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Online Gambling Survival Guide

This is a quick overview for the beginning online casino player.

Ten tips that will help you walk away from casinos with more money in your pocket:

Know Your Game

Not all games are created equally. There is a wealth of information both on the net and in print to inform you of the odds you face in any given game and the strategies that will help shave the house edge to a minimum. Be sure to check your payout tables in Video Poker and the payout rates for slots games: these can and will vary from casino to casino. Spend some time reading and you'll spend less time wondering what happened to your bankroll.

Remember That Nothing Beats A Game Of Chance

You know the "systems" you've heard about, the ones that are supposed to be a sure-fire way to beat Roulette, or Craps, or the Lottery, or Keno? They may as well be written on toilet paper 'cause that's what they're good for. Nothing short of a rigged game is going to guarantee that you'll walk away a winner from the casino. And those fancy betting systems? Try them out on a "Free" game for a while and you'll see how far they get you. Fibonacci, Martingale, Grand Martingale, whatever. They all spell "lose faster" not "win more".

Play By The Numbers

If you're playing to win, know the odds of your game and play accordingly. The numbers may be dull, but they are your roadmap to avoiding the losing plays. Hunches, ESP, clairvoyance, tea leaves, remote viewing and divination are all sorry secondary choices to the mathematics of your game.

Take The Winnings And Run

Have a plan for when to stop. Some folks call it quits when they're up by 50%. Some when they've doubled their session bankroll. Others bail when the tide turns and they lose 20% of their winnings. Whatever your break-point, it's important to have one and stick to it. Otherwise you'll just keep playing until you can't and by then you'll have lost all the money you won. Forget the pot of gold, take the fistful of dollars. Greedy players make big losers.

Expect To Lose

Casinos do not depend on luck to stay in business. On virtually every bet you make in whatever game you play, the house's take is designed right into the rules of the game. And that edge generally means they'll be the winner a lot more often than you will be. Players can find and play games where the house edge is 1.5% or less but you'll have to do your homework to find them. Sites like ours are a good place to start your education, but never forget that the casinos rule and are in business to take your money.

Play The Game, Not The Gimmicks

That "insurance" bet in Blackjack: house edge around 6%. The so-called "crapless craps": again, about 6%. The side bet in Caribbean Stud: over 25% house edge. What's the moral of this story?

Aside from knowing your game and being intimately familiar with the odds you face, the moral is "forget the gimmicks". Sure there's the occasional exception but in general the "add-ons" to the basic games are sucker bets.

Play To A Budget

Let's say you've got $600 and you expect to gamble three times a week for the next couple weeks. That's $100 per session and that's your budget for any given session. Put the rest away, forget about it and enjoy the money you've got in front of you. DO NOT touch another day's bankroll. If you tap out, walk away and come back another day. This is how you remain a happy gambler and not a whining loser.

Don't Play While Under The Influence

A gambler who’s under the influence of drugs or alcohol is, at the very least, a lesser player than they would be straight. Why do you think the brick-and-mortar casinos give the drinks away? They know the way it goes: you booze, you lose.

Don't Gamble With Scared Money

It ain't news but it's worth repeating: only gamble money that you can afford to lose. Anything you can't afford to lose -- like the rent money -- is called "scared money" because that's what you'll be if you even get close to betting with it. Scared gamblers are losers-in-training.

If you are gambling with monies you shouldn't you may well need professional counseling. Gamblers Anonymous (, US & UK), Gam-Anon (, UK & Ireland), GamCare (, UK) and The National Council on Problem Gambling (, US & Canada) are ready, willing and able to assist troubled gamblers.

Have Fun

Unless you're a professional player with a proven track record, you're playing for the pleasure of it. For 98% of players casino gambling is recreation -- you're spending money to be entertained. If the fun stops, so should you.

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