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Just about everyone who has ever spent any serious amount of time at casino gambling has come up with a “system” at one time or another that promises to work consistently. Most are abandoned, however, after experiencing several consecutive losing sessions with it.

This does not necessarily mean that the system is useless. It only means that it doesn’t work all the time. Well, just in case you didn’t already know it, NOTHING DOES ! The best that you can ever hope for when implementing a game plan is to have a sound betting strategy and reasonable profit expectations.

Most systems are based on 50% probability bets, such as pass and don’t pass in craps, black and red in roulette, or bank and player in baccarat, and countless systems have been designed around them. They include flat bets, parlays, up-after-a-loss, and doubling up, and THEY ALL WIN at one time or another. It’s what to do when they do, and what to do when they don’t, that separates the winners from the losers in the casino.

When a game plan is not working, being stubborn about it is all too often the undoing of any system player. We’ve all seen craps players betting strictly on don’t pass, continuing to bet blindly along with the most horrendous losing streak imaginable against a hot shooter, just to be able to say that they won their bet when that seven-out finally came. (Sounds a bit like taking your car problem to a mechanic who’s determined to find out what’s wrong with it, no matter how much it costs you.)

If you’re really in it for the money, a business-like betting strategy that has a cut-off point when consecutive losses occur makes a lot more sense. Two or three consecutive losing bets are usually quite enough to convince me that it’s time to just watch and wait, rather than continue betting through a losing trend, hoping that it will change by throwing more money at it.

Short stop-loss limits will keep you from losing more than you should, and reasonable stop-win limits help you lock up some of what you’ve managed to win, instead of giving it all back on the next couple of losing bets.

There’s never any shame in ending any session when you’re modestly ahead. Like a craps table acquaintance of mine has been heard to say: “You’ll never go broke on small profits.”

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