When gambling at casinos be aware of chasing bets

July 30, 2013 3:09 AM
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Video Casino Slot Machines When you spend a lot of time in casinos gambling, you often see new things, and are occasionally reminded of what to avoid.

That happened to me recently when I walked into a casino and chased a keno jackpot that was just a few dollars from hitting. I didn’t get the jackpot and was reminded not to chase bets.

Chasing can happen anywhere from the sports book to the machines to tables. Chasing rarely wins and is rarely fun. I try to be smart when gambling, while always wanting to have fun.

'Chasing' player's costliest mistake playing poker

Siberian Storm one of the most popular slots in Vegas

I was introduced to chasing when first playing poker. In poker, chasing happens when you lose a tough game. Human nature tells a player to immediately avenge their loss and go right for a win on the next hand. Risk, odds and probability for the win be damned. We must win at all cost.

Human nature isn’t always right and if the statistics aren’t on your side when you go for revenge, you will most likely lose. I learned not to chase in poker after too many losses because of blind rage.

Chasing followed me to the sports book. Nobody ever wants to end their football weekend with a loss so it’s easy to bet the Sunday or Monday night games to exact revenge on that late Sunday loss. No bueno.

Pro sports bettors will always tell you chasing losses in football is among the worst plays you can make at the sports book. Most football bets I make are based on studying data, watching games and checking the psychology of a team. It takes more than a few minutes to pick a team.

Now, instead of trying to exact immediate revenge I’ll just wait for a game I like next week. Last week when I chased that video keno jackpot it reminded me: a) I don’t like keno of any kind and b) I shouldn’t be chasing.

Returns on video keno are as bad as penny slots. I play penny slots because I like the bright lights and loud noises. They entertain me.

I was walking through a casino and saw an empty bank of 10 keno machines with a progressive jackpot that pays out by $100. The progressive was up to $93 and change so I figured I’d drop a few bucks in and see if I could get that jackpot

Two hours later and bored out of my mind a little old lady sits down. Three hands later she snaked the jackpot from me.

I was out of coffee, cranky from losing the jackpot and down money. After a few minutes of internal complaining I walked away with a lesson learned – don’t chase jackpots. It was a lesson that cost me as much as a trip to a psychiatrist so we’ll call it even.

Gambling is almost as psychological as it is statistical. When you’re able to master both you’ve probably reached the pinnacle for a gambler. I don’t think I’ll ever reach the point where I master both sides of gambling but it sure is fun trying to get there.

Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gambling and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Follow Marc on twitter @eastcoastgamblr. Check out his blog at www.AC2LV.com Contact Marc at MarcMeltzer@GamingToday.com.

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