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HOME > > Managing blackjack losing streaks

Managing blackjack losing streaks

10 December 2016

By Henry Tamburin

That’s a strange title for an article on blackjack. I mean, usually, I write about winning, not about losing, right? However, no matter how good a player you are, you will experience losing streaks when you play blackjack (even playing professionally). And how you manage yourself when you in the midst of a losing streak is just as important as knowing when to double down and when to stand.

Sometimes the losing is a result of a player’s lack of self-control caused by the exciting atmosphere of a casino. I wrote about this in my book, The Ten Best Casino Bets. Here’s what I had to say.

“When you enter a casino, you are entering a place of business. And like all successful businesses, the casinos are run by shrewd businessmen whose job is firstly, to keep you playing and happy, and secondly, to separate you from your money as quickly and painlessly as possible. To meet these objectives, they create an atmosphere in the casino that can be described as a 'Disneyland for adults.' No clocks to let you know it’s time to leave this utopia, no windows to let you see out to the real world, free drinks at the tables, free lounge shows, and, of course, plenty of pretty girls to keep you happy and playing.

"And what happens to the gambler when he enters this casino-designed excitement? For him, the rewards of winning all of the casino's money far outweigh the risks of losing his meager bankroll. And this exciting atmosphere also makes it so easy for the average player to feel lucky and go broke at the chance of winning the jackpot.

"First and foremost, in order to be a winner, you must learn to control your emotions in the casino. As casino gambling author Lyle Stuart succinctly out it, 'The real struggle in when you are playing is, in most cases, not between you and the casino but between you and yourself.' You will find plenty of temptations to keep you playing and losing, therefore, you must develop a sense of timing or awareness (i.e., discipline) of when to play, and more importantly, when to quit.”

Here are some specific tips that you can use to avoid the psychological traps that doom players to lose.

1. If you are tired from a long drive or flight, now is not the best time to hit the tables. Play only when you are well rested.
2. Set reasonable win goals. Unless you are a card counter, the odds are stacked against you so be content with a modest win. If you manage to get ahead by more than 50% of your initial bankroll, pocket half of your profit plus what you started with and play with the rest. This way if you lose, you’ll still go home with some of the casino’s money for a change.
3. If you lose four, five or six hands in a row, don’t increase your bets because you believe you are due to win. The odds of winning the next hand don’t change just because you lose the few hands. If you run into a buzz-saw dealer who consistently draws to 20 and 21s and beats the table, quit the table and take a break. Relax, catch your breath, and try your luck at another table.
4. Watch the alcohol consumption when you play. From the casino’s perspective, there’s a reason why they offer free drinks to players (if you don’t know the reason why, I’d strongly recommend you stay away from the blackjack tables).
5. Have fun when you play but keep in mind that in the longer you play, the more the house edge will grind down you bankroll so be content with a small win.

Of course, one thing that all blackjack players can do minimize (but not eliminate) losing streaks is to play skillfully.

Henry Tamburin, Ph.D. is the author of the Ultimate Blackjack Strategy Guide, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com), and host of smartgaming.com.

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.

Henry Tamburin
For a FREE three-month subscription to Henry Tamburin's Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, which includes full membership privileges, sign up at www.bjinsider.com/free. For a free copy of Tamburin's Casino Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or go to www.smartgaming.com. For information on the Golden Touch Blackjack course taught by Tamburin call 1-866-WINBJ-21 or visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com.

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