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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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A Recipe for Successful Casino Gambling

29 August 2001

Sometimes you can open a cookbook, follow the instructions for a recipe to the letter, and still have things turn out less than perfect. In order to achieve the desired result, everything has to go just right.

The same holds true for casino gambling. You can learn everything you can about the games, play the way you're supposed to, and still go home a loser. That's why it's called gambling.

With this in mind, here's a little recipe for enjoyable and profitable gaming ventures. A perfect result is not guaranteed every time, but over the long run I'd venture a guess that things will turn out to your satisfaction more often than not.

I look at it this way: If you're going to invest any amount of time and money doing something, you may as well learn to do it right. Casino gambling should not be approached any differently than golf, bowling, cooking, gardening, or any other hobby or avocation you may think of.

First let's take a look at the ingredients you'll need:

4 cups of Luck
3 heaping tablespoons of Money Management
2 level tablespoons of Knowledge
1 heaping tablespoon of Skill
1 heaping teaspoon of Positive Mental Attitude
Add a Bankroll to taste

Cooking instructions: Pour the four cups of Luck into a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your Bankroll. Add the teaspoon of Positive Mental Attitude and let sit for 10 minutes. Finally, stir in the Knowledge, Skill, and Money Management. Bake for the duration of your casino outing. When finished you have done everything you can to have fun and success.

A profitable gambling venture is contingent on a combination of the ingredients, with Luck being the main ingredient. By its very nature and definition, gambling is taking a chance. But I also know the harder you work the luckier you will get.

In a future article, I'll examine the ingredients more closely and explain the importance of each of them. I'll also delve into how each ingredient contributes to a tasty recipe and how just the right combination of them can yield the result that you desire.

Final Word on Progressives: In last week's column, John Clausen, vice-president of slot operations at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, revealed some insightful information about progressive slot machines. Clausen's emphasis was on the Horseshoe's "Who Wants to be a Binionaire" 3-coin dollar machines that popped three times in less than a month for over half a million dollars in jackpots earlier this year. That's tremendous value for a jackpot that the casino "seeds" with $150,000 every time it's hit.

A word of caution: It's certainly no easier to win a progressive jackpot than it is to win the top award on a regular machine. It's just that sometimes the size of the jackpot makes it worth shooting for, just as the when the progressive jackpot for a royal flush at the Caribbean Stud Poker table reaches a level that makes it mathematically worth shooting for.

Some progressives are programmed to allow for the possibility of it being hit more often than other progressives. For example, the estimated 50 million to 1 odds against winning the Nevada Megabucks is the extreme. The odds against winning a progressive that is hit on the average of every several days are substantially less but still way, way up there.

It's fairly safe to generalize that the odds against winning a $150,000 seeded jackpot on Who Wants to be a Binionaire is about 10-times greater than the chances against winning the $15,000 top award on a 3-coin dollar unlinked machine. The higher the progressive grows with a percentage of money extracted from the money people wager, however, the more value there is in playing it.

The number of machines linked to a progressive jackpot also has an impact on the player's chances of winning. If more people have an opportunity to play more machines at any one time, it is harder for any one individual to hit the big one than it is with fewer machines and fewer people.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp