Anyone looking to step up their gambling game will instinctively focus on the technicalities. Whether it’s poker, baccarat or even bingo, the whole ‘practice makes perfect’ mantra definitely applies.
In order to really master the art of any casino game, you need to play as much of it as you can.
But when looking at things from a more general perspective, there’s more to becoming a great gambler than practical skills alone. Mindfulness and reflection can also play a huge role by helping you improve your gambling skills.
It’s basically a case of taking proactive steps to eliminate negative energy and see things from a more positive perspective. Easier said than done when on a catastrophic losing streak, but possible nonetheless.
With no hocus-pocus nonsense involved whatsoever, here’s a brief overview of how mindfulness could help you step up your casino game:
1 – Beat a Bad Outcome with Deep Breaths
Accepting you have made a mistake and moving on is comparatively simple. Accepting an awful outcome when you made every right move is something else entirely. Even though you did everything right, the unthinkable happened and you still lost.
Frustrating in the extreme, and often a one-way ticket to poor decision-making.
It’s at these times that it is essential to take a step back from the whole thing and give yourself time to breathe. It’s often said that the best way to calm down in the most trying of times is to simply take a deep breath. Or more accurately, take a series of 10 deep breaths, breathing slowly in and out with your eyes closed and your mind clear.
By the time you get through with these 10 breaths, you’re almost guaranteed to find yourself in an entirely different demeanour. You’ll still be aching from the loss and fed up with the fact it happened, but will nonetheless be in a much better position to deal with it.
If possible, take this ‘me time’ and these 10 deep breaths outdoors in the fresh air, rather than right there at the table that just kicked your backside.
2 – Set Out with a Positive Game Plan
Setting out with a positive game plan means thinking of something you can definitely achieve during your next casino outing and ensuring you do just that. Unfortunately, one thing you cannot bank on under any circumstances is making money.
Hence, setting out with the plan of returning home with a profit is a formula for disappointment.
There are so many different things you could set your sights on when heading to the casino. You could set out with £100 in your pocket and promise yourself you will return home with at least £50, motivating good bankroll management. You could set your sights on meeting new people and making new friends, making the financial aspect of the experience a side issue. You could also simply be out to improve your gambling knowledge and skill, perhaps branching out into a game you’ve never tried before.
You’ll soon find that when you head to a casino with a positive game plan and stick to it, you have an altogether more enjoyable experience. You could even find yourself winning more often, given the fact that you will no longer be so totally consumed by the idea of turning a profit.
3 – Focus on the Now
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a gambler is allowing your mind to wander. However, preventing it from occurring is also one of the biggest challenges a gambler faces.
Whatever it is you’re playing, it’s almost impossible not to be thinking about what you plan on doing next. You’re supposed to be focusing on the current hand of blackjack, but you’re actually thinking about what you’re going to order at the bar. The roulette wheel is still spinning, but you’ve got your mind set on the craps table that’s blowing up next to you.
Of course, becoming a skilled gambler means building the capacity to think at least one or two steps ahead. It’s not the case of betting it all on this hand and to hell with what happens next, unless you’re out to lose.
Nevertheless, it’s still important to get yourself as immersed and involved as possible in the now, rather than what’s coming next.
4 – Get to Know the Casino’s Trickery
It can also be useful to periodically remind yourself of the trickery you’re surrounded by at a casino. Nothing is there purely by chance – it’s all a carefully orchestrated ploy to get you to spend your money.
From the music to the décor to the layout to the freebies, it’s a masterpiece of misdirection. By keeping in mind the fact that the casino is basically only after one thing – your money – you’ll never be quite so distraught when that’s exactly what they get.
And if you should fall for any of their tricks and spend more than you intended to, you’ll find it easier to accept responsibility and move on.
5 – Acknowledge and Accept the House Edge
Last up, this has a tendency to be the single most difficult thing to fully accept as a gambler. It’s actually quite an interesting paradox, given how gambling by its very nature is designed to make you lose money. Even though you know the house always wins and that you’re statistically more likely to lose than win, you’re compelled to keep playing anyway.
This is because even when players fully understand the house edge, they still genuinely believe they can sometimes get the upper hand. They put their faith in superstition, they trust misguided strategies and they think all losing streaks must eventually come to an end. They also read into long-standing myths regarding weighted reels, ‘hot’ slots and inexperienced dealers.
Accepting the house edge means accepting that there is nothing you can do to control or predict the outcome. It also means accepting that you’re probably going to lose most (or all) of your money, but can still have a fantastic time spending it.
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