Gambling is a fun and relaxing form of entertainment for millions of Americans. However, some individuals take their gaming much more seriously.
Suppose you are the competitive type of individual found within the gambling population. In that case, I want to help you prepare as best as possible for your next session. Here are some essential factors that you need to consider before your next trip to the casino.
You need sleep, food, and clarity to win at gambling.
Fuel Your Body
The phrase “breakfast of champions” is often misused, but it may be relevant for most people. Throughout my college years, I never once ate a proper breakfast and simply grabbed whatever packaged food was in front of me. Don’t follow my lead.
While I don’t suggest eating Wheaties before you drive to the casino, you still need to ensure that your body is in good physical health. This will help ensure a stable mental state for strategizing. After all, the brain is getting the same fuel you’re feeding the rest of your body.
If you are planning on a long session at the tables, you need to eat a healthy meal beforehand. If you simply binge on junk food leading up to your gambling, you will not be well-equipped to perform your best. For one thing, your energy levels will spike, then it’ll crash dramatically.
This up-and-down feeling can lead to poor judgment and even some emotional outbursts. I suggest you stay away from refined sugars as much as possible, if not altogether. These spikes and crashes in your glucose levels will have a genuine impact on not only your critical thinking but also on your overall mood.
These swings will ultimately affect your enjoyment and can lead to a completely miserable experience. Of course, this will only be amplified by losses, and you’ll be more likely to go on tilt.
To stay at your best on the casino floor. Eat healthier. Ignore those sugary pastries and candy bars. Instead, go for fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, and water. And if you can, maybe save the alcohol for later.
What you put into your body has a tremendous impact on your overall well-being. This includes the mental aspect as much as the physical aspect of how your body functions.
Get Some Sleep
I can’t think of a worse time to gamble than when you aren’t thinking straight. If things aren’t going well at work or you aren’t getting enough sleep because the kid’s schedule is off, press pause on that Vegas vacation.
It may seem like the perfect getaway for a weekend, but if you are distracted or exhausted, it’ll cost you.
Make sure that you’re getting your regular sleep schedule and that you stay sharp. It may sound silly to some of you, but five minutes of meditation can do wonders for your mental state and is excellent for recharging the old battery. Don’t give the house any extra advantages.
Solid Financial Footing
You should never walk into a casino without having a solid financial plan. Without putting a considerable effort into your bankroll management, you are on a fast track to going bankrupt.
Unfortunately, despite being of primary importance, bankroll management is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of gambling.
The key is to walk into the casino with the mindset that the cash in your wallet is already spent. You are not investing the money, but rather exchanging the money for entertainment.
Decide before you ever leave the house how much you are going to spend. Then stick to that number—no trips to the ATM after four hours and eight beers.
Work with what you brought. If you begin losing and are concerned, you may lose it all quickly. Simply take a break and get some fresh air. You may also consider lowering the stakes and see if you can slowly build your bankroll back up.
Moving to smaller stakes won’t ensure that you replenish your bankroll, but it will at least slow the bleeding. Knowing what your budget is ahead of time, and sticking to it, will protect you from emptying your checking account.
This won’t be a popular opinion, and that’s fine with me. If you are determined to leave the casino with house money, then make the trip alone.
We’ve probably all been there. You head out to the casino with your work colleagues, friends, or significant other. It’s more of a social outing than a serious gambling session.
You don’t need Janet from HR bragging about the $1,500 she’s won while you’re sitting $800 in the hole. Conversely, you don’t need anyone raining on your parade by burdening you with their losses while you’re on a killer winning streak.
Keep in mind that you don’t need that type of negativity or pressure stay longer than you intended or drink more than you planned. Go solo. If you make it all about you, then you might just have the time of your life.
Watch the Time
If you don’t wear a watch, you probably have a clock on your phone at your disposal 24/7, 365.
At the casino, you must watch the clock. These establishments purposefully want you to lose track of time, and they’ll do anything they can to keep you swept up in the excitement of the casino floor.
They know that the longer you stay in the casino, the more likely you are to lose. I suggest setting the alarm on your phone or setting a timer for 30-minute increments just to remind you that the rest of the world outside of the casino still exists.
Don’t get captured by the moment or lose an entire day and a chunk of your bankroll to the casino. Watch the clock!
This Isn’t Hollywood
When you think of a casino, you might think of men suited up in sharp tuxedos and women wearing short cocktail dresses, throwing cash around like it’s Brewster’s Millions. You can’t help but run into these jokers on the casino floor.
I’ve been one of these clowns before. It’s not something I’m proud of, but you can surely learn from my mistakes.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re somehow transformed into James Bond by throwing on a smug attitude to match your wardrobe. Acting like you’re on the set of a casino movie isn’t going to change the laws of probability.
In fact, “chance” probably prefers a more low-key profile to bless. Suppose you are looking for an ace on the river to complete that royal flush. You aren’t the protagonist of a film. You shouldn’t go into a casino expecting to win. Reality can be a cruel mistress if you walk in thinking you’re owed anything.
I hope for the best, but always expect the worst. And for the love of Pete, tip your cocktail servers.
Practice as You Play
Gambling is defined as playing games of chance for money. However, you do have the opportunity to tip the odds in your favor.
It’s essential to practice as you play. Avoid getting in the habit of chasing cards or fall into an overly aggressive betting style.
For blackjack players, it’s also a wise choice to pick up a basic strategy card. These cards can be found in the casino gift shop for a few dollars and may readily save you hundreds.
There are also a ton of free slots to play online. This can significantly help you choose what games to play in the casino and save valuable money and time by avoiding games that are just all-around bad.
Even those of us with a typically stoic demeanor can fall victim to getting overly excited. Perhaps we are more at risk of adverse consequences when eager.
Listening to your fast-paced workout playlist may seem like a reliable way to get you in the mood to attack the casino floor. It may end up having an adverse effect and negatively impact your judgment.
Certain types of music can improve circulation and focus for athletes. But you need to be calm and composed on the casino floor.
Don’t get so amped up before you hit the tables that it causes you to make gambling mistakes. Slow and steady wins the game.
Most importantly, have a blast. Gambling is supposed to be fun, and if you aren’t enjoying yourself, then you’re doing it wrong.
If, at any point, you are not enjoying yourself, cut your losses, and walk away. Reset your priorities and clear your mind. Then, get back at it and remember that you are there buying entertainment.