Anyone who plays enough cards or dice
will eventually experience a slump. However, what may seem like a slump
could actually have more to do with money management and controlling the
I recommend keeping a journal of your
sessions. Your journal can reveal patterns of your play and provide
reasons why you are having difficulty with your game.
Awhile back, a former student called me
about being in a slump. The first thing I asked about was if they had been
keeping a journal of their sessions.
A review of the journal revealed that the
student was not so much in a losing slump as they were losing more money
than they were winning. In seven sessions, they had four wins and three
losses. However, in two of the losses, the player went bankrupt losing
thirty or more units in each session.
In my seminars, I teach students to be
prepared to risk and play one entire betting stake. This does not mean to
go out and play carelessly losing thirty or forty units. Even if you are
losing, it does not mean you are out of control of your game. You may quit
whenever the energy is not supporting your game or when the “fun” is done.
This student’s winning sessions had
resulted in reasonable profit. The problem had more to do with
experiencing the two bankruptcies. The loss of two complete bankrolls was
reason enough for a feeling of a slump. I counseled on discipline and
about paying attention to the energy of the game. I encouraged the student
to recognize the positive. The units won were commendable and consistent
for the winning sessions.
The student needed to play more alert
during the losing sessions. The losses caused the imbalance and it
affected the student emotionally as well. The student felt depressed and
lacked confidence. “It ain’t no fun when it stops being fun!” Willie
Nelson wishes that he had said that, but he didn’t, I did.
The defeated depressed feeling is harmful
to the psyche. Confidence, as you should know, is a huge part of the game.
Contrast confidence at the craps table to the confidence of a professional
quarterback, a baseball pitcher or a golfer. One difference, when
confidence wanes at the craps table, the craps player has the advantage of
cutting their losses. When it is not going your way, it is better to call
it quits earlier rather than later. It is better to accept a smaller loss
than to lose an entire bankroll and risk additional injury of being
Your battle plan should include minimizing losses. The student’s journal
represented an upside down ratio of loss to profit. It turned out that the
slump had more to do with money management. The student lost more than
they had won. Emotionally, it felt like a slump to the ego. In reality, it
was win one, lose two. Do your best not to lose more than you reasonably
expect to win.
In the heat of a game, to go bankrupt or not to go bankrupt is always the
challenging question. It is not wrong to play away one betting stake in
the pursuit of a win, if you are in a worthy game. The dice or cards can
turn in a heartbeat. Suddenly, someone rolls seven passes and you can come
roaring back. However, if you find that you are experiencing more than one
bankrupt session, out of say ten, it is something to scrutinize.
Upon a closer look of your play, a slump
is not always just a time when you can’t win. Self-discipline and money
management often are linked to the losses. Learn to recognize the
difference between a cold streak verses an imbalance with the units in the
Paying attention to the energy, in the
first place, is the best way I know to keep out of the negative games.
Prevent yourself from engaging in the losing situations. Limit your
losses. It is simple really - lose less and you will win more.