Sunday, December 7, 2008

How to Gamble Without Losing Your Shirt

Although I don't gamble very often, I do enjoy playing cards and going to the casinos occasionally. It is important to understand that gambling is is a form of entertainment, not a way to make money. The following tricks have worked well for me, and sometimes even allowed me to go home with more than I started:

  • Expect to Lose - The odds are never in your favor, expect to lose. Casinos stay in business by taking your money, and building a casino isn't cheap.

  • Never Play on Credit - Never gamble money you don't have. Some casinos will take credit cards, but cash advancing a credit card could get you into serious trouble. At the very least it will cost you $14.99 in transaction fees. Only gamble with money that you can pull out of a bank account, and are willing to lose.

  • One Trip to the ATM - Since we are already planning to lose, figure out how much you are willing to spend for one entertaining night of gambling. For me, that is about $100.00. If I lose it in ten minutes, then I will just have to watch my friends play for the rest of the night. If I can play cards the entire night on $100.00, even better. Either way I can only lose $100.00.

  • Know the game- Don't sit at a game until you know exactly how to play. Don't let your friends try to teach you at the table. Watch others, learn for free, and then play when you are ready.

  • Count Your Chips- People say it's bad luck to count your chips. I think this rumor was started by casinos, so people didn't know how much they where spending. You should roughly know how many chips you have at all times during the night.

  • Understand the value of chips- When repetitively betting, chips begin to subconsciously lose there value. It is easy to forget that each chip in a stack is worth $10.00. Try to visualize each chip as its actual denomination. If you have a stack of $10.00 chips, picture a stack of ten dollar bills instead.

  • Play your Winnings- You can be up $300.00 one minute, and broke the next. This the magic of gambling, and also how casinos lure people into playing. If by some miracle I make more than I started with and can continue to play solely on my winnings, I take the initial $100.00 in chips and put them in my left pocket. These chips in my left pocket will not be played for the rest of the night under any circumstances. If the rest I will still break even.

  • Winning Streak Quota- Set pre-determined gain quotas. My quota is $50.00. I continue to play until reaching my quota. The first time I lose above my quota, I will take my $50.00 gained, and leave the table or at least sit out a few hands to reassess my chips. Depending on the time of night, I will begin to put the $50.00 quotas in my left pocket with the initial $100, and not play them for the rest of the night.

  • The Pocket System - If it is still early, I will put earnings in my right pocket. These are chips that can still be played if necessary. As the night progresses, I will move increments of chips from my right to my left symbolizing that they will not be played for the rest of the evening.

  • Don't catch the fever - Time will pass by quickly when gambling. Hours will disappear in the blink of an eye. Remember to regularly sit out hands, and get up from tables frequently. Maintain a grasp of reality, and realize how much you are spending.

Unless you are a professional card player. Gambling is for entertainment purposes only, and should never be used with hopes of making money.

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