The goal of gambling is to win money. Therefore, you wouldn’t think that any problems would arise when you’re winning big.
However, some people can actually become victims of gambling success. They fall into bad habits as a result and end up losing all of their winnings and then some.
If you hope to be successful with casino games or any other type of gambling, then you definitely want to know how to handle your good fortune. The following guide discusses several things that you can do to continue your winning ways, rather than going down the wrong path.
1 – Avoid Complacency
Complacency is the enemy of anybody who’s successful at anything. It causes you to slack off and stop working hard to improve your abilities.
You may, for example, become a successful sports bettor who’s winning $80,000 per year. As long as you’re getting by and not struggling too badly, you might feel comfortable where you’re at.
However, this situation can lead to a couple of different problems:
- You lose your edge and stop winning as much money, or even begin losing it.
- You never improve and reach your full potential.
Regarding the second point, you might even be able to make $100,000 or more per year through betting. If you’re complacent, though, you’ll never know what you’re capable of.
You don’t even necessarily have to be a semi-pro or pro gambler to suffer from this dilemma. Instead, you could simply be a skilled blackjack or video poker player who’s close to breaking even.
By not keeping up with strategy, though, you could suddenly start losing just as much as the average blackjack or video poker player.
The best way to avoid this problem is by continually challenging yourself to get better. If you’re a poker player, for example, you might set a goal to become profitable at certain limits by a specific date.
2 – Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks When Winning
Many people have become successful—or at least competent—gamblers, only to blow their winnings with stupid risks. I know professional poker players who’ve won serious money then lost most of it at the blackjack or craps tables.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with playing and losing in these games. Playing blackjack and craps for real money offers some of the highest RTP in gaming, so the risk is worthwhile.
If you’re relying on your bankroll for a living, though, then you definitely don’t want to bet too much on fixed-odds casino games.
It’s difficult to avoid risky gambles when you feel like you’re up big time on the house or your opponents. You may feel invincible at this point and like you can win the potential losses back at any time.
However, you need to realize that money won doesn’t always come back so easily. If you make foolish decisions with your winnings, then you might never see that cash again. At best, it’ll take you a while to re-earn the amount you’ve lost.
3 – Don’t Mistake Luck for Skill
One of the most thrilling things about gambling is that you could defy the odds and go on a hot streak. Afterward, you might have thousands of dollars in profits.
It’s always important, though, to evaluate exactly how you arrived at these winnings. If it was by pure luck, then you certainly don’t want to get cocky.
Charles Wells, a British conman and gambler, once won millions of francs at the Monte Carlo roulette tables. He claimed to have an infallible strategy that enabled him to win.
In reality, though, Wells was just using the flawed Martingale system. He’d make two more roulette trips to Monte Carlo in 1873 and lose his entire fortune.
Unless you’re a highly skilled gambler, you can’t expect to repeat the same results. After all, your luck will eventually run out and you could lose everything back to the house.
4 – Understand the Odds Behind Your Favorite Games
When playing fixed-odds casino games, you can determine your chances of winning with a little research. If you’re playing European Roulette, for example, you have 35 to 1 odds of winning a single-number bet. This means that when you win one single-number wager, you shouldn’t expect to pull off this feat again any time soon.
Contrast this scenario to one where you don’t know the odds behind your favorite games and bets. You might get lucky with something like the single-number bet and think that you can do it again and again.
Many slots players struggle with this concept. They win a large payout, or a series of decent payouts, and think that they can keep up this pace.
However, slot machines are really volatile games that don’t pay very consistently. If you expect a hot streak to keep up on them, then you may be severely disappointed.
5 – Advantage Play Doesn’t Mean You Win Every Time
A common misconception about advantage gamblers is that they win in every single session. Successful blackjack card counters, for example, allegedly rake in guaranteed profits.
In reality, advantage gamblers usually only have a small advantage over the casino. In the case of card counters, they hold between a 1% and 1.5% edge, depending upon their skill level.
This advantage is enough to make guaranteed profits over time. It doesn’t, however, guarantee anything in the short run.
An advantage player could just as easily lose money during a given session. With that said, they don’t have much room to get overconfident and lazy. Instead, they need to continually work on improving, or at least maintaining, their skills.
6 – Keep Some of Your Winnings
A big mistake that many people make when winning is continually putting their profits on the line. They may go on a hot run in blackjack, for example, and keep upping the stakes as they win more and more.
Of course, nothing is wrong with letting some of your winnings ride. The keyword here, though, is “some.” You should bank some of your profits during a hot run. This way, you don’t get out of control and quickly lose everything back to the house.
You might even consider setting a stop-win limit. The latter refers to a predefined point at which you’ll quit gambling for a session based on how much you’ve won.
A stop-win limit can be whatever you want. However, you should look at your profit goals and starting bankroll to come up with a figure.
Here’s an example on determining a stop-win limit:
- You have a bankroll worth $1,000.
- Your profit goal is 50% of your bankroll.
- 1,000 x 0.5 = 500
- You’ll quit any session after winning $500.
On another note, you can set up a stop-loss limit for when things aren’t going so well. Here’s an example on doing so.
- You have a bankroll worth $1,000.
- You don’t want to lose more than 25% of this in a given session.
- 1,000 x 0.25 = 250
- You’ll quit any session after losing $250.
7 – Avoid Drinking During Sessions
Some winning gamblers get too comfortable and start letting the drinks flow. They feel that they’re doing so well that a few drinks wouldn’t hurt.
I don’t need to lecture you, though, on the problems that drinking and gambling can cause. It becomes harder to maintain better judgement about alcohol, however, when you’re having so much success.
Poker pro Ilari Sahamies won millions of dollars playing online poker. But he enjoyed drinking during high-stakes sessions and lost $3 million in four years due to this habit.
You don’t have to be a highly successful gambler to lose big while drinking either. California businessman Mark Johnston lost $500,000 at the Downtown Grand Vegas after a drunken gaming session. Johnston later argued that he shouldn’t have had to pay the $500k because the casino served him 20 alcoholic drinks.
Long story short, you want to avoid or at least limit alcohol consumption at the gambling tables. Just because you’re winning, or rich in Johnston’s case, doesn’t make you immune to alcohol’s effects.
You obviously want to be winning when you’re playing casino games, betting on sports, or doing any other type of gambling. When you do win, though, then you’ll want to stay level-headed.
Winning can, after all, lead to almost as many problems as losing. It can cause you to become complacent with strategy, take unnecessary risks, drink, and mistake luck for skill.
You should keep in mind the seven points covered here whenever you’re doing well in gambling. By knowing the potential problems ahead of time, you can hang on to your winnings and hopefully add to them.