Ernie Gygax, Gary’s son was in 8th grade in 1974 and already he was a canny gamer. I learned a great deal from him as a player in the game. Caution was the constant byword in our gaming.
I rose in wizard levels quickly because all of the other 5th and 6th level characters gained a lot of loot and I had an equal share of the gold and gems. Gary loved giving gems as treasure. Along the same lines he would roll for the value of each gem. Any roll of a 6 on a d6 doubled the value of the gem. Sometimes he would roll four or five sixes on a single gem and the value went way up.
The group was scrupulously fair in deviding up treasure. Everyone got a percentile roll for the magic items. That is how my character acquired a Staff of Power when he was low level. I rolled a 99% the other much higher characters groaned to see a low level character get the staff.
Also never doubt that Gary was not a Monty Haul referee. He had to be because he had to play test all of the magic items he put in his rules. He had no idea what a Deck of Many Things or a Portable Hole would do to his campaign world. So his wondrous dungeon was liberally sprinkled with magical treasures.
Then we have the concept of cursed items. Gary loved to expose his players to cursed items; way too much if you asked me. I can’t tell you how many times I was exposed to Horns of Bubbles or cursed rings. One of his favorite tricks was to give out a magical sword that seemed to do great things like burst into flames or do extra damage to giant-types. That weapon, unknown to the wielder would have some sort of curse, like attracting arrows to the player or causing them to strike at a -3. Once we got to higher levels we could detect for those curses, but it the beginning it was rough.
One adventure I acquired a grand long sword. It was a +3 to hit and do damage. It could talk. It could burst into flame on command. It also had a chance to note secret doors. However, the sword loved gems. The weapon demanded gems put on its sheath regularly or it would not use any of its powers for the wielder. Over the adventures this got very expensive for me as I had to give the best gems to the sword for its work.