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A gambling "junket" is a free trip offered by a casino to an organization. It is simply another part of the corporate hospitality business. It will usually be to a gambling city, such as Atlantic City or Las Vegas, though junkets may also take clients to places such as London or Puerto Rico, where gambling is legalized. There is usually a deal between the casino and the organization; often they will be offspring of a parent company.

The casino pays for the players' travel, hotel, and other expenses. In return, the clients put up a sum of money, say $1,000. When they reach the casino this will be returned in the form of special nonnegotiable chips, i.e., they can only be used to gamble in one particular casino and their value cannot be redeemed. They will also be distinctively marked so they cannot be mistaken for other chips. In theory, this is a good deal for both sides. The clients get a free trip and the casino gets a set of highly-paid executives at their tables, most of whom probably don't know the first thing about gambling and don't know when to quit.

Qualification for a junket doesn't come easy. The player's credentials must already be well established by the tour operator, or you must be referred by someone who is both trusted and whose reputation is valued highly.

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Why Don't They Play Nickel-Dime Poker in Vegas?
An oxymoron is a figure of speech whose constituent words are opposite or contradictory. We've all heard the knee-slappers "jumbo shrimp" and "military intelligence." I have identified a new one: "penny poker."

Suppose you just read the last section and are eager to teach a group of friends, who have never played poker before in their lives, how to play real Seven-Card Stud. You host a game intended to provide an opportunity for everyone to learn how to play, so you decide to use chips that have no value. When the game begins, each of the eight players is given a rack of one hundred white chips worth 1 nothing each and a stack of twenty red chips worth 5 nothings each. If a player runs out of chips, he can just walk over to the bin and get another rack and stack.

You talk through the rules and start dealing. Your first hand is J-7-4 of mixed suits. From the study you've done on Seven-Card Stud strategy, you know that this is a folding hand, but you call for the sake of playing and because it won't cost you any real money.
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