! I think people can very easily get sucked into it, just like Matt and I were. Luckily, we were about to walk away but unfortunately, a lot of people fall into debt because of it. I know gambling is a huge problem for the Chinese and it's not uncommon to hear of suicides in Macao after a big night of losing to the casinos.

    Why people eat oysters is beyond me! They are just so slimy! Yuck!


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