Saturday, May 07, 2005

Go Forth and Prosper

Ahh, it warms my degenerate heart to see bloggers take some of that dead casino bonus money off the table, padding their bankrolls.

One quick thing to note, though, before I go out to the weed-pulling, umm, weed mines, in my backyard. This falls into the been there, done that category, where I proudly share my donkey behavior with you as a cautionary tale.

Don't Be a Donkey Lesson #17

It's a very, very nice feeling to absolutely kill a casino bonus. Suddenly you're up +$800, you go to bed smiling, grinning ear to ear. You've cleared the WR and all you have to do is wait until that PIN gets to you, or you finish up late at night and don't immediately request a withdrawal, and wake up thinking, Hmm, maybe I'll play one more hand.

Danger, danger.

Resist the temptation to play one more hand, rolling the bones with a fairly big bet. At the very second you meet the WR, playing one more hand ceases to be +EV. (Yes, kids, with the right bonus it is +EV to play at casinos. Trust me.) When you hit the WR, that money is yours. Playing a single additional hand propels you into the world of -EV, into the world of gambling.

Now, I like to gamble, yes. I like to play BJ. I'm not making fun of anyone that likes to gamble. The point of all this is to make money, yes, but hopefully you're having fun, too. So if you want to blow off some steam after you clear a bonus playing roulette or craps, betting $5 a pop, knock yourself out. Have fun. I'm in no fashion saying that you can't do that, and that you have to be a cold, emotionless robot.

What I am saying, though, is that there's a particular danger involved when you do well on a bonus, when, for whatever reason, you don't immediately cashout. This has bitten me in the monkey ass on more than a few occasions. I tell myself: "Self, you absolutely destroyed them, and are way, way up. Bet $100 on one hand. Even if you lose, hey, you still killed them. It'll just be one hand. Come on self, give it a shot. You deserve it."

Bzzt. Wrong anwser. If you really want to do that, bet the $100 on a new sticky bonus, where aggressiveness like that pays dividends. The way you can truly make a mint on these casino bonuses is by locking in the profits on the smaller cashables ones and then aggressively rolling that into riskier ones with potentially much bigger dividends.

Sometimes you'll win that $100 bet. You'll win a smidge less than half the time, even. But it's far too easy to fall prey to the trap of losing that hand and thinking "Damnit, that was mine, I'll play one more, get it back, then quit." And you lose another hand. And another. And suddenly "one more bet" turns into a zero balance, and you sitting there, feeling like the biggest donkey in the world.

Pick your spots to gamble. Once you lock in a profit, lock it in. Save the gambling for later bonuses where that pays off, not when you've locked in a nice profit.

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