Question: Best ways to win money in a casino

http://brainreactions.net/brainstorming/index/641

You have to realize that "winning" money from a casino is a Herculean heavy lift. I am a veteran of about twenty weeks of vacation in vegas and innumerable "free" hotel visits to AC. In all my trips, I would say without written records that I have only had five or so "winning" trips (i.e., my definition is arriving home with more money than I left with).

Having said that, there are times, when in the short run, you can take some money away. But, you have to be very skillful. It's way to easy to "revert to the mean" (i.e., lose it all back).

After our second trip to vegas, where half way thru frau and I were both tapped out and actually hit the atm, we knew we needed a better "system". In case you were wondering, "reversion to the mean" saved us that trip and we ended up down only about two hundred each. A stunning reversal.

We developed, independently, our concept of "enveloping". Basically we divided what we were willing to lose into session, day, and trip limits. At first, we literally sat in the hotel room with a box of envelopes and stuffed cash into them. We had expense money that was not ever used to gamble. We divided the day into: morning, afternoon, and night (session limits). At the end of a session, we returned the change to that envelope. So if we had a 100$, but only lost 50, 50 went back to the envelope. If we were ahead, that went into the envelope. At the end of the trip, we merged all the money back together. (If one of us was behind, we split the loss. If we were both behind, we averaged the loss. And, on those occasions we were both ahead, we averaged the winnings.)

Hence, recognized early on the power of cutting your losses. Often, trips could be "salvaged" from the "change". It was rare after that realization for us to ride the Titanic underwater.

We also recognized that it was critical not to lose back your winnings. So for example, when I play Let It Ride, I play a very disciplined money management strategy (I'm a wild optimist!), it gets me away from the table. I accept a string of small loses for the occasional big hit. Again, no written records, but I have played at least 50 sessions. My system minimizes my loss to 49$ per session. But I have had at least a dozen sessions where I have won more than 500$ and two sessions where I won over a thousand. It's a tough game with a big house edge, but it is possible to "win".

Also, one has to consider the comps. Usually, when we were going to AC regularly, we never paid for a hotel room and rarely paid for meals.

One has to be sensitive to the environment, on at least four occasions, we "discovered" a winning "system".

My shazam moment was in vegas when I was out for a conference at the Sands and they had just introduced paper tickets as a loyalty program. The machine would count down and give you a ticket after so many plays. The tickets could be redeemed for trinkets. The conference had a 15 minute break between sessions. I'd go out "ticket hunting" with 40$ at each break. I'd only play machines with 3 or less on the counter. I "cleaned up". That trip was stunning. My theory was that people would not leave a low count machine unless they had busted out. If they'd busted, it meant the machine was "primed" to hit. Three times, I had to call my wife down to wait for payoffs and tax forms (i.e., the win was in excess of $1199). And, we literally had a suitcase full of junk for my nieces and nephews. That trip was one of our winners. As I recollect we had 8k$ in tax forms and I came home ahead about 7500$. (Remember we split.) On two occasions, I was one notch off winning a multi million dollar progressive.

There was a time when we very hot on Battleship slot machines until they changed the payoff. Similarly, the Cleopatra machines.

We also did very good during the Freemont casino's experiment with "repetition" on roulette. Basically bet a dollar on a number, if it repeats you get 100$ and if it repeats again, you got a $1,000, again $10,000. It was only up for a few days during one of our week long vacations. Frau hit it for 500 and I hit it for 300. Rumor hath it that an Oriental lady to them for $250k before they closed it down. Midway thru our three day, they limited it to a dollar bet. Limit two $ on a number. Rumor hath it that the lady had been playing multiple black chips on it. Having seen my wife "parlay" on the roulette and craps tables (i.e., repeatedly hit the same favorite number several times in a row), I know statistics. And, I "knew" that we don't understand everything in the real world, but I KNEW that repeating numbers in roulette were not THAT unusual.

So my advice is keep your eyes open and a rubber band on your wad.

If you see a weak spot, test it. If you win, thank your lucky stars.

As always, your mileage may vary and free advice is worth what you pay for it.

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