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Emotional/Mental strategy for Baccarat/gambling

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by tom4u, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. tom4u

    tom4u
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    It’s so easy, they say.

    Just pick banker or player, they say.

    Easy game, they say.

    Then you proceed to lose one hand after another. And before you know it, you’re buried.

    Isn’t gambling fun though?!


    We experience emotional/mental rollercoasters when gambling. It’s a natural inevitability because the outcome determines a win/lose scenario. The duration of the gambling and amounts affect us differently base on the value and meaning we have to the money won/loss.

    If you experience a few wins, it may not necessarily be the amount itself that gives you the high. It’s the fact that you won! You went up against the house, and beat them. That feeling of winning is amazing.

    The other aspect of winning is the actual amount. If you’re a hobbyist gambler, you’re eventually going to gamble at a level that is thrilling to you. Which means in your mind, you have an idea of what a “small” win is and a “big” win is. The result of your trips or session will be base on that personal definition.

    This will have a large impact on your overall feelings of “success” of that gambling trip.

    You will play at a level that is thrilling to you, although most wouldn’t admit it, most people probably play bigger than they should bankroll wise. Which will mean that the results will affect your overall mood. Whether you believe it or not.

    We talk and share gambling strategies but from personal observation, I notice there is very little sharing of “strategies” of what I believe to be the most important aspect of gambling.

    Your mental/emotional balance and maintaining it’s health while gambling. Which will have a direct impact on your potential results. You will either lose the “expected” amount mathematically or you will lose more than you expected base on tilt. Your emotions and mental decision making becomes unbalanced due to cumulative losses.

    We don’t bet then expect to lose. Otherwise we wouldn’t be there.

    We bet and expect/hope to win on each bet made. So when our internal expectations are not met, just as in normal every day life, we naturally are disappointed. Except in gambling, we have the immediate power to sabotage ourselves even further by increasing our bets, betting more often, and taking more risks.

    Every gambler knows this is true. When winning, most stay within their comfort zone and betting levels. When losing, conservative mindset is thrown out the window and we try to get even by taking higher risks. Just to get even or up a little bit. Hence the most popular method of gambling, martingaling.

    It’s so easy to press when losing, because we “need” to make that back. It’s so much harder to press when winning, why? Because we naturally want to protect our “win”.

    Most of my gambling experience is from poker and baccarat with some blackjack (I count using the KO system).

    I would like to discuss mental/emotional strategies when playing Baccarat and offer some views as that seems to be the game I share common interest with from members here. However, I think emotional/mental awareness can help in any gambling situation.


    Baccarat. In my opinion.


    On the surface it appears the battle is between you and the house.

    It is NOT.


    The house will pay you if you win, take your money if you lose. That’s it.


    Your opponent however, is yourself. You are battling against an opponent that is just as smart as you, but way more ruthless.


    It is known that Baccarat has caused many gamblers to literally go broke. The game appears to be so easy, pick a side, coin flip essentially. But the underlying psychological trauma a player experiences while playing this game over time can be dangerous.


    In order to make that bet, you have to decide what side of the coin you want, Banker or Player. You are human, so “seeing” patterns is inevitable. After careful thought, you pick banker since all signs point to it. You make your bet, and now have an expectation to hit banker for the win.

    You draw 5.

    Player draws natural 9.

    You lose.


    You win a few hands, lose a few and it’s the middle of the shoe by now. You are even, money wise. However, we often underestimate our cumulative emotions. Yes you are even, but if you made it to the middle of the shoe, then that means at least 30-45mins has gone by. You start to feel a waste of time and earlier opportunities weren’t capitalized. It gets frustrating to not make progress when you invested your time and energy. You may sense your patience is dwindling. While at the same time, you observe other people winning which compiles further frustration.


    You are not even in your gambling battle. You are losing in the sense of becoming less balance emotionally/mentally within yourself. You may choose to put on a good front on the surface (smiling, laughing, not bothered by the lack of progress), but realistically underneath…you’re starting to steam. This lack of awareness and acceptance means your opponent, you, is starting to win the gambling battle.


    It’s a slippery slope and you increase your risks, little by little, justifying it along the way. Being more aggressive than your normal baseline of plays. Then Boom!!! You even. Yay! …. Most of the time, boom, you lose more than you expected.


    In order to minimize the harmful cumulative aspects of gambling, you have to increase your skills of self-awareness. Sensing every little change within yourself. You are a fine tuned person and when you are not balanced, you know you will make decisions that you normally wouldn’t make. That’s the first step.


    You have to learn to “control” your emotions. We justify that it’s fun, but come on, it’s about winning. And the amount matters. That’s why we do it. Don’t hide behind some simple thought that it’s fun. It’s not fun when you lose. No one likes to lose. And when you lose, which you will, it will come down to how well you can control yourself and the skill of discipline is needed. I’m talking about Baccarat. Within one shoe, if you keep track of all your hands played (most people do not keep track), you will “see” very clearly that you are close to being half right and half wrong over a decent sample of hours of baccarat. Weather you win or lose was because of those increased bets at crucial times.


    You need to understand why you chose to make an increased bet at that particular time? Why didn’t you start out making a “big” bet early on? Or another time.
     
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  2. tom4u

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    People are kind of lazy when it comes to self awareness/self improvement. Yes I make such a claim. We often think we are in control. Not taking into account that we are vulnerable to so many factors that losing control is so easy.


    Ideally, when you’re gambling you want to be robotic like.


    If you can minimize your emotions, that would be best. Since your opponent is already at an advantage. The house has no emotions and each result will not affect the house’s action. Every hand will occur and play out, as it should. The house doesn’t have to make a decision.


    You do.


    That’s where the real advantage is besides the math (for the house). If you are unbalanced emotionally, you will take higher risks, yes you may win this time but if you are expected to lose half the time (coin flipping) then your higher risk will lead to your gambling downfall.


    I take my gambling seriously. Therefore, I do my “homework”. I learn about the game as much as I can. I read. I also practice on improving my skills that I think are needed to be a “good” gambler which means I train my mind. I do mental exercises. I do breathing exercises. When you are about to play a sport, its expected you practice on non game days. It’s expected you put in a lot of time and effort. It’s expected you warm up before the game. Things unfold during a game that you didn’t expect and it’s expected you adapt base on your experience and skill sets.


    When I go gamble, it’s a matter of winning or losing, similar to a sport, so why wouldn’t I train the same?!


    I work hard for my money. Why would I want to put it at risk with little to no preparation? WHY?!


    The battle when gambling is you vs your mental self. In order to “win” you must be mentally tough. You must be able to accept losing once in awhile and it’s ok to take a loss. You must be able to recognize signs within yourself that base on a few outcomes; you may not be able to play with your best self. If you are injured, would coach put you in? come on now. Why play at a disadvantage when the house will always be there.


    Superstition, atmosphere of gambling can be used as a positive excuse. If the mood is not right, your gut is telling you otherwise, not feeling it… leave. Play another time.


    Be aware of the concept of intermittent reinforcement. It’s the most powerful kind of reinforcement and it will affect you, it already has. For baccarat, you will lose some hands, win some hands in relative short time. That built in concept for playing baccarat is super dangerous because you are human and will get hooked, believing you can win if you do this, do that, etc.


    In order to minimize all the potential damage by your other self (your opponent), it would help your chances if you have built in self rules for playing.


    For example, if you lose 4 hands in a row (whenever you chose to bet), you are not allowed to bet the next 5hands. Why? Is this some amazing math strategy?! NO.

    It’s intent is to protect yourself against yourself. It’s intent is to allow yourself to reset, remind, re-evaluate, compose yourself again. A time out while the other team is making a run against you. Mentally stopping their momentum. To basically give yourself a chance before things get out of hand and you are buried.


    Set up personal rules to follow when gambling, and follow them. You are not smarter than every other failed gambler. You are human and possess flaws.


    Plan and strategize around those flaws. Be aware and help yourself.


    Getting mad, being annoyed, angry, coming up with excuses to blame everything else is a good way to justify things. It works…short term. But long term, you are killing yourself. Denial is a nice world to live in once in awhile.


    Learn to take responsibility, be accountable to yourself. Easier said than done. In gambling, most of the time, it was your fault when you win, it was your fault when you lose.


    Practice acceptance. Force yourself to take small wins. Take small losses. Over time, you will mentally/emotionally be balanced to that and will be able to handle tough gambling moments when they occur. That would be your form of practicing your skills before the next game/session.


    Be realistic in what an acceptable bankroll for a session is. If you lose it, end your session. Yes you may make a comeback if you dig deeper into your pockets. But your chances are low simply because you mentally are not balanced anymore so trusting any decision you make, banker or player base on your “reads” is laughable. Why play at even a further disadvantage?! Come back another session when you are mentally clear again. At least a few hours. If you feel the need to comeback asap, you are not ready and clear yet.


    If you made it to the end, thank you!


    I enjoy gambling and so far, I am up over the years. But I’ve taken huge losses along the way and every time I lost, I tried to examine the details and analyze and self reflected. For me what I realize is, the opponent I am up against when I gamble is me. And I need to outsmart myself, out play myself and out strategize myself.


    I do that by having better control of myself through awareness of self, and having personal rules I stick to since when I am losing, I can no longer trust myself.


    Yes you’re playing a negative expectation game in the long run, but you will never hit that long run. So why cant you win in the mean time, which I try to do. Put in your work, do your homework, and give yourself the best chance possible of winning…. Winning will naturally be very fun! So don’t worry about losing that “fun” by actually studying the game, learn some math, and work on yourself.


    You cant lose because at the very least, you are becoming a better person.


    Now let’s go play…… Monkey!!!!!!
     
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  3. PayTriple

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    Wow! Some deep stuff there.
     
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  4. shifter

    shifter
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    There's a reason the actual hold percentage for the casino on games is many times higher than the HA.

    Most gamblers eat like a bird and shit like an elephant.
     
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  5. Tellafriend

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    I am who I am; who else could I be?
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    This ^^^
     
  6. VEGASBJ

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    TLDR
     
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  7. Dreamsh!t

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    great writing and agree 100%. i used to go to Vegas during the big events, but have found, that my mind and prep work were not right. This led to almost guaranteed losses, due to the excessive adrenaline, and distractions. i now sneak in on non peak weekends or midweek if the goal is to risk my money.

    I still come out out for most March Madnesses but stay off the tables, and prebet most of my bball games.

    thanks for the perspective.
     
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  8. tom4u

    tom4u
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    I just think when it comes to gambling, we truly underestimate the hidden disadvantages.

    For example, every educated gambler will yell at the top of their lungs to anyone willing to listen... DO NOT play 6:5 blackjack. play 3:2 blackjack. It's easy to hear from others and then repeat the advice without really understanding the math and just trusting others who are more educated on the issue knows best. They know they are at a bigger disadvantage playing 6:5 compared to 3:2.... it's easy to see.

    But emotional stability is such an invisible concept that we take for granted and yet it has a huge impact on our potential to win/lose.
    If you just had a fight with a spouse, mental and emotionally all over the place.... you are now at a huge disadvantage to win when you gamble. Especially in any game that requires discipline... which would be baccarat since it's a very dangerous game to get buried quickly in.

    Not sure if my analogy works, but hopefully you understand what I mean.

    I'm off to go gamble now.
     
  9. shifter

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    Absolutely.

    Controlling my emotions has been the single biggest learning process in my gambling career. I've spent lots of time thinking about it over the years and many processes to clear bad emotions.

    I have a clearing process that I use before each session when necessary. The times that I haven't checked my emotions and gone into a session after a fight or some other emotional event are the times when I've gotten wrecked in a hurry.

    It's one of the reasons I prefer to gamble during the day now. My mind is fresher and I think more clearly and don't let my emotions control me as much.
     
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