I am a recreational gambler – maybe a “mid-roller?” I play more than the average player of $20 a night, but no where near enough to be considered an advantage player, or regular.
And I’m experiencing a losing streak right now. Are you experiencing a losing streak right now, too?
Well, 2016 has not been good for winning. Like many of us, it’s a tough time dealing with losing. It can be a deflating grind if your visits, time after time, seem to follow this pattern: no matter what your game is, your bankroll has a slow meltdown to zero – with no bonuses, no big run on the craps table, and no lucky shoes – until it’s time to go home, or usually, before you expected to go home. But is it really that bad, or just our perception, not based on any facts?
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How do you deal with that in the long term?
A very wise person pointed out to me that in life, the following is true, and gambling can be a part of that. “Acceptance is the key to my problems today.”
Accept the FACT that you definitely will have losing streaks, and if you ignore that fact, if you refuse to acknowledge that circumstance, if you think you can somehow avoid losing streaks, you’re kidding yourself – and you’d better re-think your decision to gamble in the first place. Your ability to handle losing streaks is most definitely one of the things that will determine your degree of success in any form of gambling.
Here’s a tip from J.V. Miller of ProfesionalGambler.com: “Keep careful records. If you can see previous winning records, the bad psychological effects of losing streaks are automatically and dramatically reduced. With a carefully kept record you will be better able to see losing streaks for what they are: Temporary storms affecting today’s weather, but with no permanent effect on the overall climate.”
A simple record of each trip might point out information to make you feel better, or point out a new direction in recreational activities. (This does not suggest keeping intricate records of your gambling like some do for tax reasons – each game or machine, for specific time, on specific day, etc…)
Consider this – a trip record with basic information. A simple log. Although it seems like work, it will help you look at the big picture, and after years of visits, you will accept the ups and downs. Keep track of the following:
- Day/length of trip – important to see the number of visits per month, per year, etc. Also important to see trends in spending, as in during stressful times of the year, during vacations….
- Starting Bankroll – is it the same? Does it fluctuate during the year?
- Starting Mood – Happy? Excited? Depressed, Business-like? It all figures into how you play, and how you deal with the pattern of play you log. Over time, it will show that some times may not be good times to go. But most importantly, it will show an accepting, business-like approach could bring better feelings on the way out.
- Exit Bankroll – for obvious reasons!
- Number of big bonuses – this is an important one. If you have a losing session, but one table, one shoe, one slot or VP machine went well, keep track of it mentally, then log it when you can. After finishing that specific win, record it on your phone to log in later. This is important so you can see the fluctuations in a single session. When related to the time spent, you may see that that total losing session actually included sporadic winnings.
- Video Poker: “Every time I discard with 3-of-a-kind, I get the same card in a different suit instead of the 4oaK!”
- Blackjack: “Every time I hit on 16 (according to perfect strategy), I bust!”
- Slots: “Every time I lower my bet, I get a bonus!”
Numerous examples can be found in every game – gamblers concentrating on one specific, negative part of the game that may be true in the short term, or usually is just a ridiculous, superstitious belief.
Logging your trips can make a difference in how your feel when you leave and dealing with a losing streak.
So, accept fluctuations, embrace the science behind the odds, and most of all, if you can’t handle the grind of a losing streak….take a break.