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Losing control in the casino can cost you big

By Frank Scoblete


Please note: Going on tilt can have various meanings but generally it means losing control of some type. Could mean betting for too long; bet- ting much too much; or just acting foolishly. It can happen to the best of players and is something to be avoided. Being on tilt means you are off your axis.


There were five of them running off the plane in Las Vegas and they were whooping and high-fiving each other. They were flying in from New York. Four of them had their baseball caps on backwards; the fifth had his on correctly. Three were Yankees fans and two were Mets fans. One of the Yankees fans was the one with the hat on correctly.

My wife, the Beautiful AP, and I were waiting at the airport to return home. We’d had a great trip but the time had come to settle back into our home life. There is only so many weeks a person can play those games without taking some time off to recover one’s equilibrium.

I’d guess these kids were in their early 20’s and it seemed to me that this was their first trip to Las Vegas. I was helped in my guess because they immediately went over to the slot machines and started playing.

Now, these machines are not great payers as the airport is not a great casino for monetary returns. In fact, the airport isn’t really a casino is it? Still that didn’t matter to these fellas. They played with abandon. Heck, they were in Las Vegas, gambling capital of the world so let’s gamble it up, fellas!

They were just too excited and too ready to spend their money. Obviously, they should have waited to get to their hotel, check in, bring their luggage to their rooms and then play some in a real casino. Those airport machines beckoned them and they in turn could not resist. I am sure they aren’t the first players to do such a thing.

The Beautiful AP and I wondered if these young men took a real hammering while they were in Vegas. Their opening play seemed to indicate that they had very little discipline. Lack of discipline is one of the biggest reasons players don’t play intelligently. You can’t overcome the house edge in the long run but with proper money management you can certainly keep any losses somewhat reasonable.

But these young men had made a big mistake. From what I understand the airport machines are some of the worst machines in Vegas, perhaps only the local laundromat’s machines are worse. Casinos are where the best action is in the town. And that is why players come to Vegas – to play in real casinos. Those poor, poor kids.


Our next case of tilt concerns another young man and again this event took place in an airport; New York City’s Kennedy Airport.

The Beautiful AP and I were waiting for our car at the arrival gate when a young man saw his father pulling up in their car.

“Hey! Hey! Pops!” called the young man, another youngster in his early 20’s.

“Hey, son, how goes it?” said Dad.

“Man, I got everything for free!” said the Son as he opened the trunk of the car to put his luggage in.


“Yeah,I decided to go for it and I was betting fifty bucks a hand at blackjack and about the same at roulette. I was gonna play craps but I could never get a spot at the table.”

“Really? Sounds like an interesting trip.”

“The thing is that the casino gave me a free room and free food and I even got free tickets to the fights,” said the Son. “All for free! They knew it was my birthday too. They had a card and some candy for me in the room. I’m guessing you and Mom alerted them to the fact that this was my twenty-first birthday trip. Being twenty-one is a good deal.”

As the Son got into the car, Dad said, “You know you didn’t get anything for free, right? The casino figures what your loss would be over time and they give a percentage of that back in the form of comps. Everyone who plays can get comps of some type by handing in their player’s card.”


“Still,” said the Son. “It was a good trip. I have a player’s card too.”

“How much did you lose,” asked the Dad. Silence. And the car drove away.


Casino gambling is exciting and most sessions in the casino, whether one wins or loses, are not disruptive of one’s life. Wins are fun and losses shouldn’t hurt (too much). I think veteran casino players know how to handle their emotions and their money in the castles of Lady Luck. But keep this in mind – the casinos are the castles and they are castles because the money ultimately stays with them. So avoid any hint of going on tilt!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Visit Frank’s web site at Frank’s books are available at, kin- dle, Barnes and Noble, e-books, and at bookstores.


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