Winning Strategies


Dormant account
Sep 25, 2003
Vancouver Island
Hi all!

There are a few regular contributors to this forum who are pretty darn good at this gambling thing.

What I'd love to hear is what your srategy is.
Such as:
What's your favourite game - what have the best odds, for someone who understands the game?

What's your general philosophy about gambling?

In other words, how do you manage to win more often than lose?

Enquiring minds want to know!
Maybe I should kick it off.
I'm not a card shark, but I manage to do pretty well simply by setting a limit.
I have a set dollar amout that I will not go under, and I raise this dollar limit if I start winning.
That's my big tip. :yes:
That is a great strategy to use rowmare. You should always start out with a dollar limit you are prepared to lose and a 'stop limit' as well. For instance, if I deposit $100 and quickly lose $50 of that. Its time to stop or change games.

Also, set an upper limit that you'll be happy to walk away with. For instance, deposit $100 and play till you reach $200 then take the money & run. If you happen to hit something good that puts you over that limit, make $200 your bottom and keep playing and moving up the limit by say $50 each time. Get close to $300, then fall back to $250, then its time to bail out.

I prefer Video Poker and tend to stick to Aces & Faces, Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, and Deuces Wild. On occassion, I'll stray over to double jokers or maybe deuces & jokers just for fun. Last time I did that, I hit a royal on double jokers (natural). I tend to stick to the 4 line variety as well and always bet full so when you do hit the royal, you get the extra bucks (4000 coins as opposed to only 1000 coins for a 5 coin bet as opposed to a 4 coin bet). Also, get yourself Bob Dancer's Winpoker and practice, practice, practice. You gotta know the strategy in your sleep (or use Viper's expert mode).

Learn to recognize and exploit your lucky streaks. I'm getting better at this one. There was about a 2 week stretch where I was hitting royals left & right on A&F 4 line at playtech casinos. Then about a month later, I was hitting like crazy on MG power poker. Played at nearly every one that I had an account at, and cleaned up.

Probably more importantly is to recognize when you're in a losing streak and limit your losses. Don't try to chase the lost money when you're in this stage, you'll just get deeper in debt. Instead, look for a different game to try. If you're not winning at VP, try slots or vice versa. If MG isn't hitting, try Playtech for a while. Look for slots with good paytables (wild symbols, multipliers, bonus rounds, etc). I also look at the 2nd highest payout on a slot to see what kind of game I'm dealing with. If top prize is 10,000 coins and second highest is only 500 or 1000, pass on it. Find something that's more like 10,000 and 5000 or 2000 at least. Then use the same strategy as VP. Recognize and exploit streaks, one game isn't hitting, try another.

Recently I'd been doing real well on MG's Reel Thunder. Seemed like I could always make a hundred or so on it. Then more recently, it went cold so I hunted around for something else. Seemed that 5 Reel Drive was now running hot for me. I cranked up $100 to $400 the other nite in very little time on that one. Tried it at a different casino last nite and made another $100.

There will be some casinos that you just won't be able to win at. If you have 5 or more losing session at one place, leave and don't go back. Find another casino. I did this with Spin Palace, Roxy Palace, and Capt Cooks. Can't win crap at any of them, so I delete them. I like the Fortune Lounge group for MG casinos and pretty much stick there now. If I'm not doing well at one of their 6 casinos, I try a different one. But the nice thing is, my comps and wagering all go into the same pool there, no matter which casino I play at. This is great for VIP status and redeeming comps, etc.

It'll take some time and diligence to recognize and exploit the trends, but it will be worth it in the end I think. Hope this helps!
Great post jpm!

One thing I should add, this is all about enjoyment and the excitement of the risk - win or lose. My methods are somewhat the same as jpm's. When I make a deposit of $100 (the norm), I keep an eye on this closely. My normal bet in the multihand VP is a full coin bet at $.25 ($5 a hand). If I lose half, I bail and go somewhere else. For slots, I usually play the five reel-nine line slots at $2.25 a spin. I lose half, I bail.

One thing I do do is increase my bet amounts on a "whim". In other words, I make a wish and crank the bet up to $20 in VP or in slots a few $9 spins (or like last weekend $45 - greedy bastard and looser!). I do this in multihand VP when my original deposit has grown more than 20% ($20) and I've had four losing hands in a row (dealt crap and either held nothing and received more crap, or dealt crap and didn't receive more than to make up the loss. I have had some really big hits this way. A few months back, (some of you may remeber) I was on my last leg in multi hand A&Fs and I did the $20 bet thing and received two aces. "Whoopie, I get my money back!" I thought, but when the final cards were dealt, four aces showed up in one hand - $400!

I never crank the bet up after a winning hand.

And counting losing hands has nothing to do with doubling.

I'll double every so often. If I win big on the initial hand, I see this as a gift from the great poker spirit, and I do not double. I leave it be and collect it. If I have an initial crap hand, and win a little or come out even, I feel that this hand was an initial losing hand and I'll double once - twice - maybe three times to make up the loss.

As for watching my funds, my rule of thumb is when I exceed $200, I cash in $100 leaving me with the initial deposit. This lets me play my initial strategy. Sometimes I am able to do this a number of times, then I play out the initial depost and then walk away. The hardest thing is not to reverse the cashin, but I only do this if I feel like playing and not expecting any outcome.
I use basically the same system as JPM's, but definitely not going to describe in great detail like he did (because he already did a great job).

Set session limits - lose it and walk away for a while. Also set goals, usually starting at 1x your deposit - make that then lock it in as the bottom limit, take the remainder and try to make another multiple, etc.

My problem is not sticking to my own plan LOL - otherwise I would probably be ahead instead of even.
About a half hour ago, I found about $25 in my Casino Kingdom account. Within the second $5 bet, I received two queens pat, held them and received one set of 4 queens!! Yahoo, I was in business now. After a number of good hands and some lucky doubling I was up to $140. I said WTF and made a $40 bet. Received 2 queens again, held them and voila. Guess who came back to visit? The two other queens! I immediately cashed out $400 and went on to play some other stuff. Tried to chase the ellusive four dueces and a joker in Dueces and Jokers, and I kept hitting straight flushes pat! Sometimes on a $20 bet.

So far I've cashed in $600, and my balance is now zero...not bad for $25 and a half hour of goofing off!

Now I am back to work... :D no more slacking off.
What I do it all on one hand. Either Won or Lose. Hell Bust me Out!!! :D
My methods are a little more insane than most of those posted here. Either I win huge...or I lose it all. I,m a casino owners dream. But on those few occassions when I,s usually pretty big.
Thanks for the compliments guys! I didn't even realize how long that post was until I saw it here in the thread, lol. And I didn't even get in to the doubling part, thanks for mentioning that Bryan. I kind of follow that same method when it comes to doubling as well. I usually use it to make 2 pair into a str8 payout. Sometimes on trips, and almost never on anything above that. I'm always nervous and somewhat tempted when I do find the royal flush about hitting the right button (collect or double). Playtech has a double-half option that I've actually considered briefly on a royal or two. Just couldn't bring myself to do it though.

I've rarely tried the increasing-bet strategy that Bryan does. That can either be real good or real bad. If I'm on a real hot streak, sometimes I will though.

WTG on that session Bryan, you really kicked butt on your little 1/2 hour distraction! Gotta love sessions like that. The other day, I logged into my Swiss Casino account and found 80 cents sitting there. I decided to blow it all on a couple of 45 cent spins on my favorite playtech slot, Captain's Treasure. I got a couple of hits on the first spin and was up to a dollar or so and kept it spinning somewhat mindlessly. After about 4 spins, I heard the Captain chortling and the winning sounds and looked at the screen to see I'd hit 3 cutlasses with a wild symbol (doubles) for a payout of $50! Not bad for a nickel per line (and 80 cents to start with). I took the money and ran.
The gambler in me agrees with JPM's post -- look for the winning streaks and ride them as far as they will go. But I also have read from more logical minds (Wizard of Odds) that you can't count on streaks. My experience tells me otherwise. I think we've all had ice cold sessions as well as those sessions where everything falls your way and the only regret was not pushing the bets more aggresively to take advantage of the streak.

Good basic strategy is the first step but money management strategy seems to make the difference between consistently losing and consistently winning.
Ah, good sense from the Wiz, apparently.

The "money management" stop-loss John Patrick malarky is safe enough if that's your thing; however...

Not only can you not "count" on streaks, it goes a LONG way beyond that: streaks do not exist, in any exploitable sense.

It's human nature to try to find order in chaos, recognize the familiar in the foreign or known in the unknown. Unfortunately, these are nothing but mind-tricks, like seeing faces in the clouds. They're "faces" because you recognize them as faces. Unfortunately, they aren't faces. :)

Yes, "streaks" in gambling exist - IN RETROSPECT ONLY. All you can ever unequivocally state as fact is that you are currently at the end of one! But people say "I'm on a streak"; no, not at all. They are not ON a streak, they are at the END of a streak - because to say the former is to imply some precognitive capacity regarding the future turn of the cards. If you had that, you wouldn't need "streaks"! You'd simply remortgage your house on your guarenteed winning bet, and retire!

But of course you don't do that, because you DON'T have that capacity. All you have is a heightened emotional state resulting from a happy session of gambling. But that session is OVER at any given present moment: it has NO bearing on the future. What are the implications?

If you try to "ride the streak", maybe upping your bets or whatever, what are you REALLY doing? Your simply increasing your losses, because unless you've chanced upon a great single deck game or full pay Deuces Wild or some similar video poker, the house has the advantage. That "hot rush" is in NO way obliged to continue after your next bet. YOU are hot - the cards aren't! Far from winning more, you are in fact LOSING more.

Financial products all carry the famous dislaimer "past growth is not indicative of future performance", or something along those lines.

Why should the PURE mathematics of gambling not be extended the same courtesy?
I knew someone would jump in with the whole 'no such thing as luck' arguement sooner or later. At least the odds were good that it'd happen! ;)

I'd have to respectfully disagree though. Streaks do exist and if you're lucky (no pun intended!), you can recognize and exploit them. Back in April, over the span of 6 days, I hit 3 natural royals at the same casino, same game. Then about a week later, another one, different casino, same game. Then things cooled off for a while till July when over the course of a week I was DEALT a royal on 4 line poker, and about 15 hours later, hit another one, same place, same game (not dealt though). Recognizing the streak, I started hitting a bunch of casinos (and only lost at one for about $100) and 4 days later hit another royal at a different casino. 2 days after that, another at yet another casino. That was one helluva week! The next month it was a royal at one place, followed by 4 deuces on deuces wild at a couple of places over the course of a week. This past week has been similar with slots streak after a bit of a cold streak for a couple of weeks.

I know that mathematics, statistics, etc says there's no such thing as good or bad luck, but I think that there are other forces at work here than just pure odds. I choose to call it a lucky streak. It could be something as seemingly benign as sun spots affecting the RNG on the server, who knows. I'm not going to try to explain it, I'd rather spend the time trying to recognize it and I'm getting better at it.
Let,s just sum it up in simple mathematic terms. A casino game is set to pay out a certain percentage. Maybe nobody wins for awhile and the casino takes in lots of cash. A dry spell for the players...but alot taken in by the house. Now the computer says that it,s time to start paying some of this out..according to the payout percentage programmed into it by the house. Now... it,s in a more generous and giving mode until everything tallies out according to the numbers. It may be one or a few huge payoffs...or many smaller ones (which would be considered a "winning streak" by the player. It,s just numbers...that,s all. It HAS to pay out a percentage...but nobody knows when it will.
By the way JPM.. I,m sooooo jealous! I,ve always wanted to be dealt a Royal on multiple hand poker. How much was your bet?
I tend to agree with the hot streak/cold streak philosophy. There are two primary reasons, however, why I don't typically benefit from this belief: 1) I have far more cold spells than hot, so there's a built in imbalance and 2) I have absolutely no self-discipline in my gambling persona and so am forever chasing my losses and throwing good bucks after bad. Okay, wait. There's a #3, too: my hot flashes (lol) tend to be isolated to one casino AND my paranoia kicks in when my luck shuts off making me take each loss personally, sometimes accompanied by a fleeting glimpse of a conspiracy theory! But without question, my most damaging failing is chasing those gone-forever bucks. "Somebody slaaap me!"
(Sorry to butt in and pour my cold water on, but this IS a favourite subject of mine because these misconceptions run SOOOOOO deep into the gambling culture.)

JPM - I didn't say luck doesn't exist, and neither did I say streaks don't exist. Of COURSE they exist; in fact, gambling is ONLY about "luck" and "streaks", ie. short-term volatility. No gambling game will ever realize it's expectation on every hand - it's quite tricky to lose 0.44% of a $10 bet. And if you COULD somehow so do, who would gamble? There's not a lot of fun in sitting down at a $10 minumum BJ table and handing over 4 cents to the dealer every 60 seconds or so, no more than it would be going into the place you buy your dollar lottery ticket and, rather than gambling your dollar, simply handing over your 50 cents "tax" to the salesgirl. It's the "streaks" which make the games playable and attractive / addictive.

The only point of contention is that you can predict the future. You cannot. As an intelligent human being (you clearly are) you know this, and I know you know it; but as a gambler, you screen the information out, which is so intriguing. Why is that? I'm not trying to cure anyone of false beliefs. That isn't possible. Gamblers are THE single most stubborn part of society. They don't "believe" - they KNOW.

Look at Vegas: multi-billion dollar industry, based on gamblers with winning systems. Look at the OC business - same deal, same multi-billion dollar affair, same foundation. All built on winning gamblers. Apart from masochistic addicts, does any gambler consider himself a loser?

Tim5ny - casinos are not set up to pay out a given amount at given times. That's much too complicated. The games simply realize whatever their advantage is. If it's a fair BJ game played well, it's about half a percent; if it's a rigged game played badly, it's about 4 percent. Fair or rigged, just because a given game has been "doing well" for a period doesn't mean that some aspect of the programming will cause it to start doing badly and favouring the players. All these machines do is to keep churning out the cards - up, down or even in random fashion - and generating the house take.

Both these points are attempts to simplify something that's been subjected to complications. But if all players understood the pure simplicity of the matter, neither Vegas nor OCs would exst.
Good points Caruso. I can see that someone hit on a subject that you enjoy. I believe you,re right concerning card games. The house advantage is built into card games simply by the odds of you being dealt a winning hand using 5 cards out of a 52 card deck. I,m referring to a slot machine. A slot machine with goofy symbols and 3-5 reels. I don,t believe that they are random. How then could three casinos having the same software and same slot machines have different payout percentages on slots? How can you explain that with the randomness theory?
Slots, yep. Slots are programmed. I haven't the foggiest how the programming works in terms of when the machines payout better or worse, but obviously it's a different concept to the other games that ostensibly work off an RNG.
Slots are programmed for a certain payout but they also use RNG. The reason they still use RNG for slots is to protect casinos. If someone can predict a hot/cold streak for their slot games, casino will be defeated.
There are many many ways to generate random outcomes AND set the payout.Here is an example.
Suppose a slot is set in the following way for a 5 coin play:
pay: 1000 chance: 0.1%
pay: 200 chance: 0.3%
pay: 20 chance: 10%
pay: 5 chance: 20%
nothing chance: 69.6%
The payout for this paytable is 92%.
You can use RNG to generate a integer number between 1-1000. 1 would be 1000 payout, 2-4 would be 200 payout, etc. Therefor the outcome is random yet the return of this game is set.
The problem is casino has the right to change the payout anytime.
Suppose they change the odds of pay 200 to be 0.1% and nothing to be 69.8%, the return would drop to 84%. You would loose 2x faster and wonder what's going on.
While in a card game such as BJ, they shouldn't alter the outcome in any way. Every card has the same chance of been dealed and you don't have to worry what's the payout would be at this time.

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