Cashing on casino deals isn’t easy

Oct 1, 2002 5:35 AM

   Gamblers can be a funny breed. No matter how many times they get slapped down or beaten back into reality, after about a day of shaking it off while getting back to their normal lives, they’ll always have a positive outlook for tomorrow.

   If there were any thoughts of giving up gambling for good (if that were even possible) after the oft-expected losing, the feeling simply passes after involving the mind with other activities for only a short time.

   It’s then full-speed ahead towards the casinos or planning more trips to the casinos-of course as soon as a new bankroll can be secured from any means possible. Surprisingly and against all known logic, anticipation of that next visit and the anxiety of hitting the one jackpot that will get them “back on the road to recovery” consume those who play regularly and lose. Video poker players greatly exemplify this entire state of mind.

   As percentages go, there is actually a very high number associated with players who have no real knowledge of video poker, and never seek out information on the game. They just play hoping to get lucky or play to lose without caring. They entertain themselves with this not-so-important game for a while, and then they are gone.

   But the much smaller percentage of players can be fanatical about the game. So much so that they never stop long enough-as the casino always does-to see what the heck they’ve walked into. And worse still, they get others so very excited about their own compulsion that it frequently ends up with the blind leading the blind.

   It’s here that casinos have no trouble in leading these players along. Offer triple points on top of positive EV games, and players converge on the place with wads of cash in tow. Announce a new bounce-back cash program, and the Internet chat rooms come alive with visions of making big hauls behind the casino manager’s back.

   Offer a special that includes free buffets for “only” 350 points earned, and keyboards across the state become ablaze. It’s a frenzy, it’s all incredibly popular, and it’s an amazing money-maker for the casinos that implement such programs.

   Let’s now go back to the basics. Whose idea are these promotions anyway? Did the players come up with it to help the casino with its entertainment schedule? The casino created them in order to get as much business as possible.

   Critics will, of course without thinking about it first, come after me with lines like “Well, we positive expectation players always look at a 100%+ game as an advantage, because whether we win or lose, over the “long-term” we know we’ll be winners by a tiny percentage.”

   Oh really? So you’ve just lost $4,300 chasing a loser. Are you, (a) Sure to win soon because the math says you should win. Or, (b) $4,300 closer to being broke? I’ll let you answer this question to yourselves so no one around will snicker.

   What’s to be learned from all this today? First off, the number one rule to follow if you are a gambler is to always do just the opposite what the casino beckons you to do. That’s the major difference between winners and losers. Then, realize that if you are listening to the call of the majority of gamblers of the game you play, you are basically listening to losers. Many either sell products that are supposed to make you win, or they have a fantasy about being a textbook professional gambler. Ever wonder just how in the world there can be that many winners out there? Most of all, remember this: Theories are for students to wonder about, and promotions are for those who can’t make their own decisions. When it comes to gambling, approaching it as a true individual will keep you from chasing other peoples dreams-or is it nightmares?