Well get back to breaking down payoffs in the Knowledge part and handling your money in the Bankroll part, giving you bet­ting methods in the Money Management part and teaching you discipline in the Discipline part, but for now, lets lay the groundwork for those messages.

The title of this chapter is a great place to start, with the an­swer being a resounding yes and no! (I never said I had the guts to make a definitive statement.) The truth is that the correct answer is yes and no! It all comes down to what you consider “beating a machine” or “beating the casinos.”

The average citizen goes to the casino and doesn’t consider his day a success unless he quadruples his starting bankroll. A professional gambler kneels on hot ashes and recites the rosary three times if he wins 10 percent of his starting bankroll.

So who is right in saying they beat the machines? I say both are right. The occasional visitor considers it a wasted day if he heads home with an $80 profit with a starting stake of $300. The pro is in heaven if he gets out with $70 on a starting bankroll of $700.

I am writing this chapter about 11:15 P.M. on a Tuesday night, after a day in the casinos. I played Pai Gow poker for about three hours and picked up $65. I then ended the day with about two hours at several Double Joker machines, which netted me an additional $25. I was very content.

On the way home, I even sprung for ice cream for my mother, who comes to Atlantic City with me twice a week. (She has a terrible gambling problem, but that’s another story. As she’s ninety three, I overlook her bad habits.)

Maybe winning $90 on a day that requires a five hour round trip in the car is not your cup of tea. To me, it is like sipping a fine glass of champagne soothing and satisfying. So I consider winning that much “beating” the machines or tables. Yet on several occasions today, a guy would say to me, “I only won a couple hundred today I never get to really take home a nice profit.” Funny, I consider a couple hundred a nice profit. So it all comes down to “it’s all in the eyes of the beholder.”

Winning is possible but only, and I repeat only, if you realize that winning is leaving the casino with more money than you started with. But for you people who consider “beating the casinos” as banging out big big returns, I encourage you to read the next chapter on computer chips. It won’t help you win at the machines, but it will attempt to explain why we don’t leave the machines with bulging pockets filled with coins.

Period of time and kick off six jackpots in ten pulls. Many years ago, in the then desert (and I mean deserted) town of Las Vegas, the operators were begging for patrons. The machines were truly “random,” and your chances of getting big payouts were definitely good. But the chip changed all that and took away the prospect of gambling from the house. They merely put a machine on the floor, fully confident that the chip would prevent the poor player from turning into a millionaire overnight.

I hear people complain all the time that this chip has lessened their chances of winning. They whine in between dropping coins into the money slots. I listen, in between what decisions to make on my screen. So we all know what we’re up against, yet still take the shot. It’s a little like complaining about the weather. Have I gone on enough about this “dastardly deed” that the casinos put in our paths? Yes, I have! So, to quickly wrap up this boring and fruitless attempt to understand why the casinos would stoop to these tactics, let me make a wild guess: to make as much money as they can, and to prevent us from making as much money as we’d like to be making.

OK, you understand what you’re up against and that there is no way to neutralize that chip. Let’s look at some options and they are numerous:

  • Realize what you’re up against and never play a machine again.
  • Realize what you’re up against and continue to play the machines.

I guess that wraps up the options. Those of you who opted for number 1, close the book and go out and watch the grass grow. Those who chose number 2, move along and watch how my theories on money management and discipline will at least show you how to accept small returns and cut losses (loss limits). The choice is yours.