Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of Frank Scoblete
What is your gambling flaw?15 January 2009
Nobody's perfect. You might be the best of the best in some field or other, yet you know that on some day or other you just aren't at your peak. Hopefully if you are a brain surgeon those non-peak times are outside of the operating room, but my guess is that even with Mrs. Landis's head wide open, her brain visibly pulsating there in front of you, you might not be functioning at the top-top-top of your game every second in your journey through her gray matter.
Casino gambling is no different. You might be the world's greatest advantage player and on some nights you bet too much for your bankroll, drink too much for your liver, and fall prey to whatever weakness always lurks just around the corner for you.
Some of the best casino gamblers I know have Achilles Heels of some type or another. Let's take a little stroll through the gamut of possible casino flaws — and see if you share any of these in your own nature. Knowing where your personal danger lies is a good thing for casino gamblers.
The remarkable Dominator, the world's greatest dice controller, an expert blackjack and poker player as well, has one major flaw in his gambling personality — he can get emotional, as in he can get very angry. And when his short fuse gets lit, the explosion usually doesn't help his playing or his winning potential. He will sometimes push his dice shooting by playing too long when he is upset and he will also push his betting levels in an attempt to make a killing here and now "to show them!" He has to watch himself very closely because an angry advantage player could very well be giving up some of his advantage or all of his advantage if the anger affects the purity of his dice throws.
Negative emotions are generally quite dangerous — unless they help you to quit playing and take a break from the casino wars.
Going "on tilt" is a common complaint of many casino gamblers. That means you are losing your bearings — generally because of losses. No casino gambler, be he or she an advantage player or a good player or a bad player, is going to win all the time. Losses are in the cards, the dice, the wheel, the machines — and that is an undeniable fact. But sometimes the losses cause us to lose our bearing and we start to play foolishly. Our anger, our despair, our disbelief will all contribute to even more losses.
Let's hear from Lorraine, an inveterate slot player. "Usually I give myself a certain amount to play with each day and if I should lose that then I quit for the day. But sometimes if I lose a lot very fast I just dig into the ATM machine and start playing like a maniac. This hasn't happened often but when it does — I have lost more times than I have won and I feel terrible."
Lester G. has the opposite flaw. "When I am winning I tend to increase my bets by going to machines that are higher denominations thinking I can win a whole lot more and usually I don't." His problem is the belief that you can take a slot machine and make it into a positive expectation "when things are going well." He's wrong, you can't.
The great Howard "Rock 'n Roller" — a powerful shooter at craps — once had five straight days of one-hour rolls each day, culminating in a whopping 74-roll hand on day five (www.goldentouchcraps.com/worldrecords.php4). You would think such a shooter would own a casino by now. You would be wrong. While "Rock 'n Roller" does have the edge over the house, he sometimes doesn't have an edge over himself and that can be costly. I'll let him speak for himself.
"I love to play craps and even when I am tired I find I just hate to stop playing. I will have great rolls and I know I should take a break but I just can't seem to leave the tables. I will give back a lot of my wins because I play too much. If I just took the dice three, maybe four times each session and then took a break or a nap and came back I would be much better off. But I find I can overcome the casino edge but I just can't overcome my love of playing."
His love of playing, a positive emotion certainly, just whittles away at his winnings, a negative result. If the goal is to win money then whatever prevents you from winning money is obviously not a good thing.
The incredibly skillful "Stickman," an advantage player at blackjack, poker, video poker and craps, has an interesting flaw. "I bet too little," he says. "I find that certain levels of betting freeze me, they make me uncomfortable. Even with a decent bankroll, money has an absolute value to me and when I get to certain figures it interferes with my pleasure and it tends to make me nervous. I do not perform as well when this happens."
While this might not seem like a flaw, it is. When a player has an edge at a game and has the bankroll to exploit that edge looking at money in "absolute" terms can be a trait that holds back your winning potential.
You don't have to be an advantage player for negative emotions to whittle away at your bankroll. Many casino players find that when they are losing they want to jack up their bets to make all the money they lost back in short order. More often than not such a decision leads only to greater losses that are faster than the previous losses. For average casino gamblers even positive emotions can be crippling if they lead our players to bet more because they now "feel lucky." In games where the casinos have the edge on almost every bet, you don't want those nice feelings you have to push you off the cliff.
Keeping your "flaw" contained is a good thing but some of you will have flaws that are based on positive moments ("I am winning, let me jack up my bets!") and some of you have flaws based on negative emotions ("I am losing, let me jack up my bets!"). Both can be dangerous to your gambling life.
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.
Best of Frank Scoblete