Gambling in Vegas – Know Your Edges, Create Your Edges and Know When to Quit

It’s never easy to butt heads with a big business and come out on top, much less an entire city! Here are some key things to keep in mind before blowing that wad at the tables:1. Know the edges. Casinos make huge profits every year, sometimes by edges as small as half-a-percent! Gambling is all about consistently making good decisions that benefit you in the long run. A normal, no-bonus blackjack table is generally where a casino has the smallest edges. With a proper system, you can flip it over to your side of the odds. (Many systems are available, but they are essentially all the same – any system is better than none at all. Personally, I would recommend 2%2B2 publishing for your gambling needs; particularly any book by David Sklanksy or Mason Malmuth.) Card counting is a whole different story and not what I’m talking about. While not illegal, casinos reserve the right to throw you out on your heinie for counting cards (well).2. Create your edges. Poker has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and one reason is that poker is a game where your edge equals the difference between your skill and your opponents. There is definitely some luck thrown in the mix for drama, but in the long run, consistently making better decisions than your opponents does provide you with a bona-fide, mathematical edge. Again, 2%2B2 has some great books, and many sites have free forums for strategy discussion.3. Know when to quit. Many people throw around the term money-management without really knowing what it means. Sometimes it is a good idea to stop if you are losing, simply for psychological reasons. But remember – this is the long run we’re concerned with, which means that the next hand you play, whether it’s now or five years from now, is still the next hand. Mathematically, it doesn’t matter when it happens. That being said, gambling addiction is a serious issue and the signs shouldn’t be ignored. If you can’t stand leaving when down, and consistently end up worse by staying longer than you should, be honest with yourself about what you’re really doing. There’s a questionnaire available online at Gamblers Anonymous if you think you or someone you know might have a problem.Gambling can be a lucrative and enjoyable way to rake in some cash. Be prepared with a little research, and by setting aside a reasonable limit for your losses. See you at the tables!