Ten Commandments of Gaming

This is a great piece from one of the most renowned gamblers in the industry, Michael “The Wizard of Odds” Shackleford. Michael has published the 10 Commandments in several books including Gambling 102. This particular version is from his website

1) Thou shalt not cheat.

No explanation necessary.

2) Thou shalt honor thy gambling debts.

A true gentleman honors his debts, especially gambling debts. When making a bet with another person you are putting your honor on the line. If you lose, you pay. No excuses!

3) Thou shalt expect to lose.

The Las Vegas Strip was not built by winners. Even with good rules and strategy the odds will usually be in the casino’s favor. So don’t get mad if you lose. Think of it as the price you pay for entertainment.

4) Thou shalt trust the odds, not hunches.

If you want to maximize your odds believe in mathematically proven strategies, not hunches. If hunches are so great why are there so many psychics working the Boardwalk in Atlantic City as opposed to playing?

5) Thou shalt not over bet thy bankroll.

Determine what you can safely afford to spend before you gamble. Stick to your limits and don’t gamble with money you need for necessities.

6) Thou shalt not believe in betting systems.

For every one legitimate gambling writer there are a hundred charlatans trying to sell worthless betting systems promising an easy way to beat the casinos. I know it sounds like a cliché, but if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

7) Thou shalt not hedge thy bets.

Hedge bets usually carry a high house edge. For example, never take insurance in blackjack, never bet the any in craps or any seven in craps. However, exceptions can be made when insuring life changing amounts of money.

8) Thou shalt covet good rules.

Rules vary from casino to casino. To improve your odds know good rules from bad and then seek out the best rules possible.

9) Thou shalt not make side bets.

Side bets are sucker bets. Period.

10) Thou shalt have good gambling etiquette.

Gambling is a lot more fun when people are polite and respect each other. It is also good etiquette to tip for good service.

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