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Genting Highlands - Casino / The house always wins


View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

Someone we had met in our hostel in Kuala Lumpur gave us the following advice: Go to Genting Highlands casino. Buy a stack of chips. Stand by the poker table, spend an hour there looking as if you're watching and waiting for an opening to play. Cash your chips. Someone there will offer you a free hotel room. Stay for free as long as you want.

The actual version (in theory) is this: Get chips and a membership card. Go to a poker or roulette table, give your card to the dealer, and you'll get points for as long as the dealer doesn't sign you out (so you should look like you'll play). You'll get about 2 points per hour. In the low season, rooms start at 12 points. In the high season rooms start at 35 points. It took us a couple hours to figure out that this is how it works; before that we were walking around trying to find someone to offer us a room. Since the guy said it's low season, we kept our cards at roulette tables and collected enough points by midnight for a low-season room. I then found out that it's high season. So we stayed through the night, shifting our chips around the roulette table. There was also an Asian dice game where different combinations of the 3 dice had different payouts - I spent about an hour with a pencil and paper to see what the expectation is on each (similar to dice games that were talked about a lot when I was interviewing with banks), and found that for most the house had about a 30% edge (compared with 3% in roulette - their wheel had a 0 but no 00). In mid-morning we were getting very close to the cheapest room, and I asked and the desk said that room is sold out - the next cheapest is 20 points more. We calculated that would make it evening before we get a room, and decided to leave the casino, defeated. Also, in the initial few hours we actually played a table here and there of roulette, losing a total of about 70 ringitt ($25). I guess that teaches us for trying to beat the house. You can't beat the house. On the upside, tea was free and points could be used for meals and gifts so we could use our points and not come up completely emptyhanded.

Even using the points was quite difficult though, as there are countless information desks and each one only knows about what their desk handles. It took us 2 hours of asking around before we found out how to use a voucher to get a gift in exchange for points. Especially annoying was when they said "you just print the voucher" or "go to the gift shop" while the gift shop said "go to the information counter", having us go in circles without reaching the right person.

The only real highlight (apart from getting a story to tell) was the transport. To get from the bus terminal to the point on the highlands where the casino is, we took a cable car with some pretty spectacular views.
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Posted by chrisvasil 21:22 Archived in Malaysia Tagged tourist_sites

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