Many articles about gambling tend to focus on why you should gamble less. In fact, I recently wrote an article about many reasons why you should gamble less. But there are also some reasons why you should gamble more.
At the end of the day, the only person who can decide if you should gamble more or less is you. As long as you can afford to do it, I think you should gamble as much as you want. If you enjoy it and can afford it, why not gamble as much as you want?
1 – Positive Expectation
The best reason to gamble more is when you’re playing with positive expectation. Expectation is a mathematical concept you can use with most forms of gambling to see if you’re going to win or lose in the long run. Each gambling activity has an expectation, and most of them are negative.
A negative expectation means you’re going to lose money in the long run. A positive expectation means you’re going to win more than you lose in the long run. The problem with gambling is there are only a few ways you can play with positive expectation, and most gamblers don’t know how to do it.
The most common forms of gambling where you have a chance to play with positive expectation are poker, blackjack, and sports betting. It’s not easy to learn how to do these things with positive expectation, but it’s possible.
I recommend learning as much as you can about poker to get started. Play against other players instead of the house, so you only need to outsmart your opponents to make a long term profit. It can take a long time to become a winning poker player, but with enough effort, you can do it.
If you want to become a winning blackjack player, you have to learn how to count cards. This is much easier than most people believe. And with some work, you can count cards good enough to play with a small edge.
Sports betting is the most challenging of the three gambling activities to beat in the long run. But, if you learn how to analyze games and players, you can do it. The added benefit of betting on sports is that you can usually place small bets as low as $10 in many places, so you don’t have to risk much.
You can even place friendly wagers with friends and people you work with for any takes you’re comfortable with. The added benefit of placing bets with people you know is that you don’t get charged the vig that sportsbooks charge on losing wagers.
2 – More Entertainment
Gambling is a form of entertainment for most players, and almost every form of entertainment costs money. As long as you can afford to gamble more and enjoy it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing it more.
The good news is that there are many ways to gamble that don’t cost much. You can buy a lottery ticket for a few bucks or place a small bet on your favorite sports team to add some more entertainment to watching a game.
In the casino, you can play games that have small minimum bets to stretch your entertainment value. You don’t have to risk hundreds or thousands every hour to be entertained unless you want to.
Casino games that play slow include keno and roulette. You can play with a minimum bet and stretch your entertainment value a long way.
3 – Entertainment Replacement
I touched on the entertainment value of gambling in the last section, but many people choose to gamble instead of doing something else for entertainment. How much does it cost to go to the movies or go out for a nice dinner? Most forms of entertainment can be expensive, so instead of spending $100 on something else, you could go to the casino and have a chance to make some money while being entertained.
This works even better when you can play with a positive expectation. Even if you shoot for close to breakeven play, you can enjoy many hours of gambling on a low entertainment budget. I cover more about this in the final section below.
4 – Friends and Family
If you have friends and family who enjoy gambling, you can get together for a trip to the casino, track, or poker room. It can be challenging to come up with new things to do, so why not consider a fun gambling outing?
Talk to everyone in the group beforehand so you can go where everyone can afford to gamble and have a good time. The track can be a fun outing because there are usually 10 to 15 races, and you can bet from a few dollars to hundreds on every race.
This allows everyone to make bets within their budget and you can all sit together and cheer for your horse or dog.
5 – Guilt-Free Fun
In the first section, I covered gambling with positive expectation. But, even if you’re not willing to put in the hard work required to play with an edge, you can play certain games using proper strategy that get you close to breakeven play. When you learn how to gamble close enough to break even, you can enjoy the entertainment value as much as you want without worrying about losing too much money.
Here’s how to get started.
The goal is to play close enough to break even, so the first thing you need to do is find a game or games with a low house edge. I recommend blackjack and video poker. Both of these games offer a house edge of less than 0.5% with the right rules and strategy.
The next thing you need to do is sign up for the player’s club, so you can earn comps to help offset your losses. Never play at the casino without earning comps.
Learn which blackjack or video poker games have the best rules. Then, find a strategy card you can use so you always play perfect strategy. Strategy cards are available for blackjack and popular video poker games.
The best video poker games are Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better. These games are available with many different pay tables, and if you don’t play on the right machines, the house edge is too high. The Jacks or Better pay table you’re looking for is called 9/6. The pay out for a full house is 9 and the pay out for a flush is 6. This pay table, when combined with perfect strategy, produces a house edge of only 0.46%.
The Deuces Wild pay table you’re looking for is the following:
Natural royal flush – 4,000
Four deuces – 1,000
Wild royal flush – 125
Five of a kind – 80
Straight flush – 50
Four of a kind – 20
Full house – 20
Flush – 15
Straight – 10
Three of a kind – 5
This Deuces Wild pay table has a low house edge of only .27%.
Once you find one of the two pay tables listed above, make sure you play with the lowest possible house edge and always use the best possible strategy. The easiest way to do this is to obtain a strategy card or print out a strategy chart.
I also recommend playing on the lowest denomination machine with the correct pay table that you can find. A quarter machine requires a total wager of $1.25 per spin and a dollar machine requires a total wager of $5 per spin. The machine still has a house edge, even if it’s small, so you’re still going to lose money in the long run. This means that the lower the amount of each spin, the less you lose on average per spin.
The other game I mentioned was blackjack. Anyone who knows this game well, understands that the secrets of blackjack lie within its many rule variations, and you need to learn which rules offer the lowest house edge. Then, you can find games with as many good rules as possible, and use a strategy card or chart to always make the best possible play.
Just like video poker, look for blackjack tables with good rules that have the lowest minimum bet. Stick with the table minimum bets to reduce the amount you lose in the long run.
The combination of making small wagers, playing a game with a low house edge, and using the best strategy lets you play a long time on a reasonable bankroll. You’re still going to lose money unless you advance to positive expectation play like you learned about in the first section, but playing this way can be a cheap form of entertainment.
If you can gamble with a positive expectation, or at least close to a breakeven pace, you can gamble as much as you want. If you’re not able to break even yet, spend some time learning how to do it. You might find that you get as much entertainment value out of learning how to break even or beat the casinos as you get from gambling.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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