There are a number of reasons as to why people gamble that go far beyond the possibility of scooping a big windfall, whether it be money or another form of prize.
A few examples include the fact gambling can offer a form of escapism from standard everyday life, it can be a method of socialising with friends or the risk-taking element can provide a natural high, satisfying a person’s craving for excitement and fun.
But, gambling isn’t easy and not all gamblers can be winners. In fact, every gambler will suffer losing streaks. Popular horses will lose races or the cards will run dry in games like poker and blackjack.
Yet, some thrive throughout the pressure and physiological demands of gambling, acquiring and improving the qualities required to have the best chance of registering success more often than they suffer defeat.
Here are six of the attributes that a person should look to master if they have aspirations towards becoming a gainful gambler.
To be disciplined
It’s easy done. A person is playing blackjack, the cards are running in their favour and they have won four hands in a row betting £10. The temptation for the next deal is to try to capitalise further on this winning streak by doubling their stake.
In the same way, a gambler who loses three hands in a row may also be tempted into increasing their stake to chase their losses and return their stack to its original size.
Successful gamblers won’t kneejerk into such a decision, instead they will remain disciplined until the sensible time arises to increase a bet. The most likely situation is if they are keeping a rough count and this indicates that there are lots of high-value cards remaining in the shoe.
To maintain emotional self-control
Control of body and mind is essential to avoid making rash decisions, which could do quick damage to a bankroll.
A run of bad beats has the potential to make a player angry and frustrated, such as when a blackjack dealer continuously turns over a six when hitting on their 15.
Avoiding panicking in such a situation and pausing for thought before making important decisions is critical. When luck is against a player, it may make sense for them to call it a day early and accept they will end the day running a loss.
To remain observant and give attention to detail
Access to tiny nuances can make the difference between a good bet and a bad. Play roulette for a period of time and an observant player might notice that a particular section of the wheel is experience a high proportion of wins.
This attention to detail could then be used to dictate future bets, such as betting straight up on 10 numbers positioned next to each other in this segment of the wheel. Should the ball land in one of these numbers, a payout of 36/1 would represent a tidy profit.
Should one in every three spins land across these 10 numbers, a player would still be making money, having laid out 30 units and winning 36.
To be able to analyse and refine
It’s pretty tough to be a successful gambler without following some sort of betting strategy. However, following the strategy alone may not always be enough.
Past results should be examined, losing sessions must be reviewed, betting patterns revised and playing conditions analysed. Strategies may even need tweaking from time to time.
Being able to make sense of data and then make subtle refinements is not something that everyone can do.
To be confident
A person has been playing poker with the same group of people for an hour. They have remained disciplined in this time, folding hands when the pot odds were against them and observing their opponents closely to watch for any tells.
The player finds themselves in a difficult position. They are last to act with middle pair following the flop and the pot has grown to a decent sum. The only other player still in the hand has bet big, but they are giving away signs that their hand isn’t as strong as their bet would make you believe.
The player must have the confidence to follow through on what they have surmised and call the bluff. Confidence is needed to make rational and brave decisions.
To showcase interpersonal talent
Casinos don’t like successful gamblers. They prefer visitors who add to their bottom-line profits, rather than take winnings from it.
If a player can avoid confrontation, they are less likely to draw attention to themselves. This includes being friendly to everyone around them, tolerating the actions of other players and listening to others, which is sure to generate healthy relationships with casino staff.
Smiling while having fun at the tables and playing with an open posture also assist in affecting the way a person is viewed and dealt with.