Saturday, October 24, 2009

5 reasons people lose money at casinos (Part 5 of 5): Not optimising betting strategy

(This is the fifth in a five part series on reasons people lose money at casinos).

Even if you don't gamble blindly and never go broke, you will still probably lose more games than you win at the casino due to the fact that the odds are against you. However, this doesn't mean that it's impossible to win overall.

While the casino has the mathematical edge, you too have an advantage: the advantage of choice and free will. You can decide when to play and when not to play, and devise your own casino betting strategy. Your casino betting strategy is very important. Suppose you play 100 games, losing 70 and winning 30. If you bet $10 on 60 losing games and 10 winning games, and $30 on 10 losing games and 20 winning games, you still win by $10, and even if you are unlucky enough to lose 70% of your games.

Of course, you never know when you're going to win or lose. That's why it's called gambling, right? However, any experienced casino gambler will tell you to watch out for winning streaks. Maybe the blackjack cards are super favourable for a period of time, or you just keep betting on the banker and winning at baccarat. When you're winning more than losing, increase your bets. Once you start losing consistently, lower your bets or stop playing. It's as simple as that. How high or low depends on your budget and how risk averse you are.

Obviously there will be times when your gambling luck fluctuates like crazy and every time you increase your bets you start losing. When that happens, there's nothing much you can do but try to move around more in hopes that you'll find a better table, or stop playing for a bit if you're getting bored or frustrated.

Some people like to use betting strategies like the Martingale system. This involves doubling your bets everytime you lose. So if you lose 5 times, you have to double your bet exponentially 5 times. Just calculate how much you lose if you have a 10-bet losing streak. The risks of this system are obvious: gambler's ruin, aka running out of money. It takes guts and if you have a very unlucky streak, you'll get creamed. Of course, if your gambling luck doesn't swing too much winning money is guaranteed.

Personally, I don't have the balls to use the Martingale system, and I don't recommend it. If you're thinking of using the Martingale system to bet, my advice to you is to do everything in your power to improve your gambling luck. That includes not only following all the steps in this series and using all the tips on this blog, but also learning how to calculate auspicious days for your bazi (like how people select their wedding dates), and maybe consulting a skilled fortune teller or card reader.

There's nothing wrong with flat-betting (betting the same amount each time) at the casino, of course, and you can still win money this way. But if you only flat-bet, you will only win money when you win more than you lose, so it then becomes more important to make sure you play wisely, at the right time and take frequent breaks if your gambling luck is poor.

Some people prefer to devise a strict system (ie. double bets every 3 wins, reduce bets every 3 losses) while others prefer to wing it. I suggest you come up with an approximate system and then vary it according to your mood and gambling luck, because no amount of planning will fully equip you for the myriad situations you will encounter at the casino table.

Whatever casino betting strategy you choose, the most important thing is to ensure your strategy allows you to stay within your limits, because once you run out of money no betting strategy is going to bring it back.

36 comments:

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  9. “When you're winning more than losing, increase your bets. Once you start losing consistently, lower your bets or stop playing.” - This simple trick in betting in online casino is actually very helpful, but players often forget about this because they sometimes get carried away when they’re winning or losing. I think when you already won enough money, it’s much better to stop because you might just lose in the end if you keep betting. Then, try your luck again next time.

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