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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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More New Year's Resolutions

23 January 2003

A few weeks ago I gave my most important New Year's Resolution: Keep records of your gambling activity. This week I want to present a few other New Year's Resolutions.

Make a money management plan before you leave for the casino. Figure out what your loss limit will be for the trip and stick to it. You can also set daily loss limits and even session loss limits. When you have a plan before you set foot in the casino, you're less likely to go on tilt and chase losses if you hit a losing streak.

We talk a lot about being behind because--face it--the house usually does have the edge against us. But let's not forget about being ahead...

Put aside some of your winnings. When you end a session ahead or hit a really big payoff, take a portion of your winnings and put it aside never to be gambled again this trip. If you should happen to hit a bad luck streak and lose everything else, you won't go home empty-handed. You can use this reserve to help fund your next visit or you can let the reserves from your trips accumulate and buy yourself something nice or take a trip or give it to charity.

If you play video poker, learn the strategy for the paytables you play. You can play by hunches or intuition, but you forfeit anywhere up to about five percentage points in long-term payback by not following a mathematically derived strategy. The strategy doesn't have to be complicated. The 80/20 rule applies with video poker strategies too. You get 80% of the benefit from 20% of the effort. To squeeze out the last remaining fractions of a percent in payback will require a great deal more effort.

Read at least one new book on casino games each year. If you're a slot player, of course, I think the best two books on the market are my own The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots and Frank's Break the One-Armed Bandits! For any other game, you can't go wrong by reading Frank's book on it. Plus, there are dozens of new gambling books published each year.


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots by John Robison
Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
The Video Poker Answer Book by John Grochowski
John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots