10 Tricks for Staying Crisp During Those Marathon Sessions

People Smiling Around a Casino Roulette Table

Staying sharp on the casino floor or poker room is among the most daunting tasks a weary gambler faces. When we’re feeling sluggish, the mind begins to wander. That will ultimately lead to unforced errors and missed opportunities.

Fortunately, there are several simple methods for staying on top of your game while gambling. These tips will be additionally valuable for the poker player who may find themselves head to head with competitors well into the wee hours of the morning but may also be of paramount importance to gamblers playing table games.

Utilize these 10 tricks for staying crisp during those marathon sessions and watch your results improve instantaneously.

1 – Clear Your Mind

The easiest step to staying focused on the task at hand is eliminating any unnecessary distractions. As someone that works on my own schedule, I can tell you that the biggest distraction for most of us is our smartphones.

You’ll never perform to your highest potential if you’re checking Facebook to see what the world is up to or searching Google to help you remember what year Firestarter came out.

Place your smartphone in do not disturb, and keep it tucked away in your pocket.

You should also take steps to eliminate any other clutter like work or life. You’re either in the casino to have fun or make money, and you can’t do either by focusing on outside problems.

Make a conscious effort to put all of the distractions to rest until you’ve finished your session.

2 – Caffeine Helps but Proceed with Caution

My wife can’t start her day without a cup of coffee. The jolt of caffeine gets her motor running and ready to tackle the day.

There’s no disputing that caffeine can improve cognitive functions when taken in small doses. However, you mustn’t overdo it.

I haven’t enjoyed a cup of coffee in years. I wake up in the morning and am immediately ready to go; it drives my family crazy.

If I drink coffee or other heavily caffeinated drinks, it has quite an adverse effect. I become anxious and lose focus quickly.

Barista Pouring Creamer Into A Cup Of Coffee

I’ve even begun feeling ill from drinking too much coffee. So, caffeine may help retain the edge, but be careful not to go to the extreme and get yourself wired.

3 – Try to Guess Your Opponents Hand Each Round

When I’m playing real money poker, I’m constantly trying to put my opponents on a hand. That’s not any groundbreaking poker strategy; most decent players are trying to guess your hand.

However, what you do when you’re not in a hand can be equally important. If you’re floating off into La La Land, you’re not going to stay sharp.

Daydreaming will lead to having to wade through all of the clutter when it’s time to make critical decisions.

Instead, try to guess what each player still in the hand is holding. This will keep you crisp and give you valuable insight into your opponent’s playing styles.

I also use this tactic anytime I start losing focus at the blackjack table. It’s inconsequential what the other players have, but I’ll try to guess whether they’ll stay or hit.

Then I’ll compare that to how I’d play the hand to see which of us is correct. It’s nothing more than a time killer, but it keeps me engaged and focused on the game.

4 – Make a Game of People Watching

I can think of few better places for people watching than in a casino. Next to gambling, it’s by far my favorite activity when I’m sitting at the tables.

I’ll watch people meander by or sit at another table for hours. People watching can become distracting if you’re not careful.

In the past, I would find myself creating these elaborate backstories about my fellow gamblers to the point of missing opportunities.

People Sitting at Table With Dealers Hand On Table

These days I attempt to focus more on making a game of spotting unique features. So, I might try to see how many red shirts I see in an hour.

This keeps me alert without serving as too big of a distraction from the game. Still, it’s essential not to become so consumed with the people watching you miss the game.

5 – Focus on One Thing at a Time

Whether you’re playing baccarat or Texas Hold’Em, it’s essential to have goals. TheseThese goals will not only help you achieve your ideal results, but they’ll also allow you to stay crisp during those marathon sessions.

By focusing on merely one thing at a time, you aren’t overwhelmed by the constant variables thrown at you in the casino. These range from new players buying into the game to the cocktail server taking your order.

Keeping your mind focused on the goals you’ve previously set will go miles towards keeping you on track and have you winning more often.

6 – Be Active Before Your Session

It may seem counterintuitive, but athletes know and understand the importance of staying sharp before a contest.

I see poker players sleep for a better part of the day, trying to reserve energy for a long poker session. If that’s you, you’re doing it wrong.

When you sloth around for an entire day, your body and mind pick up on cues that you’re being lethargic. Lethargy won’t help you in the casino.

Man Wearing Suit Taking a Nap

All of your senses are dull, and you won’t be as decisive or fast to act. Instead, go for a light run or hit the gym for a quick workout before you head to the casino.

This will get your synapses firing and tell your body that it’s time to perform.

7 – Get Plenty of Rest

Of course, if you’re going to squeeze in some exercise before your casino session, you’ll need to be well-rested.

As I mentioned above, that doesn’t involve sitting around the hotel room for hours on end being lazy. Still, you should get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep before your marathon session.

Casinos are built to entertain. The entire experience makes it easy to lose track of time and even encourages you to party first and sleep only as required.

However, you should avoid as much partying as possible before a long session or big tournament. Otherwise, you may very well find yourself making an early exit.

I can assure you that the extravagant nightlife will still be there after you’ve gotten plenty of rest and handled your primary business.

8 – Stay In The Moment

Staying in the moment in the casino will be second nature for some but prove challenging for others.

It all boils down to mindfulness and self-control. I’ve covered the importance of staying focused on the task at hand and voiding yourself of any distractions.

Staying in the moment requires you to pay attention to your thoughts. Are you focused on your cards? Another player? The color of the ceiling? Your high school crush?

Pile of Random Playing Cards

The mind is a funny thing, and when it begins to wander, you have to recognize the issue and wrangle back to the challenge at hand.

9 – Listen to Music/Podcast/Audio Book That Keeps You Engaged

Setting the right mood can go miles for keeping you sharp in the casino. Some players will make a playlist of their favorite songs to keep them in the proper mindset.

The beauty of the playlist is that it will remain unique to you. It may range from Eminem to Mozart and everything in between.

Though I believe that Eminem and Mozart are much more closely related than most.

Some people prefer to listen to audiobooks during a long gambling session. The ambient noise frees their mind from the clutter of a thousand individual conversations taking place in a million different directions.

My wife listens to podcasts constantly. Whenever she’s in her office, I can hear the latest true crime stories emanating from that part of the house.

The key is to find something that either promotes your brain to pay attention to the games or at least diminishes the distractions your facing.

10 – Eat a Healthy Meal

I can tell a fundamental difference in my productivity based on what I eat. When I wake up and eat a healthy meal, I’m more focused and have much more sustainable energy throughout the day.

On the other hand, I’m known to force down a giant piece of chocolate cake with a Dr. Pepper for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate cake and Dr. Pepper, but the massive sugar intake can have me feeling lethargic for most of the day.

Large Spread of Breakfast Foods

It also decreases my ability to focus. I find myself much more distracted when I don’t eat a good healthy meal.

I’m not unique. If you’re consuming junk food before a marathon session, you’re most likely going to feel like junk.

That will lead to results amounting to junk, of course.

In Conclusion

Each casino gambler is unique, so what works best for you may only be discovered through some trial and error.

Use these 10 tricks for staying crisp during those marathon sessions, and you’ll soon be on your way to better results in the casino.