Perhaps the greatest mistake of early gamblers is forming a betting decision according to superstitions or instincts instead of facts. I need to assure you that poker wizards such as Phil Hellmuth and Howard Lederer were not relying on horoscope readings or lucky sweaters for their winnings. They are geniuses in analyzing complicated choices that each hand offers in the high-stakes tournament. I will debunk common hocus-pocus that most gamblers mistakenly turn. Some of the points here is also applicable to online casino play.
Should I trust my intuition?
Using your intuition, playing a hunch and going by your gut are all sure paths to ruin. When the odds favor the casino by more than nine percent (like what you can find in a hard eight bet in the craps table), then that is the rate you will lose over time. Certainly, you may win and get lucky in the short-term, but casinos are designed to outlast you. (The only means to leave a tricky winner on a lousy-odds game is to instantly stop playing if you are up.) They own an immense bankroll, and when they get an edge, not even the most fortunate player on the planet can beat the odds and turn the tables.
Instead of trusting on your hunches, you are better off diverting your psychic energy to learning the laws of probability and picking games that give the lowest house edge.
Should I find a lucky machine?
Most gamblers have a favorite slot machine they enjoy to play. That is reasonable. After all, gambling is a game of familiarity, for some people it is better to take a chance with something you know. However, most players return to a game repeatedly because they think they have discovered a lucky machine. If you are relying on a lucky gambling machine and think you are consistently winning, I encourage you to keep a journal of your playing history. Take note how much cash you start with before you use the machine, and then count your earning when you walk away from that ‘lucky’ machine. You may be amazed to see that you didn’t perform nearly as well as you previously thought, particularly over the long-run. Selective memory often plays tricks and deceives players into thinking they are ahead, which is rarely the case.
Can I break the law of probability?
Many gamblers erroneously believe specific events are due. For instance, if the roulette ball lands on a black number six times in a row, some players feel red is due to hit.
It is true that, eventually, 50-50 propositions (just like flipping a coin) even out. However, the most likely result for the short-run is anything but average. It is not unusual to have eight tails and four heads in twelve flips of a coin. Although you take time off work for a month and meticulously write down the result of a million flips, it’s highly improbable the results will be precisely 500,000 for each. The occurrence of tails and heads will be close to fifty percent, but there still can be thousands more tails than heads.
How does this illustration relate to gambling? You shouldn’t get sucked into illusory conceptions such as streaky machines, hot dice, or cold cards. These facts are just random walks at work; short-term fluctuation is common in any game. Can you forecast that fluctuation and make tons of cash? Absolutely not!
Can I Forecast Trends?
Some players mistakenly believe that trends build up in some games – and that clever players can spot those trends and use them to foretell the future. To encourage this tactic, casinos even show previous numbers hit at the roulette game and give gamblers paper and pencils to write down results at the baccarat table.
Unless you are planning to apply as a scorekeeper with the Bulls, such activities are useless. The last results are only significant if there were a bias in the wheel or machine. But modern casinos are very vigilant about governing all their games, and it is extremely rare for non-random outcomes to creep into a game of chance.
Selective memory effect
All gambling misconceptions and superstitions share one common denominator – they all wrong in the end. You don’t trust me? Perhaps you have a pal who consistently crushes the craps tables at every trip or wins at slots. The truth is gamblers do win occasionally – otherwise nobody would ever return to those casinos. But I could speculate that an average casino visitor finishes ahead about 1 out of every 3 trips. That is simply short-run fluctuation at work.
The real problem for many people is that they won’t keep a reliable journal, and it is human instinct to minimize losses and recall big wins. Consequently, most gamblers think that they are winners when actually they are net losers.
Is it true that quitting early saves you money?
Another common myth is that knowing when to quit and save your prize money, but quitting just delays the inevitable outcomes until your next visit. For instance, you get off to a marvelous start during a three days jaunt to Tahoe and unexpectedly find yourself up $300 the first hour. Quitting early may give some positive emotional and psychological benefits, but it does not make any difference in the end. Your gambling bankroll goes on the next trip, since the cards, your money and the dice have no collective memory of what previously occurred. Playing less time at negative expectation games may save your winning money, so in this sense, quitting has some values. But if you wish to play 18 hours of roulette the next month, you may lose more eventually.
More than 50 percent the U.S. population gambles quite regularly. For most gamblers, gambling is an exciting diversion from the daily routine. However, you can quickly cross the dangerously faint line from pleasurable interest to fatal addiction. One of the good ways to stay away from the pitfall of addiction is with education. Your chances of winning the game improve dramatically if you know the psychology and odds of the games. Everyone likes winning more than losing, and nobody likes to come home beaten. But you should remember that nobody wins every trip or every session or every day. Gambling is all about teaching yourself about the slim odds you are facing and choosing the best bets in the house. So always keep this advice in mind during your casino trip: Losing a small amount of cash and walking away is a lot better than dumping a bundle of Ben Franklin straining desperately to get even.