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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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My Top Ten List of Good Gambling Tips

1 August 2001

With apologies to David Letterman, today I'd like to present my Top Ten list of good gambling tips that hopefully will prove helpful to you on your casino gambling adventures:

10. Learn to play the game of casino craps. You'll have the advantage of making wagers known as "free odds" which carry no house edge. Payoffs are based upon true mathematical odds. By making pass line bets with free odds you are taking advantage of the best wagering opportunity in the casino. You don't have to be an expert to start playing. You'll learn as you observe.

9. When you win, always preserve a good portion of your winnings and make sure you walk out the door with it. Casinos thrive on patrons who acquire the "bet it all back" syndrome. Always have something to show for your good fortune. It never comes easy.

8. Don't chase casino complimentaries. Let them come to you. It doesn't make any sense to bet beyond your means to get a $3.99 buffet. Get comps according to your style of play. And don't be afraid to ask. Casino hosts and supervisors are in business to accommodate players as best they can. They don't like to say "no".

7. The longer you play and the faster you play the more you expose yourself to the built-in house edge. Put a time limit on your gambling sessions. Slow down. Play slots at a pace that's comfortable for you. Herein lies a true beauty of the game of craps. You can play at your own pace. You don't have to be involved in every decision of the dice.

6. Don't chase jackpots. Be satisfied with modest winnings. Always remember that it's hard to win. Over the course of time small winnings can add up to substantial winnings, plus you'll be able to return to the casino on a regular basis in the true spirit of a recreational gambler.

5. Learn to play all the casino games. Become as diversified a gambler as you can be. Don't just sit in front of a slot machine. Blackjack, craps, and to a somewhat lesser degree, roulette and Caribbean Stud Poker, can be much kinder to your bankroll. And don't be intimidated by the games. It isn't rocket science.

4. Learn wise money management. Don't allow your money to lose its value the minute you set foot in the casino. Bring with you the money you have budgeted for your gambling outing and stick to that amount. There's always tomorrow. Using your credit cards and making cash advances is a giant step on the road to ruin. Keep your casino gambling fun.

3. Play blackjack according to basic strategy and over the long run you'll be giving the casino as small as an advantage as it deserves. Basic strategy can be contained on a wallet size card that you can refer to while you play. A little practice and you'll be an expert basic strategy player in no time.

2. Become an informed slot player. Casinos tell you only so much. They are very content to leave slot games veiled in mystery and superstition.

1. Learn to play video poker. Unlike slots, which are programmed by the manufacturer to pay back a certain percentage, video poker is based on random deals from a 52-card deck and true mathematical probability. Casinos do not make individual slot machine payback percentages public. Video poker pay tables are what distinguishes good video poker from better video poker, and they are right before your eyes. If you learn what pay tables to seek out and learn proper playing strategy, you can play the house almost dead even.

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