When players talk about their gambling experiences, so many times I have to laugh at the things they say. Aside from the nonsensical myths and mathematical proven superstitions that permeate the gambler-sphere, three things seem to be heard the most”
1) Casinos signs exclaiming “millions of dollars paid out!” – The implication is that players at “XYZ” Casino will be winners. Look at what has been paid out! (as the numbers keep scrolling higher). How could you not choose XYZ casino to play at?
Just once, I’d like to see another sign next to it showing the money being made by the casino’s games in real time – guess would show a higher number?
2) People who say they rarely lose. LOL! There seems to be so many of these people that I’m surprised casinos are still in business. Usually I hear it from a third party – “My wife never loses at slots – it’s uncanny.” “My brother-in-law told me his cousin’s sister always wins at blackjack.”
I refuse to believe it. Sure, there are lucky sessions, and lucky people, but even playing a $5 slot machine at an approximate house advantage of 95% is going to end up biting you in the butt in the long run. And if you are an Advantage Player playing blackjack and winning, well, FYI – surveillance is getting better and better. The few truly good pros (AP’s) are eventually found out, blacklisted, forced to grinding it out at smaller casinos all over the country, or eventually made to retire as authors, presenters or podcast experts. The fact is it is getting more difficult to win – lower VP pay tables, confusing bonus slots with higher volatility, and new table games without knowledge of correct strategies all lead to a road to ruin. So how can there be so many winners?
3) The final gambler babble I hear is both laughable and yet serious. It concerns those people who are so unhappy that they never win – and yet they continue to play – unhappily.
Much revolves around how many gamblers love to whine and complain. But gambling addiction is a huge concern if the whining turns into more playing beyond one’s means and bankroll. Remember, March is Gambling Addiction Awareness month. Do your loved-ones a favor and help them to see if they are a “whiner” or an “addict.”
So, what are we to do?
Mark Maremont and Alexandra Berzon at the Wall Street Journal analyzed new data that shows that on any given day, the chances of emerging a winner aren’t too bad—the gamblers won money on 30% of the days they wagered. But continuing to gamble is a bad bet. Just 11% of players ended up in the black over the full period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.
This particular study, they said, used 4,222 casino customers of different levels of play. It showed that just 2.8%—or 119 big losers—provided half of the casino’s take, and 10.7% provided 80% of the take. Such revenue concentration long has been quietly acknowledged in the casino industry because it does show that the casino industry takes advantage of high-end addictive gamblers. But that’s a topic for another time.
The fact is, if you want to leave a winner, you need to leave after you win. Sounds obvious? Yes! But, although gamblers know the house has an edge, the average person doesn’t understand that casino games are nibbling machines, and the more nibbles you have, the bigger your losses.
“Acceptance is the key to all my problems today.” Some of you might recognize that quote. It’s true in many forms, and for many of the day’s activities – including your visit to the casino. So the recreational gambler should accept the following:
1) The Casino Industry is in the business of making money. I should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less.
2) My bankroll is determined before I go and is what I play with – more than that I can’t afford.
3) Gambling is recreation. Recreation should bring joy, but only if you accept the basic realities of the casino’s take. If Gambling doesn’t make you happy – find another recreational activity. Life’s too short – and TOO expensive!
That’s all for now.