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Interwith with Gayle Mitchell - Leading female expert in casino gambling

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We present an interview with Gayle Mitchell, one of the leading female experts on casino gambling. In this reprint of the interview, Gayle Mitchell deals out her best advice on betting in the casino. Mitchell has written numerous gaming articles for newspapers and magazines, and is a contributing editor for seven publications. She has spoken on gaming topics on more than 500 television and radio stations across the United States and Canada (see Easy Casino Gambling.) Gayle's third book, "Video Poker Made Easier--Winning Strategies for Serious Players" was #1 on in the Video Poker category. To become a better gambler, start by reading this interview.

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Can you tell us a bit about your background?

"It reminds me of when female students had to work twice as hard to gain professional credibility." From the time my Dad taught me poker and craps, I loved the competition-- especially winning! My first trip to Vegas was in 1990, and I was overwhelmed. The only thing I could do was pull a slot handle. I decided to go home and study--there had to be a better way. I found that of the 80 million gamblers in the U.S., less than 2% actually knew what they were doing! Once educated, I taught at the college level: "Intelligent Gambling & Wager Management" seminars (first time classes of this type were offered). With that success, I proceeded to writing and publishing "Casino Gambling Made Easier" books & strategy cards, continuing to educate and prepare casino gamblers. Tell us about your books: "Casino Gambling Made Easier," "More Casino Gambling Made Easier," and "Video Poker Made Easier." After the success of the first book, I felt I had found my niche. "Casino Gambling Made Easier" offers 5 best bets: slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, and mini-baccarat. "More Casino Gambling Made Easier" is dedicated to many readers' requests and praise for more. The book provides all new information, expanding to 10 best bets: lots on slots, video poker; adding Pai Gow poker, live poker, roulette systems, sports betting, and a worldwide casino travelogue for gamblin' travelin' players. Because both books complement each other, they are now marketed as a two-book set at a special price. "Video Poker Made Easier" was a labor of love--my favorite casino game. Doing the research, rating the newest VP versions, and explaining strategies for all the versions--Jacks+, Deuces Wild, Bonus VP and Jokers Wild--was a "super-high" publishing and casino experience. My fourth book due this summer, "All Slots Made Easier," targets 70%+ of casino gamblers who play machines, eager to learn correct strategies, wager management, and newest slot versions. Casino Players Workshop & Seminars' future publishing goals are to offer more "single games" titles with special pricing and bonuses as before. My writing rules are to present an easy, educational read (no complicated math or endless charts and percentages) and offer accurate, specific strategies for those casino games with less than a 3% house advantage when played correctly. You have been called "the only recognized female expert of casino gambling." And proud of it! I worked hard for that mantle, breaking through the "felt-covered" ceiling. Firsts are always challenging. It reminds me of when female students had to work twice as hard to gain professional credibility. In the books, I write extensively about slots and video poker, also offering a "Hot Slots" seminar, and I know I was ridiculed by the male writers. However, notice how many of those same recognized male authors now produce books on both games.

Have you experienced any advantages or disadvantages as a female in the gaming industry?

There is a huge bookstore in Vegas, which shall remain nameless, that returned a review copy of my first book with a note: "Female gambling authors do not sell. Their books gather dust on the shelves." Not exactly politically correct, but I now use that letter for wallpaper. On the plus side, I find great interest and acceptance of "first and only female" for radio/TV interviews and print publications. The media prefers to present "firsts." "Casino Gambling Made Easier" was targeted towards 40+ women who felt lost in any casino. However, I was pleasantly surprised at 60% female/ 40% men purchasing books and strategy cards. Sales are now 50/50 and it's very gratifying.

What are the three most common mistakes made by inexperienced casinogoers?

"Lack of education and preparation leaves you at the casinos' mercy--and casinos have no mercy." 1)Lack of education and preparation leaves you at the casinos' mercy--and casinos have no mercy. Not only should you know the best and worst bets to avoid, but specific strategies for "da best." For instance, blackjack is one of the best bets, but if you don't know hit/stand strategies or act on instinct, you have just upped the house advantage to over 5%. We offer a FREE report of the Ten Best Casino Gambling Bets/Games on our web site. 2)Lack of wager management. Your plan should include progressive betting at the tables. Up or press your bet after every win. Flat-betting the minimum or the same each time won't lead to a profitable end. A larger bankroll is required for craps, live poker and table games in general (machines--a smaller bankroll, except when players decide to start with the $5 machines). Hey, quarters/nickels are just as much fun plus can bankroll your move up to the higher denomination. Making your money last longer results in a winning casino experience. 3)Lack of discipline. Most recreational gamblers also coupon and comparison shop, yet will not set a stop-loss limit on machines or games. Move on to another game or table when a continuous losing streak rears its ugly head. I teach the four D's of Intelligent Gambling: Development = education, Dexterity = practice at home the skills of the games, Discipline, and best of all-Diversity, since intelligent gamblers master most or all of the best games/strategies.

What's your best advice to the inexperienced casino visitor?

Walk around the casino first. Observe. What are the table limits? Within your budget? Look for "slot placement" and full-pay VP's. You see, sliding that bill into the first machine is not going to help your pocketbook. Take meal, shopping or walking breaks every 4 hours, and then continue renewed. An intelligent player not only has good luck, but is making their luck with "fun" as a side benefit.

Is it possible to beat the house every time?

Certainly not. However in the short-term, an intelligent gambler should pocket some nice winnings by playing games correctly with the lowest casino edge. And remember, even money is a win in my book. I write and speak to recreational gamblers--those players who want to stretch their gambling dollars, and enjoy their occasional casino visits.

What is your opinion of online casinos?

I miss the casino "action" online: the lights, dropping coins, laughter, adrenaline rush when entering the casino world, the "roar" of a craps table... However, in "More Casino Gambling Made Easier," I do give both sides of the Internet gambling story with a suggested list of sites and "what to look for."

What are your favorite places to play?

Anywhere in Nevada! Ok, specifically: Main Street Station and El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas, SantaFe and Fiesta in North Las Vegas, and on your way out of town, stop at The Reserve. Golden Nugget and Pioneer in Laughlin. If the casino doesn't provide full pay VP versions, I am out of there (which means you won't find me on the Strip--nice places to look at, but not to play to win).

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?

"Become able and profit will follow." While I have been rewarded knowing that I have assisted in leading uneducated gamblers "out of the woods" (writing and marketing as an independent publisher, now that's challenging!), a casino "experience" allows this business owner a welcome relief. My favorite expression now is "become able and profit will follow." This theory works in casinos and the business world. "May Lady Luck smile on you--she usually gives me a wink and a big grin!"

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