This is the final step in our winning approach to gambling. You must come to the table with confidence. By confidence, I don’t mean a blind faith in pure luck, for that’s the way most players and all losers approach the gaming tables.

Confidence is the feeling that your betting and playing strategies are correct, that you thoroughly know the odds and correct plays in the game you’re ready to play, whether it be blackjack, craps, or baccarat.

You must make a decision, and that decision is all important in terms of winning or losing. It is the decision to win rather than to play just for the thrill of action. It is true that gambling can be exciting and thrilling. Fine and dandy.

It is even better when those thrills are combined with winning money. Thrills paid for with losses are too expensive; the repercussions and the aftermath of defeat at gambling tables are never pleasant. There are few good losers the next morning.

What the casino president (the one who said gamblers didn’t want to leave the table with money) didn’t understand about gambling is this: that too often the thrill and excitement is not in winning, but in releasing one’s anxiety right out in the open.

Let me explain it this way. If you’re walking by a craps table and watch the action and decide to make an imaginary bet of $1,000 on the next roll of the dice, there’s a certain detachment as you stand and watch the roll.

Let’s assume you bet against the dice with your mind bet and the roll is a 6. Now you linger and watch the rest of the throws, and a few rolls later, the player sevens out, and you win your mind bet. Slightly pleased, you go on your way, perhaps to the coffee shop for breakfast, where, by the time you’ve finished your bacon and eggs or lox and bagel, you’ve forgotten all about it.

But let’s assume that, instead of just standing around, you decide to make a bet on the next roll. Let’s further assume that you have $1,000 in your pocket for gambling purposes for a couple of days of action and that you never really bet more than $5 or $10 a shot. So you put down $10 on don’t pass and the roll is a 6.

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