24 Jan

Wisdom Supersedes Luck in the World of Gambling

You need wisdom, not luck, to win at casino games.

You Need Wisdom, not Luck, to Win at Casino GamesA very wise man once said, “the smarter you play, the luckier you’ll be”. He actually repeats this phrase countless times, not just once. His name is Mark Pilarski, and he’s among the foremost experts on the subject of gambling.

For decades, he pitched cardboard in casinos from Lake Tahoe to the Jersey Shore. For mah of those years, he also published a column in an Atlantic City magazine with an extremely popular Q&A segment called Deal Me In. Pilarski was the Dear Abby of the gambling community, if you will. Despite succumbing to the call of retirement a few years back, Mark’s myriad words of wisdom can still be found on his website, www.MarkPilarski.com.

I find myself browsing his advice from time to time, especially when I need a little pick me up after a bad run. That’s precisely what I was doing today when I came across his sagely advice once again… “The smarter you play, the luckier you’ll be”.

Acquiring the Wisdom to Win at Casino Games

What is a smart casino player, then? Is it someone with a scientific calculator for a brain? Someone who can instantly figure out the sum of all parts and decipher the probable odds of any random outcome at the drop of a hat? Is it a person who has spent so many years gambling, they can tell you the exact RTP of all the slot machines on their favorite casino’s gaming floor?

No, it is none of these things. A smart gambler is one who understands the nature of the games, and makes smart decisions based on that knowledge.

Knowing that a particular slot machine has an RTP of 92.3% does not make you wise. Using that knowledge to avoid wasting your money on that game, or anything similar to it—that is wise.

Knowing the efficacy of a basic blackjack strategy combined with accurate card counting does not make a player wise, either. Taking the time to practice such a strategy, and work down a running count with unwavering accuracy—and being smart enough not to appear suspicious while doing it in a live casino—that is wise.

What it all boils down to is simply this…

It’s not the knowledge you possess, but how you use it.

Wisdom Supersedes Luck in the World of GamblingMr. Pilarski himself suggests that a smart gambler will never risk money on any wager with a house edge of more than 2%. This eliminates all slot machines at land-based casinos, and 99% of them found online. No more Roulette. No more card games, outside of Blackjack and Baccarat. Craps tables are useless beyond Pass, Come, and Odds bets. And don’t even think about playing Keno!

One of my previous articles details the top 5 online casino games with the lowest house edge. You can click over to that page for full details, or see below for a quick run down with return to player (RTP) and in most cases, where to find them:

  1. All Aced Video Poker by Microgaming – 99.92% RTP
  2. Vegas Single Deck Blackjack by Microgaming – 99.69% RTP
  3. Jacks or Better w/ 9/6 Full Pay by Betsoft – 99.54%
  4. Spanish 21 (Pontoon) – 99.24%
  5. Standard Baccarat w/ 5% commission – 98.94% (Banker), 98.76% (Player)

There are no guarantees in life, and far less in gambling. Luck can bring you the occasional improbable win. But as few and far between as those occasions tend to be, without smart decisions, your odds of getting ahead are… well, they aren’t pretty. Suffice to say, you don’t need luck to win at casino games. You simply need wisdom, because smart bettors are always luckier in the end. If not lucky enough to win, lucky enough to have lost substantially less.

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