10 Commandments of Gambling

Expect to lose.

The odds almost always favor the casino. If you won't be happy if you lose then you shouldn't play at all.

Don't rely on hunches. Always make the mathematically best decision.

I have met numerous other players who disagree with me on this one, and they are all wrong. On the players side is the unlimited use of ESP and other psychic powers. The casinos have the mathematical odds on their side. Who always wins in the long run?

Although you will lose in the long run your money will go up and down like a roller coaster in the short run.

Regardless of how good you are your bankroll will make large swings in the short run. You should expect this. Following correct strategy is more beneficial to long term play.

In general the harder a game is to understand the smaller the house edge is if you play it correctly.

Your best bets are the more complicated games of blackjack, craps, baccarat, and video poker, assuming you play them wisely. Your worst bets are the simple games of pure chance like keno, roulette, and the wheel of fortune.

Don't gamble with anything but entertainment money.

The motive for gambling should be entertainment. So bet enough to make it interesting but not so much that it would hurt if you lost.

Don't hedge your bets.

For example don't take insurance in blackjack and never make the any 7 or any craps bet in craps. In gambling, as in life, it makes good business sense to not insure risks you can cope with yourself. If you are afraid to lose then you are betting too much to begin with.

There is no system that can beat a game of pure chance.

There are plenty of charlatans promising systems that can beat games of luck like roulette, craps, and even the lottery. Most systems trade a lot of small wins for a few huge losses. In the long run it is impossible to beat the house at games of chance only.

It pays to shop around for the best possible playing conditions.

In many games, especially blackjack and video poker rules can vary from one casino to another and one state to another. Know what rules are favorable to the player and to seek them out.

Avoid the side bets and gimmicks.

Good examples of side bets to ignore are those in Caribbean stud poker and let it ride. Yes, I know everyone else makes these bets but mathematically the house edge is huge. I have never seen a side bet that was a better bet than the game it was on. Gimmicks, like crapsless craps and commission free baccarat, have a higher house edge than normal rules in every example I have seen. When the casinos offer a change in a rule to your advantage you can be sure they changed another rule that is to their advantage, and that they are taking more than they are giving up.

Have fun.

Don't forget that gambling is supposed to be a recreational activity. Like many things, what is enjoyable in moderation can be disastrous in excess. If you lose the ability to walk away from the table or machine at will then you shouldn't play at all.

The 10 Commandments of Gambling Courtesy of 'The Wizzard of Odds'

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