By Henry Tamburin

I learned to play blackjack after I lost my meager bankroll in a casino on my very first trip to Las Vegas. Here’s how this happened.

In 1969 my wife Linda and I were living in graduate-student apartments at the University of Maryland. I was working on my Ph.D. in organic chemistry and Linda was supporting us by working an 8‒5 job as a secretary in the Meteorological Department on campus. I spent many days, nights, and weekends in the laboratory doing experiments as part of my studies. We didn’t have a lot of money back then (to put it mildly), and when we were approached by friends (another graduate couple) to join them on their upcoming trip to Las Vegas, we respectfully said, “No thanks.”

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