Stifle It

Players are not always going to play the way you think they should play. They aren’t going to play the way you want them to play even though the way you want them to play is the best way to play. If you have even minor casino-playing experience, you know the above sentences are the facts.

Still, if you have been playing casino games for even a moderate amount of time, you have run into the “experts” who feel it is necessary to tell other players how to play. Some of these experts might even feel the need to badger other players’ playing decisions.

You will find this most especially at blackjack but you will also find it at other card games. Even in games such as craps and baccarat, you get the “experts” informing others about what they are doing incorrectly.

At baccarat and mini-baccarat the numbers of superstitious players are legion. Such players will damn you if you start winning and they start losing because – for some strange reason – they think your wins are causing them to lose.

At baccarat, I once had a woman (a very small, tight-bodied woman) jump out of her seat and get into my face while screaming at me because I was winning and she was losing.

I actually had no idea what she was saying because she spoke another language but I could tell by her anger that she wasn’t yelling at me because of my good looks. It seems she would bet against what I was betting but I was winning and she was losing and so – ipso facto – I was causing her downfall.

There are times when the “expert” is actually giving another player correct advice. That actually is irrelevant. Unless the player asks such “expert” for advice then giving advice is uncalled for.

In fact, for me, I never give advice at a table even if another player asks for advice. I usually tell the other player to ask the dealer.

A long, long time ago in a casino far, far away, a player asked for my advice on how to play a specific blackjack hand. I was courteous and told him the proper play based on the correct basic strategy for the game we were playing.

He lost.

He then yelled at me for being an “idiot” and exclaimed “what do you know about playing blackjack?” What could I say except “I’m sorry?” I wasn’t going to get into an argument about what is right and wrong when playing blackjack hands. I accepted his concept of me as an “idiot” and left it at that.

I am no longer the “idiot” I was back when that happened. I don’t give advice to other players. Certainly, I see players making bad decisions in how they play this or that game, but it is their money to be played with as they see fit.

The other problem with many of the “expert” advice givers is that their advice is wrong. Craps players will tell other craps players to make bad bets. Blackjack players will stomp and scream at the last player to play a hand if the dealer takes a card and beats the players.

The key for all of us is to stifle it.

Single Shot Craps

I have always been a rather conservative player. I want to guard my money as best as I can while also enjoying the thrill of casino play. I have rarely made a high house-edge bet. I know basic strategy in blackjack and in fast games such as mini-baccarat I make sure I only bet maybe 50 hands per hour as opposed to 150.

I am slow and steady. I always gamble with one foot pointed towards the door.

Now, I have gotten even better. I am now an advocate and (hopefully) a writer who will create a new movement in casino gambling – the single shot philosophy.

This column will explain the single-shot idea for the game of craps.

If you take a look at a craps layout filled with betting choices or stand behind the players during a game, you will notice that almost all the players, in fact probably every player at the table, makes far more than one bet. Indeed, the layout at a full table is festooned with bets of every type, good ones, bad ones, horrendous ones.

Craps players are action players. To get the action they want they make numerous bets. Yes, a good night is thrilling but the majority of sessions are not so good and money can be lost quickly and greatly if things are not going the players’ way.

I now say, stop making multiple bets at craps! Doing so can only lead to losses and those losses will not take a long time to show up because they will be in direct proportion to how many bets a player makes and what the house edges are on those bets.

One bet should be your maximum. A come bet or a pass line bet, backed by odds, and that is all the bets you should make. Just one.

Now, immediately an action player will voice the idea that there will be “long waits” between decisions. This is true. Let us say that you place-bet the 8. There are five ways to make that number but there are six ways to make the dreaded 7.

Of course, there are 36 possible configurations of the dice, so a single-shot player will face 11 decisions out of 36; six decisions on the 7 and five decisions on the 8. All the other numbers are irrelevant. They don’t exist.

Naturally on the 8 place-bet of six dollars, the payoff for a win is seven dollars. Such a close contest gives the house a mere 1.52 percent edge. If one uses a pass line or come bet, the house edge is lower.

Okay, you are watching the game and wishing and hoping that your number will hit before the 7. But other numbers are hitting. You see some players being paid off for one of their bets every round of a decision.  How will you feel? Most craps players will feel they are being cheated because they only have one bet on the layout. They will think, “How stupid of me! I should have more bets working.”

And they would be totally, one-hundred percent wrong in thinking this way.

The numbers that are hitting on your table that do not affect your game of the 7 versus the 8 are just like the numbers hitting at other tables in the casino, tables that you aren’t at; or those numbers hitting could be hitting at other casinos. They have no effect on your game! They are to be ignored.

Stick with your game. Over time your losses will be miniscule compared to the average action player. Keeping losses that low is a good idea – a great idea.

This is single-shot craps. One bet only!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Five Major Craps Mistakes

Craps is a wonderful game where the player has a great chance to beat the house.  Craps is simultaneously a horrible game where monstrous house edges eat away at a player’s bankroll until it exists no more.

How can the same game be both glorious and forbidding? Because craps has so many different bets, some few which are good but most which are bad, that many craps players, not understanding or appreciating the math of the game and its impact on their bankrolls, will jump into the deep end of Lady Luck’s pool without a life jacket.

Dangerous  Craps Strategy # 1: I see a Number; I bet that Number!

Unfortunately unwary craps players, sadly adhering to foolish schemes such as numbers predictably getting hot promulgated by craps know-nothings, will go up against edges in the double figures. Such Everest-like edges are as great as or greater than slot-machine edges!

So why do craps players, many of whom are bright in their non-casino lives, make such foolish bets as the one-roll Horn bet (the numbers 2, 3, 11, and 12) after seeing a Horn number appear? One answer has to do with how the house edge actually works. In the short run play of the game certain streaks will happen that can blind the player. One or several Horn numbers might have just hit and the player thinks, “This is a streak that will continue!”

The player in this case is absolutely wrong. The streak might continue or it might not continue. In a random game there is no predictability, only probability. The Horn numbers have six ways of being made, which is about 17 percent of the time. In the long run that 17 percent give or take a fraction will be how often that Horn appears. And the house will take a nice fat cut when the Horn actually does appear. How much of a cut? Well, 12.5 percent. So if you bet $100 on the Horn every time a Horn number has just appeared you can expect to lose $12.50.

But players see a “winning hit or a winning streak” and have no idea that the house is grinding them down slowly but surely. The best way to think of gambling edges is to realize that every time you make that Horn bet you are losing 12.5 percent of your bet – whether you win the bet or lose the bet! The house edge works on the total amount wagered, not this or that win or loss.

So a player buying into this stupid strategy will lose. If he bets a Horn every time he sees a Horn, given a craps game with 120 decisions per hour, our bettor will see a Horn number appear 20 times and then bet on half of them. If our bettor dumps $10 on those 10 Horns his expected loss is $12.50 per hour. That’s too heavy a loss indeed.

Dangerous  Craps Strategy # 2: I Say that Place Bets are Better Than Come Bets!

After the shooter has established his point and the player wishes to get up on other numbers, there are two ways to do this – he can make Come bets, where he puts his wager in the Come box and waits for the number to be established by the shooter’s subsequent throw or he can simply Place the number directly.

Many wacky gaming “authorities” believe that Place bets are better than Come bets because you can go up on whatever numbers you like, whereas the Come bet’s destination is solely in the hands of the shooter. Unfortunately the Place bets have such high house edges that selective betting does not overcome the low house edge of the Come bets.

Let’s see how this works.

A Come bet has a house edge of 1.41 percent. The Placing of the 6 or 8 has a house edge of 1.52 percent. The Come bet will lose a $10 player 14 cents each and every time he makes it. However, the player who places the 6 or 8 must place these numbers in multiples of six dollars. Thus, a $12 Place bet will lose the player 18 cents.

From there it gets worse. The placement of the 5 and 9 comes in with a four percent house edge. Our $10 Place bettor will lose 40 cents on each of these numbers. The placement of the 4 and 10 comes in with a whopping house edge of 6.67 percent so our player now loses about 67 cents for such placements.

Would you rather lose 14 cents or would you rather lose 18 cents, or 40 cents, or 67 cents?

In a random game, Place betting is far worse than Come betting; which is the end of the story.

Also, the idea that you can take these bets off whenever want means you’d have to take them off a considerable number of time to make up for their high edges.

Dangerous Strategy #3: I Will Bet with the House and Beat the Game!

There are some misguided players who believe that they can actually beat a random game of craps by betting the “don’t” or Darkside of the game. Here a player is betting that the shooter won’t make his point or number and will seven out – in which case the Darkside player wins.

Unfortunately, you cannot beat craps by betting the Darkside either. The very first placement of the Don’t Pass or Don’t Come brings the house edge hammering on your head because you will lose this first placement eight times and win it only three times. While the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come are actually good bets, the stupid notion is that somehow these bets are making you play on the casino’s side, guaranteeing a win.

Not so – the casino doesn’t need you as a partner, doesn’t want you as a partner, but prefers to take your Darkside money too.

Dangerous Craps Strategy #4:  I Increase My Bets When the Table Gets Hot!

Let me put this in flaming terms: The table never gets hot. Now in icy terms: The table also never gets cold. The table is just a table. Random shooters who have just hit 100 numbers without the appearance of a 7 have a 17 percent chance of hitting that 7 on the very next roll. They also had a 17 percent chance of hitting that 7 on the first roll, the second roll, the 40th roll, and the 73rd roll and with every other throw up and down the line.

Every time you increase your bet because of what you just saw a random shooter do is simply losing you more money. If you had a Place bet of the 6 for $12 and you increased that bet to $24 because a 6 just hit a couple of times, the casino is going to extract 36 cents from that $24.

One more time: It is the total amount you bet that the house edge works on – whether you win or lose the bet is irrelevant! Therefore, increasing your bets into a random shooter will just lose you more money in the long run.

Dangerous Craps Strategy #5: In the Short Run I Say All Bets are the Same!

No, they aren’t. The following bets will give you a much lower chance of winning on any given session: the Any 7 (16.67 percent house edge), the 2 or 12 (13.89 percent), the Horn (12.5 percent), the 3 or 11 (11.11 percent house edge), Hard 10 or Hard 4 (11.11 percent), Any Craps (11.11 percent), Hard 6 and Hard 8 (9.09 percent) and on down the line it goes.

If you want to be a smart craps player then limit yourself to the good house edge bets like the Pass and Come or Don’t Pass and Don’t Come. Take the maximum in odds behind these bets and you will be giving the house a tough game – and giving yourself a decent chance of coming home a winner.

Even in the short run, bad is bad and good is good. Keep that in mind the next time you think of making a stupid craps bet.

In general, rolls are that one-roll bets are more dangerous than rolls that are not.

All the best in and out of the casino!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com.

Stop Minding My Business

I am not a busybody. My wife, the beautiful A.P., has to remind me all the time of our neighbors’ names. “That’s Mrs. Kyle, next door.” “That’s the retired NYC police detective Mr. Grimes across the street.” “Mrs. Millicent had her fifth daughter last month.”

I just don’t connect to them and while I remember their faces, what the heck are their names? Forget about knowing what they do or did to make a living, or how many children they have. Except for my own grandchildren and great nieces and nephew, all other kids look more or less alike to me. Truthfully, I don’t have much of a fondness for “other” kids either. I like my own.

On our early morning walks through our beautiful village on Long Island in New York, my wife knows just about everyone and gives them cheerful greetings, while I nod hello, pretending to know them too.

“Who was that?” I’ll ask when the person passes.

“That’s so and so,” she’ll say. “She lives on Wright Avenue in that big blue house.”

“Oh,” I’ll say and then totally forget that person and his or her big blue house after my next eye blink

I do not pry into anyone’s life, including that of my family or friends. You want to tell me something, I’ll listen; ask me for advice, I’ll give it. The only time I push my ideas is when I write about gambling, which is part of my career after all. So, as you can clearly see, I am not one to jam my advice down anyone else’s throat.

At the gaming tables or slot machines, I never interfere with the way people play. It’s their money to bet as they wish – whether those bets are advantage-play bets, smart bets, not so smart bets, or absolutely stupid bets. I write therefore I am is true, but I don’t mind other people’s business, which is just as true.

So why am I subjected to that which I don’t subject other people to? In my real life I always have people prying into my business. “How much money do you make writing all those books?” “Are you a degenerate gambler?” “Is A.P. as pretty as you say she is?” Even the Internet wants to find out what my net worth is. Geez!

At the blackjack and craps tables, though, is where busy-body-ness becomes so offensive that I have, at times (and I am not proud of this), lost my normal calm composure and told people to go f…uh, to go fly a kite, so to speak.

At craps I use the 5-Count; a method developed by the late Captain of Craps, my mentor and the greatest craps player who ever lived, to reduce the number of random rolls one faces and put one in a position to take advantage of controlled shooters and/or big rolls. Indeed, the 5-Count cuts down the number of random rolls you face by a whopping 57 percent! Yet, I will have players turn to me and say, “How come you aren’t betting on every shooter right off the bat? What’s your system?”

Of course, I tell them (politely) that I have no system, I just bet when my instincts tell me to bet. That’s a lie but it usually shuts them up.

Some others will know I am using the 5-Count and they will loudly proclaim to the entire planet Earth, “You know that 5-Count garbage just doesn’t work!” Some will take into their confidence (in their overbearing, loud voices) the box person and the floor person. “Hey, you people, do you think that 5-Count stuff really works?” The box and the floor person invariably snicker. How stupid can anyone be to use these tools?

At times such as these I feel like taking the stick from the stick person and doing something obscene to the loud mouth.

Unfortunately, blackjack is the game that brings out every false expert who has ever lived! For some peculiar reason, blackjack players, even the worst ones who have no idea of the computer-derived basic strategy, think of themselves as truly gifted strategists who must tell everyone else at the table how to play their hands. Worse, they must tell you just as you make your decision why that decision is good or bad. Worse still, they must tell you in such a loud voice that everyone on this side of the Atlantic Ocean is now fully aware that you don’t know how to play the game.

“How can you hit that 12 of yours against the dealer’s two?” they shout.

“You are doubling an eleven against a dealer’s ten? That ten is a power card!”

“Whoever told you to split eights against a ten? That is a dumb move!”

To these loudmouths I would like to grab a handful of chips and…well, you can finish that thought.

For those of you who wish to take my advice, it is simply this: Mind your own business when you play; don’t give advice; and try to ignore those whose loud voices are attempting to change your smart casino play.

Should You Place the 5 or 9?

 

There’s been a lot of debate in craps circles about the placing of the 5 and 9, some of it quite intense between the camps that say do so and the camps that say don’t do so.

Well I am now going to settle this thing once and for all – or at least for the next few minutes while you read this. I am dealing with controlled shooters now, not random rollers. No random roller should ever consider placing the 5 or 9 as that four percent house edge is just too darn big to have much of a chance of being ahead in the near future. It might be such a near future as to be tonight.

There is no doubt that with controlled shooter what happened in the past, meaning the shooters past performance, does tell you something about what will happen in the future. If a shooter is reducing the appearance of the 7 he is obviously increasing the appearance of other numbers, maybe not all of the other numbers but certainly some of the other numbers.

Now a controlled shooter has just hit a few 5s (or 9s) in short order. Do you place the 5 (or 9) in that case? The answer, startlingly, is yes…and no.

Let’s take the “no” first. Is the appearance of those 5s enough to warrant a place bet against that large four percent house edge on a 5 (or 9)? Here is the unexpected answer: Forget that the shooter just rolled those 5s, the question you should ask yourself is this, “Is that shooter’s past results indicative of an ability to overcome a four percent house edge in the future?”  The answer to this is usually “No, he isn’t good enough from this point on to overcome edge on the 5.”

It doesn’t matter that he just hit some 5s, you have to look towards his future prospects based on the wealth of his past performance, not based on a few rolls that just happened.

For most dice controllers that settles the issue. DO NOT place the 5 or 9. The edge is too high.

Now too many novice and intermediate dice controllers have a bloated concept of how good they are. They think, erroneously, that they can overcome the house edge on the 5 because the 5 just showed a few times. This is somewhat equivalent to the idiotic concept of “see a number, bet that number” proclaimed by the ploppies of craps, although the 5 does have a much smaller house edge than the Crazy Crapper bets.

Now let me go to the “yes” you should place the 5 (or 9) argument but first an absolutely important preface concerning bad listening: Kids selectively listen to what teachers say. Take the sex talks that now seem de rigueur in public schools. Teachers say the following, “You shouldn’t have sex but if you are going to have sex use a condom.”

What the kids hear is this: “Have sex.”  The rest of the sentence is forgotten.

Craps players also have selective memories. They look for ways to continue stupid betting practices by scrounging around for trend systems and other systems that essentially make them losers even if these players have developed a controlled throw.

So what I write now is not to be selectively remembered. Remember it all or don’t read it.

If you have an elite controlled shooter then you can place bet the 5. So unless you are at the tables with a true master of dice control who is getting into a real streak, not an imagined one, then you should not place bet the 5 or 9.

And do not selectively remember the above to think it gives you permission to follow the advice of new or intermediate dice controllers or systems advocates.

“Have sex” this ain’t!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Qualifying Events

Casino players are always trying to figure out when is the best or most propitious or most advantageous time to place their wagers. Should I wait for two blacks to appear in roulette before I bet red since red is now due? Or should I wait for two blacks to appear before I bet black since black is hot and may continue to be hot? If numbers appear in one column on the roulette layout, should I bet that column or jump to a different column? Decisions, decisions.

Whatever system a player uses to determine the correct time for wagering is called a “qualifying” event. As with the myriad number of players, there are a myriad number of qualifying events that can be used to determine the appropriate time to risk one’s money on Lady Luck’s largesse. And let us not kid ourselves, qualifying events herald winners and losers based on Lady Luck’s whim.

Are qualifying events real? Obviously, yes. But are such events in the various games an indicator that the player has the edge over the house at that moment? Sadly, almost all qualifying events have no impact on the house edges of the various games. Bet red; bet black; bet the first column; bet high, bet low, none of it matters how you arrived at your decision because luck determines the outcome and math determines the house edge.

A player’s luck is no match for the math of the house edge whether the player uses a qualifying event or whether a player just dumps his money on the table helter skelter and calls out, “I’ll bet every number on the craps table!”

Still there is one thing these qualifying events tend to have in common; they slow down the total number of wagers the players make and thus using such events will slow down the rate of loss for those players even though the house edge remains the same.

So let’s take a look at some methods players have used for qualifying when and how to bet.

At many casino games players use a trend-betting system. If two, three or more of the same event occurs, one can bet that same event continuing or against that same event continuing. You see this clearly in the roulette examples above. But variations of this will work with blackjack and other card games as well.

In blackjack if you see that the dealer has busted once or twice or three times in a row, you jump into the game figuring he will bust again. This is called following a positive trend. However, if he doesn’t bust you can figure he will bust on the next hand and jump into the game. Or you can figure he won’t bust and you stay out of the game. You can also decide to raise or lower your bets as you play based on such trends as high cards coming out together, low cards coming out together, a combination of high and low cards coming out together, the dealer getting two blackjacks in a row, the dealer getting two hands of 20 in a row and so on.

In baccarat, Pai Gow poker, Caribbean Stud, Let It Ride, Three-Card poker and many of the other “carnival games,” you can sit out hands and use a trend-betting system to determine when to jump into the fray. There is no rule that you have to play each and every hand so sitting out and waiting for your qualifying event is a mathematically smart move.

During a game you can raise your bet if you have won several hands in a row (you determine what constitutes “several”) or lower your bet if you have lost several hands in a row. Of course, you can also lower your bet if you have won several hands in a row since that might mean you must lose the upcoming hand. You can also raise your bet if you have lost several hands in a row figuring, “I have to win sometime!”

At craps, there is a host of qualifying events that you can use to decide which numbers or propositions to wager. If several Crazy Crapper bets such as the 2, 3, 11, or 12 have been rolled, you can jump on this trend thinking these numbers are getting hot. You can decide to bet multi-bet Crazy Crapper bets such as the Whirl, the Horn, or the C&E if such groups of numbers seem to be showing a lot.

If you are looking for a qualifying event to actually start betting at craps, many players like the shooter to make a point before they bet. Some players take the bull by the horns (what sane individual would ever take a bull by the horns?) and ask the dealers before cashing in, “Is this table hot or cold?” If the dealer says, “Hot,” the player jumps in figuring the table will stay hot or he can choose not to jump in figuring the table must therefore get cold.

Card counters at blackjack use a simple formula to determine when to raise and lower their bets. If the game favors them at a given moment owing to which cards have been played, the card counter bets more. If the game favors the house at that moment they bet less. This is the only qualifying system that actually works to give the player the edge.

So to qualify this column, qualifying events can be a fun way to play but they will rarely give you any kind of edge.

 

 

Frank Scoblete’s web site is frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores. Get Frank’s articles by e-mail!

 

 

 

 

Ocean Resort Wins the Casino Race

 

The great Jerry “Stickman” and I spent last week at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. This was formerly Revel which overextended itself, charged way too much for rooms and food, and folded as many another Atlantic City casino-hotel did as well, including two of President Trump’s, the Trump Plaza and the Trump Taj Mahal.

But the Ocean casino-hotel has been gloriously resurrected.

Our rooms were on the 24th floor with views of the city and ocean that were unsurpassed. The room itself was beautiful with one wall a full picture window. Mind you, this room was not even a suite but it was still large enough to feel like one.

Ocean Resort is at the very northern end of the Boardwalk and has unobstructed, spectacular views.

The casino is spacious, airy, beautifully appointed and clean. I’ve stayed at many casino hotels in Vegas and in much of our country and I can say that Ocean Resort is the best. If you have a hankering to go to the Queen of the Sea then give Ocean a try. Since this is still March, the room rates will be low and worth far more than every penny you spend. And once you have a player’s card, you will find that the future offerings will be amazingly generous.

As for eating, in which “Stickman” and I are experts; the hotel is loaded with great restaurants, cafes and food courts – and give the lamb a try at Amada. Best lamb I ever ate.

A word here: Controlled shooters, you must land the dice about nine inches from the back wall or you will go into a “jump” zone. The dice will fly off the table quite frequently. Until that zone, the tables are quite good. Odds were 3X, 4X, 5X, which mimics Las Vegas. They should go back to 5X and 10X odds as they had in the past.

Blackjack is the traditional AC variety. The slots are mostly those delightfully tall ones without endless slot aisles to squeeze through. Many carnival games are scattered throughout the floor and an Asian room is about to open soon.

Give this place a try. It’s superior.

All the best in and out of the casinos.

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at book stores.

Fearless Money Management

 

The late Captain of Craps, the legendary Atlantic City player I have written about in many of my books, once explained to me his theory on how much a person should bet at whatever game he wishes to play in order to experience a high degree of thrill with a low chance of having a heart attack and an even lower chance of being totally bored.

Casino gambling for the recreational player should be a “manageable thrill.” The Captain stated that a typical casino blackjack player playing for matchsticks or pennies would get bored rather quickly, since no hand really meant that much to him – losing had no sting; winning had no adrenaline jolt. But, if he bet $500 a hand, he might find himself sweating profusely as he saw his rent money or food money going out the window on a sustained series of losses. He might, quite literally, drop dead from anxiety. In the case of the $500 better, the emotions would range from dread at losing to relief at not losing. Where’s the fun in that?

The Captain’s theory of a “manageable thrill” came down to a simple formula: The bets you make have to be large enough to make it worth wanting to win, but small enough to make losing them not cause you to think of all the things you could have bought had you not lost. That was your “thrill zone” – the range of betting that had meaning, win or lose, but was not really hurtful to your emotional or economic life.

Often players will bet a certain amount when they first start a game, but gradually increase their bets until they hit the “sweat zone” as the Captain called it. The sweat zone is the place where the bet becomes uncomfortable to think about. Many craps players hit the sweat zone after several presses of their bets. Worse, a controlled shooter who is having a good roll will sometimes start to think more about the money at risk than about shooting the dice in a relaxed and careful manner. This makes shooting the dice no longer a thrilling exercise for the player but an agony. What if I roll a seven? What if I lose? Look at all that money!

There’s no doubt the average casino player is a thrill seeker. Going up against Lady Luck is a roller coaster ride where your money and your emotions go up and down, up and down. For many people, going on roller coasters is a delight – but it isn’t a delight if you’ve had a big meal and become sick to your stomach. Betting too much at a casino game is the equivalent of going on a roller coaster with a full gurgling belly. It could become a sickening experience for you and for others watching you. Then again, going on the kiddie boats that go around and around, with those little kids ringing the bells, might not be thrilling enough for you.

Interestingly enough, I have also noticed similar phenomena among some card counters. They may start their betting at $25 but when the count calls for it, they have to move that bet up, sometimes by a lot. At a certain point, and even with that edge over the casino to boot, these card counters will begin to sweat their action.

The escalation of their bets has gotten their hearts pounding and they are now entering the sweat zone. Losing such large amounts, amounts actually measured in emotions and not cash, has made what up to that point had been a pleasant pastime into an emotionally wrenching moment.

Gaming writers love to talk about strategies, house edges, and bankroll requirements but rarely do we discuss the emotional bankroll that a person must have to bet at this or that level. A red chip player might wish he could play at the green level, might even be able to objectively afford to, but he just can’t bring himself to do it. His hands start to tremble as he pushes out the chips. If this happens to you at a certain betting level, don’t make the bet! If you know this fact then be content to bet within your thrill zone and don’t attempt to push the envelope. It isn’t worth the consternation, second-guessing, and self-flagellation such an action would cause you.

The Captain had, from years of experience, learned that some bets just aren’t worth making, even bets where you might have an edge, if the fear of loss becomes so overwhelming that the act of making the bet becomes an act of anguish.

Some philosophers have speculated that man is composed of three parts: mind, body and spirit. To enjoy casino gambling, all three of those components should be utilized. Your mind should tell you which are the best bets to make; your spirit should enjoy the contest; and your body will let you know when you’ve gone overboard because it will start sweating!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Visit Frank’s web site at www.frankscoblete.com. Frank’s books are available at smile-Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Fearless Money Management

 

The late Captain of Craps, the legendary Atlantic City player I have written about in many of my books, once explained to me his theory on how much a person should bet at whatever game he wishes to play in order to experience a high degree of thrill with a low chance of having a heart attack and an even lower chance of being totally bored.

Casino gambling for the recreational player should be a “manageable thrill.” The Captain stated that a typical casino blackjack player playing for matchsticks or pennies would get bored rather quickly, since no hand really meant that much to him – losing had no sting; winning had no adrenaline jolt. But, if he bet $500 a hand, he might find himself sweating profusely as he saw his rent money or food money going out the window on a sustained series of losses. He might, quite literally, drop dead from anxiety. In the case of the $500 better, the emotions would range from dread at losing to relief at not losing. Where’s the fun in that?

The Captain’s theory of a “manageable thrill” came down to a simple formula: The bets you make have to be large enough to make it worth wanting to win, but small enough to make losing them not cause you to think of all the things you could have bought had you not lost. That was your “thrill zone” – the range of betting that had meaning, win or lose, but was not really hurtful to your emotional or economic life.

Often players will bet a certain amount when they first start a game, but gradually increase their bets until they hit the “sweat zone” as the Captain called it. The sweat zone is the place where the bet becomes uncomfortable to think about. Many craps players hit the sweat zone after several presses of their bets. Worse, a controlled shooter who is having a good roll will sometimes start to think more about the money at risk than about shooting the dice in a relaxed and careful manner. This makes shooting the dice no longer a thrilling exercise for the player but an agony. What if I roll a seven? What if I lose? Look at all that money!

There’s no doubt the average casino player is a thrill seeker. Going up against Lady Luck is a roller coaster ride where your money and your emotions go up and down, up and down. For many people, going on roller coasters is a delight – but it isn’t a delight if you’ve had a big meal and become sick to your stomach. Betting too much at a casino game is the equivalent of going on a roller coaster with a full gurgling belly. It could become a sickening experience for you and for others watching you. Then again, going on the kiddie boats that go around and around, with those little kids ringing the bells, might not be thrilling enough for you.

Interestingly enough, I have also noticed similar phenomena among some card counters. They may start their betting at $25 but when the count calls for it, they have to move that bet up, sometimes by a lot. At a certain point, and even with that edge over the casino to boot, these card counters will begin to sweat their action.

The escalation of their bets has gotten their hearts pounding and they are now entering the sweat zone. Losing such large amounts, amounts actually measured in emotions and not cash, has made what up to that point had been a pleasant pastime into an emotionally wrenching moment.

Gaming writers love to talk about strategies, house edges, and bankroll requirements but rarely do we discuss the emotional bankroll that a person must have to bet at this or that level. A red chip player might wish he could play at the green level, might even be able to objectively afford to, but he just can’t bring himself to do it. His hands start to tremble as he pushes out the chips. If this happens to you at a certain betting level, don’t make the bet! If you know this fact then be content to bet within your thrill zone and don’t attempt to push the envelope. It isn’t worth the consternation, second-guessing, and self-flagellation such an action would cause you.

The Captain had, from years of experience, learned that some bets just aren’t worth making, even bets where you might have an edge, if the fear of loss becomes so overwhelming that the act of making the bet becomes an act of anguish.

Some philosophers have speculated that man is composed of three parts: mind, body and spirit. To enjoy casino gambling, all three of those components should be utilized. Your mind should tell you which are the best bets to make; your spirit should enjoy the contest; and your body will let you know when you’ve gone overboard because it will start sweating!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Visit Frank’s web site at www.frankscoblete.com. Frank’s books are available at smile.Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

A Manageable Thrill

 

The late Captain of Craps, the legendary Atlantic City player I have written about in many of my books, once explained to me his theory on how much a person should bet at whatever game he wishes to play in order to experience a high degree of thrill with a low chance of having a heart attack and an even lower chance of being totally bored.

Casino gambling for the recreational player should be a “manageable thrill.” The Captain stated that a typical casino blackjack player playing for matchsticks or pennies would get bored rather quickly, since no hand really meant that much to him – losing had no sting; winning had no adrenaline jolt. But, if he bet $500 a hand, he might find himself sweating profusely as he saw his rent money or food money going out the window on a sustained series of losses. He might, quite literally, drop dead from anxiety. In the case of the $500 better, the emotions would range from dread at losing to relief at not losing. Where’s the fun in that?

The Captain’s theory of a “manageable thrill” came down to a simple formula: The bets you make have to be large enough to make it worth wanting to win, but small enough to make losing them not cause you to think of all the things you could have bought had you not lost. That was your “thrill zone” – the range of betting that had meaning, win or lose, but was not really hurtful to your emotional or economic life.

Often players will bet a certain amount when they first start a game, but gradually increase their bets until they hit the “sweat zone” as the Captain called it. The sweat zone is the place where the bet becomes uncomfortable to think about. Many craps players hit the sweat zone after several presses of their bets. Worse, a controlled shooter who is having a good roll will sometimes start to think more about the money at risk than about shooting the dice in a relaxed and careful manner. This makes shooting the dice no longer a thrilling exercise for the player but an agony. What if I roll a seven? What if I lose? Look at all that money!

There’s no doubt the average casino player is a thrill seeker. Going up against Lady Luck is a roller coaster ride where your money and your emotions go up and down, up and down. For many people, going on roller coasters is a delight – but it isn’t a delight if you’ve had a big meal and become sick to your stomach. Betting too much at a casino game is the equivalent of going on a roller coaster with a full gurgling belly. It could become a sickening experience for you and for others watching you. Then again, going on the kiddie boats that go around and around, with those little kids ringing the bells, might not be thrilling enough for you.

Interestingly enough, I have also noticed similar phenomena among some card counters. They may start their betting at $25 but when the count calls for it, they have to move that bet up, sometimes by a lot. At a certain point, and even with that edge over the casino to boot, these card counters will begin to sweat their action.

The escalation of their bets has gotten their hearts pounding and they are now entering the sweat zone. Losing such large amounts, amounts actually measured in emotions and not cash, has made what up to that point had been a pleasant pastime into an emotionally wrenching moment.

Gaming writers love to talk about strategies, house edges, and bankroll requirements but rarely do we discuss the emotional bankroll that a person must have to bet at this or that level. A red chip player might wish he could play at the green level, might even be able to objectively afford to, but he just can’t bring himself to do it. His hands start to tremble as he pushes out the chips. If this happens to you at a certain betting level, don’t make the bet! If you know this fact then be content to bet within your thrill zone and don’t attempt to push the envelope. It isn’t worth the consternation, second-guessing, and self-flagellation such an action would cause you.

The Captain had, from years of experience, learned that some bets just aren’t worth making, even bets where you might have an edge, if the fear of loss becomes so overwhelming that the act of making the bet becomes an act of anguish.

Some philosophers have speculated that man is composed of three parts: mind, body and spirit. To enjoy casino gambling, all three of those components should be utilized. Your mind should tell you which are the best bets to make; your spirit should enjoy the contest; and your body will let you know when you’ve gone overboard because it will start sweating!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Visit Frank’s web site at www.frankscoblete.com. Frank’s books are available at smile.Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.