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The luck of the Irish!16 July 2012
Except for advantage slot-machine play, the operant ingredient in winning and losing at slots is luck; pure, simple, unadulterated luck. Of course there are three kinds of luck: good luck, as in you win; bad luck, as in you lose; no luck, as in you break even.
Perhaps you would like to corral the famed "luck of the Irish" when you play the slots … then again, perhaps you wouldn't. The "luck of the Irish" is a two-headed symbol, like the comedy/tragedy masks of live theater. On one face is joy; on the other face is misery.
Yes, in popular myth the Irish are known for good luck, as in those Irish gold miners who went west and found pots of gold in the mountains; but the Irish are also known for tremendous bad luck as well: just look at the potato famine and the recent demise of Ireland's economy.
So there is no doubt that all of us would want the good luck of the Irish, because slot machines can indeed give us our very own pot of gold. But we'd rather not tread on the bad luck -- that can be for other players!
So first, let's just talk about having good luck. Once that happens, what then? Do you keep pressing to win still more and more, only to collapse into the "I gave it all back" category that so many slot players fall into? Or do you take your pot of gold; call it a session and savor the win?
There is an unmistakable tendency on the part of slot players to go for more and more. Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street would push you to go for the greed because "greed is good." Unfortunately for him, greed sent him to jail, perhaps to be real-life Bernie Madoff's future roommate.
Let's say you win a series of bets over an hour's worth of time so that now you are up $1,200. You still want to play but you simultaneously want to go back to your room ahead so that you can brag to your skeptical spouse that you are one heck of a player. You have to use the divide and conquer rule. Take $400 (more or less depending on your psychological predisposition) and give yourself that to play. If you lose it, you are finished.
If you double it, then put the $400 away and play with that second $400 win. In this way, you can get in some enjoyable extra time, perhaps bringing in a bigger pot of gold to your room, but you can also know for sure that this is a winning day for you.
One thing that prevents casino slot players from using the divide and conquer rule has to do with the nature of casino trips. If a player only goes to the casinos a couple of times a year, the emotional buildup to play is immense. Dreams, fantasies and visions take the place of cold hard reality and by the time the slot player enters the casino, most rational thinking has been laid to the wayside.
Intermittent players just want to play and play some more. They face the most danger of going on "tilt," which means losing control. Slot players who go frequently to the casinos usually have more control because the next trip is only a short time away and those wins are priceless to such players. Frequent players can do the divide and conquer far easier than intermittent players.
Now, what if you have the bad luck of the Irish? What if you bring $1,000 to play the slot machines and in a couple of hours you are taking a pounding? Obviously, the game is random and the machine is not causing you angina just to watch you suffer. Losing (and winning) streaks are par for the course. But sometimes those losing streaks can be quite prolonged.
Usually a little voice in a slot player's head will say, "Why don't I take a break and do something else?" Often this voice is dim and in the background to other voices swirling around in a slot player's consciousness: "My wife is going to kill me." "I can't believe I am losing so many spins." "Are there any winning symbols on this stinking machine?"
The one voice a slot player shouldn't listen to is the one that says, "I've got to win sometime, don't I? Let me keep playing until I do. I can't keep losing all day, can I? I'll just go to the ATM if I run out of money."
This voice is the voice of doom. It causes untold misery because often those bad streaks just keep coming and coming. Yes, on some occasions the slot player will make a dramatic comeback; on more occasions, the slot player will simply be digging herself a deeper hole.
When the voice of doom speaks to you, ignore it and take a break. Such a break will not change the nature of the game but it will change your emotional shape to come back and take another shot at the machines. Part of the fun of slots is not to wallow in misery when things are going bad. Here is the best voice you can hear in times of peril: "Take a break!"
May you all have the good luck of the Irish!
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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