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Many of us gamble online claiming that it is solely a form of entertainment and whether we win or lose it doesn’t matter. Yet as the reels spin our heart rates quicken, our palms begin to sweat, our breathes shorten and inside our head the question “what if?” constantly swirls around. While in the long run the commonly held wisdom that the house always wins holds true, there are certain practices that we can apply to increase our chances of winning more regularly. There’s no doubt the pleasure of gaming is dramatically increased when we have some winnings to show for it. We’ll now look at principles which have been applied by successful gamblers the world over to spot a winning opportunity or to minimize losses.

Good gamblers quit when they’re ahead

To gamble is to understand that their will be many ups and downs. You have to be able to take the good with the bad – when you are on a winning streak don’t be tempted to double up on bets as you’ll likely go on to lose all your winnings and your initial bank roll. In other words, quit while you ahead.

Knowing when to quit while you ahead is possible to calculate with certain games which have defined probabilities like roulette. So if for example you’re thinking of betting on a single number which has a winning probability of 2.63%, that is a 1 in 37 chance, if your chosen number comes up during the first 10 spins, it could be stated that you are ahead of the long term odds and it may be a good time to cash out. We are not advocating that you quit after 1 spin, but if after a considerable time you find that you’ve gotten the better of the odds you’ll have to make the brave, yet wise decision of cashing out while you’re ahead. Many good gamblers put a figure to when they’ll quit. One example is to say that after you are up 25% on your initial bank roll you’ll cash out.

It’s a long term policy, since you will be gambling for the foreseeable future, it’s best to build up your wins over time rather than try to milk one session which will inevitably have both upswings and downswings.

Desperate gamblers chase their losses

When you lose don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can make up for your losses by betting more, or don’t chase your losses as it is commonly known in gambling circles. Sometimes it’s just not your day and you need to hone a gut instinct for when the time is ripe for the quitting. Pack up and dust yourself off to come back stronger and in prime mood the next time.

Understanding the probability of winning

In the long term, in the land of casinos, things play out as forecasted. So for example, it’s possible to predict that the roulette ball will fall on the number six 2,7% (1 in 37) of the time after a substantial number of spins. This same probability applies to all the other single numbers. Even though single numbers pay the highest odds for a win, given the low probability of it appearing, you’re much better off placing your bet on a combination which has a higher probability but lower payout.

It’s a matter of effectively balancing risk. Basing your betting strategy around probabilities is the only way you’ll be able to give yourself a good chance of winning. Each game has different probabilities and odds so it’s important that you vigorously study and fully understand each game that you play.

Slot players should note that it is not possible to calculate the probability of any given result on a spin. This is because we don’t know the exact amount of each symbol on a reel, which makes it impossible to quantify the probability. With slots it’s really just a matter of good fortune.

Managing your bank roll

A bank roll is that portion of money, separate from other daily expenses, which you set aside for gambling. You may do it by day, month, year- whichever you find most manageable. Golden rule number one of managing your bank roll, is to only gamble with what you can afford; never gamble on credit and never borrow money for gambling. Choose a bank roll that will not leave your financial position hanging in the balance. Once you’ve chosen a suitable bank roll, be sure to stick to it no matter what the temptation to play more.

You’ll also have to decide how to spread your bank roll across the gaming session. There are various methods for deciding what sum of your bankroll to spend on each bet, but whatever your choice it needs to provide you with enough opportunities to play a round so that you get closer to realizing the long-term probabilities of each game. Long-term can be a very non-descript term at the best of times, but for the least if you haven’t played a couple of hundred rounds, don’t expect the probabilities to play out.

To test this theory of probabilities why not play a few hundred rounds of free roulette here to see what we mean.

Recording your bank roll and gaming sessions is another way of building a gambler’s instinct for a good bet. Some days you’ll have a small bank, other days larger. Your bets will be different and your winnings will be different. By recording these statistics you’ll build a map of past performance and it may even assist you in developing your own playing strategy.

Once you’ve honed these 4 vital skills you well on your way to becoming more than just a passive gambler, but rather a good intuitive gambler who has more control over the fluctuations of his bankroll, winnings and ultimately gaming pleasure.