Zen and Casino Gambling

 I can't recommend this book more highly. Not only is it well-written, but it is truly a pleasure to read, and it's one of my favorite how-to books

I can’t recommend this book more highly. Not only is it well-written, but it is truly a pleasure to read, and it’s one of my favorite how-to books

One of my favorite books I read cover to cover was”Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Years later, “Zen and the Art of Casino Gambling” by Miron Stabinsky & Jeremy Silman was one of the first gambling books I read cover to cover.  It was different than the usual “how to” gambling book, it was informative and amusing.  It was meant to “provide valuable insight into the vital but little understood aspect of maintaining the proper psychological and emotional balance needed ” to be more successful, or at least happier in the process. Check out the coonection of Zen and Casino Gambling.

Important Topics

Topics included in the book are:

  • Basic Rules & Strategies for Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Slots, & Video Poker
  • Psychology of the Successful Player
  • Realizing what you Control
  • Money Management
  • Determining you credit/budget line

But the best parts are interesting and entertaining quotes and anecdotes. Today’s post gives you a few – some of my favorite quotes.  I hope your enjoy.

keep-calm-and-be-zen-37

Concerning Money Management, “He who remains in his center endures.”  In others words, stop when your session is done and either you’ve won enough, or you have lost your daily bankroll.

Concerning Player Psychology, Oscar Wilde once said “I can resist everything except temptation.”

Can resist the temptation?

Can you resist the temptation?

Concerning Player Psychology, “Disgrace is a fantasy that should be embraced. Misfortune is part of the human condition.” In others words, “Don’t let your ego make you play beyond your means.  When you resume play another visit you will realize how unimportant your previous anger in losing really was.

I like this one – “An optimist is a man who has never had much experience.”  In other words, If you have advice to give, do so only if asked. Besides,  you most likely need more practice and more experience anyway.  Then and only then will you realize offering without being asked is just a bad idea.

Final Thought

“I do not emulate the sages; I do not take pride in my own spirit.” – Ancient Zen Koan.  Gambler’s translation – Anyone can learn the basics of gaming strategy. Being egotistical about something you have no control over is the height of foolishness.

Don’t be foolish.  Make this book a staple in your gambling library.

Related Post – Gambling Books – Must Read Recommendations

Binbin

Improving Your Video Poker Etiquette

As with most public spaces, behaving properly usually helps provide a better experience for you and for those around you.  No where in the casino is that true than the video poker machines. Here are tips on Improving Your Video Poker Etiquette.

Related Post – 15 Ways to Improve Your Slot Machine Etiquette

Playing Video Poker and enjoying the solitary play of one vs. machine is not necessarily something everyone can enjoy.  Video poker players are stereotyped as being introverts. For some, it brings a need to make new friends during  a session. Consider the following suggestions:

Be aware of those Playing

When Improving Your Video Poker Etiquette, Common sense etiquette suggests that if you don’t know the person playing, you should never touch the video poker machine of that player. You should also not lean on their chair or shoulder as this motion could cause them to hit the wrong button concerning denomination or number of credits.

Video poker etiquette suggests not to pound the buttons on a  machine as if it needs to be punished. Not only does it wear the game out over time, most importantly, it’s incredibly distracting to the other players around you.  Besides, you’d have to punish the RNG for your bad luck, not the buttons.

If you are going to watch a person play, do not sit in the chair next to them unless you plan on playing yourself. This especially includes bar top VP, since it takes a seat away from another player.

Don’t Be A Bothersome Person

Understand the rules before you sit down. Don’t be lazy and expect others to teach you on their time. Be prepared before you play.  Don’t expect players to take time out from playing to tell you how to play.

Do not watch others play over their shoulder if they do not know you, that’s just creepy !!!! In some places it seems to be acceptable to do that once your money runs out. Don’t just wander over and watch a total stranger play. Like I said, it’s CREEPY!!

Don’t be a slob. Smokers ashes, spilled drinks, covering your mouth coughing or sneezing, and sticky hands from food are terribly inconsiderate. And these are just some of the things that annoy your fellow players, or the unknowing next player. (Suggestion – always have hand sanitizer when playing.  It comes in handy)

Don’t share your superstitions, myths, or ignorance of how these machines work with those around you.  The random-number-generator runs the machine. That’s all you should realize.

Don’t give unwanted advice.

Taking a Break

If someone has leaned their stool or chair up against the machine, this usually means they haven’t finished playing, or maybe took a restroom break. If your VP machine is a single terminal on the floor, ask tech staff to watch your machine for you.  Do not expect the players on either side of you to watch it for you.

If you need to use the restroom, put your service light on.  As long as you are not taking a 15 minute break, slot attendants are around to help you out in this area.

Tipping

Service with a smile? – Tip!

That brings us to the last point when it comes to behaving properly while playing video poker machines. Tip your waitress or bartender.

 

Tipping is a personal choice. For example, when you’re receiving a jackpot payout that a floor attendee must help you with, it’s customary to tip them (Granted, if the service is lousy and the attendant is incredibly slow to pay you out or perhaps not professional, you can think twice about tipping.) The rule of thumb is usually to tip around .5 – 1% of the jackpot amount, make sure to keep this in mind when working on your bankroll management budget.  Concerning free beverages, tip the staff as you would in a restaurant. But if you make a specific drink request, be sure to tip.

Related Post – Casino Tipping Etiquette Around the World

Conclusion

Use common sense, and be courteous to those around you. Bottom line is have fun, stay healthy, and enjoy recreational gambling. But, not at somebody else’s expense.

Binbin

Reality Checks For Recreational Gamblers

Another losing gambling session?

“Three Reality Checks For Recreational Gamblers” is what happens when i read a self-help book and apply it to recreational gambling. “Why Your Life Sucks” by Alan H Cohen points out many life “wake-up calls” to help enjoy life. It’s funny, informative and helps you re-evaluate the choices you have made. In addition, this book can aid in making better choices in the future.

After reading it, I felt it could help recreational gamblers. I thought to myself, “how many people leave the casino grumpy, as if losing is a huge surprise.”  Subsequently, here are Three Reality Checks For Recreational Gamblers.

Leaving Las Vegas - usually a quiet plane ride.

Leaving Las Vegas is usually a quiet plane ride.

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.

Three Reality Checks For Recreational Gamblers

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

“You can’t win if you don’t play.” Many recreational gamblers think each visit entitles them to a winning session. Maybe, just maybe, you could win the big one to change your life forever. As a result, many times we leave the casino disappointed, unhappy or even angry at the casino. Generally, there are things you can do that will enhance your visits. As a rule,  know the best strategy for the games you play, as well as taking advantage of free play and multiplier reward points / tier points days increases the “fun” value with potential  longer & more profitable sessions. However, the most important advice to limit your session’s “suckiness” is don’t overplay your bankroll to gain higher status. Keep to your bankroll.

Cousin Vito’s Podcast always ends with a quote from Vito’s “friend” Roman Statesman Seneca.

So true. Thanks for the quote, Vito!

Accept losses, don’t chase them

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

The gambling industry is a business and like any other business, it’s intends to make money.  As a result, don’t feel entitled to win.  The house edge is a reality to insure the industry’s success. So don’t expect perks that you don’t earn and don’t expect the casino to insure your winning because you’re a good customer. Expect loses and accept the cyclic patterns of winning and losing.

And stop thinking conspiracy and fixed machines. Look up what a random number generator does (RNG). The house advantage, remember, 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.

Related Post – Recreational Gambling and Acceptance

“Yes, your thoughts betray you.” – Darth Vadar, Return of the Jedi

3) “It’s not what happens to you during your visit , it’s your viewpoint of what happens that’s counts”

“Search your feelings, you know it to be true.” This Star Wars quote is heard throughout the series. Remember this one, “Your feelings betray you.” That may be true with your feelings at the end of your session. You have a choice in how you assess your gambling success, and how you react 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. Therefore, enjoy the wins as well as those casino employees who know the meaning of friendly, good service. By the way, enjoy the excitement of breaking even – yes even. By breaking even, you’ve beaten the house advantage. 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.

Embrace the math, not the Myth.

Now, back to the casino. But this time, don’t let your feelings betray you. Go with the flow. That’s all for now.

Binbin