Most gamblers would say the biggest moment of joy in the casino is when they win.
Of course winning feels great, but it’s not the only thing that can give you joy while gambling.
I’ve listed five secret joys that I have enjoyed while gambling in a casino below.
When you gamble you’re in complete control. You choose which games to play, how much to risk, how to play, and everything else about the situation except the final outcome.
You can walk away any time or play all night.
Many people go through life never feeling like they’re in control of anything. Of course we all have control of many choices every day, but if you aren’t careful life seems to make choices for us.
I realize it may seem odd to you that anyone could feel in control while playing a game of chance, but take a minute to think about it. You have the ultimate control. You don’t have to play at all, exerting the maximum amount of control.
Everyone likes to enjoy a nice win from time to time while gambling, but some of the secret joys come from small victories.
When you finally learn every little part of blackjack basic strategy without having to use a strategy chart or finish memorizing the best Deuces Wild strategy it’s a great feeling of accomplishment.
Look for the small things that bring you joy while gambling.
It’s easy to sink into a state of isolation in today’s busy world. You go to work but don’t seem to ever have a real conversation because there are always a hundred things that demand your attention. When you get home from work everyone has had a long day and is tired so you grab something to eat and spend the rest of the night watching television. Before you know it the alarm is going off and you have to head back to work.
If you can steal a few hours to stop at the casino or track to unwind you’re suddenly surrounded by other people who enjoy gambling and are probably looking to interact with other people like you.
Start chatting with the person at the next slot machine or join the loud crowd at the craps table. Some of the most interesting conversations I’ve had have been at the poker table.
Not everyone wants to talk, but if someone wants to be left alone just find someone else to talk to. Casinos are filled with people and most of them are nice and polite.
Any time I’m able to win because of choosing a game with a low house edge and playing the best strategy, it makes me feel like I’m beating the casino at its own game. I know unless I do something to change the odds to my favor, like counting cards in blackjack, in the long run they’ll win, but that doesn’t keep me from enjoying the short term wins.
Even some of the crazy gambling systems that don’t work in the long run can give you a string of short term wins. If you double your bets after losses on bets that are close to 50 / 50 you’ll win most of the time. Eventually you’ll hit a big loss, but in the short run you’re going to win most of the time.
You can also play poker and beat the other players instead of the casino. The feeling of power when you’re able to outplay everyone else at the table is a great thing.
Though most of us have things better than people in some parts of the world, we still have times when it seems like everything in life is not going as well as we like.
You know what I’m talking about. You oversleep, your coffee maker decides to start leaking, the kids aren’t ready to go, and the car has a dead battery. The day goes downhill from there. All you want to do is disappear from the world for a little while.
When things are going like this taking an hour or two to enjoy your favorite gambling activity can be just what you need.
You have to be careful though, because gambling while you’re depressed isn’t a good idea. Most gambling activities will cost money in the long run, but so does going to a movie. Look at your gambling as an entertainment expense so you can try to have a good time whether you win or lose.
Of course you want to win as often as possible, but if you’re having a bad day and gambling makes it worse you need to find another way to unwind.
I try not to play games with a high house edge, but sometimes when I just want to forget about the world I’ll sit down at a Let It Ride table with $100 and play $5 bets until I run out of money. I love Let It Ride but usually don’t play because of the edge I give up. But when I use it for relaxation I don’t expect to win.
Most of the time when I play I walk away with $100 less than when I started, but I’m willing to pay that much to get away from the world. Every once in a while I hit a nice streak of luck and walk away with a profit. This is even better.
If you spend much time gambling you should be able to think of at least a few things that bring you joy while you’re playing. Some of them might match mine, but you might have a few different ones.
You don’t need to write them down, but the next time you gamble keep an eye out for the things that give you a moment or two of joy.