Pucker up for
these sweetheart deals

Feb 8, 2005 1:33 PM

Besides candy and flowers, dining out with your sweetheart ranks near the top for Valentine’s Day activities. It is among the busiest of days for restaurants. Specials abound so you can’t use cost as an excuse for not taking out your better-half!

The Palms Casino Resort’s Sunrise Café will be serving a delicious Valentine’s Day menu on Monday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. For only $14.95 per person, the Valentine’s Day special is a salad with baby lettuce and hearts of palm, sun-dried cranberries and candied walnuts with grapefruit and honey mustard vinaigrette, followed by the entrée that includes choice of an aged beef filet, jumbo shrimp with leeks, and zucchini tempura with roasted vegetables. For dessert, enjoy a chocolate heart filled with fresh strawberries, mousse and vanilla cream.

Throughout the month of February, Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas is offering a free cake (serving 12-15 people) to any group booking a party that costs $300 or more. On Valentine’s Day, Hofbrauhaus will give diners a free sweet treat dessert for two with any entrée purchased over the weekend (Friday-Monday.)

Valentine’s Day will be a special event at the Hacienda where "sweetheart specials" will be served in all restaurants. In addition, double slot club points will be awarded all day and heart royal flush winners will receive a free special candy treat as a gift. The casino will also feature a cash raffle once an hour starting at 4 p.m. and running until 8 p.m.

At Jackie Gaughan’s El Cortez, casino players will get a free box of See’s candy for hitting any $50 jackpot, Tuesday through Friday.

Casino MonteLago at Lake Las Vegas will reward club members with a box of Ethel M chocolates when they earn 20 points ($20 coin-in on slots, $40 on video poker), Tuesday through Feb. 14.

If you earn 50 club points at the Nevada Palace on Saturday, the casino will reward you with a Valentine’s Day bear (stuffed, that is).

Finally, if you want to pamper yourself and satisfy that sweet couldn’t see the point of picking up and driving to another place.

I decided to set a goal of winning $50 (net) from each machine, that is $50 profit, over and above what I put into the machine.

I chose Four Card Keno, because it increased the likelihood of hitting an intermediate jackpot, and picked a popular casino, the Gold Coast.

The Game King machines that house Four Card Keno offer a variety of denominations, from a nickel up to a dollar. I selected quarters and played just one quarter per card.

I also decided to play 9-spots and 7-spots, because with a 25¡ bet, catching 7-out-of-9 pays a respectable $83.75 and catching 6-out-of-7 rewards you with a tidy $100. Obviously, betting maximum (four) coins would produce payoffs of $335 and $400, respectively, but betting $4 per keno game becomes expensive.

I decided to cluster two 9-spot and two 7-spot cards and played on a given machine until I reached my goal of $50 profit per machine.

On the evening that I experimented with this approach, I never hit anything higher than 7-out-of-9 and 6-out-of-7, but was fairly consistent in hitting enough of them to cash out about half a dozen times (each time with a profit of from $50 to $120).

I enjoyed playing this way, which I shall call my hit and run approach, and think it can give the player a realistic goal while shooting for the "big one."

(L.J. Zahm is author of "Cluster Keno: Using the Zone Method to Win at Video Keno." The book is available at the Gamblers Book Shop in Las Vegas.)