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Best of Fred Renzey

Gaming Guru

 

You can't time your luck in gambling

28 December 2007

I ran into an old acquaintance the other day who was telling me he's considering playing poker as his main source of income. He said he's been going into the card room each day with a goal of winning just $200 and then quiting. Some days it happens in the first hour, and other days it takes all night. But he says he pretty regularly manages to get $200 ahead at some point in each session. The thing to do, he says, is to quit there, then come back the next day and make another two hundred.

I remember a blackjack player from about ten years ago who had the same game plan. He was just an average player, but he felt that money management was the key to success. He too would come into the casino looking to win a certain amount and not be greedy. As soon as he made his "nut", he'd pack it in for the day and come back tomorrow.

If only gambling actually worked like that. The grim truth is, it's a worthless strategy! The blackjack player I mentioned ran off a string of something like 23 straight wins of "X" dollars each. Everything was going like clockwork. The 24th day, he quickly fell behind "4 times X dollars", and figured he'd better just write that day off before things got too serious. Discipline was his hallmark. He'd start out fresh again tomorrow.

When tomorrow came, he lost again right out of the gate again and finally threw in the towel with a loss of "6 or 7 times X". Still unshaken and convinced he had a winning strategy, he forged on. After winning his "X" another few days in a row, he finally ran into "the streak". For a straight week, he got pummeled from the get-go with no chance to recover. He registered losses of 6X, 8X and 10X every single day. In spite of winning on 75% of all his days, he was now way behind at blackjack. How and why?

The "how" of it is because random events like gambling follow no pattern. Some days winning will be readily within reach, and other days it will be utterly impossible. But if registering a win on some regular basis is your main goal, accomplishing that alone is actually quite easy.

This is much simpler to understand if you view yourself as driving down a very long road landscaped with many hills and valleys. Along the way, you must stop and rest several times. If you prefer, you can usually choose to rest on a hill (winning day), rather than in a valley (losing day). Yet along some long stretches of road, there will be nothing but a very deep valley. Still and all, you will by selective choice camp out on a hill 75-to-80% of your nights with no problem. There are usually enough hills along the road to find one in the short term.

The "why" of this two part equation is that no matter where you decide to stop and camp, the road is still taking you to the same place. Come morning, you must pick up and continue down that same road. And each player's particular road is determined solely by the quality of his play, not where he chooses to stop and rest. If he doesn't have an outright advantage in the game, that place at the end of his road will be "Losersville!"

You see, there are no start-and-stop techniques or money management methods that can create an advantage where there was none. The blackjack player's downfall was that he was playing a losing brand of blackjack, even though the game can be beaten with the proper skills.

As for the aspiring poker player mentioned earlier, which town his road will lead him to depends upon his poker skills – not his implemented win goals. If he doesn't have the outright poker savvy, his money management can't save him. If he's got what it takes, that's what'll ultimately get him to "Winnersville."

So forget about any inane money management gimmicks and learn how to outplay your opposition. It's the only way.

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey