Because I can’t be blogging about bad news all the time
As I have said before, I like to gamble. My wife doesn’t have a problem with it, because there are a lot of vices I could have, and gambling is not the worst I could have. Sure, at first she had a problem with watching me play, but as time has gone on, not only has she accepted it, she will play herself. She just won’t play at a table with a minimum bet that is over $15, because it makes her nervous.
I have been doing this for about 15 years. I have always had some rules for playing, and I have found that following these rules means that I am about even in the casino. What are the rules? Easy:
1 Don’t gamble with money that you can’t afford to lose. If you find yourself gambling away your rent money, the kids’ college fund, or any other needed funds, you are out of control.
2 If you ever find yourself in a situation that you are trying to win back what you already lost, stop. You are not in a position where you are making wise bets.
3 Set an amount that you can afford to lose each day that you will be in the casino. When you hit that amount, walk away.
4 Understand that the casino will win more often than you. If this weren’t the case, the casinos would all go out of business. You need to remember this and not plan on making yourself rich. Anyone who tells you that they “win most of the time” is lying. Yes, there are people who occasionally win a big jackpot. Casinos love this, because people who win big attract other gamblers to try their luck.
5 If you are having a good day, as soon as you have doubled the money you started with that day, put that starting amount in your pocket. Now you are gambling with the casino’s money and are guaranteed to at least break even for the day.
Number 5 is very important. Let’s say that I set my limit at $300 a day and head out for a three day gambling trip.
Day one, I lose $300. I walk away.
Day two, I again enter the casino with $300. After two hours of play, I am on a lucky streak and find myself with $600. I put $300 in my pocket and continue playing with the other $300. An hour later, I have $700 in front of me. Then I have a bad couple of plays and leave the table with $250, plus the $300 I put in my pocket.
Day three, I again lose my $300 and walk out.
My total for three days? I have only lost $50.
Sometimes I win big, sometimes I lose. I never lose big, because I follow my limits. My current limit is $500 a day. I usually win or lose less than $1,000 a week when I go to the casinos. The most I have won in a week is $4,000. I have done that three times. The most I have lost in a week? $2000. Unfortunately, that worst week ever was last week. I have only done that once. The runner up was $1,500 in a week, but that was in a two week trip, and the week before I had won $1,200.
We just stayed in Las Vegas at the New York, New York casino. We were in a luxury suite at a highly discounted rate. The soft drinks in the mini bar were complimentary, and they gave us $100 food credit and $75 in free gambling credit. The total cost for the room, round trip airfare on nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale, along with all food and drinks for the entire trip was $1200.
My week went like this:
Day one: Lost $500.
Day two: Won $200.
Day three: Lost $500
Day four: Lost $500
Day five: Lost $500
Like I said, this was the worst week I have ever had, but I think that was because we usually do other things while in Vegas. We usually go to shows, go hiking, or tour other attractions. This time, everything was closed except for the casinos. Still, even losing that much at the tables, the comps that I get for being a high level player made a 5 day 4 night vacation cost only $3,200.
So how do you get comps like that? Remember that it isn’t on how much you win or lose, but how much you gamble. You can gamble quite a bit, and as long as you understand math and don’t vote like a complete moron, you can just about break even most of the time while betting thousands of dollars a night. More on that some other time.