Gambling Plan

by John Grochowski

Some players go into casinos with a gambling plan of attack; others go in with a few bucks and a dream of riches.
Who is more likely to come out with the riches --- or at least with part of their bankroll intact? The player with a gambling plan, of course.
This lesson lists a few things to consider before your day at the casino:

1) Learn the games before you play:
A little homework goes a long way in helping to cut the odds against you at casino games. Learn basic strategy in blackjack and for each video poker game you play. Know the rules and best bets in craps. No matter your game of choice, buy a good book and read about the best methods of play. Practice on the computer. Be prepared.

2) Understand that can’t-miss systems can miss:
A double-up Martingale system, where you double your bet after each loss until a win finally comes will win more often than it loses. But when it loses --- oh, boy. One losing streak that pushes your wager to the table maximum can wipe out your bankroll.

3) Stay within your gambling plan bankroll:
Decide before you play how much you're willing to spend on the day's entertainment. If you've decided you can afford to lose up to $200, slow down as you approach that figure. Take a timeout, get a snack, watch the roulette wheel for a while. If you hit that $200 limit, quit. Period.

4 Gambling Plan: Keep part of your winnings:
Don't go crazy after a big win just because you're playing with "their money." Remember, as soon as you've won it, it's not "theirs" anymore. It's YOUR money, and you don't have to give it back. You can buy yourself a treat, go out for an evening on the town, put a little away for the kids' or grandkids' educations, pay bills -- whatever you want.
If you’ve hit a video poker royal flush on a quarter game for $1,000 and want to try a dollar game, go for it. But first, put at least $500 away, not to be touched. Set a limit on your losses, or how much of your winnings you’re willing to give back in pursuit of bigger riches 

5) Play only with money you can afford to lose:
For most players, the house edge on casino games will inevitably grind down our bankrolls. We'll win sometimes but lose more often. When the losses come, make sure you don't have money earmarked for food, clothing, school, the rent or mortgage on the line. Play with money budgeted for entertainment, not for life's necessities.

6) Gambling Plan Never chase losses:
What's worse than losing money? Losing even more in a desperate attempt to win it back. A woman who lost $8,000 on the same $5 slot machine once wanted me to investigate to see if there was something wrong with the machine. She thought she was due to win, so she kept betting and betting.
Casino games don't work that way. The same house edge that's at work during initial losses remains at work if you keep betting.
You're never "due" to win, and wins and losses don't have to even out in the time we play. A losing streak means it's time to cut back or quit, not bet more.

7) Keep your gambling plan in perspective and play for fun:
Gambling is not a way to get rich. It's a way to have a good time. If we take a little extra home, so much the better.

Sometimes you'll win with your gambling plan, but often, small winning streaks and a few near-misses will be highlights of the day.
As long as you’re playing games you enjoy, savoring the wins and limiting losses, even a losing day can be fun.

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