There is nothing more important than exercising self-control when gambling. Players who don’t have this self-control, no matter how skillfully they play, are not going to end up winners.

By self-control, I mean complete control over your emotions at the table. Don’t give in to anxiety, to despair, to greed, to weakness and impulse. Always keep your feelings under control through patience and objectivity.

For example, blackjack is a game that can be beaten by an astute player. But that doesn’t mean that you can come to the table and steamroll the casino and make a big score.

Blackjack is a game of small advantages, of times when the composition of the deck will be favorable to you. It is only those times that must be taken full advantage of in terms of large bets. And even in some of those favorable situations you may not get a winning hand.

In that case, you can’t keep making large bets when the deck is neutral and unfavorable in the hopes of making up a previous large loss. That’s when you must exercise patience and keep betting according to the composition of the deck.

It’s very easy to nod and agree, but when at a table, it’s quite another thing to follow this precept. But follow it you must, if you’re going to win.

The minute you become impatient self-control flies out the window, and strategy gives way to haphazard play. Don’t be impatient to make a big score. That can’t be done in blackjack. Content yourself with steady, moderate wins at appropriate times. If you think of the long run, then everything is in perspective. If you think only of the moment, then nothing looks right.