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Any cure for the terminally low-roller?

Discussion in 'Las Vegas for the Frugal (not Cheap)' started by MisterJJ, Jun 23, 2012.

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  1. MisterJJ

    MisterJJ Low-Roller

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    Background:
    I grew up lower-middle-class. Had low paying jobs after High School. Always got along okay by being very frugal. Eventually went to college. Became an Engineer. Married a professional (No, not that kind of "professional"... a Nurse). Stayed a low-roller through all the years. I would collect gaming coupons and play them all and I would be disappointed if I didn't pay for the entire trip with the proceeds. Most times I was not disappointed.

    Now:
    I'm making a good salary and wife is making an even better salary. This last trip I decided that I would try to break from my low-roller ways and put some more money at risk. I was a complete failure. I had some good luck for the first two days but with only betting $5-$10 a shot at blackjack that only came out to about +$250. At this point I'm afraid to increase my bets for fear of wiping out my gains. I know I can afford to lose the gains and more but I simply hate the idea of losing money. Sadly, if I had been losing I would have done the same thing because I would be in fear of having a large loss at the end of the trip. Losing $300+ would be a large loss to me, psychologically, not financially.

    So... I really wish I could become comfortable with losing a bit of money so I can also see the potential of larger wins. Any ideas on how to do this?
     
  2. BlueSkadoo

    BlueSkadoo VMB Sweetheart

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    No, but I'm interested to see what responses you get. I have the same issue (well, except for a spouse's income). It's more the idea that I'm "giving away" my money, no matter how much I tell myself that its the cost of entertainment, and that you have to play to win.
     
  3. rayout

    rayout Newbie

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    I am a fellow engineer and also very fiscally conservative :D

    Check out this website to learn more about the games you like to play: http://wizardofodds.com/

    For me, I have decided to stick with video poker. There are machines with positive expected value (you need to know how to play the hands though!) so over the long run you should come out ahead. Also the players club bonuses help too. Even on the machines that don't have the best payouts, if you gamble at some of the lower key hotels you have the opportunity to get comped rooms and freeplay during the off season - which is when you visit anyways if you are a cheapo like me:rolleyes2:
     
  4. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    I am a micro roller for just that reason. i cant over the mental effects of losing.

    If I get the cw's attention and get good service then i consider that a win. if i cash out some money then its like christmas morning.

    You should have seen me when i won $960 on actual christmas morning. that was really something.

    Of course i only put a $5 in the machine at a time, if i hit say $7, i will cash out, put the slip in my pocket and put another $5 or $10 in.

    I just imagine the things i could buy with that money.

    i think until we can get over this then we wont change much.
     
  5. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Just because you're doing better now, doesn't mean you have to increase your bet size. Be comfortable in your gaming. It's not a contest.

    Yes, we have some very big gamblers on this board, but we have many people who play penny slots.

    My wife and I were discussing gambling and what would happen if we won that 600+ million lottery jackpot a few months ago. My bets would definitely go up and she is conviniced she would stay with quarter VP.
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  6. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    A couple of thoughts about the situation rather than the question at hand:

    Those sayings like "know your limit and play within it" or "play smart" and all that for gambling don't just mean financially, but also mentally - its not just about what you can afford to lose, but what you can deal with losing.

    The other thing is: it doesn't sound like you necessarily want to gamble more, so you might need to ask why you feel like you need to.

    To that end you have to look at why you want to gamble more:

    If you gamble for entertainment and have a good time playing the low stakes at the tables and sticking with mostly penny slots... then it doesn't really make sense to want to gamble at higher stakes.

    If you want to have that thrill of the big win then you have to understand that it does come with the occasion agony of the big loss and you have to be willing to accept that.

    In that case you can't look at what that money could have done for you. If somebody goes to the casino and they normally take $200 with them and if they lose they have an "oh well" attitude... then if the next time they go and instead take $2000 with them if they lose they still have to have that "oh well" attitude.

    And to that end: if you lose you have to be able to accept the loss. If you can't then you start getting in to the area of problem gambling where you might end up chasing losses, mentally beating yourself up about it or just keep taking another kick at the can figuring the casino owes you or your luck has to turn around at some point.
     
  7. MisterJJ

    MisterJJ Low-Roller

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    Hehe. Us engineers think alike. I've been checking that site for over 10 years (used to be thewizardofodds.com). Lot's of time on BJ21.com too. Knowing how the odds stack up just reinforces my aversion to increasing bets.

    You may be on to something with VP though. Increase variance and potential larger wins with no increase of house edge. I've played VP here and there and have been freakishly lucky (just positive variance, I know). I'm comfortable with $.25 VP. I've done a limited amount of $1 VP and have not been comfortable with the potential loss rate. The problem I have with VP is that I like JOB but it is difficult to find full pay machines at the $.25 level (although I haven't tried too hard). I know there are other options that have better return but I find the complexity of the strategies to be a turn off. Looking up the correct play every few hands becomes more like work than play.

    To address others comments about sticking with my comfort level... The problem is that I could have a very good streak at my betting level and the win won't mean a whole lot to me. As has been discussed elsewhere, gambling is only interesting for most if the potential win can have some significance. I find that winning $300 is not significant but losing $300 is significant. So, I'm looking for a way to be comfortable with losing $300+ so I can hope for winning $300+.
     
  8. Vegas Dave

    Vegas Dave Newbie

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    ^ Agreed that if I sat at a machine and had to look up correct plays, then it would no long be entertainment...
     
  9. ROTJob

    ROTJob Tourist

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    Since you are obviously not concerned with earning comps, consider learning to play poker. If you acquire a decent skill level, you can buy in for $200 and play for hours and hours. If you acquire an above average skill level, you can have a + expected value per day, since most people suck at it. It also allows you to sit there drinking for free all day long.
     
  10. gongoman

    gongoman MIA

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    Ya know no one has a formula --

    It's just Brains......
     
  11. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I could barely gamble the first few trips I made to Vegas - I was a grad student, working part (then full) time so I didn't have a lot of money. But even with the money I did have- I kept thinking to myself "I could be buying shoes". I started playing craps so I get better entertainment value for the money I do choose to spend on gambling, but gambling will never be the sole focus of Vegas for me. And that's ok:thumbsup:

    (I occasionally play video poker - I did the Bob Dancer training for a couple years so I could play strategically but it's too much thinking when I'm drinking - also why I don't play blackjack, which my sister & BIL - both engineers - tend to love)
     
  12. dunebug81

    dunebug81 VIP Whale

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    I used to be like you when I first started going to the casino. Losing $200 was just an insane amount of money I remember watching guys play blackjack and baccarat with green chips and thought that was just crazy. Fast forward a few years and my avg bet is more than an entire days bankroll from a few year ago and dropping $10,000 over a weekend hardly phases me. It's all about what you feel comfortable playing.
     
  13. rayout

    rayout Newbie

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    This site is what you need. Plenty of full pay machines off strip and downtown. I love downtown :D

    http://www.vpfree2.com/casinos/by-region/las-vegas.html
     
  14. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    I think there's a difference in what you can afford to lose and what you feel comfortable losing. I wonder if you're thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I don't think it is. It's not a bad thing to play low limits for fun and being happy with small wins and breaking even. There's people out there that wish they had our problem.
     
  15. luvstp

    luvstp High-Roller

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    Another engineer here....and married to one also! :kiss: I don't think anyone likes losing money....but when I look at our financial situation (no kids, no debt and no desire for a boat or a second house, etc), I have to ask myself what we're saving this money for? So, we both play video poker and he plays some tables while I enjoy some slots. We have an emotional loss limit and that's what we stick to. I would love to play all $ triple play, but usually play single play as it can get a bit uncomfortable at the triple losses....

    We have a spreadsheet that tracks our expenses and our income--looking at the options and our gambling expenses makes it easier to lose money when you know it's within your total budget.
     
  16. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Yes, yes, and yes!!

    No contest.

    I was just telling some friends that I am the type to become a millionaire and buy a Toyota Camry 2003 and pay $300 in rent. I'm a bit of a cheapskate; not because resources are critically lacking but because bang for my buck is so much more invigorating!

    I mean, is it worth playing 25K at a time to *potentially* win a few more thousands, or playing $300 and losing it all....but still having that "extra" 25K to your name?

    I'm sure high-rolling comes with some serious euphoria with a good win but an excellent win is still attainable with so much less.
     
  17. keno60

    keno60 VIP Whale

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    I saw a vegas show that said Bill Gates only plays $5 a hand blackjack!
    Be happy, because of our upbringing we have guilt feelings for various reasons, waste, sin, etc. It took me about 5 years to go from a bankroll of $80 to $1,000. I have been a teacher all my life, with no trust fund or inheritance. I am frugal in other aspects almost all, thats how I justify my "entertainment". Also when you take advantage of the comps, Vegas is the cheapest vacation I can find. I live on a humid coast and I really enjoy the mountains and dry air. All of these things help me. Good luck
     
  18. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    You don't need a cure. It's a chronic condition you'll need to find a way to live with. :peace:
     
  19. MisterJJ

    MisterJJ Low-Roller

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    And that is what I'm looking for. In 20 years I've moved from a bankroll of about $300 to a bankroll of about $300. Although my bankroll is more "flexible" now, meaning I would probably go over $300 if I had an extended bad run.

    I guess I should just accept that I'm never going to be comfortable with risking larger sums of money. I think I will pursue VP more, expecting more losing sessions but also more significant wins.
     
  20. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    Don't give up JJ. Just try something different - everyone has a different trigger.

    Have you tried "quitting" cold turkey? Separate from your usual $300 bankroll, take $500 from an ATM, find the nearest $5 slot machine on your last day in Vegas, and commit to walking away from that machine with $0 in your pocket. Better yet...find a friend, split the amount, and both blow it. Fast-as-you-can. With lots of beverages. If you are able to start this task, I suspect you'll be able to finish it too...if your luck at slots is anything like mine. :evillaugh The less planning that goes into this experiment, the more you'll enjoy your trip. The more you think about doing it, the less likely it will work (if you try it at all).

    By your next trip to a casino, you'll know whether you can expand your bankroll and enjoy it. I suspect you won't enjoy the $500 spree...but hopefully you'll find on your next trip that your bankroll magically increased to $500...and that you'd be comfortable with more if you start getting comp'd. And if when planning your next trip to Vegas you think, "I'd rather go to Cancun and spend the money on snorkling," then you have your answer on increasing your bankroll.

    I don't know much about VP, but if you expect more losing hands and you don't increase your bankroll, doesn't that mean you'll spend even less time gambling? Or is that my slots luck talking?

    Good luck!
     
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