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Survival Guide for Internet Gambling:

J. Phillip Vogel 03:00 Aug 23rd, 2006 Online Gambling

10 Simple Rules to Play, Win and Live By Part 2

We continue the Survival Guide for Internet Gambling with Rules #6-10.

Rule #6: Stop the bleeding: Set valid limits Don't adopt the mindset to play to your last dollar. Successful gambling hinges on is the ability to control impish impulses and properly manage that bankroll. Setting limits on how much you're going to risk for the day is a useful tool that will help you develop discipline and serve to protect you from being totally wiped out during a particularly bad run of luck. Personally, I always set a loss limit of 50% of my bankroll. Although high to some player, I find 50% to be comfortable, allowing me to walk away and lick my wounds with a sizeable portion of my money safe and secure.

Rule #7: Have a clear goal What's the goal of gambling? To win money. But such a broad description can be counterproductive in the mania-inducing setting of the casino floor. How much is enough? If I started with $100 and am up to $600, how much of that $600 should I continue to put at risk? If I lose $300 of it, should I leave with the remaining $200 profit in tact, or try to win back what I once had?

On any given day in a casino, most players are ahead as some point. The problem is they don't know when to quit. They simply want more, and more. And that's how they start losing. Just wanting to win money isn't enough of a goal. Be more specific. Outline your goal for any gambling session and do you best to reach it. But make those goals realistic, preferably based on both your skill level and your bankroll. If you're a solid player starting out with a $1,000 bankroll, try to win 30%--$300. If you're a beginner, consider a lower profit rate of 10-20%. Then, regardless of your level, once you've reached your goal, put aside your original bankroll plus a tidy profit and play with the rest. This keeps you in the game to possibly earn more, while simultaneously locking in a profit.

Rule #8: Heed the payout percentage In online gambling, most reputable sites allow visitors to review the payout percentage history. Although its usefulness is limited to games where skill is a major factor, such percentages from chance games-like slots-offers players a peek at what type of battle they'll be fighting.

Rule #9: Take advantage of comps…but don't chase them Unlike traditional casinos whose comps involve cash, rooms, food, and entertainment, online casinos are limited to one, crucial freebee-money. These comps take many forms including new player bonuses, VIP programs, retuning player rewards, referral fees and so on. Be sure to maximize these rewards whenever possible. For example, if you're a new member and plan to wager $200, deposit it all in one shot rather than splitting it into three or four separate deposits. This frequently earns more free cash, since new player comps are often based on a percentage of that initial deposit. In addition, be familiar with the site's continuing promotions and know how best to use them to your advantage. Do they comp player deposits monthly? Is there a "Player's Club" where you can earn points for play? Can you earn cash back on losses?

Although comps are an important bankroll booster, don't let them sway your judgment to the point where earning that comp becomes the be-all, end-all-even to the point of decimating your bankroll. Comps earned as a part of your natural play are wonderful little treats, but don't ever, ever chase after them. They're just not worth it.

Rule #10: Find a site that supports your preferences Our last rule is also one that many new online players overlook. When choosing a site, don't buy in to the hype and marketing gimmicks used to draw you in. Do your own research-visit web portals, or read unbiased reviews online and in reputable gaming magazines-and use that information to help find a site that fits you the best. For example, a slots player should choose a site that offers a large selection of such games, AND provides special comps, reward programs and other suitable benefits. A blackjack player, on the other hand, might want to find a site that offers multiple versions of the game, preferably ones featuring reduced-edge rules.

Just following these simple rules won't transform you into a gambling guru overnight. There's a lot more involved in successful gambling, be it for recreation or a profession. But this is a good start. Incorporate each of these rules into your play, actively work to improve your basic skills, and strive to become the best possible player: a knowledgeable one. Just remember, unlike that street thug, you don't have to give the casino anything.