Any of you who are also gamblers have probably come across a number of “top tips” that promise to make you a better gambler. Most of them claim to improve your chances of winning at the casino. At first glance, these tips seem reasonable, but it’s rare to find tips based on empirical evidence – most of it is speculation, hearsay, and personal opinions of the tipsters. In this post, we’ll get to the bottom of the most commonly mentioned gambling tips and tell you if they’re worth following.
Get smart. Read all the books, blogs and articles on gambling. Follow top gamblers on Twitch, Twitter and YouTube. Soak up everything you can about your game. Our opinion: it absolutely doesn’t hurt to read and listen to everything you can about your game of choice. Books and videos will give you some basic information about the game, some betting techniques, and most likely some good money management ideas. However, there is no proof that additional information, beyond the basics, will increase your casino success. When you are learning a new game, there is no substitute for making your own mistakes in practice. You’ll learn much faster while playing than if you just read about it.
Practice with friends! Many “experts” claim that you should learn and practice your game at home or in one of the free “learn to play” casino sessions. Our opinion: while it is much cheaper to learn a new game in a free session, nothing can better prepare a player for the psychological pressure than practising under the circumstances and conditions in which the game is played for money.
There is a great deal of research on what psychologists call “state-dependent learning,” which shows that it is best to recall skills and information in the same environment and mood in which one has practised and learned. The theory of state-dependent learning also has implications for smokers and drinkers. If you practice your skills as a gambler at home while smoking or drinking, you are most likely to remember the skills and tricks you learned when you are in the same psychological state during real play. This is important in gambling environments where smoking and drinking are prohibited at the gaming tables. Another mistake often made by online poker players is that they believe their success at the “practice tables” is an indicator of their skill. In reality, players often play more recklessly at the practice tables than they do with real money. The successes at the test tables often cannot be repeated under real conditions.
Hide winnings! Casinos do not like winners (unless they can use them for promotional purposes, of course). Therefore, players are advised to hide their winnings and prevent the casino administration from finding out how good players really are by hiding their winnings. For example, players are advised to ask friends to cash out some of their chips when leaving the casino. It is also claimed that cashiers pay less attention to female players and are less likely to inform pit bosses about what they have cashed out. Our opinion: However, every good casino knows its clientele and who the winners are. There is no evidence that these tips to hide winnings are of any use at all. Sure, if you are a card counter, you should pay attention to the casino’s countermeasures. If the casino is suspicious of you, it will take a number of measures, such as shuffling or switching cards early, changing dealers or table limits – only at your table. In short, casinos recognize winners immediately, and little tricks to hide winnings will not help the player.
Play with confidence! When it comes to gambling, players are advised not to play if they don’t have a positive attitude towards their own winnings right now. Our opinion: first of all, a positive attitude is unlikely to significantly increase winnings, although a confident demeanour is clearly an advantage in games like poker. However, a positive attitude toward losing can be detrimental in the long run and can lead to poor performance. Research on positive thinking in slot players has shown that positive thinking about losing acts as a mechanism to reduce guilt and is likely to lead to behaviours such as “playing catch-up” that are financially detrimental in the long run.
Play at night! A piece of advice often given, it is best to play when no one else is around. Players are advised to play very early in the morning between 2 and 5 o’clock. According to these “experts”, the croupiers and supervisors are tired at this time and want to finish their shift, so they tend to make more mistakes.
Our opinion: the same is true for gamblers. Our innate circadian rhythm prevents us from concentrating at night. Night gamblers often make more mistakes than trained casino staff. Someone who counts cards all night is likely to make as many mistakes as the dealer. In addition, the dealers may change more often than you do.