Happy New Year to Casino Rama.

Many of us have a local pub, restaurant or Legion hall where people know you and make you welcome. We feel that way about our local casino. We have gotten to know many of the staff over the years and they know and welcome us. And we do that knowing that we are going to lose money two out of three times we go there.

But before you think we are throwing money away, let us explain. Gambling is all about odds. Dice have six sides and a deck of playing cards consists of 52 cards divided into four suits of 13 cards each. No matter what the game, there are odds to consider. The simplest odds in the house are at the roulette table. Each number on the roulette layout is a 37 to 1 bet. Since the casino only pays 35 to 1, it makes money and stays in business. And our only advice to any gambler is that if you are not aware of the odds you should not make the bet. (Which is a good reason to never put money into a slot machine,)

The best odds in a casino are usually at the craps tables. Craps is the fastest and, to some, the most complex game. It is where the gambler can win or lose the most money in the shortest period of time. It is well worth learning to play craps but like any game in a casino, always start by managing your money and knowing when to quit.

And the time to quit is not when you run out of money. That is the rookie mistake. We have seen it in casinos from Las Vegas to Hamburg. It is embarrassing. And never play to get your money back. That is a fool’s errand.

If you like casinos and go every once in a while, you should write down what you won or lost each time. Add it up at the end of a year. You might need to read up on the games you like playing.

We added up our 2016 the other day and found we had been to Rama Casino more than 25 times. We also found that we won a bit more than we lost and that was good.

But that was not the real win. We saw some fairly good shows, courtesy of the casino. We had dinner at one of their seven restaurants most times and these are usually complimentary though, under Ontario law, you have to pay for the wine separately.

The reason we end up with a bit more money sometimes is that we manage our money. They will not let you touch the cards or bring your own dice but you can treat your money with some respect. If you do not manage it, nobody else will. The simple rule is that if you are losing, leave the table. And if you are winning, add a little of the win to your next bet. This is called parlaying and it is the only way to win. If you always make the same bet, you are just feeding the odds—that favour the casino.

You too can enjoy your local casino.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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