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Best of Frank Scoblete
Never Con Yourself30 March 2006
Casino gamblers have many problems. There's the house edge grinding away at all the games. There's the psychological hammering the casino advertising departments keep hitting you with - play more, win more, drink more, play more, win even more! There's the thrill of the games themselves - from slot machines to blackjack and craps.
Of course, these are nothing compared to what goes on inside the casino gambler's mind; that's where the real battles are fought. Many casino players are not only poor players; they are poor decision makers. They dream of big wins and go into the casino blinded by their own fantasies. They then play to win millions, making bets that the house has huge edges on, and wishing and hoping that lightning will strike and the god of fortune will smile down upon them.
That rarely happens.
Casino gamblers have a tendency not to keep gambling records. Obviously, if you are playing games with high edges, or making bets at games such as craps that also have high edges, you don't want a black and white record of the red that you are in. How depressing that would be. Instead, most casino players just remember those good nights when Lady Luck was smiling at them and giving them all the reward they wanted.
Those good nights are often the undoing of casino players because they put into the players' emotional systems the longing for more good nights and even longer, more spectacular good nights. The greatest friend to the casino is the player who has just won a nice chunk of change. That player has become a walking billboard for the joys of betting it up the next time you're in Lady Luck's palace. And that player can't wait to get back to the casino to try his luck again.
Some casino personnel don't realize that a winning player is ultimately a losing player. Once you are hooked on the thrill of gambling - and that thrill comes only from experiencing a nice, fat win - the player rarely walks away. He's hooked.
I'm hooked on casino gambling, no doubt about it. It's a great recreational activity and I enjoy it very much. However, I know exactly what I've won and what I've lost because I keep detailed records. I also make very low house edge bets and I try to get the edge whenever I can. The casino and I are in a big struggle - a lifetime (my lifetime!) struggle - to see who can best whom.
This is not usually what most casino gamblers do. Instead, they have wonderful memories of the good nights and tend to forget about the bad nights. This always sets them up to go back into the casino, dreams blazing, to try to wrest that next million from the house.
Such an attitude merely sets them up for more losses, bigger losses, over extended time. If you have a mind to, just listen in on the conversations of your average casino gamblers and you'll see what I'm talking about. They'll relive, rework, and repeat their greatest sessions. Their eyes will glow with the remembered joys of their great luck.
Now, I am not saying that casino gamblers should dwell on their losses and become whiney, whimpering, complaining boors - there's certainly no fun in that, for them or for those of us who have to listen to them. But I am saying that casino players would be doing themselves a load of good by keeping accurate records of their sessions.
Such records will be testaments to how the bets you are making, over time, are coming out. For example, if you find that your craps betting of the one-roll Crazy Crapper bets, and the other bad bets such as the Hardways and the Field, shows major losses, then you might have the impetus to throw away those high house-edge bets and focus on the good bets in the game. Then look at your records after a sufficient amount of time and see where you are. I think you'll be surprised.
I also recognize that some casino gamblers actually don't want to know how much they are really spending at their pastime because those losses do have economic consequences. I once spoke to a craps player who estimated that he was losing about $20,000 a year - he was a $39-plus bettor, placing the 6 and 8 for $12 each and playing the Pass Line with double odds - and a few Crazy Crapper bets as well on almost every shooter. He said simply, "I prefer not to think about my losses because it takes away from the fun of the game."
I asked him to refrain from all the Crazy Crapper bets in his next 10 sessions and he saw clearly that he was losing a lot less by doing so. While he still isn't winning, his losses are far less and his enjoyment is much more. Since the money we bet at casino gambling is real money, earned by hard work, I recommend that all casino gamblers establish a 401G account (the "G" stands for gambling) where money is kept that is used strictly for gambling purposes. No matter what kind of income you make, taking about 3 to 5 percent of it and stashing it away for gambling is a clever idea. That money is not used for anything but your recreational fun.
You keep adding to your account and you'll find that over the years that account will probably grow. To assure that result, don't increase your level of betting until the account actually has doubled. By adding a little money every week or two weeks to your account, you'll find that you won't be pained as much by a bad session and you won't try to escape by only selectively remembering the good nights.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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