10. The Player's Edge
As powerful as the casinos may seem to be, you can walk into a casino knowing that you have an edge over the house. As a successful gambler, you have to be able to win more than you lose.
What are the tricks you will use to gain an edge over this formidable adversary?
Your edge will consist of the following actions:
- When you are losing, you can quit.
- When you are winning, you can walk out with the casino's money.
- You can vary the size of your wagers.
- You can pick where to play.
- You can modify your strategy based on table results and conditions.
- You can use discipline to develop a winning plan and then stick to it.
Most players never realize what an advantage these offer. The casino cannot be flexible. It must continue to offer the same games, with the same rules, without the ability to react to changing conditions. The nimble player can weave and dodge and even choose not to play a particular game. Let's elaborate on the player's edge:
- When you are losing, you can quit. You can always control your losses while the casino must continue to offer its games regardless of the outcomes. Most roulette players buy a fixed amount of chips and then don't quit until all of the chips are gone. There is no law that says you have to lose your entire buy-in before you lick your wounds and call it a game. Smart players learn to read a losing session long before all of their chips are gone and know how to walk away with at least some of their game bankroll intact.
- When you are winning, you can walk out with the casino's money. As a player you can always control when you stop playing. While the casino must continue offering its games twenty-four hours a day, you can jump in, grab a win and pull off. You have ultimate flexibility while the casino does not.
- You can vary the size of your wagers. One approach a player can use is to increase the size of his wagers when he is winning and reduce them when losing. He may also choose to raise his wagers after losses so that only a win or two out of many wagers will put him ahead. A player can set up options where he doesn't have to win the majority of his bets. Using these techniques effectively goes a long ways towards minimizing the house edge and even turning it into a player edge!
- You can pick where to play. You can play at tables offering the best situations for you. You can choose to play at tables that are almost empty by playing during slack periods. This can significantly increase your hourly win rate. You can also make it your business to know where the best payoffs are. If you are looking for certain table conditions, you can scout for the right table before you play. You have numerous options while the house must offer the game to anyone who is old enough to play, conforms to fairly lax casinos standards and has some money to begin play.
- You can modify your strategy based on table results and conditions. Every table develops different trends at different times. Since we are going to concern ourselves only with evenmoney bets, we will take a hard look at patterns, streaks and other occurrences. You can adjust to the changing playing conditions as they occur. If the table is repeating a particular color, you can modify your strategy to take advantage of this trend. If the chop from one color to another, seemingly in an unpredictable manner, you can make still different moves. In short, you have the ability to bob and weave, duck and thrust, parry and counter punch. The table can't react to anything. Every roulette table is like an inanimate object that must endlessly grind out numbers, while you circle and pounce.
- You can use discipline to develop a winning plan and then stick to it. The house has ultimate discipline. The very structure of the casino games and atmosphere exhibit a carefully planned approach designed to transfer funds from the players pockets into the casino coffers in the shortest time possible. Of course, to a large extent this relies on most players' lack of discipline. Once you gain the discipline to set up a winning game plan and then follow it, you can effectively neutralize much of the casino's edge over the crowd of players.
A few days ago I played a couple of hours of roulette in a local casino. I played for low stakes, buying in for $500. I used the Maximum Advantage Roulette approach. It was a typical roulette table with the other players scattering their bets all over the layout. I was the only player who seemed to have a plan for his play.
I don't believe that anyone else at the table won any money but me. The difference between the rest of the players and me was that I had a plan for the evening and I stuck to it. With a $500 buy-in, I set $300 as my profit goal. In a little over an hour, I checked my chips, found I was up $312 and cashed in. Most players don't have this kind of discipline, but once you learn it, you can walk away with win after win!
The player's edge comes from all of the points listed above, plus the ability to hide your wins from the casinos. There is really no reason that anyone other than you and your significant other should know about your casino prowess. There are people who would kill you for fifty bucks. Casinos really don't like winners.
That's why a number of Las Vegas casinos still bar blackjack card counters. It may not be fair, but even with all of its advantages, if you somehow manage to win, the casino can deny you access to their games.
The net effect of applying all of the elements of the player's edge is to neutralize and even overcome the LIVE casino's advantage. Your biggest edge will come from your discipline. Interestingly, this is the same kind of discipline the casinos expect from their dealers, floor bosses and staff. If it works for them, you know that it will work for you too!