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Gamble your money -- but know $$ limits

Nov 25, 2008 5:11 PM

Winning Strategies by Elliot Frome |

Last week’s column gave some advice to the casinos about what to do in our less than stellar economy. This week, I’ll go back to focusing on the player in this economy.

Let’s face it everyone is trying to stretch their dollar a bit further nowadays. To me, this leads to two realistic and responsible choices for those heading to the casinos.

The first option is to simply not play.

As most casino games are negative (meaning the player will lose in the long run) playing is not a way to make money. Yes, there are some professionals who make money, and if you play correctly, you certainly can walk away a winner on any given day. But, in the end, casino games are a form of entertainment. So, a player can choose to cut back on his entertainment budget.

Unlike most other forms of entertainment, however, casino games don’t really have a fixed cost. If you decide to go to the movies, you’ll probably spend about $30 for two tickets, some popcorn and soda. My wife and I actually spent more on a babysitter last week than on the actual date to the movies.

When going to a movie or dinner, you probably have some idea what the evening will cost. Going to the casino doesn’t work that way.

While you should definitely set aside a bankroll for the evening, most people would prefer to not lose that entire amount when the evening is over. In fact, most people hope to come home with more than they start with. The problem is that in reality, it doesn’t work this way.

The result depends on a few things, like luck and strategy. Do you know which machines/games to play or what strategy to use when playing? Do you have any idea of what to expect?

If you sit and play a 6-5 Jacks or Better instead of a full-pay 9-6, the likelihood of winning goes way down. If you keep throwing a low pair to go for a 4-card straight (or worse, 4-card inside straight), the likelihood of winning goes way down. Worse, you are likely to lose more money under both of these scenarios.

 In these tough economic times, you need to make your entertainment dollars go farther. This means knowing which games to play, knowing how and what to expect. This is the essence of expert strategy. It’s no different than simply being a smart shopper when you go into any store.

Why would you sit down at any video poker machine without knowing what its payback is? Sit down at a game that has a good payback and that you know how to play. Your bankroll will last much longer that way.

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This price includes Priority Mail delivery (in most cases). Send a $20 check or money order to Compu-Flyers, P.O. Box 132, Bogota, NJ 07603. Take the first step in stretching your entertainment dollars.