“If you're gonna play the game boy, you gotta learn to play it right.”

Kenny Rogers

Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.” No place is this more evident than in the gambling and gaming industry. Just like in the animal kingdom, only the strong survive. Those bums that lose all of their money gambling just don't know how to win; they play by the book, they get dependent on the book, and as soon as they hit a bump in the road, they don't know how to recover. Winning is the most addictive drug out there, and like all good drugs, you cannot quit winning. The people who go to Gambler’s Anonymous are there because they cannot win, and have decided to give up losing.

The feeling of winning and the feeling of taking down the house surpasses any exam you have aced or any beej you have received. As a person who more than enjoys stepping into a casino with the dream of winning big, more often than not I end up drunk, poor, and passed out on a slot machine, but for some reason, I still return to the casino, knowing I will win it all back. A little cold streak has never stopped a winner from turning into a champion. Even when dissecting the word “gambling” you can see it is made up from two smaller words, “game” and “bling.” Basically, gambling is the art of playing games to win bling (expensive, shiny things for all of my Caucasian friends).

First and foremost, forget the stats and forget the facts. When approaching a casino, trying to make it your personal money tree, the last thing you should be thinking about is how many people killed themselves, or how much money addicts pump into the gambling industry. Gambles are made by trusting your gut instinct, not by making the right decision. If you were to go by the book every single time you rolled the dice, you would not be gambling, you would be playing by the rules, and conforming to the odds. The rule is simple: the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Who the hell would have the cajones to bet against Indy, New England, Dallas and Seattle all in the same week? Yet in Week 14 all of these heavyweights lost to a weaker team, and somewhere some asshole is reaping the benefits.

A little overconfidence and a lot of alcohol later, the Indians came out on top too.

A casino is one of the only places that attacks all five senses simultaneously. Bells, whistles, change dropping, and people yelling all flood your ears. Commotion and lights flash more than celebrity vagina. The sweet smell of buffet and cigars gets your attention. Your hands start to sweat and clam up because you start to get a little nervous, and you know it’s time to make money. Last but not least, there’s the taste. Besides victory and success, the taste of gambling is bestowed within our old friend, alcohol. Not only does the alcohol taste good, but it slowly chips away at your nervousness, and enhances your ability to make correct decisions. Just remember, there are no losers when alcohol is involved, only good excuses.

When arriving at the casino, there are two things you must do before playing: get a drink, and hit the ATM. Make sure you take out lots of money to get started, because once you turn that into winnings, you’re well on your way to victory and success. You know the saying, “a little bit goes a long way”? Well, a lot goes even further. People often advise setting a limit before entering a casino. Bad idea. In fact, it’s smarter not to set a limit—the more money you bet, the more money you win, and you don't want to limit how much you can win, do you?

When going to a table, make sure you approach it with the utmost confidence. Sit down at a seat, take a sip of your drink, and let the winning begin. Look the dealer in the eye at all times. This lets him or her knows who is boss, and that you’re not there to fuck around. Dealers are like dogs: they can smell fear, and if you don't present yourself with an aura of confidence, they will prey on you like a mangy street cat. One you’ve begun the ass-kickery, start gloating, celebrating, swearing, and calling people out. Let everyone—including the dealer—know that you are the alpha male of the table. If they do not submit to you, show them your genitals; if they look away, they are your bitch, if they don't, it is time to fight.

Although each game is different, they are also all the same. As long as you bet properly, it doesn't matter which game you play—you will win. You don't even have to know what game you are playing because with confidence and intimidation on your side, you will be successful—it’s the old adage, “winners always win.” For example, in poker, you may have the worst hand, but as long as you continue to bet and raise every single time, you will instill fear in the other players. Call out the other players, insult them, get them frustrated and off their game, and let them make the mistake, so they know you mean business. Forget any of this bush league “check, raise, raise and raise again,”—I cannot emphasize this enough. Remember, there are no stupid bets, only stupid people.

If you want to make money, stick to the table games. Playing slot machines is a one-way ticket to bankruptcy; not because they pay out less, or the odds of winning are low, but because you’re playing against a machine. That Russian chess player Kasparov lost to the IBM machine, not because he was a shitty chess player, but because he was playing against a robot. I’ve seen The Matrix, I, Robot and Terminator—robots are only good for automatically mowing your lawn, vacuuming your house, and giving porn stars orgasms, not gambling.

And perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind at all times: if you end up losing your initial investment, return immediately to the ATM to withdraw more cash. A winner without cash has merely allowed the house to borrow a bit of money before taking it all back… with interest.

Now that you have established your mentality to winning money and respect, you must learn the four basic strategies to betting.

If you are losing, just remember, you are due for a big pay out.

This mentality is the best when playing games like roulette with relatively the same odds for the player and the house. If the ball lands on black five times in a row, don't change your bet, keep it on red. No streak lasts forever—sooner or later the dealer will lose, and you’ll be left with a large payout.

When winning a lot, keep betting, you are on a roll.

This strategy is the opposite of being “due,” but only applies when you are the one winning. When the dealer wins several hands, he is not on a roll, he is taking your money, and you are due for a big win. When you are winning, there’s no point in stopping the success, so increase your bets accordingly. Hell, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Keep betting while you’re ahead.

This is similar to being on a roll, but takes place over the time frame of an evening. If you’re gambling for a long period of time, and are up a significant amount of money, some people say you should quit playing, so you walk away a winner. But what’s the point in quitting while you’re ahead? If the Allies quit while they were ahead in World War II, we would have lost, right?

Never cut your losses and go.

Cutting your losses is a strategy used by three kinds of people: quitters, pussies, and quitting pussies. This strategy is used when you have lost some of your money, and try to save yourself, by quitting, and getting out of the game before you lose any more. This is a retarded strategy, since, little do people know, they are due for a big pay out. It's science.

Now that you have learned the basics of gambling, you’re ready to get rich. Remember, casinos are designed to pay out money—if they didn't, no one would ever go. The casino staff wants you to take their money. Sometimes, if you win too much money, they’ll even take you to a back room and give you a stern talking to. All they’re really concerned about is that you’re taking too much of their money, and they won't have enough to go around to all the players. Fuck 'em. If you know how to beat them, do it. I’m giving you the lemons, here, all you have to do is make lemonade.