same as it ever was (talking heads)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Love/Hate/actually just love

More like love, but hate today a little, maybe. I love...LOVE to gamble. This post though is as much for me as it is for you. It should be titled "Why I should stop gambling on sports and really stop gambling in general." Never ever happen, but gambling is a losing endeavor, this is why winning at gambling is such a rush, the odds are stacked against you (even if you know what you're doing, which most people don't, I'll explain). I'm going to take you through the four games of chance that I like to play most and rank them in order of "skill" or what I'm best at. I'll give you some tips along the way and career gambling highlights of mine, and why I shouldn't really gamble at this game. The reason I'm writing this post is because of the bad end to the college football (read: major sports gambling time of the year) season. Ok, here we go...

1. BlackJack: Everyone has played Blackjack before, the problem is that about 80% of the people who I still see play in casinos with their actual hard earned money still have no clue how to play correctly. Most people know the correct hit and stand procedures (I'm being generous here I've almost punched someone before b/c they got indignant about the fact that they knew how to play when in actuality they were fucking clueless, if you have a donkey at your table my best advice is to quickly get up and leave) but they have no idea when to split cards or when to correctly double down. If you are going to Vegas and plan on playing blackjack please read the book Casino Games by John Gollehon. It is invaluable if you plan on spending serious time in the casino (which I always do, I spend serious serious time actually gambling when I go to Vegas, meaning parked in front of table or looking for another table to park myself in front of...Advice from the Gollehon the longer you spend gambling the more likely it is that you will lose...I'm a sadist). After learning "Basic Strategy" (memorize the charts and always... I mean always, follow them) you will find out that the casino still has about 51 to 49 percent advantage over the player, meaning that the most important rule when playing blackjack (or any casino game for that matter) is that you are going to lose. Do not expect to go to Vegas to win money, it doesn't happen very often. Gambling is "Adult Entertainment". Too many people get pissed off after the dealer hits four consecutive blackjacks, these same people get too excited after they double down and hit a blackjack. A key to winning at blackjack is controlling your emotions, try to stay even keel, this will help you from making foolish bets (never press your bets during a losing session ALSO the player is never ever ever "due"). I have a new blackjack motto that I kind of gained on my last trip to New Orleans (pre-Katrina) I declared that I was there to "Push" all of my buddies laughed at me, but it's true if I can break even I'd be happy every time. I won about 1,500 dollars two years ago in Vegas playing mainly blackjack (this is before I learned how to play craps). I sat down at a 25$ table (Golden Nugget) b/c there was a hot porn star looking chick there in a Kangol hat. 30 minutes later I was up about $600, I was the only person still playing at the table mano y mano with the dealer. I yelled at the bit boss b/c the cocktail waitress didn't come by once to our table and I didn't tip the dealer b/c he was a prick. I then proceeded over to a $10 table with my buddies, we managed to play for 8 straight hours and I picked up another $600 or so. I should have won more this trip but I kind of bet like a puss, my goal was to win enough money for an iPod, I easily achieved that goal, but would have won a lot more if I hadn't set that pre-trip goal. Also, everyone thinks they can count cards, they are totally wrong.

2. Craps: Easily the most fun game in the casino. Also a much easier game to play than blackjack. The problem is that people get intimidated by the action of the game so they don't really like to try to learn. They then go play blackjack incorrectly and still lose money. Only need to know three simple bets in craps the passline bet, odds bet, and the come bet (craps, if played correctly, gives the player the best odds of winning in the casino, the only problem is that often times you have a lot of money in play and can lose ultra quick). Read the Gollehon book, it has an excellent section on craps too. The problem with craps is that you can lose money super fast, super duper scary fast. Before plunking down your money at a table I advise to watch some of the action for at least 15-20 minutes to see if the table is hot or cold. Too many people walk up put down money on a cold table and walk away five minutes later pissed off and broke. This is too bad, craps is the most fun game in the casino there is a camaraderie amoungst the players not seen in other casino games (also blackjack just gets really boring after a while). This last March at frequent commenter chili drip's bachelor party I was playing some $10 craps by myself at Tropicana (sadly I always play craps by myself, most of my buddies don't really play, no bothers though I'm enough of a gamble holic to play all by myself for long extended periods of time). In twenty minutes I was up around $650, the table was smoking hot for about a 15 minute period. The table quickly cooled in the next 5 minutes and I walked about $450 up. If the table would have stayed hot for another twenty minutes I would have been up no less than $4,000 guaranteed (I was just starting to push my bets when it went cold). Easily the most exhilarating gambling moment of my life. Craps provides thrills that blackjack never could.

3. Poker: Poker takes practice and patience. The great thing about poker is that people can actually win money consistently, the only form of gambling where this is the case. I play a couple of times a month and am not all that great. I play too loose, I tend to get bored about after 3-4 hours of play and over-play my hands. I still find this to be enjoyable but I don't really have the talent to do much with it over the long haul. Also, when in Vegas I'm way too busy doing other gambling (read #'s 1 & 2, amoungst other things) to even stop and think about playing cards. I did win $1,100 a couple of years ago in a tournament, I played well at the final table and got lucky a couple of times. I'm still in the lower echelon of players in the game that I frequent.

4. Sports Betting: Here is my water-loo, I really suck at sports betting. I guess I don't totally suck (I put in $200 in an on-line account over two years ago and I have $100 left of the original investment. I was at one point down to a mere $10 in my account. I lost $40 last night and $80 in the past three days) but I'm very frustrated with the whole thing. The thing about betting on sports is that I really have no control over the outcome. At least in blackjack, craps, or poker I have an ability to make a decision that will positively or negatively effect my potential outcome. In sports I obviously can't do this. I have no strategy when betting sports, I think to myself, "Oh man, Vince Young is over-rated. He can't even fucking throw right. Look at his release point. I'm banging the Trojans!" I, of course, haven't even seen Vince play a game I for some reason just think that he sucks. Damn was I wrong. The problem is this skewed logic happens to me too often in sports betting. The other thing that happens is that I get extremely upset watching these games I bet on. I have no control, so I get pissed off when players make stupid plays or an official blows a call. Maybe I should just cash out the $100 I have left in the account? No fucking way man! Duke vs. UConn a couple of years back. I pumped Duke +2 for 50 bones. I did this because I thought Emeka Okafur (NBA rookie of the year last year) was over-rated. Duke is winning the whole game, UConn comes back the last couple of minutes and takes control of the game...they are up by 4 with 3 seconds left...Chris Duhon has the ball and is dribbling down the court, he knows that Duke can't win...Duhon throws up a meaningless half court shot (it looks like he's not even trying to make the shot) and somehow it banks in and Duke covers. I run around my friends house screaming like I won the lottery.

editor's note: I added the "actually just love" part the heading of the post after I finished writing this.

10 Comments:

Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

i have add whenit comes to learning new things that dont immediately grab my interest, read: cards. This has really put a damper on my trips to vegas as I just wind up getting really fucked up wandering around the casinos.

Friday, January 06, 2006 3:57:00 PM

 
Blogger cgpop said...

Man I still do plenty of getting fucked up and walking around, but I tend to gamble a lot too. The best thing about Vegas is that it's totally kosher to drink 24/7.

Friday, January 06, 2006 5:37:00 PM

 
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