poker chips in a tray

[twitter]A couple of times a month, I’ll head out and play poker. It’s not an all night thing for me, it’s a 2-5 hours, usually on a Friday night after the kids are in bed. Jen stays home and flips through Property Brothers and Days of Our Lives on the PVR and I head out to play some cards while listening to some podcasts, or watching a a Canucks game on NHL Gamecenter.

Last night I had a good session. In less than 2 hours I racked up a nearly $600 win. Jen likes to check in when I’m out, and when I texted her a picture of my chip stack, she implored me to “come home right away!” It was a very loose table, and there was probably another couple of hundred dollars to be soaked, but I did as I was told and paid my wife tax when I got home.

Last week, after a $300 win, I dropped $100 in her purse. This week, it was $200.

So it got me thinking – much like who should get the Roll Up The Rim win when someone else buys you a coffee, what happens to ‘lottery’ winnings in a relationship?  If you scratch and win $100, do you have to give half to your wife?  Because my hobby happens to have a financial reward attached to it more often than not, am I required to hand over a hundy to my wife when I come home?  I don’t ask her for cash when I lose, is it fair she only share in the wins?

We don’t have joint bank accounts. I pay the mortgage, the groceries and a few house bills, she pays the nanny and the cable. We don’t “keep track” as to who pays for what when we go out. Sometimes she treats for dinner, sometimes I do. Sometimes she pays for the movie date with the kids, sometimes I do. We each know the bills we’re responsible for, and manage it accordingly.

We probably should have joint accounts, but it’s nothing that we’ve done to this point.

So when Jen gets a bonus at work, or I have a big win at the poker table, that money belongs to the individual. It doesn’t go in a communal pot to be spent on vacations, or special projects. Still, I feel a little guilty about heading out to ‘gamble’, and so if I win big I break off a piece for her so that she understands it is a profitable hobby (I keep track with an app my poker winnings (and losings), and I do win in the long term).

How do you handle money at your house?  Do you have joint accounts?  If you win at poker do you break some off for your spouse? As a wife do you expect to be “paid” after your husband has a good night at the tables?dadcamp fire

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