Gambling Advice for Winners

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91. Tip the dealers and waitresses who provide you with service. I don’t believe in luck, BUT if anyone deserves to be unlucky, it’s stingy people who don’t tip. Dealers, waitresses, even the folks who work the buffet are providing you with a service. If they do well, you should make sure you tip them for it.

92. Don’t cheat. Ever. Cheating is far more serious to a casino than you can probably imagine. Not only do you risk bodily harm from unethical casino employees who are trained to handle cheaters, you risk actual problems with the law. Do you really want to go to jail for cheating at a casino game?

93. Understand what games you like to play and why. Different people are looking for different experiences when they gamble. Some people are willing to grind out a small advantage over time, like low stakes poker players. Others don’t mind losing a bit if it means they can eventually look forward to a life changing jackpot. But the important thing is that YOU understand your goals from each gambling session, and then work toward achieving that goal. That’s winning.

94. Most people don’t have the wherewithal to gamble professionally. Don’t worry about it. It takes tremendous amounts of patience and a toleration for boredom to be able to gamble professionally and make a living at it. Professional gamblers live on grinding out small edges and they require a larger bankroll than you think. Almost everyone is better off being a recreational gambler and assuming that their gambling losses are just an entertainment cost.

95. Don’t play the lottery just because it’s the only game in town. The odds are so bad on the lottery that it’s not even funny. The payout percentage for lottery games is 50%. Even the worst bets in a casino offer a payout much better than that, in the 80%+ range.

96. Understand that if you’re a losing player, you need an infinite bankroll in order to play forever. By definition, if you’re playing a game where the house has an edge, you will be, in the long run, a losing player. So if you play a game where you don’t have the edge long enough, you will lose all your money eventually, although at certain points you may be up and you may be down. And you’ll never have a mathematically certain way of knowing when your winning streak will end either. So either only play games where you have an advantage, or understand that you’re going to lose in the long run.

97. Understand that gambling is “streaky”. You can and will sometimes win in the short run. It doesn’t mean you’re lucky, and it doesn’t mean that you’re good. It just means that you’re experiencing some standard deviation. Enjoy it. Stop playing for a while when you’re ahead, and do something else. If you can quit winners some of the time, then you’re doing all right.

98. You should be able to calculate the average hourly cost of playing a casino game. The average hourly cost of playing a casino game is determined by the number of bets you make per hour multiplied by the size of the bets multiplied by the house edge. So if you’re playing 9/6 Jacks or Better, for example, the house edge is roughly 0.5%. If you’re playing 300 hands per hour, at $5 per hand, your hourly cost to play will be $7.50/hour. That’s not bad if you’re getting 0.3% back from the slots club and a couple of free drinks each hour.

99. It might sound like some kind of zen mysticism type thing, but understand that to be a winning gambler you have to be okay with being a losing gambler.

100. Gambling is supposed to be fun. If it’s not fun, you shouldn’t be doing it. In fact, when gambling stops being fun, it might be an indicator that you have a problem. See tip #101.

101. If you think you might have a gambling problem, get help. Compulsive gamblers never win in the long term, they just ruin their lives. I’m the first person to tell someone to gamble and enjoy it, but if it’s ruining your life, get the help that you need in order to quit.

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