Don’t Let Casino Trickery Turn You Into An Irresponsible Player

Oh, those who think that casinos should run their business and still let everyone win – and still pay the bills! Human beings are becoming so entitled. If you ask casino patrons on a bad streak, they will say the casino is up to something – they aren’t winning – and it’s the casino’s fault.

Listen, casino gambling is a recreational activity, with the vast majority of games offered having a skewed advantage to the house – we all know it, we just sit at that slot machine, riding that trip down the river of denial.

An article by Dr. Harrigan, the lead researcher and contact person for the University of Waterloo Problem Gambling Research Team. His primary research interest is in gambling addictions with a focus on why so many slot machine gamblers become addicted. In his article, he deals with many factors that the “Casino Industry” is basically trying to make addicts out of all of us – real, concerning, and a serious topic for potentially addictive gamblers.

So, how do casinos entice the individual gambler into gambling more? One way, to reference Dr. Harrigan’s article, is that the casino is not truthful about how much the slot machine pays. I’ve got news for you – hold on to your hat – that’s why it’s called “gambling!”

Big Win – Everytime?

Dr. Harrigan’s article says “…..on modern slot machines, half of ‘wins’ are actually net losses. An example would be a $1 bet with a 30¢ payoff. This is a loss of 70¢, but the machine shows bright graphics and makes sounds announcing a win. Researchers call these events Losses Disguised as Wins (LDWs) and have clearly shown that players experience these as actual wins, giving the players the (incorrect) positive feelings that they are winning.”

No kidding. The invention of video slots gave the impression of lots of small hits instead of waiting longer for bigger hits in reels. Bonuses also play in this game – individual hits can be small more often due to the chance and volatility of hitting a bigger bonus. We all wait to hit THE BIG ONE! Lotteries, the worst odds of all, wouldn’t be so popular – but we want the chance to hit the BIG ONE! In the longer run, the real problem is that the payout percentage continues to be lower throughout the country. Why? Because as a culture, we still intend on being constantly entertained, so it doesn’t matter to most players. We know the games pay less – but we like the fun, so we play them anyway. Why would so many people settle for 6/5 blackjack? or 6/5 JOB Video poker? Or Keno?

Caveman Keno

Here are two rules to live by as a casino visitor:

  • The responsibility on which casino games to play rests solely on the shoulders of the gambler.
  • Gamblers that play often be responsible enough to KNOW the best games, best strategies, and the pitfalls of high casino-advantage games.

So, be aware of the “tricks” (or maybe they are just good business practice) and take responsibility for your gaming. If it’s not fun anymore, contact GA, tell the casino to not allow your entrance (which casinos do to help addicted gamblers any time you feel you can’t control staying away) and seek help.

It’s not a black and white situation. It is neither solely the casino’s fault or the addict’s – it’s a gray area, more complex than any single blog could summarize.

So, be careful, be smart, be knowledgeable, and go to the casino with a money management plan for your visit every single time. This way you limit the “trickery” of those casinos, and also help to either leave with money, or at least lengthen your bankroll’s life.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

3 Viewpoints For Enjoyable Gambling

Another losing gambling session?

I once read a self-help book called “Why Your Life Sucks” by Alan H Cohen. I guess I was in a dark place, or maybe looking for a different perspective on things. In any case, it was really quite good and pointed out many life “wake-up calls” to help us enjoy the life you were meant to live. It’s funny and informative, but most of all, it forces you re-evaluate the choices you have made, and how you can make better choices in the future.

So, I was thinking, “how many people leave the casino grumpy, as if losing is a huge surprise.”

Leaving Las Vegas - usually a quiet plane ride.

Leaving Las Vegas – usually a quiet plane ride.

Whether you visit from the east coast, or the closer west coast, the plane rides to and from Las Vegas are very different.  Excitement builds with every minute right through to your first bet.  But the plane ride home from Vegas is so quiet and sullen compared to that excitement and hope on the ride out there. Go figure….So, does your gambling suck?  Do you know why?  Maybe it’s because you don’t embrace the realities of the gambling industry. It’s time to look at your casino trips differently with the following three suggestions that will enhance your experience:

1) “Fortune isn’t something that happens to you, it is something you create”

So, you really think that recreational gambling is going to get you millions? I don’t think so.  But, there are things you can do that will enhance your visits, like:

  • Know the best strategy for the games you play
  • Take advantage of free play and multiplier reward points / tier points days
  • Don’t overplay you bankroll to gain higher status. Keep to your bankroll.

If you ever get a chance to follow Cousin Vito’s Podcast, Your Guide to Enjoying Gambling, you know Vito always ends with a statement that sums this all up.  It’s from the Roman Statesman Seneca, and goes like this:

So true. Thanks for the quote, Vito!

2) “Don’t get involved in the dark side” of gaming.

Losing at Gambling?

Guess what, the gambling industry is a business and like any other business, it needs to make money to continue. So:

  • don’t expect perks that you don’t earn
  • don’t expect the casino to insure your winning because you’re a good customer
  • expect loses
  • And stop thinking conspiracy and fixed machines. Look up what a random number generator does (RNG) , and how the house advantage is built in without switching machine computer chips or throwing that famous “switch upstairs” that immediately changes machines from loose to tight. Be knowledgeable about the industry instead of continuing myths and superstitions to make yourself the poor victim.

3) “It’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s what you make of what happens”

I’ve heard this so many times.  You have a choice in how you assess an experience, and then a reaction to it.  You can choose either to enjoy and learn in a positive manner or bitch and complain, making yourself miserable (as well as those around you you!) SO:

Shooting at the Craps Table - have fun whatever your game is.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

  • Enjoy the wins.
  • Enjoy casino employees who know the meaning of good service and are friendly.
  • Enjoy the excitement of breaking even – yes even. By breaking even, you’ve beaten the house advantage. Sure, it’s not what we are all looking for, but if you play for a few hours and break even, be happy for the free entertainment, the rewards points you’ve accumulated, and the free beverages you’ve consumed.

Now, back to the casino, but this time with an open mind, an awareness of the business and new flexible expectations. Acceptance could be the key to a happier gambling experience.  Knowledge and reality is the foundation.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Gambling Losing Streaks – Responsible Gaming Education Week

Vegas Vacation

In A Losing Streak?

RESPONSIBLE GAMING EDUCATION WEEK

Leaders of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) joined the American Gaming Association (AGA) this week to highlight the gaming industry’s shared commitment to responsible gaming.

Gaming operators and manufacturers across the United States will commemorate the industry’s responsible gaming efforts by holding dozens of local events and responsible gaming educational activities this week in recognition of Responsible Gaming Education Week.

So, while NETimeGambling.com endorses recreational gambling, it’s always good to remember responible gambling.

NETG & RESPONSIBLE GAMING

When I first started NETG, another blogger posed the following question, “If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?”

For me, this blog is a means to inform as a resource. More than anything I wish gamblers understood the logistics behind the gaming industry and losing. With the wrong expectations, a losing streak is a difficult thing to deal with – it becomes very personal. We bring a certain amount, whether it be $20, $200, $2000, or more, and it can be gone in a New York minute – and there you are, a quick losing streak changing your expectations, your feelings, and possibly your behavior.

Now what do you do?  When your gambling becomes a streak of losing, what do you do to change your “luck?” How do you handle that pit in your stomach?

HOW DO YOU REACT?

BankrollDo you go on “TILT?” According to Bill Burton in his article “Losing Streaks: How To Survive,” “going on tilt is the expression used when poker players become upset and lose control of their emotions. Consequently they start making poor decisions and play badly and irrationally. Going on tilt is not confined just to poker players. Anyone who gambles on any casino game can find themselves on tilt. Once a player starts losing money they are a prime candidate. They have lost money and they try to make it back quickly by raising the size of their bets or playing a higher denomination slot machine. This will usually just lead to more losses.”

Sometimes a player will get to the point where they just don’t care how much money they have lost. But, for most of us, it does matter. Understand that casinos are very profitable businesses. They make money that is coming from the players pockets. Few people win. Most lose. Gambling is for fun. If it makes you feel bad, and cannot accept the fact that you’ll probably lose, do something else in your free time!lottery

7 SUGGESTIONS FOR DEALING WITH LOSING STREAKS

Losing can become purely an emotional response.  I try to remind myself the following:

  1. I came with money that I could spend on the recreational pleasure of gambling. When it’s gone, I’m done. And a 10% win on the day’s Bankroll is a good day for any recreational gambler.  Consider going home with money in your pocket, win or lose.
  2. The casino will win, the house edge is real and getting worse every year as casinos tighten machines, game rules, and paytables.
    6:5 Blackjack

    Dont play Blackjack that pays 6:5 on all blackjacks! Just don’t!

    Learning to accept it is the first step to dealing with losing.  Even better, look for the best table rules, the best paytables, and higher denomination slots to help your gambling duration and “win-a-bility.”

  3. If I win big, or lose big, I need to admit that anything CAN happen. The end result, AS LONG AS MONEY SPENT IS DISCRETIONARY, NOT YOUR FAMILY’S BUDGET $$, must be accepted.  When you’re not in a good frame of mind and on a losing streak, put down your drink, don’t carry on and calmly leave. Jessica Cheng, Brand Ambassador at 777DragonCasino.com, says,”…we have a chance at winnings and a chance at losing – it’s just the nature of the game.
    Losing at Gambling?

    Losing at Gambling?

    But there is no reason to slip into a depression and refuse to ever go gambling again. Just recoup, maybe take a break and gather yourself again, sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month and then when you feel ready, try again.” However, I would emphasize wait and “sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month…” 

  4. Repeat after me…..We must ALWAYS use our Rewards Card.  At least get something for your money. A comp of any size could give yourself the break that you need, whether it’s an outright comp gift or from your own hard-earned comp points.
  5. NEVER GO TO THE CASINO TO GET AWAY FROM PROBLEMS, NEVER GO TO THE CASINO WHEN YOU’RE ANGRY, UPSET, OR DEPRESSED. 
  6. If you have lost A LOT of money (which could mean anything to anyone, but I mean a good chunk over hours of play),  do what Richard Munchkin, Author of Gambling Wizards and cohost of cover170x170Gambling With an Edge (an excellent podcast and highly recommended for Advantage & recreational players alike). “The most important thing AFTER a big loss” he says “is to contact a casino host and ask for some money back. This is called a loss rebate, but it is only for BIG losses……Bottom line – try to get some of your money back by asking a host. If you can’t get cash try for show tickets, fight tickets, or whatever they will give you. By the way – the term “ton of money” is relative. If your ‘ton’ is $500 then you may only get a comp for 2 to the buffet.”  Remember, unless you ask, you can’t get anything!
  7. Fluctuations are to be expected, depending on the EV (expected Value) of the game your playing.  See the cartoon above and read again. Don’t expect your money to last on a slot machine like it would on a Video Poker machine with perfect strategy.  And yet, fluctuations will happen, no matter what the EV is. There are advantages to playing any game – just be knowledgeable and accept the consequences of lower EV games.

Remember, gambling is like any recreational pleasure – it can create a rush of adrenaline and release of endorphin to our human brain that some of us can’t handle well. Before I end, I must repeat what is in the side panel of this blog daily: Gambling Addiction is a serious illness progressive in its nature. It affects the person who gambles as well as many around them – family, co-workers and friends. If you wonder if the fun has stopped, and the compulsiveness has begun, go to the following Gamblers Anonymous site and answer a quick 20 questions. It may save your life.

Go to Gamblers Anonymous.org and take a 20-questions quiz if you wonder why it isn’t fun anymore.

Be in control.  I wish for safe, healthy and fun gambling for us all, win or lose.  JUST REMEMBER, KEEP WITHIN YOUR FINANCIAL MEANS AND HAVE FUN.

Binbin