Betting is a Business – Gambling is For Idiots!

My question to you today is, how much profit are you really making from gambling? (And please be brutally honest with yourself when answering that question!)

I hope you are winning! If you are then well done to you, as that surely is the goal for most people, but even if you are a rare winning gambler, are you making as much as you could? However if you’re not a winner then don’t worry as your not alone. In fact you’re in very good company, as an amazing 98% of gamblers lose money long term.

So assuming you are not winning, do you know why?

Well I’m going to hazard a guess the reasons are something like this;

a) Betting in the wrong types of races,

b) Blindly backing favourites (especially odds on shots)

c) No sense of money management,

d) Undisciplined approach

e) Chasing losses

f) Maintaining a ‘gamblers mentality’.

However if 98% of people are losing money it stands to reason that 2% must be winning, so who are these elite 2% and what is it that they do differently to the majority?

Well the elite 2% are the professionals and semi-professionals like me and we approach betting as a business. The betting industry like to call us ‘professional gamblers’ but lets just make one thing absolutely clear here, one thing we are NOT are gamblers and this description couldn’t be further from the truth – we don’t bet for fun, or for the sake or thrill of it. We bet for one reason and one reason alone – TO MAKE A PROFIT!

I’ve said this many times before and I’m going to say it again – ‘Betting is a business and gambling is for idiots’ – So let me try and explain the difference between betting and gambling.

As I have already stated I am a professional and as such I am in the business of betting for only one reason – to secure slow and steady long term profitability. To achieve this outcome betting professionally has to be BORING and MUNDANE, from a psychological point of view the result of just one race becomes almost irrelevant to me, as in the long term I know I will make a profit from my betting strategies.

The point of running any business is to make a profit and to achieve this outcome I need the following three elements to work in my favour:

a) A betting bank,

b) A staking plan

c) A betting strategy which will deliver profits over the long term.

The betting bank needs to be big enough relative to my stake size to withstand the inevitable losing runs. It is also important that psychologically the betting stakes are well within my betting comfort zone, meaning that my pulse is never racing either before during or after a bet.

The moment your pulse starts to race should immediately alert you to the fact that you have stopped betting and are instead gambling, something has gone wrong with your strategy and you have become either uncomfortable with the size of your stake or have lost confidence in your chosen betting strategy. The inevitable result of this will be a breakdown of discipline and a desire to start chasing your losses, which is something I NEVER do. When I have a poor day then my attitude is always the same ‘cest la vie’, there will always another day.

I have many diverse and varied betting strategies within my betting portfolio but for the purposes of this exercise let me use my ‘Hughie’ Place Betting Strategy as an example of the above philosophy in action.

‘Hughie’ Place Betting Strategy

Here are the Hughie results for the six months to 01 June 2009. (I could use any 6 month period from over the past 9 years, in fact some previous half yearly figures would show higher profits. But these are the latest figures and emphasise the points I am trying to make.

The results are based on a betting bank of £400 and the stakes being used are as follows £2, £4, £8 and £12

Oct 1 + 77.63

Nov 1 +129.90

Dec 1 + 14.34

Jan 1 +179.83

Feb 1 +116.37

Mar 1 +169.58

Apr 1 – 3.62

May 1 + 13.81

Jun 1 + 77.78

The first thing you will notice is the relatively small and ‘boring’ size of the stakes I am using in relation to the size of the betting bank. By staking such a small percentage of the betting bank on the ‘Hughies’ takes all the stress away instantly, as the bank is never in any danger of going bust and the stake size is always well inside my betting comfort zone. Some of my members bet the ‘Hughies’ to much bigger stakes, however if the stakes are doubled or trebled then so must the bank.

As you can see you could comfortably follow this particular betting strategy to the advised stakes and at betfair sp safe in the knowledge that win, lose or draw over a long term period of say 6 months you would be comfortably in profit. You wouldn’t need to watch any races biting your finger nails praying that a particular horse hung on for a place, because you would be confident that the strategy works and one or two horses not placing wouldn’t make one jot of difference to the ability of the strategy to deliver a long term profit.

I keep using the phrase ‘long term’ because it is essential that you understand that it takes this long-term approach in order to succeed with any betting strategy. Just have another look at the ‘Hughie’ results above and you will clearly see that the months of March and April were not good months for the ‘Hughies’. At the time I remember saying regularly in my daily column that it was probably down to the transitional period of switching codes from the ‘jumps’ to the ‘flat’. For me though that’s just part and parcel of any strategy – we will have these bumps but will come away unscathed as all that matters is to maintain a long term strategy. The plan works, as it doesn’t require me to either lose faith or panic. That said any member who joined in March or April and followed my advice to concentrate on the ‘Hughies’ would have been pretty downhearted by the end of April as it would appear to them that the ‘Hughies’ are a poor bet. However any member joining last December enjoyed a terrific run and would have had a totally different opinion of both ‘place betting’ and me.

I think this point clearly demonstrates the importance of taking a long-term view of any betting strategy (12 months minimum I would argue)

Anyway this example of how safe, slow, steady, boring but consistent profits are generated month after month after month is just one aspect of a strategic and professional betting approach and hopefully demonstrates the difference between the excitement of gambling which is for thrill seekers and the boredom of betting which is my business.

Article Marketing, Online Submission Sites and Gambling, Bingo and Casino Categories

Should online article submission websites have gambling categories? Well some advertisers do not like them much or care to be associated with them. Why you ask? Well for many reasons really one reason is that many of the Online Gambling Websites are illegal and operating outside the law. Some have set up servers in foreign lands and allow illegal gambling on the Internet to people in states who have outlawed gambling for the citizens of that state.

But that aside should online article submission sites have Casino, Gambling and Bingo Categories? If they broke up the sector they could indeed separate out the various elements of the Industry Sector. You know it seems to me that Bingo Night and bingo supplies is not really the type of Gambling that any Advertiser would care about anyway.

Could it be its own special category? Bingo although I guess is gambling could just as well go into the Business Category of Fundraising? Since so many non-profits use this a way to make money. I wonder if such Bingo Articles belong along side online gambling sites?

Bingo is certainly not the same as online offshore gambling or Casinos. Of course some Indian Casinos do in fact have Bingo because maybe their states do not allow full on gambling. Interesting the sub-category issues.

State Lotteries are also gambling and I am sure the Advertiser would not mind about that either. And it is legal gambling and the profits from State Run Lotteries often go towards education too. Apparently this subject has so many various sides too it. Well, knowing the entrepreneurs in the online article submission Internet sector, well I’ll just bet that new sites pop up to handle such gambling categories. Perhaps we should consider this in 2006.

Is Statistical Tournament Poker Gambling?

I’m a poker player, not a professional by any means, but not bad player either. This last month a new poker parlor opened in Portland, Oregon that got my interest. I had seen lots of tournament poker in bars around Portland but they didn’t appeal to me for a few reasons…

1. They were in a bar, which meant a smoke filled environment and I am not fond of cigarette smoke.

2. The nights of play varied, often it was like every Tuesday night but not every night, if I wanted to vary my nights of play I had to go to different locations.

3. There was no guarantee that I could play, if I made the trip to the bar and the seats at the tables were already assigned I was SOL, I made the trip for no reason, or I had to wait 2 hours for the next game to begin, which might already be all assigned.

4. There was an expectation to use the establishment, and I agree with this, if they host a poker game they should expect the participants to buy food, drink, and whatever else. But extra bar food is not always in my budget.

5. Because the game was free it was usually crowded and the seats taken up by regulars who usually did not use the establishment, they even had the audacity to bring food or drink from another location into the establishment where the game was being played.

So, needless to say I did not play in the bar tourneys much. In steps this new poker room, National Poker Challenge, opening a new location here in Portland in the Cedar Hills area. I had to check it out and I was pleasantly surprised. They had addressed all of the issues I had with bar tournaments.

1. The room was non-smoking, a smoking area had been set up outside for the players that had to have their addiction to get their fix.

2. There are games every day, several times a day. They open at 3:00pm and close around 10:00pm with their first game at 3:15pm and their last game currently around 8:30pm.

3. They have online sign-up available or you can call the room for a seat, if the game is full they can tell you the likelihood of you getting a seat as an alternate and if they don’t have enough players for a game they will call you and tell you so. They exercise an in-your-seat policy, at the time the game is supposed to start if you are not in-your-seat or at least called and told them that you are on your way, your seat is given to an alternate.

4. and 5. Because the location is devoted to the game and not a bar or restaurant itself there is no expectation to purchase anything from the establishment because poker is its business.

Their business model is similar to the bar tournaments in that you are not playing for cash but are playing for points and statistical analysis of your play. Rather then charging the bar owners for running the tournaments they charge the players directly and statistically track the players play. The players are charged a monthly subscription that pays for the facilities, the dealers, and the statistic tracking. They do offer invitational tournaments for the top players that have cash and prizes. There is no charge for the invitational tournament. So is this gambling?

According to the Oregon Department of Justice it is, because the players are paying a fee to play and there are prizes at the end. But what makes this different from other events? Is it the poker chips? Are poker players being discriminated against because they use a piece of clay to track their points during a game? Think about it, you can have a chess tournament with an entry fee, there are prizes at the end for the best players, but does the Department of Justice call that gambling?

You can have a marathon where the runners pay an entry fee and there are prizes at the end, and most of the runners don’t even have a chance of finishing first, but is this called gambling? But because poker players play a game that uses chips it is called gambling when the games they are paying for don’t even have prizes. So, again, is it gambling? In my humble opinion, No it is not gambling. You are playing a game of skill and having your skill tracked. My hope is that the Oregon DoJ is not successful in its discrimination of this location and drops their investigation.

I invite you to join us in the poker room and try your skill at the table, see how they track your statistics and see how it may improve your play. After all, their tag line is “Do you know who the best poker player is? We do!”

Remember What Your Parents Taught You About Proper Etiquette? The Rules Also Apply When Gambling

What is casino etiquette? While you were growing up, you probably learned about the rules of etiquette before you learned how to spell it. (If you ever learned how to spell it.) Remember the drill? ” Be polite, have good manners, be courteous and considerate to others, say excuse me.”

The proper rules of etiquette that you learned also applies when you’re doing a little casino gambling. Especially during peak times when you find yourself bobbing and weaving through the crowds while trying to get to you favorite slot machines or table games. But courtesy doesn’t end there. There are also rules of casino etiquette to follow during play. Here they are:

When Playing the Machines

Whether you’re playing slot machines, video poker, video keno, or any other machine game never play more than one machine at a time when it’s crowded. Always give others a chance to play. When it is very crowded, casinos may post signs throughout the slot floor requesting that players play only one machine at a time.

If you need a break, you can step away for a brief period of time. In the old days an empty coin bucket over the handle reserved your slot machine. Today the coin buckets and most handles are gone. Leave a personal item such as a jacket or sweater on the seat. Players will get the message that it is taken. NEVER leave anything valuable and ALWAYS cash out and collect your credit ticket before leaving.

Sometimes players will accidentally leave their Players Club cards in the machine. If you find one remove it and eave it visible at the machine where the previous player can easily find it. You can also turn it in to the Players Club booth.

Tipping is always up to the player(s) but if you are lucky enough to hit a jackpot that requires a hand payout by an attendant it’s customary to give them a small tip. About 1% is the norm. For example, a $10 tip for a $1,000 jackpot is fine. You will be paid in the following denominations: Nine $100 bills, four $20’s, one $10 ant two $5’s (hint hint).

When Playing Table Games

All table games have a small poster listing the minimum and maximum bets allowed. Usually the increments are $5, $10, $15, $25, and $100. Higher minimums are usually found in high limit rooms. To avoid embarrassment, always check before taking a seat.

If you see an empty seat at a table, check with the dealer first to see if the spot is open. A player may be on a bathroom break or another player may be playing more than one hand at a time. This is common in Blackjack and other table games. Unlike slots, a Pit Boss is not so eager to restrict play to single hands only, especially if the multi-bettors are wagering high amounts.

Once you are seated wait until a round is finished before making a buy in. Never hand your money to the dealer. Just place it front of you with your players card and specify the denomination of chips (checks) you want. Only put the amount of money you want to play with on the table. Dealers cannot make change.

During play never give advice to other players. If a player asks you how to make a certain type of wager, it’s permissible to explain how. Sometimes during Blackjack novice players hit when they should stand and vice versa. This is frustrating to a seasoned player but it’s best to keep mum.

Following these simple rules of etiquette should make your visit to the casino more enjoyable.

Good Luck!