Update May 2009: The Las Vegas casinos, which are suffering a huge downturn in visitors, would happily welcome your attempt at our most desperate strategy to raise quick cash, gambling.
Please understand that this is our #1, most desperate way to make some quick cash, and only applies in this situation: you have some cash, but not enough, and MUST have more within a very short time or your life will fall into ruin. When you've exhausted every other possible avenue, only then does a reasonable man consider the casino.
Why is this our most desperate? Look at Las Vegas. Those beautiful building don't grow in place; they represent the house's advantage. Understanding this, what is you best play? If I were in this situation, what games would offer me the best shot at winning enough to save my butt?
Games I would avoid: slot machines, roulette, and other games that are 100% luck. The house advantage is considerable and unalterable. I would also avoid games in which I compete directly against other betters, such as poker. I'm not an experienced player, so the odds would be heavily against me.
I'd go with blackjack. A four-deck game gives the house only a .51% advantage, vs. 9-10% on the slot machines. I'd find a system to guide my decisions and bet strictly within those guidelines. This would give me as close to a 50% chance of winning as I'd be likely to find in a casino.
And, most importantly, I'd take this vow. Read it aloud with me. "I will quit the moment I have the money I need." I'd tattoo that on the back of my hand. If I'm down to our #1 way to raise cash in a hurry, I'm already playing long odds, and the rule of any casino is, if you play long enough, you'll lose. 100% guaranteed.