How to develop a winning attitude

Mar 25, 2003 4:10 AM

Learning a good, sound playing and betting strategy for your favorite casino game is only part of a successful winning player’s game plan. Having the proper playing attitude is just as important.

The typical attitude of a losing player is something like this. They expect to lose. They always experience an emotional high in the casino and are caught up in the exciting atmosphere. They always are willing to risk their entire bankroll for a shot at all of the casino’s money. They always feel obligated to consume the free drinks offered to players by the casino as a way of getting even for their losses. And every time they lose, they always chalk it up to bad luck, but console themselves because they had a good time anyway.

You must keep in mind that, when you enter a casino, you are entering a place of business. And like all successful businesses, the casinos are operated by shrewd businessmen whose job is, firstly, to keep the crowds playing and happy and, secondly, to separate them from their money as quickly and painlessly as possible.

To meet their objectives, they create an atmosphere that makes it relatively easy to lose your money. No clocks to let you know it’s time to leave, no windows to let you see out to the real world, free drinks at the tables, free lounge shows, easy credit, and even free dinner and show comps if you put in enough time at the tables or slots.

And in this casino-engineered, atmosphere, it becomes so easy for the average player to feel lucky and go for broke at the chance of winning thousands of dollars.

First and foremost, in order to be a winner, you must be in control of your emotions in a casino. The real struggle when you are playing is, in most cases, not between you and the casino, but between you and yourself.

You will find plenty of temptations to keep you playing and losing. Therefore, you must learn to develop a sense of timing or awareness of when to play and when to quit. In short, you must have the proper playing attitudes to overcome these psychological barriers created by the casinos to keep you losing and to make it difficult for you to leave the tables with a profit.

Here is a summary of the attitudes you must develop to be a winning player.

1. Always go to the casinos expecting to win. There is no guarantee you will win, but on the other hand, there is no guarantee you have to lose.

2. Always prepare yourself for the inevitable losing sessions. This is not the time to increase (press) your bets or ask for more credit because you are due to win. Rather, it’s the time to cut back on your betting levels, quit, and try another table or another casino, and if nothing clicks, quit for the day.

3. Always avoid the party atmosphere in the casino. That’s not to say you should not have fun. But those free drinks, in the long run, will cost you dearly if you start to make playing or betting mistakes.

4. Never let your emotions dictate how you should play or bet. If you are afraid to make a $25 bet at blackjack for fear of losing the bet, then don’t bet $25. If you become upset by the poor play of your fellow players, get up and leave. If the dealer is dealing the cards too fast and getting upset because you’re playing too slow, get off the table and play elsewhere where you feel comfortable. In short, you want to play in an environment where you are not pressured and feel comfortable. Remember that losers play with emotions; winners play with discipline and control.

5. Develop an attitude that a small profit is better than no profit or a loss. Remember, also, that you can’t be a winner unless you learn to quit a winner even if it’s only a small profit.

Learning to develop some of the above attitudes takes time and discipline because many of them are not always the natural thing to do in a casino. You’ll have to work at it to make these winning attitudes a comfortable part of your playing strategy.