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Best of John Grochowski

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It's a New Year!

19 January 2020

On a chilly mid-December afternoon, a text alerted me that Blackjack Bob wanted to talk.

I had nothing more important going on than a newspaper crossword puzzle, so I got back to him right away,.

Bob wanted to know if I was doing my usual New Year’s resolutions column. Once a year, I think it’s important to sit back and think about having fun while limiting risk in the casinos,

“Can you add one this year?” Bob asked. “Could you please ask blackjack players to stay away from tables that pay 6-5 on blackjacks instead of 3-2? We’ll never get rid of that horrible game if people keep playing it.”

I don’t usually get that game-specific in resolutions, but I told Bob, “Sure, I’ll mention it, along with a few casino “nevers” such as the five-number bet at roulette, the awful one-roll props at craps and betting four coins on a five-coin max video poker game.

But I prefer to look at gambling in more general terms in the annual resolutions:

  • Resolve to stay within your bankroll. Set limits and stick to them. If you hit your loss limit for the day, stop gamlbing. Period.

  • Resolve to play only with money you can afford to lose. There are both winning times and losing times, and when the losing sessions come you don’t want to risk money earmarked for the mortgage, rent, food, clothing or school. Play with an entertainment budget, not with cash for the essentials of life.

  • Resolve to learn the games before you play: Learning basic strategy at blackjack, strategies for video poker, the good vs, bad bets at craps will help you win more often, limit your losses and have a better time when you play.

  • Resolve never to chase losses: What’s worse than losing money? Losing even more in a desperate attempt to win it back. The odds of the games don’t change just because you’re losing, and you never become “due” to win. A tough losing streak means it’s time to ease back or quit, not to bet more.

  • Resolve to keep at least part of your winnings: When you’ve been winning, you’re not playing with house money. It’s your money as soon as you win it. If you want to play with part of your winnings, that’s your business. Have a good time. But keep a part of what’s now you’re momey in reserve. You can buy yourself a treat, go out for a night on the town, put a little away for the kids’ or grandkids’ education, pay bills, just bank it -- whatever you want. You don’t have to give it back.

  • Resolve never to use credit card cash advances for gambling money: The house edge is high enough without also paying transaction fees and credit card interest rates.

  • Resolve to go easy on the alcohol while you play: If you want a drink or two, that’s up to you. But you also want a clear head while you’re making decisions with money on the line, so don’t overdo it.

  • Resolve to keep things in perspective and play for fun. If you play very often, you’ll have both winning sessions and losing sessions, but most of us will lose more overall than we win,

Treat losses as the cost of a day’s entertainment. When you win, so much the better. But you can have some fun even on losing days if you keep expectations realisting and your bankroll under control.

Good luck, and may you have a healthy, happy, prosperous 2020.


Look for John Grochowski on Facebook ( http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44 ) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski