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HOME > Gaming > The high and the mighty

The high and the mighty

8 July 2014

By Frank Scoblete

I receive some letters and/or e-mails almost every day and most are decent ones asking questions, giving opinions or saying they like my books and articles (those letters I like the best!). But sometimes I get angry letters or deranged letters from writers who should be sedated.

Here is one:

Dear Mr. High and Mighty:

I read your stuff and most of the times I like what you have to say but I got to say this, why do you think you are perfect? This pisses me off. You are shoveling the bull that you have never made a mistake when you play. What garbage that is Mr. Scoblete. It is utter garbage. I know that and you know that. Why the cover-up? You gambling writers think you know it all and are perfect. I would bet you my life that you have made mistakes but you are afraid to tell us about them because you want to be Mr. Perfect. I know you won’t answer this letter but I had to get that off my chest.

Thomas G.

I don’t know where or why Thomas G. got the impression that I think of myself as perfect when it comes to casino gambling (I am perfect in other things). In the quarter century that I have been writing about and playing casino games, I am totally honest about the fact that I have probably made every mistake in the “mistake book.”

I will admit most of my more spectacular mistakes occurred early in my career until I learned better, but I have even fallen low in the last 10 years as well. I have written about most of these in my books, including my book "Casino Conquest: How to Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games!" I don’t hold back and pretend that I have never lost my cool or played stupidly at this or that game or thrown my money away by being foolish.

For example, I played the Martingale betting system at the now-demolished Sands in Atlantic City. You probably know what the Martingale is – you double your bet after every loss figuring you have to win one and get all the money you lost back. I thought I invented the system as every novice gambler thinks he invented the system too. I had two great days, winning my $5 back each and every time. I was up several hundred dollars when disaster overtook me and I lost $640 on eight straight losses.

Did that deter me? I started to play the thing again, got to five losses in a row and thought, “Obviously this betting system doesn’t work.” I stopped playing and studied up on betting systems to discover my unique system was not only not unique but widespread and, sadly, a total folly.

At craps I played a “number is due” system that I had read about in a craps book that had the word “advanced” in the title. A “number is due” system keeps track of the numbers that have not hit recently and you then bet what hasn’t come up. It worked a couple of times and bombed out still more.

I then went to a “hot number” system. Now I was looking for numbers that were hitting with a frequency greater than probability in the last few decisions. If the 5 was hitting I bet the 5. This worked sometimes but most times I lost money on this system too.

I played such systems at roulette and baccarat as well. Nothing good came of them. I was still facing an implacable house edge that ground my bankroll down to nothing.

Even as a card counter I screwed up royally. I was playing at the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City in a great four-deck game with fabulous rules. Weeks previously I had won quite a bit of money on my first trip to the casinos after learning how to beat the game of blackjack. I had started with a mere $5,000 bankroll in that first trip and just kept winning.

I became so cocky that I wound up betting way too much money on every hand on my second trip and when the count favored me I upped my bet tremendously. I got down to one bet of $2,500 due to splits and double downs, which was all the money I had left, and I knew if I lost that hand I was totally busted. I was sweating like a fighter who fought 15 rounds.

I lost every split and every double down when the dealer drew to a 21. A bead of sweat rolled down my nose and landed on the table.

I had no idea of money management. I had no idea that even with a slight edge I could lose. That taught me some lesson, a lesson I learned to take to heart. I will never lose my bankroll again because I never bet enough to endanger it.

I have imbibed on some visits and one day in Tunica at a craps table I was so hammered that I started making the dumbest bets at the table. I took a beating. When I recovered the next day, now experiencing an awful hangover, I was told what I had done. In short, I was told how stupid I had been. By this time in my gambling life I was a well-established author.

I was embarrassed. Since then I rarely have more than three drinks spread out over a night. I will never get blitzed in a casino again (I hope!).

So there you have it, some of the many mistakes I have made in a casino. I have even made the mistake of giving advice at the table to other players. That could be the stupidest mistake of all!

So, Thomas G., you will not lose your life if we bet. I am not perfect.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete
Frank  Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in AmericaFrank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books include Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! and Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players.

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