I can’t tell you how much I hate this quote. The sound of it is actually cringe-worthy to me, kind of like nails on a chalkboard.
You must be wondering why. For someone who started in this business as a blackjack dealer, this quote shouldn’t cause this kind of reaction from a sane person… unless it’s repeated to you at almost every gig you deal at, and sometimes not even on a blackjack table. It’s kind of like working at a karaoke bar and having loud drunken customers repeatedly do “Summer Nights” from the movie Grease, or “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, poorly. At the end of the night, you too would want to throw your drink at them.
…but I digress. After looking up the history, certain consistencies came up, so I’m going to go with that. The history of the quote “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner” began on the Vegas strip, when, back in the day, every casino had a $1.79 three-piece chicken dinner, which included a potato and a veggie. Back in those days, a standard bet was $2. If you won a hand, you would have enough money to buy this dinner, hence the quote. During that time period, this chicken dinner was the most common, cheapest meal around. So essentially, when you’re repeating this line, what you’re really saying is “YAY, I won $5 bucks! I have enough to buy myself a happy meal!”
The reason why this classic quote received new attention is thanks to the Kevin Spacey 2008 movie “21″ based on the true story of a group of MIT students that learned how to count cards and basically defrauded the casinos out of some heavy change at the blackjack tables (so please stop saying it at every other game you play – it’s not cute or funny).
What’s worse about this quote is the first time it’s reintroduced to the populous, it’s coming out of the mouth of a heavily accented Chinese person, and being partly Chinese myself, it just makes me want to bang my head on my laptop keyboard. The line is then repeated several other times in the film, making a home in the audience’s consciousness, and up the craw of dealers like me who have heard it more times than necessary. I love you guys at Trigger Street (the production company that made the film), and I’ve been a Trigger Street Lab member since 2008, but I blame you folks for this!
So do us all a favor folks, enjoy the games, but stop saying that infernal line. It’s a sad quote. And new dealers, don’t encourage the usage. You’ll be glad you didn’t. H/T >