The gambling world is full of a variety of players with different styles of play and varying rates of success. The fact of the matter is the house always has an edge, regardless of the game you play, which means that most gamblers go to casinos and lose money. Gambling for hours on end is taxing, and the results of each hand can swing emotions rapidly.
The best gamblers don’t always come out on top, no matter how well they play. You can have a foolproof plan, play with perfect strategy, and still lose money. Casinos are full of gamblers who consistently make foolish decisions. Every time I go out to gamble, there’s at least one instance where I watch a gambler play against the book, lose money, and act like they were robbed.
Gambling is already challenging enough, and if you’re losing money consistently due to poor strategy, it’s time to change your approach. Here are seven ways to become a smart gambler and avoid mistakes that lead to losses.
1 ‒ Know the Rules of the Games
This is about as simple as it gets. If you don’t know how to play a game and you’re too stubborn to ask for advice, you’ll lose more often than you’ll win. Whenever one of my buddies is in a hole and asks me for gambling help, my first bit of advice is to research the games. By doing a simple search on the internet, you can discover hours worth of material, offering tips and tricks for each game.
Knowing the rules will help you become a better gambler, and it will also make the experience of gambling a lot more enjoyable. Nobody likes sitting at a table with someone who has no clue what they are doing. While it’s up for debate if a bad gambler can affect the outcome of a hand for other players, don’t be that guy.
Once you study the rules of games, practice gambling online or with your friends before you put down real money at a casino. Knowing the rules is essential, but applying those rules while playing can be challenging.
2 ‒ Understand the Odds
Each table game in a casino has odds, or the probability, of winning any given game. The house has an edge in every game, but it is less extreme for specific games like blackjack, craps, and baccarat. New gamblers can be known to plop down at the first slot machine that catches their eye, slide in a $20 bill, and immediately lose their money. I understand that the music and graphics are catchy, but if you want to be smart, avoid the temptations.
The house edge of the games I mentioned varies from .5% to 1.5%, which is great compared to games like keno, where the house has an advantage of more than 10%. Suppose you’re going to the casino to have fun and don’t care to pay any mind to the odds. That’s perfectly fine. If you want to be profitable, grinding at a blackjack or craps table has the highest odds of success.
3 ‒ Mind Your Money
Mismanaging your bankroll is one of the significant signs of a lousy gambler. Years ago, my friends and I drove from Dallas to Winstar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. At the time, this was only my fourth or fifth time gambling at a casino, so I was still getting used to the different types of gamblers you typically encounter.
We sat down at a $5 blackjack table next to a gentleman who looked like he had been gambling for three days straight. Within the first 20 minutes, he lost his entire bankroll on ill-advised bets. He pushed back from the table, walked over to the ATM, came back to make the same terrible bets, and lost everything. The cycle repeated itself four times before he finally called it a day and trudged out of the casino.
This practice is all too common with bad gamblers. Savvy poker players will walk into a casino with a figure in mind, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. By paying attention to your bankroll, you will be more conservative with your bets and make more intelligent moves.
4 ‒ Avoid Betting Systems
Table games can get hot and cold in a matter of minutes. When times are good, and it seems like you can’t lose, you may feel inclined to increase your bet. Conversely, gamblers can feel compelled to try to make their money by raising the stakes if you’re stacking losses. Avoid both tactics.
Table games with random outcomes are going to be streaky. Winning streaks will eventually come to an end, as will losing streaks. Gamblers have no way of knowing when these streaks will end, making betting systems impractical and foolish. The adrenaline rush of a big win is one of the world’s best feelings, but the emotional swing of a crushing loss isn’t worth the potential of that win.
Once again, the way to win money gambling is to grind for hours at the tables. You can’t stay at a table if you use betting systems and eventually lose your bankroll. If you’re in this for the long haul, stick to your average betting amounts, regardless of any winning or losing streak you’re on.
5 ‒ Gamble With a Clear Head
In times of uncertainty, it’s understandable to want to blow off steam and decompress. Gambling is one of my favorite hobbies, and nothing feels better than sitting down at a blackjack table for a few hours. If you are in a good state of mind, gambling can be entertaining and exciting. But if you walk into a casino feeling stressed about things like finances, one of the dumbest things you can do is gamble.
Consistency Is the Key to Profitable Gambling:
If you start playing while in a bad mood, you are putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage. A lack of mental clarity and focus can lead to consistent lousy play and easily avoidable mistakes.
Additionally, the smartest gamblers play sober to maintain rational decision-making for as long as possible. I enjoy a few drinks when I gamble and find myself playing worse as the night drags on due to the alcohol. If you’re serious about winning, save the booze until you get home.
6 ‒ Always Be Adapting
Once you establish a sound gambling strategy, it’s easy to become complacent with wins. When I first started gambling, I absorbed as much information as possible to make informed decisions consistently. After a few profitable trips to the casino, I stopped reading and practicing. I thought I had done enough preparation and could rely on previous learning.
Fast forward a few months, and I found myself plateauing and subsequently losing each time I went to gamble. I learned that there is always more knowledge to discover, and a decent base of information simply isn’t good enough. By pursuing information consistently, you will keep your mind sharp and better suited to handle each game’s complexities.
7 ‒ Act the Part
Even if you are new to gambling, it’s essential to act like you’ve been doing it for years. This isn’t to say you aren’t going to make some early mistakes; it’s unavoidable. Playing by the book predictably and consistently will help you get into a routine that can lead to profits. The smarter you play, the easier it will be to maintain consistency and play for the most amount of time.
There is more to the gambling culture than playing cards. Smart gamblers are respectful, courteous, and classy when dealing with other players and the dealers. If you win, make sure to tip your dealer. If you lose, don’t act out and become irate.
Younger gamblers struggle with keeping their emotions in check, so you mustn’t develop bad habits at the beginning of your gambling career. The only thing worse than going on a losing streak is dealing with a hot head who ruins the table’s energy.
Becoming a smart gambler is easier than it sounds. If you’re new to gambling, you will make mistakes, but it’s important to limit them and eventually eliminate them. Make sure to prepare to gamble by arming yourself with as much information as possible. It will take time to apply this information consistently, so practice when the opportunity presents itself.
If you are struggling with losses, follow the rules above to turn losses into profit. Avoid common mistakes like using a betting system and gambling if you are emotionally compromised. Make sure to act the part, stick to your strategy, mind your bankroll, and start winning money.
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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