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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Top Ten Tips for Recreational Gamblers

9 August 2006

Want to have more fun on your casino outings? Better yet, would you like to increase your chances of having profitable sessions? Here are 10 simple rules to follow:

  1. Adhere to the principles of sound money management. Don't allow your money to lose its value the minute you set foot in the casino. If you gamble with any degree of regularity this is a must. Bring with you the cash you have budgeted for the outing and stick to it. Using credit cards and taking cash advances are paving stones on the road to ruin.
  2. Don't chase jackpots. It's important to keep a realistic perspective as to your expectations. Coming out ahead is tough enough, making the big score even tougher. Be satisfied with modest gains. Over the long haul, preserving winning sessions as opposed to allowing them to deteriorate into losing ones is the optimum game plan.
  3. If you win a substantial amount, always set aside a major portion and make sure you go home with it. Casinos thrive on gamblers who contract the "bet it all back" syndrome. If it happens to be a slot jackpot, ask for your winnings in the form of a check. It's paramount to always have something to show for extreme good fortune because it never comes easy.
  4. Don't chase comps. Let them come to you, based on your desired and comfortable level of play. Don't fall prey to casino marketing machines. Always use your player's club card and accept whatever perks come your way based upon your own terms.
  5. Play at a leisurely pace. The faster you bet your money and the longer you gamble, the greater your vulnerability to the relentless and unbeatable house edge. Place a time limit on your gambling sessions. Slot machines are fertile ground for fostering a tendency to play too fast. Don't fall into the trap.
  6. Learn to play all casino games, concentrating on the ones with the least destructive house advantages such as blackjack, craps and baccarat. By becoming as diverse and versatile a recreational gambler as you can be you'll be able to give your bankroll a rest from the slots. You needn't be intimidated by table games. They're not rocket science.
  7. Become an informed and knowledgeable slot player. Casinos are all too happy to keep the devices shrouded in mystery and superstition. Pick up a good book on the topic and learn all you can about how slots work and the sophisticated computer programs you're up against when you play them.
  8. Play blackjack according to the principles of basic strategy. Memorizing a few simple rules will keep the house edge to a bare minimum and make the game an affordable wagering opportunity structured for long term play.
  9. Take advantage of video poker. When you learn how to recognize the best pay tables, you're competing against true mathematical probability, often times close to 100 percent payback. You know a video poker machine's payback percentage. Not so with slot machines.
  10. Become familiar with craps. The best bets at this game carry some of the lowest house advantages in the casino. One, the odds bet, has no house edge at all.
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