A formula
 

The 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.

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The Struggle Against Kiddie Poker
 

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?

 
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