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John Marchel

John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine. Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

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What you need to be a good gambler

21 Sep 2019

By John Marchel
There are individuals and even teams of players that play blackjack in casinos around the country and make a living doing it. Some of these players have been doing it for over 20 years.

There was a family team in Spain who used computers to locate biased roulette wheels and then made a lot of money playing in casinos in Europe and even in the United States. There are trained craps players who regularly are able to throw the dice 100 times and not seven-out.

There are many players who bet on horse racing and sports betting and make a living doing it. If you watch TV, you can see some of the same faces appear playing at the final table at poker tournaments. What do all these winning players have in common? What they all have is knowledge!

Knowledge will help you be a better player, regardless what game you play. For example, knowledge will tell you NOT to play the Big Wheel in a casino. The odds are so high against a player and there is no strategy that can help you win. However, as you roam through any large casino, anywhere in the country, you will see people playing it. Those players are simply demonstrating their lack of knowledge and skill of that game.

You too can be successful when it comes to gambling if you obtain the knowledge and perform the required training before you play. Let’s go over some of the games mentioned above.

Blackjack – You need complete knowledge of basic strategy for blackjack. That is the computer tested, proven and easily obtained strategy of when to hit, stand, split and double down during the game. You need to know every combination of player-dealer cards and how to play your hand. Next, move on to card counting; knowing what cards have been played and what cards remain in the deck. There is lots of information available; books, classes and the internet on how to learn this stuff and how to practice and become good at it.

Roulette – This is a game where no matter what strategy you use or what system you play you cannot reduce the house advantage in your favor.

Craps – To be a winner at this game it is not based entirely on the odds so much as how to move the dice when you are the shooter. It’s been demonstrated that you can improve your chances of winning by knowing how the set and throw the dice as opposed to knowing what bets to make.

Horse racing – This is one of the hardest games. There is a large amount of homework that goes in handicapping racing. There seems like there is too much data in identifying a winner. In fact, many handicappers might only bet on two or three races the whole day, because data shows the horses as too evenly matched.

Sports Betting – Similar to horse racing, there is a lot of handicapping required when it comes to sport betting. For example, is one of teams playing at home? who’s on the injured list? who is pitching (or quarter backing) plus a large amount of history review is required. Also, like horse racing it takes a great deal of work to be a winning player at this game.

Poker – Here is a game where you are not playing against the house, but are playing against your follow players. The house doesn’t care who wins or losses, they get a small cut from the players regardless who wins the round. There is a lot to know when it comes to poker. There are starting hands, the flop, turn and the river cards. What type of player are you playing against., what are your “outs” and much more. Again, knowledge is what will make you a winner at this game.

Video Poker – There are a few players who do make a living at video poker. You have to put in a lot of time playing machines, but you can be a winner at video poker – providing you have the knowledge! You need to know which are the good machines and which ones to avoid. You also must know how to play each machine the correct way, and there is an abundant of machines where the playing strategy is different from each other.

The bottom line is your knowledge of the different games along with your knowledge of the strategy to play a game. Those two will help make you a winner. Guessing and hoping is not the strategy for winning in a casino, card room or at the race track. Read, study and gain the knowledge and then playing the correct way will pay off in the long run.


• The return of a slot machine is the percentage of money actually paid in verses the amount of money paid out. In theory, if you put $100 into a slot machine and it pays you $92, the return rate is 92% for that machine.

• In Macao, China where all the casinos are located, the administration costs of the city are mostly borne by the casinos, therefore the city continues to have a surplus of money. So, every year, as a gift, all its citizens are given a few thousand dollars.

• Since 2002, casinos in Las Vegas are making more money from food, entertainment and beverage, than from gambling.

• When Congress passed the Money Laundering Control Act in October 1986, it required that a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) be submitted by the casino to the IRS when a transaction involving more than $10,000 in cash is processed by an individual within a single gaming day.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

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