The Importance of Discipline

It's an unavoidable fact that the vast majority of people who play casino games lose money in the long run. Most people accept this fact and realize that they need a bit of luck on their side if they are to overcome the house edge and win.

This is exactly what makes playing casino games so much fun for so many. People enjoy the thrill of not knowing what's going to happen and putting their hopes on chance moving in their favor. However, there are more factors than just luck involved in determining whether players win or lose.

You will ultimately need some good luck if you are going to win, but there are also certain things you can do to improve your overall chances. For starters, learning the correct strategies definitely helps. Staying disciplined also means a great deal, and in our view is the best way to maximize your chances of being a winner in the casino.

On this page, we explain why discipline is so important and how you can use it to your advantage in the casino.

The House Edge, Probability & Luck

Before we get into the importance of discipline, we explain exactly why casino players are generally destined to lose. We will also explain why it is also possible to win.

Players are expected to lose because of the house edge. The house has a small edge in all casino games; and even if you use the perfect strategy each and every time you play, the odds are always against you. In the long run, the inevitable laws of probability dictate that the house edge will play its part and you will lose.

On the positive side, probability evens itself out over the very long run. For example, if you spin a roulette wheel 10 million times, it is very likely that the number of times red comes up would be very close to the number of times black comes up. Over just 100 spins, however, it's perfectly possible that red could come up a lot more than black.

Thus it is possible to win. If you happen to be betting on red for 100 spins, and it comes up 65 times, then you would win some money (assuming you were betting the same amount each time). It could also come up black 65 times, of course, meaning you would lose.

These scenarios highlight the role luck plays. In one scenario, you got lucky and won, and in the other you've got unlucky and lost. The outcome comes entirely down to chance and is completely beyond your control.

What you do have control over is how much you stake and which bets you place. This is where discipline comes in.

Discipline & Your Stakes

Discipline helps you in the casino in a number of ways. The most significant, in our view, is when it comes to managing your money. Good money management is not always easy to do, but it is an important skill in pretty much all forms of gambling.

One of the biggest mistakes you can possible make when gambling is to chase your losses. This can be very, very tempting when you're playing casino games and things aren't going your way; but it is something you should absolutely try to avoid at all costs. Chasing losses can turn a bad session into a disastrous one.

It's easier said than done, but you have to stay disciplined if you are on a losing streak. They can last for a very long time; and if you keep increasing your stakes, you could end up losing everything. With higher stakes, you allow yourself the chance of winning back your losses more quickly, but you are actually giving yourself less of a chance of turning things around.

Let's use roulette as an example once again. Imagine you have $100 with which to bet and are betting $2 a spin on red. After a number of spins, you find yourself down $30 with $70 left. If you decide to chase your losses and up your stakes to $10 a spin, you could lose your remaining $70 in just seven more spins if you get really unlucky.

However, if you decide to keep going at $2 a spin, you have a minimum of 35 more for your luck to change. This is a very basic example, but it should serve to demonstrate why chasing your losses is a bad idea. If you can stay disciplined, then you are much less likely to blow through your entire bankroll.

Discipline is also important when you're on a winning streak. It can be very tempting to start betting a lot more when you're getting lucky, as you may feel like your good streak will last forever. The truth is, of course, that it won't. There is nothing wrong with increasing your stakes a bit if you are winning, but you have to be disciplined enough not to go crazy. You should also drop your stakes down again if your luck takes a turn for the worse.

Discipline & Your Strategy

We've already mentioned how learning and using good strategies can help improve your chances of winning. A strategy is only good if you are disciplined enough to stick to it. Sometimes it can be tempting to deviate from correct strategy on a hunch, or because you want to try for a bigger win; but this is rarely a good idea.

Regardless of what casino game you are playing, you should always try and stick to the best possible strategy. Making the "wrong" decision can win you money upon occasion, but you will usually be better off in the long run if you apply the correct strategy.

Discipline & Knowing When to Stop

To stop playing at the right time takes a great deal of discipline. If you are winning, it's probably going to be tempting to keep going to try and win even more. If you're losing, you may well want to play until you've made some kind of recovery. Having the discipline to walk away at the right time, however, will be of great benefit over time.

The best way to do this in our opinion is to simply set some limits. Once you have lost a certain amount, you stop. Once you have won a certain amount, you stop. It doesn't matter, within reason, what these limits actually are – but you should try and stick to them. This way you can prevent yourself from losing more money than you can afford and should walk away with some profit from time to time.

Final Points

It's not easy to master the art of staying disciplined, but it is something you should definitely try to do. Even good discipline won't guarantee winning, but we believe that it does give you a much better chance in the casino. At the very least it will help minimize the amount you lose. It will also help ensure that you get far more enjoyment out of playing.

If you can fight the urge to chase your losses when things are going against you and can make sure that you only ever gamble with money you are willing to lose, then you should never get into any kind of difficulty.

Likewise, if you can resist the temptation of increasing your stakes dramatically during a winning streak and learn to quit when you are ahead, you can reduce the risk of giving everything back when you do get lucky.