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Along the way, we debunk many of the superstitions, misconceptions and downright notions surrounding gambling. You may prised how tough it is to jettison those old ideas. Gambling and its lore reach farther into our lives than most of us realize.

Thomas Jefferson gambled and so did Harry Truman. Richard Nixon financed his first political carnpaign with poker winnings. Julius Caesar used a gambling metaphor ("the die is cast") before crossing the Rubicon and changing the history of the world. Our language is filled with gambling terms. Among them are ubiquitous phrases like pressing your luck, odds on favorite, smart money, sure thing, going bust, sweeten the deal, fold under pressure, passing the buck, and the (eternally poetic) luck of the draw.
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Of course, doing it this way is not the best plan. What we suggest is making inquiries before heading to Las Vegas or Atlantic City or wherever. If you find limits to your liking, establish credit before landing at your destination. Then you’re all set.

But suppose you get to a particular casino, and first you don't like the ambience, the attitude of the dealers, or the general setup. You get the feeling things won't go well that you're going to end up a big loser. You're just not comfortable. Well, forgo the free room and meals and don't play there. If possible, move to another casino that is more to liking. If you leave Hotel A and walk over to Hotel B and tell them what your credit line at the other hotel is and how much you expect to play for, they may welcome you with open arms and move you right in. If they don't, and if you can't find another room in town for the weekend, play wherever you wish at comfortable limits, rather than trying to please the first hotel just to get a free room and some meals. They could end up as a pittance compared to your losses. Don't let the comps be your master.

If you're like most people who gamble, you're probably not pushing for a free room and board and the whole nine yards. You'll probably be satisfied with an occasional free meal or a free show. You may be staying at Hotel D and wandering around to find a good single deck blackjack game. You find it at a nearby casino. Just your speed. You decide to sit down and cash in a few hundred bucks. Ask the dealer to send over the floorman. Introduce yourself and tell him or her that you want your action monitored. He'll be happy to oblige.

Let's assume you spend two hours in the pit, playing at a couple of tables. At the end of that time, call over the floorman and talk to him. He or she may give you comps for dinner for two that night, or a free show at the casino, or both. He or she may like your action and suggest that you stay at that hotel the next time around at a reduced rate. You may even be told that four hours of play a day will give you the fabled free RFB.
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