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Video Poker And Money Management

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I never play any credits. I put my money through the machine once and once only. Thus, facing a three-day, 12 hour, 2,880 hand assault on Lady Luck, I would need 14,400 coins (2,880 hands x 5 coins = 14,400 coins). So does that mean that if I wanted to play a dollar machine, I would need $14,400 behind me? Not really.

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Just take one day, which would be 4800 coins ($4,800 dollars for dollar machines, $1,200 for quarter machines, and $240 for nickel machines) and make that your trip-stake. This is the money you are going to risk. You will put the money through the machine that first day—once. However, do not put all your coins into the machine during one session. Instead, divide the day into two or more sessions and allot the requisite amount for each. Only play the money originally slated for each session and never play credits. If you wind up with more than 4,800 coins at the end of the first day, the excess is put away, not to be touched on this trip. That excess will go back into your gambling account when you get home.

The second day, you would again put 4,800 coins through the machine—just once—and again spread out the play amongst various sessions. On the third day, same procedure. Should your trip bankroll fall below 4,800 coins at any time, you would risk whatever you had by putting it through the machine once. So, on that first day, let us say that you took a beating and lost half your stake—a not impossible occurrence. On day two, you would put through 2,400 coins because that's all you had left. And you would put them through during individual sessions, not all at once. You would have to cut down the length and/or number of sessions because of your shortened bankroll.

Using this method of play, it is impossible for you to lose every penny unless the unthinkable happens—every day is a losing day and you lose every single hand on the last day of your trip. If this horrible fate happens, you could still make money by selling your story (MEET THE UNLUCKIEST PERSON ON EARTH!) to the Guinness Book of World Records or Ripley's Believe It or Not!

While four hours a day of playing Video Poker might seem like a lot, it really isn't. Many video-poker aficionados will'play six, eight, ten or more hours a day—as the last chapter of this book will show. If you are the type who wishes to put in mega-time at video poker, then you must adjust your bankroll accordingly.

Here's the best formula for figuring out what you need (if you use my preferred playing method above): total hours allotted for play per day x the number of days x number of hands per minute x 60 minutes x 5 coins = total coins necessary. Now, take that figure and divide by three. This is the amount of money you will need to bring to the casino. If you are playing at a machine that requires more or fewer than five coins, just adjust that last section to reflect this.

For extended trips, you might want to increase by a factor of two the total amount you bring with you—just to feel safe. Thus, if you are going to be staying in a casino town for six days, you might want to bring twice as much as you would for a three-day stake. In this way, you can assure yourself of the best shot at Lady Luck without your bankroll being plugged full of holes. There's no worse feeling than going away to a casino town for a week or more and being down most of your bankroll in the first few days.

In truth, the bottom line in the money-management, mental-edge, how-much-do-I-play-with sweepstakes is you. Some individuals can stand a high danger quotient. They can play with money that is not specifically set aside for gambling and break nary a sweat. (I am not referring to problem or compulsive gamblers whose whole lives revolve around sweat—and often blood and more often tears.) Other gamblers are much more timid. I'm in that category. I have friends who are the devil-may-care type but I'm one of the angels who do care. Thus, my advice is always conservative and, yes, perhaps at times a little timid. So be it. Yet, I do know this: playing as I've outlined above gives you a good chance of winning in the long run and an almost perfect chance of never losing it all in one orgy of bad luck. So play the best machines with the best strategies and give yourself plenty of money to play with and you will have the best chance for victory at video poker.

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