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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Do You Get Mad When You Lose?

23 April 2002

Anybody who has ever been to a casino knows the feeling. You walk through the doors with euphoric feelings of optimism. You're going to hit the jackpot on that Double Diamond slot machine in the corner. You're going to sit down at that blackjack table and beat the dealer on every hand. You're going to walk up to that craps table and load up your rail with chips. You're going to have a stack of chips on your lucky number when it hits at the roulette wheel.

Then after half an hour or so, stark reality sets in. The money you brought to gamble has evaporated as quickly as a puddle on a 90-degree day after the sun comes out. Every twenty-dollar bill you put in the slot machine was gobbled up as quickly as it takes to pull the handle ten times. The dealer beat you every time, even when you had a 20. The dice showed a seven as soon as the point was established. Your lucky number was never even close at the roulette wheel.

So what's a gambler to do? Dip in for the credit card and get a cash advance? Borrow from your friends? Sit idly by and watch everyone else play? Head for the exit and call it a night?

Losing your money during a session of casino gambling can be maddening indeed, especially when you didn't even get a run for your money. Thoughts about what you could have done with that money start entering your mind. You leave the casino disgusted, disappointed, and probably mad for dropping a good chunk of your hard-earned money.

We've all been through it. But to be perfectly realistic about the entire situation, that's the price you pay for gambling. The old saying goes "you bets your money and you takes your chances". There is nothing guaranteed when you take a chance with your money, be it casino gambling or the horses, or even the stock market, mutual funds, or commodities.

There's a price to be paid every time you put your money at risk in quest of financial gain. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you break even. If you're willing to put the money up, you have to be willing to accept the consequences. That's the nature of gambling, no matter what form it may take.

When you get right down to it, the only sure thing is to put your money in a piggy bank. It's not going to depreciate in value (unless inflation sets in), and it's not going to be lost unless someone steals it. On the other hand, it never has an opportunity to appreciate in value, be that in a savings account, the stock market, or to some degree, the casino.

Gambling in a casino is just that, gambling. You have to be prepared to lose. The most important thing is that you have to be prepared to lose and not allow that loss to affect your financial stability. In other words, you can't go to a casino with "scared money." You can't go gambling with money that should be put towards groceries or bills and hope to double or triple it.

Money you bring to a casino should be money you have allocated toward entertainment. Your entertainment dollars can take many forms: Dining out, the theater, the movies, a concert, sporting events, or however you chose to have fun with your expendable income. The value you place on that money should be returned to you in the enjoyment that you derived from it.

If losing money during a session of casino gambling makes you mad, that's normal. Nobody likes to lose. But if losing money gambling hurts you financially or gives you feelings of guilt, then maybe you shouldn't be gambling in the first place. If you chose to gamble it should be for purposes of entertainment. If you break even, great, if you win, even better, if you lose, that's the chance you took.

The one great thing about casino gambling is that you have a chance of a positive financial return in exchange for having a great time. You can derive tremendous fun and entertainment from a baseball game or a night at the theater, but the money you spent is gone for good. The exchange has been made. A casino gives you the opportunity to have a good time and get your money back or more.

My advice is simple. To avoid disappointment and feelings of anger, only bet what you can afford to lose for an evening out. Don't lose 'till it hurts. On the contrary, win 'till it feels good. But if winning doesn't happen, consider that's the price you paid for taking your chances. You're not gambling to make a living. You're gambling to have a little fun.

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