USING COMMON SENSE IN A
CASINO by Jean Scott
Playing smarter in a casino does not necessarily require a lot of math
knowledge and special skills. It IS good, of course, to study the games and
learn about mathematical odds, but what if you donít want to go to
"gamblerís school." You just want some simple advice on how to make your
gambling bankroll last longer in a casino. Okay, letís see what we can do,
by just using common-sense ideas.
- Accept the fact that the main thing casinos are offering is
entertainment. Of course everyone wants to win, but be honest with
yourself: you know that it is more likely that you will lose. So what is
your real reason for being in a casino? You want to have fun, right? Too
many people will not admit this to themselves; and then, when they lose,
they feel very unhappy because they have "wasted" their money. The healthy
attitude is to consider your bankroll your "cost" for this entertainment
choice. And what other entertainment options give you a shot at bringing
home more money than you took with you!
- Choose your gambling bankroll from the part of your household budget
marked Entertainment. This is money you sometimes use to eat out at a nice
restaurant or go to a movie or spend on a skiing trip. This is not money
you set aside for groceries or the mortgage or the kidsí school clothes.
Unless you are an extremely disciplined person, you should have this whole
bankroll with you, in cash if it is a small amount, in travelerís checks
if it a large sum. You should NOT have your checkbook or your ATM card or
your credit card. Nothing will take the fun out of gambling faster than
losing money that has already been earmarked for necessities.
- Choose your playing denomination carefully. If you have been playing
dollars machines in the past and your bankroll usually didnít last long
enough, then the sensible thing to do is play quarters. Lose too much
playing green chips at the tables? Stick to red chips. Going down in
denomination is probably the easiest technique to use to stretch your
- Give yourself frequent breaks. Nothing will make you more sluggish
than sitting at a machine or table for hours at a time. Go outside for a
fresh-air break. Hit the snack bar for a quick bite. Or stop in the race
book and put a couple of dollars down and watch one horse race. You can
also change machines or tables frequently to stretch tired muscles.
- Play at a slower pace. Choose crowded tables so you are putting less
money at risk by playing fewer hands. There is no reward for speed demons
on the machines. So stop sometimes to chat with your neighbors. Stop
hitting the buttons and pull the handles for awhile. Feed the machines
with coins instead of using the bill acceptors. I observed a couple
recently who had a unique and enviable way to slow down their video poker
play. They took turns playing one machine while the other watched, and
every time they hit four-of-a-kind they stopped and hugged and kissed.
Do you think you are a pretty sensible person? You work hard at your job;
you pay your bills on time; you shop sales; you budget your money carefully.
Then donít drop your common sense at the entrance to a casino. Take it in
with you and use the very same careful thought Ė and you will find that you
can play longer and have more fun.