Through the Casino

Before we begin our quest to become an advantage player, let's take a walk through a typical large casino, one that might be in any major casino area such as Las Vegas or Atlantic City, and observe what's going on. We'll use this opportunity to make some opening comments about the games themselves-and who knows, we might just run into one or two advantage players.

As we walk in, we are confronted by a sea of slot machines and an incessant cacophony: the whir of spinning wheels, the clanking of coins falling into trays, bells sounding when jackpots and other winning hands are hit, and the shrieks and yells of lucky winners. Ignore all this and let it become a rhythmic blur in the background. We didn't come here to play the slots with their high casino advantage Let's find our way through this maze of machines and walk onto the main casino floor. Pausing to get our bearings, we see crowds of people and a sea of tables, most with players sitting, but a few long, oblong tables surrounded by standing players. Where to begin? Noticing the hanging signs identifying the games being played, we walk over to the roulette area first.

Selling Good Limits
First, make sure they understand that you are not trying to impose higher stakes (only) because you are interested in winning their money and that revenue generation is not the (primary) purpose of the home game you want to create. Use what you've read in this and the previous chapter to explain to them that your goal is a quality game and that meaningful limits are a prerequisite of such a game.

If you are new to real poker yourself, cite your inexperience as a reason for your friends to drop their concerns that they are being led into some kind of sting. If you happen to be a player who has already moved beyond kiddie poker, it is actually very helpful if you regularly play higher limits, at either a casino or another private game; such experience gives you credibility and helps you lead by example at the poker table. You can also use your involvement in other bigger games to demonstrate to your friends that any money that might change hands at your home game is a drop, or a cup at the very most, in your poker bucket. Explain that your motivation for creating a good home game is to cultivate some poker comrades or at least give the group something better to do on Friday nights than going to the boobie bar.
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