Humor Fiction posted December 8, 2017


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A lucky man's luck has run out.

The Power of Positive Thinking.

by Thomas Bowling


“Double down,” I said.

The crowd of onlookers gasped. I had just broken the primary rule of Blackjack. I was at a table in Las Vegas at the Frontier Casino. I had been dealt two jacks. The dealer was showing a four of diamonds. He had to take a hit. The chances that he would go bust were good. I had a winning hand. I split the jacks. You are never supposed to split a winning hand, but I threw caution to the wind.

I was playing at a high stakes table, so the money was significant. The other players at my table smiled and looked at me like I was an imbecile. The pit boss took an interest in my strategy, certain that I was new to the game. He touched the dealer's shoulder and winked.

I said hit me. The first hand was now seventeen. I touched the other jack, “Hit me.”

My second hand became sixteen. “Stay.” I wasn't exactly striking fear in the dealer's heart.

The dealer turned over his hole card, a nine of spades, He was holding thirteen. The rules of Blackjack state that if the dealer has less than sixteen, he must hit. He took another card, a two. He now had fifteen. A bead of sweat formed on his forehead and ran down his cheek.

The pit boss walked back over and watched intently as the dealer took another card, seven of clubs. Twenty-two, bust. The crowd cheered as the pot was pushed across the table to me. I had won three hundred thousand dollars.

The other players took turns patting me on the back. “Nerves of steel,” one of them said. “What's your secret?”

“The power of positive thinking. Positive thinking, and self-confidence.”

“Well, you've got it in spades,” a man offered. “Care to put it to the test?”

I looked him over and smiled. “Anytime.”

“There's no time like the present,” my new friend said. “Why don't we cut the deck one time for ten million dollars. Winner takes all.”

“You're on.”

We sat at a private table. A dealer shuffled a fresh deck and set it in front of us. As he did, my companion pulled a small paperback book from his breast pocket and laid it on the table. Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking.

The only difference between his copy and mine was that he had the newly revised version. My confidence was gone along with my fortune.

 
 


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