Never gamble!

Never gamble!

You must be thinking that the author has gone nuts! He is suggesting not gambling and this is an online poker site? What gives? I don't consider poker as gambling. I consider it as investing because I know I play at positive expectancy. Strictly speaking gambling is defined as wagering when on average your return will be negative or break even. For example, getting even money and wagering on a coin toss is gambling because you are investing for no positive gain. Playing slots is definitely gambling, betting on horses with no inside information is gambling, playing blackjack and not card counting or shuffle tracking is gambling.

You may think that I am just spitting hairs with definitions here, but I am talking about a whole life philosophy. Never bet on anything when you have negative or break even expectance. Don't even put $1 in a slot machine. Take pride in the fact that you never play unless you have a mathematical advantage.

Why am I bringing this up? Good poker players will be exposed to a plethora of other gambling options. For example, blackjack tables are often less than 20 meters away (on the way to the toilet). You might have to pass a craps table and some slot machines as well. There is also sports betting as well, just in the next part of the casino. All of these bets are negative expectancy and should never be made. You are better than that!

I know a really good poker player (and I mean really good). He wins a lot of money playing poker online. However, when he plays live poker he can't resist a little blackjack as well and he plays for big stakes. Now I know this guy is not card counting so he is definitely a losing player. My question is how can someone who is so methodical at poker actually place a negative expectancy bet in another game? As a secondary question I ask how may others do the same thing?

Never gamble!

To give you another example, I have a friend who is a pretty good card counter in blackjack, however, he is addicted to horse racing. What gives? Both of these guys no that they are gambling when they bet in games they are not experts in! The answer of course is that these guys are undisciplined.

From this day on, never place a bet that has negative expectancy. Laugh at your friends who do! Never feel obligated to bet because you are in an environment where your friends are betting. Be bigger and stronger than that! I often go to the horse races with my friends and only lose my entrance fee, 1 hotdog and 6 beers. Already, I am $40 down why bet and lose more? Make it your live philosophy not to bet unless you have a mathematical advantage.