Recently, I’ve taken a lot of questions regarding my short-term type of playing strategy that rarely has failed to be successful for me. There are various reasons why I choose to win (or lose) a certain amount on a single machine in any given casino — and then leave.In order to better understand the thinking behind my "win and leave" style of play, it may help to take you through my romp through Laughlin casinos — from which I’ve just returned moments ago.
Our destination was the Ramada Express, where my wife and I were going to begin a three-month period of celebrating our 25th anniversary by traveling to our favorite destinations on the West Coast and around Hawaii.
Yes folks, it is possible for me to go somewhere that does not include video poker cruises, Indian casinos or other gambling locations, because I don’t constantly need that fix. Laughlin is a relatively easy location for my type of play, since all the casinos are within close proximity of each other, and the traffic is slowed only by driver age.
All play was based on winning a minimum of just $40, my overall goal was to win $1,200, and as soon as these were attained we would move on. Our first stop was the Riverside, where I consider the casino secondary to all the other attractions Don Laughlin has offered up. At $1 Bonus Poker (BP), we won $50 — but it took almost 20 minutes since we had a bad start.
Next we went down to the other end of town to Harrah’s. Here we played $5 BP only, and after just three hands we walked out with a $75 profit. Not a lot to most people, but then again, most people don’t walk out on the positive side of things. Remember lesson number one: Greed is a trademark of losers. And given the denominations I usually play, there’s always the chance of much bigger winners appearing at any time, so why rush things.
Our next stop was the Golden Nugget — in my opinion the only true mark of luxury on Casino Drive. But we didn’t get to spend much time there, as our first hand at $5 BP yielded a flush — and a win of $100. Colorado Belle saw our action next. I chose a $1 Double Double Bonus (DDB) game near the casino cage. Thirty minutes of play produced our first quad of the day — four 8s. We took our $60 profit over to the Edgewater, where we collected another seemingly easy $40 on a single $1 BP machine.
Cindy was beginning to tire of the walking and short drives, so when we went into the Flamingo I put our $325 profit thus far, into a $5 DDB machine in the high-limit area — hoping for a make-or-break session. And that it was. After losing our winnings as well as another $500, we were dealt 4-4-4-K-4 — a tasty $2,000 winner. But this was DDB poker. This was a negative expectation game the experts say we’re crazy if we play. This was a game they said would take our bankroll if we were to play it throughout infinity.
But we were here only for a tick out of eternal time, and being dealt a special quad in this game has always been special to me. There is nothing more exciting than drawing to such a dealt hand in a game with kickers, and in this case an ace replaced the king for $4,000. Happily, we finally went over to the Ramada to check in.
Here we faced a dilemma, but it was of the welcome variety. Normally, I would immediately leave for home after attaining my trip goal, but this trip was the beginning of a long period of celebrating, and we had a reservation at our favorite steakhouse in Laughlin. What I did was put my $1,200 win goal away, and the rest we would have a good time with on the Ramada’s machines.
But it did not turn out so well — as video poker can always bring even the loftiest of players back down to earth. Before our late dinner we risked nearly $2,000, and the only machine we won on was $10 BP. Our session began with quad 8s and a straight flush on dollar 10/7 DBP, but those were the last big hands we saw all night. Our dinner was excellent as usual, and after a restful night we left early in the morning — a day earlier than expected. We still had our win goal of $1,200, and we left without a tear. After all, how many people who visited Nevada during these same few days left with that much of a profit? You need not be an expert to figure that one out.
So why is it that I find it necessary to leave a certain casino after winning a pre-set goal? Why do I not simply move on to another machine and begin again — or even start over with my current machine?
Some people think I have a superstition, or maybe I don’t believe a machine can win multiple times very often. I greatly enjoy winning anything in a short session at a casino, and yes, it is entirely possible to do the same thing over and over — albeit there’s always a chance of being over zealous in your approach.
The satisfaction I feel as I walk out those doors and into the parking lot is extreme, all because I spent nearly seven years losing 80 percent of the time. I want to feel good about what I just did, and I want it to stay with me for as long as possible.
Truly, this is the essence of short-term romp-through-town type of play. And unless you enjoy sitting for hours and hours in front of the machines, which I know you don’t, go ahead and feel free to learn how to finally become a winner on your own terms.