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How much of casino gambling is determined by the luck factor?

1 October 2000

How much of casino gambling is determined by the luck factor? Some games are almost all luck. Slot machine payoffs are, more or less, fully predicated on being in the right place at the right time. There are no decisions to be made once you sit down in the chair. Some might say that there are decisions to be made on whether you play one, two, or three coins. ALWAYS play the maximum amount of coins required to hit the jackpot! Video poker is different. A working knowledge of poker is required to make intelligent decisions that will allow you the opportunity to win. Of course there still is a big luck factor. It doesn't take any skill to be dealt a four of a kind or a royal flush. Also, getting lucky and drawing the cards you need on a short term basis is a point of good luck. Over the long run good luck and bad luck tend to even out.

In the pit, knowledge counts big-time. Blackjack for obvious reasons. Craps a lot less, luck is the single determining factor, but you should know the rules of the game. Roulette is all luck. There are systems of wagering that will assist the player when they are lucky to take advantage of the mathematical anomaly.

When you flip a coin, the reasonable expectation is it will come out heads half of the time and tails the other half. But let's say in the short run of twenty flips how many times will it come up a perfect 10 heads and ten tails? Try it and see what happens. The point is in the short run one side or the other will get the best of it. That changes the more you flip the coin, because in the long run, the luck factor diminishes and the mathematical odds take over. If you flip that same coin a 100 million times, you'll be surprised how close percentage wise it will be to 50\50.

There is an old adage in gambling to always bet more when winning and less when losing. This goes against the grain of human nature. Most people do just the opposite. They bet less when winning and lots more when losing. There are reasons for this. When most people are winning they are relatively satisfied enjoying the action, and get lost in the moment. For some they never consider raising their wagers. They are happy to be winning and don't want to give it back. These same people, when losing, raise their wagers each time they lose a hand to the detriment of their bankroll. They curse their bad lock and refuse to believe that it can continue.

It can and many times it will. Also, one of the problems of betting more when losing is the size of your bankroll. If you start betting sums of money that only allow you a few bets to get even, then you are risking amounts that you shouldn't be wagering. But it's human nature to want to get your money back. At this point you would be well advised to take a break from the action for awhile and collect your thoughts. Go outside, get some fresh air and gain some perspective. After a little while you can get back to the tables with some better insight. When you are winning, you must take advantage of it. Here are some betting progressions that will help.

For $2 bettors: 2, 4, 6, 10, 20.
For $5 bettors: 5, 10, 15, 25, 35, 50.
Go back to original betting level after a loss. As always…Good Luck!

As Always…Good Luck!

Larry Grossman

Larry Grossman is host and producer of Las Vegas' most popular gaming and handicapping radio show, "You Can Bet On It." Since 1989 he has interviewed World Champion poker players that include Amarillo Slim, Puggy Pearson, and Tom McEvoy. Regular guests during the football season include Lem Banker, Mike Lee, Mort Olshan, and Andy Iskoe.

During the 1997 and 1998 season, Grossman hosted a nationally televised show that featured many of the nations' top handicappers.

Larry Grossman is the author of two books, "You Can Bet On It" Volume 1 - Casino Games and Volume 2 - Sports Betting. He is a regular columnist for many gaming publications. Larry has hosted and produced handicapping seminars in Las Vegas. Visit AudioVegas.com to listen to archives of his "You Can Bet On it" radio show.

Larry Grossman Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com

Books by Larry Grossman:

You Can Bet On It! -- Volume 1: Casino Games
Larry Grossman
Larry Grossman is host and producer of Las Vegas' most popular gaming and handicapping radio show, "You Can Bet On It." Since 1989 he has interviewed World Champion poker players that include Amarillo Slim, Puggy Pearson, and Tom McEvoy. Regular guests during the football season include Lem Banker, Mike Lee, Mort Olshan, and Andy Iskoe.

During the 1997 and 1998 season, Grossman hosted a nationally televised show that featured many of the nations' top handicappers.

Larry Grossman is the author of two books, "You Can Bet On It" Volume 1 - Casino Games and Volume 2 - Sports Betting. He is a regular columnist for many gaming publications. Larry has hosted and produced handicapping seminars in Las Vegas. Visit AudioVegas.com to listen to archives of his "You Can Bet On it" radio show.

Larry Grossman Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com

Books by Larry Grossman:

You Can Bet On It! -- Volume 1: Casino Games