Blackjack. One Act

To those of you who do not know me, I live in a state that allows Blackjack(twenty-one) to be played in most drinking establishments in most towns.  Also, for those of you that don’t know, it’s probably the best paying part-time job a college student can get.  The following is a one-act skit that I wrote based loosely on some of my less savory players and the poor attitude I took towards them.  Please understand that I’m not an asshole to everyone, just to schmucks that don’t tip and play with unemployement money.  If any of you have ever bartended or dealt in a smallish size town, you know the type.

THE SCENE: Joe’s Bar

A local bar where it would seem the seediest characters in the town congregate. Tonight is Friday. Karaoke night.


MELVIN: Out of work, he seems to think that by playing bingo and

black-jack he can supplement his unemployment check.

“YELLOW”: Sits down at five and doesn’t leave until close. Real name

is Thomas. All the dealers call him “Yellow” because he’ll smoke three packs of Old Gold Filters in a night and his fingers have yellowed with tar.

HARRY: Doesn’t play often, but when he does he makes every effort

to be a royal pain in the ass.

ZANE: Our gaming attendant for the night.


We fade onto the gaming area in Joe’s Bar. ZANE has just arrived to start his shift. The bar is empty except for a few drunken patrons bellied up to the bar. MELVIN walks up to the table and places a five dollar bill on the table. ZANE walks over to the table and changes the five for one dollar chips.

MELVIN: How you doing tonight Zane?

ZANE: Be a lot better once I get done taking your money Mel.

MELVIN: No reason to be an asshole Zane.

ZANE: Sure there is Mel. You’re here aren’t you?

MELVIN quits talking for a while. “YELLOW” walks up and sits down at the table. He lights up a cigarette and exhales in ZANE’s face then places a twenty on the table. ZANE changes the twenty for two’s.

MELVIN:(to “YELLOW”) Hi. Haven’t seen you here in a couple of days.

“YELLOW” has forgotten his false teeth today like most days and is nearly illegible

“YELLOW”: I been here.

ZANE:(to MELVIN) You’re the one that’s been gone.

MELVIN: Havent been very lucky lately.

ZANE: What’s the matter Mel, unemployment check not stretching as far as it used to?

MELVIN: Everywhere I go, the dealers are hot.

ZANE: That’s not really saying much, since you can only play on three tables in this town.

MELVIN:(mumbling) Wish they would get some friendly help around here.

ZANE: Whats that Mel?

MELVIN: Nothing.

ZANE: Maybe when you quit playing black-jack with my tax money, I’ll get a little friendlier.

MELVIN: It’s not your tax money. I pay unemployment taxes too.

ZANE: Yeah, when your working. How long did you hold your last job? Two months?

MELVIN: Three.

ZANE: So you worked three months and payed your unemployment taxes the whole time? That must have added up to about sixty bucks. How much was your last unemployment check? Little more than sixty bucks I’d bet. Seems to me the extra has to come from somewhere. Since I can hold a job and I still pay unemployment taxes, the extra comes from my taxes. Think of it as me helping you out with your rent. No charge.

ZANE has been dealing cards the entire time and has been mostly holding the players at even. MELVIN was up five bucks and is now down two dollars. “YELLOW” is four dollars up.

MELVIN:(loses another hand) I should have gotten out while I was even.

ZANE: You say that every time Mel. I think I’d fall over dead if you ever actually did it.

MELVIN:(puts the rest of his money on the betting spot and loses) I’m outta here.

ZANE: See you tomorrow Mel.

MELVIN leaves.

“YELLOW”: Your too tough for me, I’m cashing in.

“YELLOW” puts all his chips on the table to cash in. ZANE gets his money. HARRY sits down at the table.

HARRY: How’s it going tonight Josh?

ZANE: The name’s Zane.

HARRY: Right.

HARRY places a twenty on the table

HARRY: Two’s.

ZANE: Alright.

ZANE deals to HARRY for a while. Neither one speaks.

HARRY hits a hand and gets twenty-two. ZANE takes his chips and HARRY stops him as he is removing the cards.

HARRY: That’s twenty-one isn’t it?

ZANE: It’s twenty-two.

HARRY: Are you sure?

ZANE: Eight and five is thirteen. Thirteen and nine is twenty-two.

HARRY: Alright. Just checking. Gotta keep you honest.

ZANE: That’s what the camera’s are for Harry. How bout we let them do their job.

HARRY: Easy, Josh. Just checking.

ZANE: My name is ZANE. Do I need to spell it for you?

HARRY: Right.

ZANE: Maybe you should practice it a few times then.

HARRY: Kinda cranky tonight aren’t ya.

ZANE: Actually I was having a good day til I started to deal to you.

HARRY: Listen asshole. Where’s your manager?

ZANE: Probably at home watching T.V. Why? You gonna tell on me?

HARRY: I might if you don’t get a little friendlier.

ZANE: Well, he should be back in the office by eight tomorrow morning.

HARRY: Good. I’ll just have a little chat with him. Lets play cards.

ZANE: I don’t think that you should play anymore seeing as you feel that I’m cheating you.

HARRY: You kicking me off of the table, Josh?

ZANE: Yep.

HARRY pulls his chips and sets them on the table. ZANE cashes them in and gives him his money. ZANE sits down and lights a cigarette and plugs his ears as somebody sings a horrific rendition of a Garth Brooks song.


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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. Ede – I am sure you know by now that all of us get like that… and seeing as I delt blackjack for a year in the same town… the sad part is.. I can picture the exact senario you describe above… and having the same reactions.