Say you gamble with an edge, at blackjack, video poker, or perhaps online, but are getting sick of the fluctuations and decide to join up with a few friends to flatten things out. If you want to run an unsuccessful team, here are a few tips:
1) Take expenses out of the team bank. This is the single most important reason teams fail. Expenses are a tax on your advantage. Mathematically they are not much different from having to pay commission to play a game. Would you sit down at a blackjack table where you had to pay a commission? (Actually, such games exist, but a serious player wouldn’t touch them). You are banking on the fact that your theoretical winnings will offset a completely non-theoretical big lump of cash. Arnold Snyder describes one disastrous team venture scuppered by expenses in his Blackbelt In Blackjack.
2) Don’t keep extensive records. Teams are difficult enough to keep together when you are losing when everything has been accounted for. When you don’t keep detailed records, even winning teams can collapse under the weight of sheer paranoia.
3) Give friends the benefit of the doubt. This is a particulary hard lesson to learn. If a gambler isn’t good enough to have an edge, doesn’t put in enough hours, or whatever, you must separate them from your bankroll. Ultimately your friendship will be damaged further if you allow the situation to deteriorate, which leads to…
4)Don’t protect the bankroll from players who have compulsive gambling tendencies. Of course, no one would knowingly take on a compulsive gambler in a professional gambling operation. Such tendencies may only manifest themselves in the stress and heat of battle, however. An earlier article I wrote explains how to detect compulsive gambling behaviour, you can find it with the search facility this site provides. Check yourself and your team-mates for the danger signs. Be honest about yourself and your friends. Again, it is in your long-term interests to deal with this problem, even if that means throwing someone off the team.
5) Obsess about team performance and honesty. If you are losing, it is probably just because gambling is like that a lot of the time. Deal with it. Beyond a certain basic level of competence, player errors are comparatively unimportant. If you thought your team-mates were honest people before, unlikely to rip off the team bank, they probably still are. Extensive re-training sessions or lie detector tests are expensive time-wasting, morale-sapping ventures, often the precursor to the death of the team.
With these pointers behind you, you should be well on your way to losing everything and watching your team disintegrate in a frenzy of pointless mutual recriminations!