Thursday, November 15, 2018

Reminder: If you have a casino host: They hate you.

Meet the Man Who Wins Big When You Lose it all in Vegas. Thrillist

Granted, some of this is bombast for the reporter, Cyr trying to make himself out to be more important, and closer to the ears of giants, than he really is. But a LOT of it is real.

I've seen it happen there.

And that's Vegas, a place that will chew you up and spit you out if you let it.

If, like many people he described in the story, you CAN'T set, and most importantly stick to, a budget when gambling then don't.

If you say you're only willing to lose $30K then only deposit $30K, don't deposit $100K and think that, in the fog of adrenaline and alcohol that you're going to have self control.

If you have a casino host don't gamble for comps. (As a matter of fact, don't gamble to chase comps in any situation. Self-comping [i.e. paying for your stuff] is always a better option)


I'm neither a high, or low, roller. I'm what the casinos call a "mid-low-margin" gambler. I only play games where I find the lowest house edge (Some video poker, Baccarat, Black Jack and the outer bets on Craps) but I do bet more per trip than the average tourist.  I'm nowhere near the players listed in this article (my bets are $10 - $25 for example) but I play long and I like to think I play well.  I also pocket my winnings and limit my losses through an envelope system that only gives me a portion of my bank roll to play with per day.

Here's how that works:

Let's say I'm taking $2.5K with which to gamble on a 5 day trip.  I will divide the $2.5K into five envelopes, $500 each day.  At the beginning of they day I take the money out of the daily envelope, and put any money left over from the day before in the take-home envelope. Then I go out and gamble with that $500 for the day.  At the end of the day/beginning of the next day, repeat the process.

If you can do this, and be successfully NOT open the other day's envelopes, you will almost always bring a portion of your bankroll home with you.  IF you can pocket any wins over a certain amount (say $100) then you can most times go home from Vegas only a slight loser or, infrequently, a winner.

Of course, when dealing with money you have to be careful, I'm obviously not flying to Vegas with $2.5K in my wallet and neither should you.  I do have access to my money in Vegas and you should figure out a way to make that happen for you, without going to Casino ATM's which often charge transactions fees of $7.99 or higher.

Most importantly, and this is key, DON'T under any circumstances, take out more money during the trip if you hit a bad spell.  And you WILL hit a bad spell.  It's gambling, the odds are with the house, and eventually that edge is going to catch up with you.

The good news about gambling at my level is that I typically fly under the radar of most hosts. $500 per day is not going to move the casino needle any/  Yes, I get offers that include free rooms, free play, and resort credit but I get and redeem them online or through the kiosk. I would be quite happy never being on the radar of any host in Vegas ever.  But Given my level of play that money is going to last me all day, and usually then some, provided I don't hit an epic slump. 

I get free drinks, I pay for my dinners and wine, shows, or almost anything else that I want to do, and I never have to deal with the Cyr's of Vegas.  I gamble well below my financial ability and so should you.

As a matter of fact, if you cannot gamble like this then it's quite possible that being inside a casino is not the correct place for you.  Take up fishing, gardening or some-such.

Your life will be much better for it.


But, if you CAN stick to something like this, hold to a budget and not bust it, (whatever the level may be) then you might just find your Vegas experience improved.  Getting stuck-in the first day is awful, only being a little bit down? Not so much.

Steve Cyr might not like it all that much, but you'll be a better educated and happier gambler, one who sees gambling losses as what they should be: The price for being entertained for a few hours rather than a speed-bump on the way to winning.


You're probably not going to win.  Only the house wins consistently.

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