What to do when you’re on a streak
At the casino, obviously. Not in a sporting arena or a college dorm – that’s a whole other kind of article. But what do you do at the casino when you’re on either a winning or a losing streak? How do you keep your good luck going, and how do you change your bad luck for the better? Let’s take a look.
Putting an end to a losing streak
If you’ve been playing for a while and things just aren’t going your way, it’s easy to get annoyed and frustrated, and to make a number of poor decisions as a result. So how do you turn things around and transform your losing streak into a winning one? Luckily, there are a number of strategies you can employ.
1. Don’t chase your losses
First rule of losing streaks – don’t ever, EVER chase your losses. When you’re in the hole, there’s no sense throwing good money after bad in an attempt to get out. You’ll only dig yourself in deeper.
If you find yourself at the wrong end of a streak, the first thing you need to do is minimize your losses, rather than maximize them. You might hear a little voice in your head telling you to just play one more hand or go for one more spin – but that’s a voice you’ll need to ignore if you want to protect what’s left of your bankroll.
Sometimes minimizing your losses means betting less money, sometimes it means stepping away from a gaming session altogether. You’ll have to assess your game play at the time, and adjust it accordingly. Often all you need is to come back and play the next day, and you’ll find your rhythm again in no time. All it takes is a little awareness, and a little self-control, and your fortunes could soon change overnight.
2. Resist the urge to tilt
We don’t mean ‘lean to the side’, we mean ‘lose your cool’. ‘Tilting’ is a term used in Poker to describe someone who loses their cool, becomes irrational and emotional, and starts making reckless decisions as a result – often to the detriment of their entire bankroll. And nobody wants to be that guy.
So if you’re on a losing streak that just won’t end, and you start to see red, it’s time to cool down before your bankroll goes up in smoke. Breathe, count to ten, step away from the game – whatever you need to do to regain control, do it. Even if that means cutting your gambling session short altogether. Rather end your gambling early than go into debt playing like a crazy person. The more level-headed you can be under the circumstances, the more you’ll be able to afford to come back and play another day.
3. Look after your bankroll
If there’s one thing you need to do when gambling online, it’s to protect your bankroll at all costs, especially when your bets aren’t going your way. While you might think the best way to recoup your losses would be to play at higher limits, in fact this is a crucial mistake that could have a devastating effect on your bankroll. Instead of betting bigger, and potentially losing it all, rather bet smaller, and play at lower limits instead. Even if your luck doesn’t change, you’ll still be losing less, and minimizing the long-term effect on your bankroll.
Remember that in order to keep your bankroll intact, it’s always a good idea to budget for your gambling as you would any other expense, and to set aside funds specifically for your online gaming. It’s also wise to set yourself limits as well – either on your wagering amount, your loss amount, or the amount of time you spend in the casino. Budget carefully, stick to your limits, and even if you find yourself on a losing streak, you’ll still be a bankroll winner at the end of the day.
4. Change things up
If your playing style isn’t working for you, it’s time to make a change and try something new. Nothing breaks a losing streak like literally breaking away from it, so take a time out from your game play for a while and focus your efforts somewhere else. If you’re at a brick and mortar casino, go for a walk around the floor and clear your head. If you’re gambling online, step away from your laptop or mobile device and find something else to do for a few minutes. When you come back to your game play, you could find yourself with a very welcome reversal of fortune.
Another useful trick is to change the game you’re playing altogether. Blackjack not giving you any joy? Switch to Poker. Not finding any wins on the slots? Give Roulette a spin instead. Sometimes changing your game, and having to switch to different rules and strategies as a result, can be all you need to turn your losing streak into a winning one.
5. Practice, practice, practice
Ok, this won’t necessarily help when you’re actually on a losing streak. But in order to avoid a run of bad luck in the first place, practice can genuinely help make perfect. Often the reason why some players find themselves on the losing end of a bet is because they just don’t know their game of choice well enough to make informed decisions. In order to avoid falling into the same trap, practice as much as you can and make sure you’re always at the top of your game when it comes to rules and strategy.
Sure, games like slots don’t require a lot of skill. But games like Poker and Blackjack can give you the control you’re looking for, as long as you know what you’re doing. The more you know about Poker and Blackjack and similar games like Video Poker, and the more strategies you practice, the more you can reduce the house edge in your favour. And in fact, if you’re up to date on slots pay tables and the various odds available on bets in Craps, you can improve your game play there as well. Play your favourite games for free while you learn, study up on pay tables and strategy charts, and do everything you can from your side to be the best player you can be. There’s no guarantee you’ll win of course, as luck is always an important factor, but you could help to significantly reduce your losses – and you can be sure your bankroll will thank you.
Prolonged losing streaks can often cause you to become emotional, frustrated, annoyed – and to make poorly advised decisions as a result. The worse your decision-making, the longer your losing streak could continue, and soon you might find yourself caught in a vicious cycle as a result.
The answer? To relax! Sure it’s easy to say when you’re not locked into the steel grip of a losing streak, but it really is just a game. And to actually understand that, you need to make a conscious effort to break away from your game play, press pause on the emotional gambling, and step away. Go for a walk, have a cup of coffee, watch an episode of a series, whatever it takes for you to move away from the session both physically and mentally. In fact, if you’ve been on the losing end for a while, it’s advisable to end your session for the day altogether, move onto other activities, and come back to it in the next day or so when you’re in a clearer, more stable headspace. The games will always be there waiting for you when you’re ready.
7. Think positively
This doesn’t just go for gambling – it goes for life too. The more positively you think and the more you look for the good in situations, the less inclined you’ll be to fall into a depressed, gloomy, resigned way of thinking. That doesn’t mean ignoring the negative completely, it means working through it in a constructive way and refusing to let it drag you down. The sooner you’re able to then move to a more positive mindset, the sooner you’ll be back on track – in your casino game, and in the game of life as well.
Capitalizing on a winning streak
So now that you have more than enough tools in your arsenal to pound any losing streak into dust, what do you do when the opposite happens and you find yourself on a winning streak? Let’s take a look.
1. Know how to identify a winning streak
It might sound fairly basic, but the first step to taking advantage of a winning streak is recognising that you’re actually on one to begin with. So when do you know, and when does your luck officially go from one or two winning bets to an actual bona fide winning streak?
Well, here you’ll need to depend on your experience to tell, and the type of game you’re playing too. The more often you play, the more you’ll be able to judge when the bets are going your way in a particular game, and the moves you keep needing to make to let the good luck continue. You’ll also learn to recognise when it’s time to cash out and leave the game before your winning streak turns into a losing one. Time, patience and experience – the three most important elements to identifying a winning streak when it happens.
2. Adopt a winning strategy
That’s not to say you aren’t using one already – you’re on a winning streak of course. But there are ways you can adjust your game play to ensure your good luck continues.
Firstly, just as you would on a losing streak, keep your emotions in check at all times, and play with a cool, clear head. Don’t start making rash decisions, don’t start placing bigger, riskier bets in search of bigger wins – just keep playing like the level-headed champ you are.
Secondly, if you do have the odd loss during your streak, don’t let it derail you – it’s completely normal. Winning streaks are about more winning bets than losing ones, so take it in your stride and make sure you stay with the strategy that’s working best for you.
Finally, just as you would with any other gambling session, you need to set yourself limits and stick to them – in this case, a limit on how much you’re willing to spend, how much you’re willing to bet, and how much you’d like to win. If you’ve been winning a few times in a row, you can look at increasing your bet size and capitalising off your winning streak – but if you find yourself losing after this, take your bet size back down again in order to minimise your losses. If you manage to hit the winning amount you’ve set for yourself, end your session and take the win – playing any longer might see you losing your hard-earned gains. And if you’re getting towards your desired winning amount, but are starting to hit your other limits, call it a day. No matter how hot you think your streak is, it’s never worth going over your self-imposed limits. Whether it’s big or small, a win is a win, and it’s always worth celebrating.
3. Quit while you’re ahead
We touched on this in the previous point, but we really wanted to hammer it home here. For your own sake (and the sake of your bankroll) always make sure you quit while you’re ahead. We know that it can be tempting to stay in the game for as long as possible when you’re on a roll, but just as losing streaks always turn at some point, so do winning streaks as well. The trick is to take advantage of your good luck for as long as you can, without getting caught in an eventual spiral of bad luck. How do you know when to get out while the going’s good? Experience, and sticking to your limits. Stay in control at all times, use your skills, and leave while you’re still in a good place financially. It’s this mindset that separates the winners from the losers, and it’s one that’ll stand you in good stead no matter what kind of luck you’re playing with.
Happy Spinning 🙂