January 2012



Eight ways you can get the edge
by Henry Tamburin



Play in Tournaments
Why play tournaments? Because you are playing against other players and not against the casino, you don't necessarily have to edge over the casino to be a winner. You just need to play more skillfully than your opponents do. This holds for any casino tournament - blackjack, craps, slots, video poker, etc. Nowadays most casinos hold daily or weekly fun tournaments that cost very little to enter (usually less than $50). As long as the casino puts all the entry fees into the prize pool, you should consider playing them. If blackjack is your game, read Kenneth R. Smith’s book, How to Win Even More Blackjack Tournaments- Vol. 2 for details on playing and betting strategies.


Use Gambling Coupons
You've heard it before but it is worth repeating - use all the gambling coupons you can muster. Why? Because every time you use one, you have the edge! There are many types of gambling coupons - Matchplays, Lucky Bucks, First Card is an Ace, Blackjack Bonus Coupons and more. Jean Scott's book, More Frugal Gambling, explains each coupon, how they work, and where to get them. Using gambling coupons is a no brainer. Moreover, as Jean quoted from an anonymous Internet coupon hound: "The question is not whether or not to use coupons, but how many!"


Play Blackjack Skillfully
One way to gain the edge over the casino is to get the math on your side. Card counting sounds too difficult for you? You can learn Speed Count in less than half an hour and play with an edge (read the Beat Blackjack Now or watch the Golden Touch Blackjack DVD for details).


Play Video Poker Skillfully
Here it's a question of playing the right machine using the right playing strategy while cashing in on comps and/or cashback the casino will give you just for playing. There are legions of smart video poker players that are consistently playing with an edge over the house (that included my late 91-year-old father-in-law Peter, who had quadrupled his video poker bankroll by playing skillfully). You’ll learn everything you need to know in the Frugal Video Poker (Jean Scott) or Bob Dancer’s new book Video Poker for Intelligent Beginner. You can also practice your playing strategies on your computer with Video Poker for Winners. The software will alert you when you make a playing mistake and give you the right play. Moreover, for insurance, bring along a video poker strategy card with you when you play so you will always have the correct play readily available. So why not try video poker this year? Still not convinced? Then ponder this fact. Often the highest paying slot machine on a casino floor pays less then the worst paying video poker machine. Enough said?


Take Advantage of Comps & Cashback
You usually have to take a break to eat when you play, don't you? So why not let the casino foot the bill? That leaves you with more gambling bankroll and when you consider the cash value of comps, you can often turn a blackjack or video poker game from a negative expectation (long term loser) into a positive expectation (long term winner). No matter whether you are a low roller or high roller, machine or table player, you should try to take advantage of all the comps and cashback that you can get. Look at it this way - the casinos in the US gave away one billion dollars worth of freebies to players last year (that's billion with a B). Did you get your fair share? If not, check out Jean Scott and her daughter, Angela Sparks, advice on comps and cashback inMore Frugal Gambling.


Learn How To Control The Dice in Craps
"Whoa now, aren't you getting into some black magic here." Thought you might be thinking this. However, I've been there, so to speak, and watched and played with shooters who can influence the results of their dice throws (and also had their throws mathematically analyzed). They do this by how they set the dice, and how they carefully hold and toss them to maximize the numbers they want and/or minimize the appearance of the 7. Their amazing exploits have been featured on Travel Channel, History Channel, Playboy magazine and other publications. Dice setting and throwing is a physical skill that must be learned and practiced to be good at it. Nevertheless, if you are willing to put in the time and effort required to master this skill, it's possible to shift the odds slightly in your favor (you change the game of craps from random to non-random, which can give you the edge). For starters read the book Casino Craps Shoot to Win or watch theGolden Touch Dice Control DVD where you will see for yourself how the experts influence the dice (seeing is believing).


Play Slots with an Edge
No, I’m not kidding. There are about a dozen slot machines where it’s possible to play with a mathematical edge over the house. You need to read Frank Scoblete’s book, Slot Conquest, for all the details on which machine these are and how to play them.


Play Texas Hold'em
You've probably watched a few of those popular Texas Hold'em Poker Tours on TV. I'm not suggesting you mortgage the farm and enter one but you ought to consider learning how to play Texas Hold'em for low stakes. To help you learn the ropes about the game get Bill Burton's book for starters, Get the Edge at Low-Limit Texas Hold'em. Burton will teach you in plain English how a savvy low-stakes player can turn a profit at this game. He should know because he learned the game on his kitchen table and he has become a winning player. Remember when you play live table poker, it's you against your fellow table players and the more skillful you are, the more likely you will gain the edge over your opponents.