Responsible Gambling Tips from NETG’s “Gambling Cats”

Cats Playing Blackjack

Cats Playing Poker

Just about everyone tries gambling of one form in their lives.  Some involve money, others may gamble at running a red light.  Each has its own degree of risk and consequences.

There are professional gamblers who have been able to gamble for a living and not fall into the dark side of addiction.  These Advantage Players, or AP’s, know the importance of knowing how they react to the rush of winning and the down side of losing.

Cat Advantage Player

Cat Advantage Player

But professionals also detach a lot of the emotion – it’s a business – which helps keep those fiery endorphins more stable.  Most humans can gamble, whether money based or consequence based (or both) without concerns, but some have trouble when any gamble turns into habit – especially casino gamblers.

With the help of the “NETG Gambling Cats.” this post includes simple tips and a few items to help responsible gambling.  While many have a fun, exciting gambling experience without them, these tips and forms may be something to consider.  As far as the cats know, they are the “purr-fect” answer to responsible gambling.

Take a look at the following tips; they’ll help you to learn more about how you can enjoy gambling without putting yourself at risk for problem gambling.

  • Have the right attitude – gamble for fun and entertainment.  Cat playing pokerIf you are considering playing poker, video poker, blackjack (probably the only casino games you could make a living in), be well-practiced, well-funded, and strategically perfect – that’s all!  Otherwise, keep it as a leisurely activity.
  • Set a limit on how much money and time you can afford to spend gambling. Try not to change this limit while you play.  If so, it must the next bankroll negatively or put off your next gambling trip.
  • Leave any extra cash at home, and think twice about taking your bank and credit cards with you. When you run out of money, don’t borrow from family, friends or others so you can keep gambling.Credit card Cat
  • Don’t gamble for comps.  Gambling for comps is a rabbit hole that will swallow up extra money you didn’t expect to spend.  Comps will accumulate.  Check rewards clubs for the best deals, and compare to the best games, or an experience you prefer.  Then, just let it happen.
  • Plan for sessions by bankroll increments, not by time. Have a clear plan on what you will do if you spend all that money sooner than expected.  Eat, walk, people watch?  Something to lengthen the time between sessions.  Or, there’s another option – go home.
  • Know how much it costs to play per hour on the games you enjoy.  cat at pokerWhile you win sometimes, you also lose, so it is important to know the average cost per hour. Click HERE for your free chance to calculate your own cost of play, provided by the Addiction Foundation of Manitoba.
  • What is your reason for gambling?  Don’t know? You should.  Be aware of your own reasons for gambling. Remember that, while gambling can be fun, it is not a way to solve problems, get away angry, or spend time depressed.  Have fun, enjoy time with friends and family.  Make it something you would do again with no consequence.
  • Balance gambling with other leisure activities.Gambling shouldn’t be the only activity you do in your spare time.  Other activities can blur into other casino events, such as culinary interest, music performance, and sports.Cat playing soccer
  • Finally, if you gamble on a regular basis, keep track of the money you spend. Most people would never think to keep track.  It’s no fun to track your gambling, and lets face it, most of us are just TOO lazy.  Statistics don’t lie. Print out the NETG Gambling Log 3 to keep track – it will help you to keep a realistic record of your gambling expenses.

Please note: The above log is not to be used if you claim gambling losses for your taxes.  A much more specific log of your gambling is needed.  

We hope this helps.

Binbin

“War For The Soar” – The “Lock It In” Challenge at Mohegan Sun

Today’s guest post is from NETG gambling friend Joe “Reload” Freda. Joe has supported NETimeGambling from the very beginning. Joe brings tried and true tips on maintaining a high level of gambling. Joe has been an avid gambling writer for the past two decades, covering casino and sports wagering.  Freda can be reached at joe_freda@yahoo.com or through Twitter (@ReloadSports).

Introduction

After a recent rest from visiting Connecticut’s casinos, I was hit up with a unique “Lock It In” promotion from Mohegan Sun that was worth exploring.  The offer designates a specific four-day period where your current Momentum player status tier can remain achieved without further visits needed.  In my case, it would take earning 500 points through play over the four days to lock in Soar status, which is the highest published level of Mohegan Sun’s five tiers.

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

The Soar status normally takes 4000 status points over six months to clinch keeping it for half of the next year.  Even with scattered double or triple status promotional days, this is still quite an undertaking for players of all bet sizes.  I recall only reaching it once before a few years ago, but since then have had the second-highest level of Ascend.

In addition to being offered this chance, the same four-day period also featured several overlapping comps to further enhance the visit.  I was offered a $500 free bet and $300 of Players Perks (use it or lose it comp dollars), as well as a coveted Sky Suite to stay in.  While gambling is not on the minds of many as the holiday season approaches, it can be a promising time to strike with casino offers!

The challenge in obtaining 500 points over this span would be a hefty one needing the right planning and bankroll management.  I ended up only having two of the days free enough to visit and would be looking at some lengthy action without going bust.

Early struggles in my “War For The Soar”

In trying to conserve for a long haul, I opted to start with some commission-free Pai Gow Poker.  The low variance of this gaming option and pushes happening at over a 40% rate can make it your best chance for money to last.  You can also set your hands at times to more conservatively play for a push instead of going for a full win.

My $500 free bet won early and provided some breathing room, but the rest of my first night was a downward spiral of losses every hour.  I even missed out on a Royal Flush progressive payout of $2900 by not ponying up the game’s $5 side bet. While that may sound disappointing, playing an extra $5 a hand through a longer trip like this would have lost back almost all of that.

I ended up lasting until 5am in that session for 188 status points, but was down 75% of what I came to Uncasville’s mothership with.  It was back to the Sky Suite for some rest and room service while thinking through strategy for the rest of the visit.

“Soar-ing” back and enjoying the ride

As the next day of action approached, I opted to tighten risk even further and split my wager into two hands of Pai Gow.  This would allow my average bet to still be high enough in getting the points needed, but lessen the chance of sharper drops money-wise.

I knew it would take a lot of time but my luck was holding serve well out of the gate.  Despite playing two hands normally making it tough to surge upward, I managed to double my stake after the first couple of hours.  Even with more chips to work with, I remained conservative in the betting style so I could still last long.

As the clock struck 2am, I reached a good stopping mark where I had won back 70% of what was lost the night before.  I took a break to check status points knowing there was only a four-hour window left in the “Lock It In” period.  Thankfully, I reached a total of 495 points and just needed a few more!

I finished the night with some video poker in the “Hall Of Lost Tribes” and curled up to a “9/6 Jacks Or Better” machine.  In this mini-session worth seven status points, the gods of “quads” came through with four of a kind twice.  It felt nice to end with some extra winnings after all I had been through.

The next day, I received an e-mail from Mohegan Sun mentioning that my Soar status would be extended thanks to achieving 502 points.  I also enjoyed using the rest of my “Players Perks” in picking up an Under Armor hoodie from Denali and a couple of hats from the soon-closing Margaritaville restaurant.

Although I ended up losing about 10% of my bankroll over the trip, the overall experience and comps achieved made this a memorable one.  I felt five-star service the whole time and will be looking forward to another six months of Soar benefits. That’s the Mohegan Sun way!

 

Three Reality Checks For Recreational Gamblers

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 during your visit , it’s your viewpoint of what happens that’s counts”

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. As we say here at NETG,

Embrace the math, not the Myth.

That’s all for now.

Binbin