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A coupon is much less of an inducement to play than a comp suite, but it works similar trickery on the low-rollers' mind. He may not have planned to go out gambling that night, but since the casino people offered that free coupon, why not take them up on it? After all, it's the casino's money. Except, of course, that once you're sitting at the table it's almost impossible to get up again. If you win, then you're still only playing with the casino's money, aren't you? If you lose, well, all you have to do is double the bet to come up ahead again, right?

Note how gamblers have a justification for all kinds of irrational behavior. It doesn't really have anything to do with self-control or determination; many compulsive gamblers are successful people who have displayed talent and dedication to get on in their respective careers. It's just a part of human nature.

Always resist the temptation to get involved in personal conflicts at the table. Quite often I've seen players take an irrational dislike to each other at the table over some imagined slight, and then get into a war by placing bets on the banker, while the other does so on player, each one trying to psyche the other out. This can lead to players betting beyond their means. In this situation, no one wins except the house. Leave your ego at home; there is no place for it on the felt. If you take a dislike to somebody who plays at your table, or they take a dislike to you-then leave. If you're not enjoying the games, there is no point in staying.

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Negotiating a Game
No matter which names you get or how you get them, you must be prepared to overcome the inevitable resistance of some of them to playing with formal rules and meaningful stakes. Justice, truth, and style are all on your side, but you will have to proceed gradually and make compromises to start the group on the right path. The first three chapters should give you plenty of source material to put together a compelling case for playing real cards. Here, I will only note the arguments that don't work (I know because I've tried them all):
- "Chicken"
- Impassioned moralistic assaults on kiddie poker and its apologists
- Suggesting that you are a superior poker player and know better than they do.
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