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Gamble for a Weekend and Go Home Happy

  • MBI/Alamy

    How To Go Gambling and Return Home Happy

    Have fun and try to win some money, but remember the odds are stacked against you.

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  • Eric Robison/Alamy

    Remember That You’re Never “Due” To Win

    It’s called gambler’s fallacy for a reason: No matter how metaphysical your beliefs (sorry, karma!), the roulette ball is never due to fall on red, and the slot machine is never due for a row of sevens. In the majority of games you’ll find at a casino, each round has its own set of odds — independent of anything that happened before.

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  • Tetra Images/Alamy

    Set a Loss Limit Beforehand

    This seems obvious, but it’s the most important rule. You can’t control the cards you’re dealt or the dice you roll — but you can, and should, control how much money you spend, as well as how long you play. Setting these limits puts you in command of your resources and prevents you from going overboard. Apply positive thinking: Consider the money you allot to gambling part of the cost of your getaway. The more you keep, the bigger your “win.”

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  • Skip Caplan/Alamy

    Know How to Quit While You’re Ahead

    It’s not a bad idea to set a win limit as well. You can allow yourself to win more than that limit — but don’t let yourself fall back below it. Some people choose to implement this later on in the session, when they have a better sense of how they’re doing. (You don’t want to cut yourself off after winning $100 in the first 15 minutes, for instance.) But the main thing is to avoid the terrible feeling of being up a lot of money — then watching it disappear.

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    No Equivocating!

    No matter how strong the desire for one more hand or one more roll, hold yourself to the limits you’ve set. Some choose to leave their credit and debit cards behind on gambling night.

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    Play the Games You Enjoy

    Certain games give you a better chance of winning than others: Blackjack, for instance, offers better odds than roulette. But part of the fun is playing a range of games and seeing what you like most. Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of each game, and try to formulate strategies for winning. Consider it a learning experience: Thinking about it this way may help soften the blow if Lady Luck turns against you.

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  • LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH/Alamy

    Take Breaks

    While you’re playing, and even after you’ve cashed in your chips (or swallowed your losses), take time to breathe and enjoy your surroundings. There’s a reason why ESPN broadcasts the World Series of Poker and why Rounders is one of Matt Damon’s best movies (seriously, see it): Gambling is just plain fun to watch. It’s easy to get swept up in someone else’s winning streak or to find yourself rooting for a stranger’s comeback. And it’s another good way to learn how the games are played.

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  • D. Hurst/Alamy

    Don’t Gamble All Weekend!

    The best way to avoid a disappointing weekend of gambling is to make it more than a weekend of gambling. Carve out time to have fun doing other things — cheap or free things, if you can. Take a stroll along the beach, check out museums, or grab some grub at a buffet. Wherever you are, the point is to make your weekend about more than just cards and craps tables. Make it an anxiety-free getaway, where the gambling is just gravy.

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