Saturday, September 26, 2009

Be a casino butterfly and flit from table to table

Ever wonder why sometimes you think you haven't been that unlucky, but then after 1 hour at the blackjack/roulette/baccarat table you suddenly realise you've lost way more than you thought?

Well, maybe it's because you have been sitting at the same table for 1 hour.

Usually, out of 100 tables at a casino, only a handful will be dealing games that are great for the player. The rest will be mediocre, or even bad. If I can't find a blackjack table where the dealer just keeps busting, or a really predictable roulette croupier, what do I do? I just move around until I find one, and if I can't, I circulate around different tables playing a few games here and there.

When you play short spurts at any table, your luck will probably fluctuate. Sometimes you'll be unlucky and start losing straight away. Sometimes your luck will be up for a while before it goes down. I try to take advantage of this by staying at a table while I'm winning, and leaving once I start losing. For example if I'm playing blackjack, unless I've already won quite a bit at a particular table and it has thus proven itself (usually at such tables there is a reason like a great positive card count or favourable card clumping, but the bottom line is, I have been winning at the table), I will make myself leave if I lose 3 hands in a row.

How many times have you stayed at a table despite knowing full well you were losing money? You probably weren't really even convinced you were going to start winning money at that table. More likely, you were lazy to leave, or you were just passively sitting around waiting to see what would happen.

If you were at a party with 100 people and you wanted to make friends, you would circulate the room, right? If you met one person you really liked, you'd spend a longer time with them. But if you spoke with someone you thought was totally obnoxious, you'd find an excuse to escape so you could talk to someone else instead. The same goes for casinos--ditch the nasty tables and find nicer ones. Flit from table to table like a hummingbird looking for nectar.

It all sounds so simple... but even I, Lady HengHeng, sometimes fall prey to staying in abusive relationships with nasty tables far too long.

Here are some reasons players, including myself, sometimes get stuck playing at tables they should be ditching. Try to avoid getting yourself into such situations unless you want your bankroll to suffer:

1) Hot guy(s)/girl(s)/dealer/croupier at the table - Never underestimate the power of this trap. Even if you are aware of the dangers and insist that you'll be able to tear yourself away when you start losing, trust me, when the Megan Fox lookalike across the table starts making eyes at you over her chips you will stay for at least 3-5 more hands. If you're betting $20 that's already $60 to $80 gone.

2) Playing with friends - Likelihood of getting hooked increases with the number of friends playing at the same table. If everyone's having too much fun to care about losing money even when the table is lousy, you won't want to spoil the fun.

3) Ordering drinks - Once you have a beverage set nicely on a coaster in front of you, you start thinking you're in a bar instead of a casino and get too comfortable to leave. When you start losing you tell yourself you'll leave once you've finished your drink. This effect is magnified 10 times if your drink is alcoholic.

4) Using your membership/rewards card (the card you pass to the dealer so you can start chocking up hours to exchange for free meals or whatever) - I feel like everytime I use my Crown Card, I lose money. Even if the game's not going too well, I'll tell myself to just stay a few more hands to see if my luck changes because I don't want to go through the hassle of asking the dealer to return my card. Now if I'm playing to win I seldom use the card, unless I manage to find a good table.

5) Wearing uncomfortable shoes - You actually do quite a bit of walking inside a casino, jumping from table to table and exploring the facilities. The bigger casinos can be downright massive. If your feet feel like they are being stabbed, the next thing to get stabbed will be your wallet.

Of course, there are other reasons casinos are fun than just winning money. But if you're seriously playing to win, you have to make some sacrifices at times, and often that means dragging yourself away from the table to circulate!

Read more:
How to stop gambling when you've lost all the money within your gambling budget, aka how to limit your gambling spending

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