It’s a dream for all of us, isn’t it? Breeze into Vegas, have some fun, play a few games, and go home a couple of thousand dollars richer. The truth, of course, is that this happens only rarely. For most people, the way to leave Vegas with a small fortune is to go there with a large fortune. Lost Wages, Bummer City. For most people…
But here’s a way to visit Vegas and, quite consistently, go home with a tidy profit. It’s not that hard. First off, don’t play blackjack. Don’t play craps, roulette, the slots, or keno. Don’t play any game where the casino has a statistical edge. The longer you play, the more likely you are to lose.
Instead, start playing poker on buktiqq. You don’t have to be an expert. You don’t even have to be particularly good. All you have to be is patient. My very first experience of playing poker anywhere was the night before going into a Vegas casino. I got basic training and a few tips from a poker pro while sitting around the kitchen table and, the next day, made $120 in a four-hour session. And I’ve been able to repeat and improve that whenever I’ve visited over the years. Here’s how:
First, let me say that these tips apply only to live poker table games in Las Vegas. They will probably not be effective (unless you’re a real pro) at online poker rooms, at card rooms around the country such as Tupelo, MS and those scattered across Southern California. They don’t even apply to the poker rooms in Reno. Why? All those poker venues are full of pro or semi-pro players, waiting for a happy, clueless fish (like you or me) to join the game. On the other hand, Las Vegas, while it certainly has its pro players, is also full of tourists there for a good time and not caring if they lose a few hundred bucks. That’s the key.
Keep in mind that, at a live table game, you’re not playing against the casino; you’re playing against other civilians like yourself and the casino doesn’t care who wins. They provide a dealer (who does not play a hand) to make sure all the rules are followed and they get their profit by taking a small percentage of each pot. All the rest of the money on the table belongs to the players and is passed back and forth among them.
If you’re not already familiar with poker, get your basic training at home with an introductory book and friends playing for pennies. Make sure you understand the basic mechanics of how to play either 7-Card Stud or Hold-em, the two most popular poker games.
Once you’re in Vegas, don’t just sit down in the first poker game you see. Search out a poker room in a casino/hotel with lots of tourists wandering around and look for a low-limit game. Before telling the card room manager that you’re ready to join a game, watch for a few minutes. If only two or three players get involved in most hands and most hands don’t go all the way to the showdown at the end, walk away and look for a game somewhere else. However, if there are at least four or five players involved in most hands and most hands go all the way to the showdown, that’s the game you want. It’s called a “loose” game, where many of the players are enjoying themselves playing almost every hand even if they don’t have good cards. Get yourself a seat.
So, you’re seated at a real poker table in a low-limit game (which means that the maximum bet is perhaps $3 or $5) with maybe $50 of chips in front of you and you get your first opening cards. It’s not a bad hand; maybe a small pair that could get improvement as the hand proceeds. What do you do? When it’s your turn to act, throw them away. Slide the cards, face down, back toward the dealer and wait for the next hand. Here is the single most critical decision you can make if you’re hoping to turn a profit in a loose game: Throw away all opening cards that do not make a strong hand. (Your introductory poker book will have given you details about what constitutes strong opening cards.)
Maybe you’ll get involved in only two or three hands per hour. Maybe an hour will pass and you don’t get involved in any hands. That’s OK; the right cards will come eventually. In the meantime, watch the personalities and playing styles of the other players, admire the cocktail waitresses in the skimpy costumes, watch the parade of humanity through the casino. Relax and WAIT FOR THE RIGHT CARDS! Patience and discipline. Make that your internal mantra: Patience and discipline.
OK, your patience has been rewarded: You’ve got a pair of kings to open. You put some money in the pot and the game proceeds. When you’ve seen some more cards, it becomes clear that, while your kings have not gotten any help at all, the player across the table has improved his hand and is betting out strongly. What do you do? Throw those kings away and wait for the next good hand. The second most critical decision you can make: If it appears likely that someone else has a better hand, get out! It doesn’t matter that you’ve already put money in the pot; there is no sense in throwing more money in. Here’s the principle you want to follow: If it’s likely you have the strongest hand, bet and raise. If it’s likely you don’t have the strongest hand, get out and wait for the next time. Patience and discipline.
Will you win every hand? No, of course not. But in a low-limit game with tourists playing weak cards, it’s very likely indeed that, playing only good cards, you’ll win more than you lose. That’s the goal.
And did I mention cocktail waitresses? Do NOT drink alcohol while you’re playing poker. Stick totally to soft drinks as alcohol will destroy your discipline; that’s why the casinos give away the drinks for free.
Once you’ve gotten some experience and had some success in Vegas poker, you’re ready to step up to the next level: Find out when the next big convention is taking place (preferably a medical convention), and schedule your trip to Vegas to match. Go to a casino/hotel where many of those doctors are staying and watch the card room: If you see a loose game in medium-limit poker (maximum bet $25 or $50), sit down and get back some of those riches you’ve paid to pediatricians and orthodontists over the years.