What’s the Worst Mistake Gamblers Make?

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What is You Asked?

For the purposes of this question, we’re going to answer this with the assumption that the basic principles we outline here regularly are followed, such as:

  • Only gamble with your entertainment budget
  • Always use a players card when playing
  • Only spend what you’re comfortable losing

With those in mind, the worst mistake gamblers can make is overbetting relative to their bankroll.

Let’s say you have $100. If you bet $1 per spin, you’re given a minimum of 100 spins on that budget. Now let’s say you bet $5 per spin. At that point you only have 20 spins at minimum to make something happen.

Over time, slots have become tougher, as players want swings at bigger wins. While this can yield some exciting outcomes when it does occur, it can also take longer to get there. If you don’t have enough bankroll to withstand those portions where things get tougher, you won’t have the opportunity to make a comeback because you’ll run out of money before that key bonus or feature.

The sheer volatility of slots today make for a scenario where it may be tempting to bet big to try to get a big win, but a player simply won’t last long enough in most cases to make it work for them.

Here’s a rule of thumb – if you want to reduce the risk of going home with no money and want to play for a few hours, you should choose a bet that, based on your bankroll, is somewhere between 200 and 500 bets that can be done (depending on your risk tolerance).

So on that $100 bankroll, you’re looking at 20-50 cent bets – not exactly easy on today’s gaming floor, but also not impossible. And you can always adjust your bets as you go if you’re doing well, or if you’re not, to keep things going.

By not swinging for the fences with overly big bets vs. your budget, you can ensure a better chance of achieving some good wins, and perhaps leaving the casino with some money in the process, at least more often than if you burn through your budget quickly and consistently leave with nothing.

Now, while that’s our answer, we recently posed the question to players on the BCSlots Facebook Community. Here are some of their answers:

  • Leaving a ticket or card in the machine
  • Spending all the money they brought and then visiting the ATM
  • Chasing the big one, and giving back winnings during that chase
  • Playing until a player gets angry
  • Not checking the bet size and denomination before starting to play

What do you think is the biggest mistake gamblers make? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Have a question? Submit yours here!

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18 Replies to “What’s the Worst Mistake Gamblers Make?”

  • Gilbert says:

    Hey Brian, thank you for your advice. I have one question; I am actually used to stopping the machine.
    Maybe its luck or changing a few things. But it does work out for me sometimes. Now my wife is doing it.
    Now it is hard to just press the button. I am used to it now.
    I am retired and love playing. Can you actually earn about $1,000 per month with a $2,000 investment.
    In other words, invest $2,000 to get $3,000.?
    Your thoughts

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      Hi Gilbert, thank you for your thoughts!
      Of course stopping the reels will provide positive results sometimes, just as not stopping the reels will do the same thing. The point is that stopping the reels does not alter the outcome.
      Now if you’re looking to invest in something, slot machines are not for you. There is ZERO skill to playing slots, so best to invest in your entertainment and not try to make a profit. Even the most skilled player, *ahem*, loses his butt. So no, you can’t earn any kind of regular income ever on slots. We all lose. Keep that retirement money safe and enjoy it wherever you like!

  • scott turnbull says:

    The most foolish mistake that I personally made (other than sit down at the wrong machine) was to leave money in a machine while I was getting a hand pay. As I was standing up to have the person count out my money for me, someone hit the cash out button and stole a few hundred dollars from me without my noticing.

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      It’s happened to the best of us, including Brian Christopher himself! Lesson learned for sure. That is a great reminder for us all Scott, to always remain vigilant especially in the midst of all the excitement!

  • JoAnn Gardner says:

    I have learned that if I go with a set back roll it is usually best to leave if I loss it all. Sometimes we would get more and it might pay off and make trip to the back to deposit it back. One time we learned it doesn’t always pay off. We went over board and regretted it for a long time. Now we stick with our limits and count it as a just a date. It was fun even if we didn’t win. Or we donated to the cause. We turn a 🍋 into lemonade.

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      That’s right JoAnn, we always say it’s best to play with a set entertainment budget – what you would otherwise spend on a night on the town, or a date! – and have a great time enjoying the ride, win or lose. If you come out a winner, it’s like a cherry on top!

  • Lucille Cole says:

    I say don’t go with the attitude of winning big the odds are not good. Just have fun playing with what you can afford . If you win save it for the next trip to the casino

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      We agree with this – expect that the money you bring will be spent, just like it would at any other entertainment venue. If you bring money home, it’s a perk, not a guarantee, for the trip!

  • Mamaw says:

    I suck at quitting when I’m ahead. I guess I get greedy and think I’ll make even more. Before I know it, I’m back to where I started.

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      It’s so easy to get sucked in and then realize your winnings have evaporated. That’s why some players employ a Winners Bank – once it’s locked away, you can’t open it until you get home!

  • Elizabeth Palmer says:

    I have seen players trying to keep up with their neighbors. Especially in linked games, trying to hit a jackpot before the player beside you. If you are playing a “race for the jackpot”, you are not playing for fun.

  • Uncledphl says:

    Playing on an empty stomach because drink service can get you carried away from a winning streak that kicks in as a drinking binge and that fosters more chances even at a big pot to gamble with on an empty stomach you substitute eating with gambling until the winnings too are gone.

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      That’s a good one – the free alcohol seems like a great perk but it can impact your ability to make those critical decisions. It’s also easy to forget to eat when you’re having fun!

  • Rosemary says:

    Responding to the comment of someone taking their ticket out of the machine while they were gettin paid . Doesn’t the casino have “eyes” cameras everywhere? Why couldn’t they catch the thief??

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      Casinos definitely have cameras in a lot of places, and potentially can track the ticket (since each ticket has its own unique barcode, there’s generally a camera on the ticket cashing machines, etc.). How aggressive they may be on researching an issue like this tends to be on a casino to casino basis. We’ve heard insane stories of casinos contacting customers days later to tell them that they found a ticket they lost because they were able to track the ticket back to their players card (another helpful reason to use that card). Others aren’t as willing to put their resources towards that kind of searching, or if the thief leaves the property it becomes a situation out of the casino’s hands because it now requires the police. But it definitely makes sense to report the theft, see what the casino can do, and perhaps there’s a chance of getting the money back.

  • Kevin N. says:

    the worst feeling I’ve had gambling is winning big and playing it till almost gone. I have actually chased it back down but that is not usually how that scenario plays out I’m sure
    my remedie was simple hp=hh!! ( handpay=head home!!

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