Gambling is potentially addictive and has been statistically proven to be a highly reliable way to lose money. The sad truth is that the house always wins, eventually. The longer you gamble, the lower your chance of walking away a winner. Statisticians have shown, for example, that if you spend all day playing roulette, you will walk away with an average of 5.26 percent less money than when you started. Likewise, an amateur blackjack player will lose between 10 and 20 percent on average over the course of many hands [source: Walsh]. Slot machines have the absolute worst odds with average losses as high as 35 percent over the long run.
But if you enter the casino with the right attitude ("I won't spend more than $X") and the right strategy, you can tip the odds closer to your favor. Professional gamblers know that the best tactic for making fast money at the casino is the big, one-time bet. A single hand of blackjack, even when played by an amateur, has around a 50/50 chance of winning. The same is true for the pass line on the craps table [source: Derousseau].
If by some miracle you win big on the first try, fight every urge to "double your money" and walk away a winner.