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Chasing winnings
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Chasing winnings...a smart play or recipe for disaster?

One of the age-old questions raised and speculated on time and time again is whether a skilled player can beat the casino over the long term.  You might have found a system that is touted as a sure-thing that guarantees long term winnings.  

Heck, you donít have to search very hard online to find a litany of web sites peddling their sure-fired, canít lose, guaranteed to work (but no refunds, sorry) betting system that has made the inventor millions and had the casinos begging for mercy.  And yet that individual still spends so much time and effort trying to sell their system rather than just going back to the casinos to extract more easy money.  

Why?  Can it be because these people like to spread the wealth and let us all in on such a fabulous and revolutionary system that has escaped all players for centuries to date, out of the goodness of their hearts?  Maybe they just feel guilty that they are making all of the money and not letting the rest of us join the party?  Or maybe, just maybe, the only way they can make money from their systems is to sell them rather than use them because in actual fact they do not guarantee long term winnings?

If a gun were put to my head, and I had to take a guess as to which of the above answers were correct Iíd be inclined to choose the latter.  You see, one of lifeís unfortunate but inalienable truths is that in the long term, the house always wins.  If you doubt this fact, you need only take a look at the house (Crown in Melbourne, the Monte Carlo, the Bellagio or Venetian in Las Vegas) and consider that players within its substantial walls fund the up-keep (and them some) of these behemoths from their play.  Online casinos donít have substantial walls to fund, but I have it on pretty good authority that they do quite well from their players as well.

The house always wins because every casino game offered by the house has an inbuilt mathematical house edge.  While the flip of the card, roll of the dice, or fall of the ball for each bet is a totally random event, the game rules are devised such that, on the balance of probabilities, or if an infinite number of games were played, the player would win slightly less money than he or she would lose.  And unfortunately this fact cannot be changed by the player because when you play at the casino, you play the house rules.

So does this mean that you can never win playing at the casino? 

Donít despair totally.  The answer to this question is definitely no.  You can win playing at casinos.  Many people have won money playing their chosen game at both traditional and online casinos.  Many have won substantial amountsÖ and as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, many more will win in days to come.  But a winning position will usually only be short term and on the balance of probabilities cannot be sustained.

The most dangerous mindset a gambler can have is that their big early winnings can be sustained.  The easy money can continue to be easy.  This will only lead to tears when those winnings are eroded and become losses that become substantial losses as winnings continue to be chased.

So the moral of the story isÖ.

Play with what you can afford to lose and expect to lose it.  If you win, pocket those winnings and walk away.   I know ÖÖ.easier said than done!

 

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