How to Win in Las Vegas

I went to Las Vegas a few weeks ago and I won about $2000. It had been a long time since I had gambled but I got to thinking about it. After I left Gateway in 1999, I had a certain fascination for gambling and I went on an incredible run.

In fact, long before there was blogging, I made a list of all my winnings. Here they are:

Date Winnings Location
Feb 12, 1999 $1500 Las Vegas
Feb 13, 1999 $1500 Las Vegas
Feb 14, 1999 $1500 Las Vegas
Feb 20, 1999 $2500 Sioux City
Mar 6, 1999 $2000 Sioux City
Mar 20, 1999 $4000 Las Vegas
Mar 21, 1999 $2000 Las Vegas

So in the space of about six weeks, I made $15,000! I remember it well, because I was always walking around with a wallet full of one hundred dollar bills. When I think about this time, and all my times before, there is one simple rule that will allow you to consistently win money gambling. I mainly play blackjack but this simple rule most likely work for virtually any type of gambling.

Before I start, there is one prequisite. In the case of blackjack, you need to know what you are doing. There is a certain way to play the cards, and you have to always play the cards “according to the book”. If you play each hand according the book, your odds of winning each hand is right about 49% or maybe a little higher but less than 50%. You get the idea.

So here’s the big big secret. If you play by the book, your stack will go up and down. You will have incredible runs of bad luck, and it will seem horrible. But then it always happens, you will go on a good streak. The good streak happens in many ways but here are a few examples. It is entirely possible to win 10 hands in a row or even 5 hands in a row is a good streak. Sometimes, you have the opportunity to put a lot of the chips on the table through the process of doubling down and splitting. Either way, suddenly your pile of chips will be growing and you will be way up. The key to winning is to stop when you are ahead.

That’s it, but it is not so simple. When you are up, you want it to keep on going. Matter of fact, it quite often does. You don’t want to quit then, or do you? But then, it is inevitable that the streak will end. You start to lose a few hands. That is also a good time to quit, but most people don’t. They remember how much money they had and they don’t want to leave with less than that. But the streak is over, and your pile is dwindling. At this point, some people get desperate and starting betting more than normal in a vain effort to get back their stack. At this point, it is way too late, and most likely they will lose everything that they invested.

I like to play alone. The main reason is if you are playing with your buddies, then you feel compelled to keep on playing even though you know your streak is over.

So in conclusion. Play the cards smart. Get a sense of when you are on a hot streak and then quit after the hot streak is over. The problem is time. Sometimes, you can sit down at the table and immediately you win $2000 in less than 15 minutes. You should quit right then, but who is going to quit after 15 minutes? Heck, you’re going to win $10,000. Wrong. Sometimes you need to quit after 15 minutes.

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