I play casino games often, and I’m happy to say that I win during most sessions. (I’ve often remarked that if I wasn’t winning on a fairly consistent basis, that I wouldn’t play any more). Every so often however, I’ll experience a cold streak, an unlucky session, an odds-balancing correction, bad karma – call it what you will. When it happens, it hurts. It hurts my bankroll, it hurts my ego, it even temporarily hurts my perspective on life (occasionally). Let’s face it, nobody feels good on a bad day.
Knowing that these sessions can happen however, means that I’m not too surprised if / when they occur. I’ve also learnt (the hard way) over time that worrying too much about them when they do occur is harmful – and can lead to bad decisions.
To help out, I thought I’d share some of my hard learnt tips with you. If we all play better, and stress less, we’ve got a chance to really beat the casinos! That will make us feel good, right? We’ll be happy – and what more could we ask for?
Tip 1: Get back on the horse
If you give up playing after a losing session, not only will you feel defeated, but you also won’t give yourself the opportunity to get your lost money back. Just as when you’re a child and fall off a bike or horse, and somebody says “get back on the horse” or “get back on the bike”, my advice to you is this: “get back to the blackjack table”, “get back to the roulette wheel”. It’s only by playing that you have a chance to win or break even. (If you have a gambling addiction however, my advice is “run” – and NEVER return to the palaces of chance. I don’t want to be responsible for your downfall).
Tip 2: Are you playing the right game?
If you’ve read this blog for a while you’ll know that casinos offer “good bets” and “bad bets”. Good bets are those games with a house edge of about 2.5% or lower (the lower the better), whilst bad bets are all other games (such as slots, carribean stud poker, baccarat tie bets, craps horn bet, etc). The “good bets” do give you a reasonable chance of walking out a winner on any particular gambling session. The “bad bets” can also make you a winner – but the odds of winning are far lower due to the high house edge. If you’re going to be playing regularly, make sure you’re only playing games that give you a chance to win – or to at least moderate your spending to reasonable “entertainment” levels.
Tip 3: Do you have the right bankroll for your game?
Every game can have swings and variations. You need to ensure you have a bankroll that can accommodate reasonable swings based upon a formula called “The Kelly Criterion”. This specific formula has been calculated to give players the greatest probability of winning, and the lowest probability of losing everything. The following are the recommended session bankrolls required for various games: slots 250 times your average bet (so if you play 20 lines at 5c, = $1 per spin, then you need a bankroll of $250); poker 100 times your average bet; other table games 50 times your average bet (so if you play 2 hands of blackjack at a time for $25 per hand, then you need a bankroll of $2500).
Tip 4: Are you playing the games well?
When you play your favourite casino game, are you playing the optimal strategy? For example, are you covering only a few numbers on roulette (good strategy) or covering every number for every spin (bad strategy)? If you’re playing blackjack, are you sitting on 15 against a dealer picture (bad strategy) or pulling a card (good strategy)? On Carribean Stud Poker are you betting with lower than a pair of jacks in your hand (bad strategy) or betting with a pair of jacks or better (good strategy)? It’s important that you play ANY game to an optimal strategy – otherwise you’re more likely to be giving your money to the casinos. There’s no excuse for bad play – there are plenty of books available to read and plenty of good internet sites to visit that can teach you about optimal gambling strategies. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to help you. Play well, or reap the consequences!
Tip 5: Play with a positive attitude
I’ve always believed you should play with a positive frame of mind whilst in any casino. We’re optimists right? All gamblers want to win. And now and again we actually do take the casino’s money home! Playing with a positive attitude not only helps you to enjoy the games more, but it puts you in a more stable frame of mind that will hopefully help you to better avoid making silly playing decisions. Go into the casino with the attitude of a WINNER. The moment you start thinking “I’m a loser” is the moment that you become what you think… so go in assuming you’ll win, and then don’t be surprised when you get that jackpot!
I hope you’ve found my tips useful. They’ve been hard learnt over my 15 years of play – and, in the long run, casino gambling has been PROFITABLE for me… hopefully you’ll get similar results when you follow my tips and advice. Good luck to you!