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Test your poker common sense

May 4, 2004 2:36 AM

No matter how often, how loudly, or how intensely I point out the truth about video poker, there always seems to be the need for more. You see, we live in a world comprised of a sector of those who market the mathematics of the game for their own gain, (and they should be congratulated on their downright savvy for putting other players’ money into their pockets) and then there is me.

While the other guys try to make you believe the long-term gains await you at the end of that computer-perfect/optimal-play rainbow, I simply tell everyone exactly what they are truly doing when they play the game. And I am beginning to win the battle.

Why do I spend so much time writing about and talking about what nearly every player knows, but refuses to admit? Well, I guess it’s because I have a problem with watching other people being misled. As an expert at the game, I believe in trying to help others both enjoy video poker much more than they ever have before, as well as give them the best opportunity to win. Taking their money to do that just reeks of hidden agendas.

In the following exchange, see if you can spot yourself or any of your habits. No one else is listening and no one else is watching, so feel free to be open and honest.

Do you believe that sitting at a full-pay, positive expectation game for many hours each day will make some kind of profit? The common sense side of the equation simply says that it is not only unrealistic to think in those terms ”” it is also an incredible waste of an enormous amount of time to attempt to do such a foolish thing.

Does it make sense that those who sell all the video poker training tools would ever announce if they had a losing year? Would you buy something from a loser? Well, if you’ve ever bought anything, you have. Remember, 1+1=2 yesterday, today, and tomorrow ”” and everywhere in the universe.

Are you someone who believes that the things you get from having a slot club card are like getting something for nothing? This is one of the most difficult aspects of the game to convince anyone about. Common sense dictates that players will gamble far more than they ever wanted or could afford to because of a slot club card.

Are you a promotion-chaser, unable to turn down such fabulous and positive deals? Don’t feel bad, because as the saying goes: You are not alone! But what causes this overly confident feeling, and why do players choose to be controlled by casino marketing departments in such a manner?

Let’s talk about winning. I play to win, and I never play for the points. But what do you do? The methods of how I win so often are again based in solid common sense. How many times have you played a machine where you have been ahead — only to give it back and more over the next several hours? When people hit big winners, they have a natural tendency to feel like they can continue doing so, and usually they are wrong.

If you don’t go in with a pre-set list of goals and a plan — and if you fail to stick to them — without extreme good luck you will lose. Period. No number of math calculations or probability theories will ever overcome this truth.

I’ve had many players tell me how frustrating the game can be, and they are right. But human beings are not computers, and we have the ability to figure out and overcome what the games might do to us. I teach people to think for themselves. That’s the first step on the ladder of common sense, and is a must if you want to become a winner at gambling.