The first thing you need to do is decide what your stake is. Maybe you are going to Las Vegas for 4 days and your "play money" is $1,000. If you are smart, you will divide this up equally and only play with $250 per day.
If you lose your $250 the first day, stop. Wait until the next. This is probably one of he biggest tests of self-discipline. The next thing you want to do is avoid blowing your daily wad in one sitting.
With your $250, take out $100 and get your chips and start to bet conservatively. You want to stretch out the playing experience and play the ups and downs. Make sure you check out the minimum amount for the table. Let's say you take your starting $100 and bet $5.
You lose the first hand. What do you do next? Many players will double their bet hoping to break even by winning. This is commonly called throwing good money after bad. What you should do is continue to bet the $5 and if you lose 3 or 4 hands in a row, change tables or take a break. Never send good money after bad. Now, let's say you win that first $5 bet.
The next hand you should increase your bet and make it $10. If you lose, go back to your original $5 bet. If you win, continue to increase your bet. Don't double it each time; just make it a bit bigger. So, this time you wager $15. Again, if you lose, go back to the initial $5 bet.
If you win, bump it up to $20. This way you are increasing your bet and still retaining some of your winnings. Always go back to your initial bet once the streak is over. Don't walk away from table saying "I wish I had bet more".
When you play blackjack, you will find that there are up and down streaks. You want to minimize your losses during the losing and increase your bets when you are winning. I can remember playing in Canada, and there were five of us on the table. I had been having a bad day and just sat at this table and immediately started winning. This was a $5 minimum and that is what I started with.
I kept increasing my bet as I was winning and in about an hour, I won over $3,000. My tablemates were all buddies and were betting $5 per hand whether they won or lost. They all won, but not much. They could have won so much more but didn't know the correct strategy. So, plan your money strategy as wisely as you plan your playing strategy.
Smart betting, self control, and riding the winning streaks, will net you much more money. Good luck.
Larry Westfall and Gabe Kaplan (Mr. Kotter) share a love for poker. If Larry can't get to Las Vegas - he will play poker online.
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