following formula provides a way to keep control of
yourself, while showing the house what they want to
see. These methods do not increase your winnings.
In fact, every bet you place takes 0.5 percent of
its value straight out of your pocket. Optimal play
would be to stop dead as soon as you earn the bonus.
But that's not enough to look good - you want to come
back for next month's 20 percent special. Some places
are a little capricious with the bonuses. They know
that most customers play once and never come back.
(Only sportswebsite players seem to have loyalty,
according to the owner of the Mayan.) They seem to
deeply resent anyone walking away with the bonus money.
In my experience, the most trouble has been in collecting
$20, $30 more than the buy-in. If you've lost, they're
generally willing to credit back the remnants to your
card. And if you win a healthy sum, they'll cut a
check. They are resigned to the knowledge that if
they're going to run a gambling house, sometimes they'll
have to pay out real money. But $50? They hate paying
that. That was given to you only for the purpose of
you losing it and getting hooked.
Casinos always favor people who bet big. Try and run
up your action on the house's money. That is, if you
get a little ahead, bet more, until you fall back
to your catch point. Ideally we'd bet $25, then keep
winning and losing through hundreds m action. This
will happen at some casinos, in which you will be
a high roller and get sent lots more juicy offers.
Other places, you'll do nothing but lose and crawl
away without the bonus and a few more lost dollars
besides. You are not such an attractive player to
them, but you are at the others. Some places will
see you as a chiseler who quits when he loses; others
will see lots of dollars bet fast.
Poker night is an icon of American
culture. On any given Friday evening, vast legions
of poker players across the country bolt from the
confines of their jobs and families to gather around
dimly lit tables and immerse themselves in an atmosphere
of beer bottles, cigar fines, and poker chips. The
perfect poker game is congenial but competitive-classy
in form but a little seedy in substance. It satiates
a rebellious streak in all of us; we rebel from
the daily grind of PC professional life by trying
to take each other's money in an enclave of rugged,
unapologetic individualism. That's why poker resonates
with most Americans as an activity that is culturally
substantial-even patriotic. Besides all that, it's
a great setting for a party, and most participants
show up for the social event as much as the cards.
Even so, given the immense popularity of poker in
this country, one would think that the average American
player is fairly competent, in the same wav that
one might expect the average Swiss person to hold
their own on a ski slope. Poker is our national
card game, right?