by Kevin Stott | In parlay card vernacular, a "near-miss" often refers to a player’s card that had just one selection wrong, costing the gambler a possible win and a return trip to the betting window.
At the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel, Race and Sports Book Director Jamie Shea found a creative way to try and keep both her bosses and the bettors happy with the "Not So Perfect" parlay card.
"It actually came from our senior director of finance," Shea revealed. "He’s a big football fan and he said ‘the thing that pisses me off is when I miss it (winning the card) by one (selection). Every week I’m coming in saying I had a six-teamer and I hit five of them.’ So it really came from him and from his aggravation from losing."
The card, which has no ties and all half points, does pay a bit less than the casino’s regular parlay card. For example, a perfect 10-for-10 on a "regular" Hard Rock parlay card pays out at 830-for-1 while the "Not So Perfect Parlay Card" pays out at 400-for-1.
The pure beauty in this card lies in the "near-miss" payouts for those players who should go 6 for 7 (5-for-1 payout), 7 for 8 (7-for-1), 8 for 9 (15-for-1) or 9 for 10 (25-for-1) on their card selections.
Shea said once the public begins to understand what this card is all about they love it.
"People love it when they figure out what it is," she said, "a lot of people think it’s something that it’s not and then they start looking at it and say ‘Oh, that’s so cool.’"
She added the bean counters at the Hard Rock did their homework before first issuing the card to have the least amount of exposure for the sports book.
"We wanted to offer people something to help enhance the experience of sports betting and to give people a break. You hate to see them come in and say ‘I had a six-teamer and I hit five of them.’ And maybe it doesn’t pay what your six-teamer would pay but at least it pays something."
Shea is surprised this unique offering hasn’t become more popular in Las Vegas.
"Unfortunately it hasn’t become as widely known as I would like," she admitted. "When people do get it, they absolutely love it. Every year it becomes more and more popular."
And Shea, who added that the Hard Rock now boasts the best parlay cards odds in town, said the religious football bettors have worked the card into their repertoire.
"A lot of people will do the ‘Not So Perfect’ card in addition to their regular parlay card. Our parlay card now has the best odds in town. Our 11-for-11 pays 1525 (for-1), our 10-for-10 pays 830 (for-1), 9-for-9 (pays) 420 (for-1)."
Another unique parlay card at the Hard Rock is its free $5 weekly parlay available exclusively for Rockstar Club members.
"You sign up for a player’s club card and they’ll give you every week a free parlay and you turn it in for a $5 bet," Shea said.