People often ask me what their budget should be for the casino. The simple answer is that it should be whatever you're comfortable losing! So let's say you only have $500 for a weekend or $50 for a day. What should you play?
Personally, it takes me 90 minutes to get to my 'local' casino, one way! So I won't be making that drive with a $50 budget as it would cost that much to get there in gas, haha. Regardless, let me entertain that notion.
$50 is not a lot of money, especially when you're considering using it to gamble with and potentially lose. I have lost $50 in a single spin many times, haha. Don't get me wrong, I have friends who have played on $20 for an hour betting 8 cents a spin. If that's your prerogative, go for it! However if you have $50, then keep to those 50cent spins or under. It may sound small, but that's only 100 spins and that may not be enough to even land a bonus. Perhaps get yourself 10 $5 bills and pick out 10 games to play. After 10 spins, re-evaluate if you want to keep spinning or continue playing. Trust your instinct because if you don't, you'll hate yourself for it later and you'll get in a sour mood. Keep that smile people, you're supposed to be having FUN!
$500 Weekend Budget
Say you're going to Vegas for the weekend and you want your money to last the entirety of your stay. Well you better be strong willed and ensure you follow a plan. For starters, you can forget about the high limit room! It's easy to get carried away on your first night and lose it all, so bring some envelopes! Label the envelopes by date and time (because you know once midnight strikes, that next days budget could be gone in a blink of an eye!). The first day give yourself a little less than a third of your budget, say $150. That way if you lose it all, it won't hurt as much and you'll still have a positive outlook on the weekend. If you lost half right away, you may be swayed to bet higher the next day to try and re-coop your funds which is a huge no-no! Better still, give yourself 3 envelopes for the night with $50 in each for 6pm, 9pm and 11pm! Don't put $20 bills in there because you're bound to lose it all at once. Use $5 bills. The act of continuously putting money in the machine should be enough for your brain to catch on the fact that you're losing your butt. Once the first envelope is done, go and refresh in your room, grab a bite or sip on a cocktail at the bar. The whole point is to keep that positive energy going and staying active. Bad mojo can ruin it all for you, so have fun with a realistic outlook.
What to Play?
There are volatile machines (tough to win on, but when you do it can be huge) and there are non-volatile machines (pays out more frequently but at lower amounts). Of course they don't label that for us, so you'll have to go by memory of watching my videos. Another trick is that progressive machines (ones with large jackpots that keep progressively rising) tend to be a bit more volatile. At a low budget you'll want to keep your bets low. Even at a $3 max bet, your $50 budget can be gone in as little as 17 spins, or 1 minute. So be smart. If you're a Rudies member, you've seen dozens of Rudies win huge jackpots at 50cent or 80 cent bets, so don't think for a second you have to max bet. Keep your max to $2 or under per spin. Honestly whenever I max bet, I swear everyone sitting beside me betting 8 cents or 50cents a spin gets that bonus 3 times as often as I do. So take the pressure off, get your free drinks from the servers while betting 18 cents and and have fun!
If luck is on your side and you find yourself UP $100 for example, don't take that as a sign to start upping your bets. That is a sure way to lose it twice as quickly. Keep to the same level of bets that got you the wins in the first place. It must be working!
Make it FUN!
Turn it into a game and give each envelope a purpose. Perhaps you want to only play one style of game, or only play until you get a bonus, or only do 20 spins per machine. One of my favorite things to do is play until you make 5 times your bet back and get off. Or cash out after you make a profit, even if it's after the first spin! Maybe you want to take some bigger chances, so allocate one of your envelopes for $3 spins on a non-volatile game. If you lose it, well you still have another 9 envelopes, so no biggie. But at least you gave in to some of that temptation.
Group Pull it UP!
Playing with friends? Pool your money and that $50 budget is now $100! Take turns spinning and set up some rules and follow a game plan together. It definitely helps you be more accountable when you play with friends....so long as they are as responsible as you and follow the rules!
Celebrate the small wins!
You're betting 50 cents a spin and you just had a $50 win when your whole budget was $50? Take that money and stash it away in your Winners Bank!! You basically just won the lottery (seriously, the machine was meant to TAKE your money, not give it away), so rejoice and take it home with you. Even if you're up $10 on a machine, take that money and run. You beat the system!
Notice I've used the term "lose it all" quite a bit. That's because the odds are forever in the favor of the casino. If you lose, you really don't 'lose', because you came and had an adrenaline rush of gambling and that is an accomplishment and a win. And hey, if you went away with some of your original money, or with a profit - then amazing! I'd say I leave a casino with a winning trip on 1 out of every 5 trips. Sometimes I'll have three back to back winning trips, but that usually is followed up by a big slump. Winning money or even jackpots is never a given, it's a bonus! Go to the casino for the experience, for the excitement and with a donation in hand! Win or lose, you have accomplished your mission if you leave the casino satisfied and with a smile on your face.
I'll end with something to make you think twice about splurging on higher bets. Here are my top 5 Jackpots by bet amount, win and payout percentage. Notice which one OBLITERATED the other bets by payout, it's unreal!
Wheel of Fortune - $50 Bet, $10,000 Win, 200xWin
Cleopatra 2 - $9 Bet, $7385 Win, 820xWin
Triple, Double Red Hot Strike - $10 Bet, $11,250 Win, 1125xWin
Double Easy Money - $6 Bet, $10,000 Win, 1666xWin
>>Mighty Cash - $0.80 Bet, $7234 Win, 9042xWin
Brian Christopher xoxo ❤️
What's the Difference between Vegas-style Slot Machines (Class III) and 'Bingo' Slot Machines (Class II) found at Indian Casinos?
I am proud to announce that this weeks blog is written by guest writer, and Rudies Member, Joshua O'Connell from KnowYourSlots.com.
If you’ve been around slots for a bit, you might have heard the terms Class II and Class III machines. Or you might have heard about random number generators or Bingo machines. If you’re wondering what this is all about, today’s blog post is for you.
Defining Class II and Class III Gaming Machines
The actual terms Class II and Class III come from federal regulations of Native American gaming, specifically in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which became law in 1988. The terms have spread beyond those casinos, for reasons that will be clear later, but this is where they came from. In a nutshell, here are the basic ideas of each as outlaid in federal law:
So how are there Class II Slot Machines? Well, they’re not really slots, even though they look an awful lot like them. Let’s define a Class III slot machine, otherwise known as a Vegas-style slot machine, and then we’ll discuss how Class II differs.
Class III: Vegas-Style Slot Machines
Class III slot machines are the ones you traditionally find in Vegas. The outcome of the game is defined by random-number generators, or RNGs, that is constantly running inside the game, generating new numbers. When you hit the play (or repeat bet) button, the RNG number (or numbers; as each reel could be controlled by its own RNG on some games) active at that time is locked in. The outcome of the game is looked up and rendered in the form of the reels spinning to a stop (mechanical reels) or animated to a stop (video slot machines).
When you hear Brian talk about “It’s all about timing,” that’s what is going on here - the exact moment you press that button the random number generated at that same moment is the one that is used to generate the results you see on your screen. Hit it a split second earlier or later and you would have ended up with a different number (thus a different outcome).
Since you lock in that number the moment you hit play, stopping the reels quickly will not change the outcome. The outcome was already decided when you started the reels spinning. What it would do is change the timing of your next spin.
Class II: Bingo Machines
A Class II machine is a device that is supposed to aid you in playing Bingo. If you’ve gone to a Bingo Hall and seen the electronic devices that some use to play the game, that’s generally the idea.
Someone smarter than most of us realized that another way that Bingo could be “helped” by a device was a visual game not unlike the look and feel of a slot machine. In it, you electronically place a bet on a game, and the outcome of whether you win or lose rendered in the form of an entertaining device (slot machine-like device), but the game you were actually playing was Bingo. The machine “aids” you by kindly taking your bets and showing you if you won. (How nice of it!)
Unlike Vegas-style slots, Bingo games’ outcomes are not determined inside the machine, or the moment you press a button. Yours and other wagers and bingo cards in a set of machines are pooled into a time-delineated bingo game (effectively all wagers within a tiny window of time, generally a handful of milliseconds), the balls drawn, and the outcomes returned to the machine in short order. Games generally need a certain number of players (although some systems allow as few as 2) and the game has to be completed to show everyone the outcomes; that’s why occasionally when playing a bingo machine it may take a bit longer to render the outcomes.
photo from RandomSlots
Bingo games were popularized in some states by the company VGT, now owned by Aristocrat, and a lot of investments in the idea and the system were made by the Seminole tribe in Florida. You can spot them pretty clearly as a bingo card is placed on the screen and the games are rendered against the cards as the slot reels are spinning. Some players have played them enough to be able to spot winning/losing patterns on the cards faster than the reels can render.
Does One Pay Better Than the Other?
Paybacks on Class III machines are set machine by machine - the casino decides what they want to pay back out of a selection of a half dozen or so choices. Most casinos will select the setting closest to what they want to achieve for that denomination(s) across their gaming floor.
Similarly, a tribe can set the Bingo prize levels to achieve the payback they wish to see for the game. As such, both have a level of control for the casino to decide what they want to pay.
Accordingly, neither will guarantee to pay better than the other; it’s up to the casinos themselves to make that call, as long as it meets the state-mandated minimums, which are usually laughably low compared to what most casinos actually pay back.
Many players will find it frustrating to learn that most tribes are not required to report their payback percentages. Some, like in Connecticut, do, because of the agreements they made with the state, but that’s an exception.
If I Don’t See a Bingo Card, Does That Mean It’s a Vegas-Style Machine?
Not necessarily. Some states, like New York, allow for other types of games that are also not governed by an RNG, but aren’t bingo either. Sites like the American Casino Guide give you a breakdown state by state of the games offered and by who, and can help you figure it out a bit. Some games act like virtual scratch-off cards, and some even use historical horse racing results to determine the outcome.
Many of these other alternatives are set up to support horse racing facilities get around slot machine limitations and regulations through legal loopholes, just as the Class II machines were designed to get around Bingo regulations in a similar way. And like the others, usually there is no real difference in long-term play unless you get very granular, as the payback scenarios are set up over time to basically achieve the casino’s desired outcome.
While Vegas-style slots and Bingo machines take very different courses to get you to your outcome, in reality both play similarly, and many of you may not have even noticed that you’re playing a different sort of game. The next time you get a big win, if you see you’re on a Class II machine, you might find that the right reaction is to stand up and yell out BINGO!
Joshua O’Connell is the founder and creator of Know Your Slots, a website that aims to educate about slots, advantage play and casino comps. He’s a slot enthusiast and a proud member of the Rudies since launch.
Thank you so much Josh for that insightful blog! If you would like to be a guest writer for BCSlots.com, kindly send us an E-mail.
I have posted over 1,500 videos on YouTube, so it was hard to pick the best moments, but I'll give it a shot. Here are some of my all time favorites moments on YouTube...
10. Many of us have had hit a Jackpot before, but how many have hit it on a $2 bet?
9. High Betting, High Drinking...need I say more?
8. My FIRST time playing Tarzan, was my BIGGEST win ever on it!
7. If ever I'm feeling blue, I'll watch this video. Then all I'm feeling is orange, and seeing green!
6. The BIGGEST bonus at $9 Bet on Cleopatra, and the MOST EXCITING moment in my life that started it all...
5. The BEST Group Pull EVER in terms of Payout Percentage - we KILLED it!
4. I LANDED THE GRAND. If that wasn't epic enough, I did it LIVE with my Rudies Family
3. Gambling in Australia!! Marco and I traveled down under whilst gambling with awesome fans!
2. Brian + Marco + 1 Hour = GOLD
1. Where it all began, the first video
I have gambled a lot in my day, and the majority of that over the past 3 years whilst creating content for my YouTube channel. I am very good at teaching you tips and tricks, and it all stems from screwing it up first on my own, haha. So I'll try to cover a few mistakes you should learn from me.
GET OFF THE MACHINE
Oh my goodness, the hardest lesson to learn is WHEN to get off a machine. Keeping to a strict budget on a per machine basis is the best method to ensure you don't get burned like I have. After a night at the casino, I can ALWAYS remember which machines I stayed on too long for - and if I added up all the losses from those, they equate to the majority (if not all) of my losses for the night. I have literally sat at Lightning Link betting $5 a spin and lost $1,000 without a single bonus. I've done the same on Dragon Link at the $10 bet and I can remember many more instances that are ingrained in my head. My suggestion - just use a $20, $50 or $100 in every machine you play. If you lose it, walk away. You can always come back to it later. Just don't keep feeding those bills as your eyes gloss over in a matrix of sorts waiting for a non-guarantee to occur.
THE BEST OFFERS ARE USUALLY THE WORST
I've been lured to drive 6 hours to a casino because they offered a free BBQ only to find out, I only get the basic model IF I hit 5,000 points on my players card, but with another 15,000 points I get the deluxe version. (fooled me twice!) OR, you actually do drive 6 hours and get the BBQ, but then you have to gamble enough while there in order to keep more offers coming only ending up losing MORE money than the BBQ was worth. Would you actually pay $2000 for a BBQ you didn't really need in the first place? Or on the opposite end, did you really just drive 45 minutes to get a kitchen tool set worth $10 that you didn't even need? Read the fine print, and only spend the money at the casino you want to spend at the casino.
This ties into the last point. I've gone to a casino just in order to get 20,000 points in order to keep my high tier status. If you take into account all the money you could lose in order to reach that, it may not be worth it in the end. I actually thought I was so smart once. I needed 50,000 tier points and knew the casino gave a ton of points if you bought concert tickets. So I proceeded to spend $1,000 in concert tickets in order to resell them and get the points. Well, turns out I couldn't sell all the tickets and I ended up with tickets I couldn't use and spending money for them. Chances are the next tier level perks aren't worth the extra money you may lose on the deal, so just be happy with what you have.
An early mistake I made in Vegas, was giving my friends my free rooms to use so we could all hang out together. I didn't realize (i was super new to Vegas) that by using a room, they expected you to play a bunch in order to 'pay' for it. So all of my awesome perks and giveaways disappeared over night, and all my cheap friends had a great experience that cost me instead of them. Only use your deals for yourself, unless you never plan to go there again.
DEBIT AND CREDIT CARDS
First off, bringing a credit card is the biggest mistake you can make (and I used to do it when I was new to gambling in my twenties). Aside from it being a bad idea because you're using money you don't have to gamble with, you are also immediately charged fees. So that $100 you just took out could end up costing you $130, so now you need to make 30% more on the slots just to break even. NEVER use a credit card and just leave the debit card at home while you're at it. Bring only the cash you are able to lose while keeping within your entertainment budget.
THE MORE, NOT THE MERRIER
I used to play at every casino I could, splitting up my bank roll amongst them all. Although I was always smart enough to use my players card, I didn't realize that I was hurting my offers in the long run. I was playing less money for shorter spurts of time at 5 casinos and getting $10 offers. When I finally figured it out, I decided to put all my eggs in one basket and my overall offers improved. Play more time at one casino and your offers (and tier level) will improve.
What other mistakes have you made at the casino? Share your experiences on our Facebook Post!
Brian Christopher xoxo ❤️
If only you knew the amount of questions I get asked on a daily basis, haha. I've hand selected a few recurring ones below.
Deb Fuller: "How can you identify volatile machines before playing it? Other than better percentage payouts with larger denominations is there a method you use to stay away from machines that just take all your money."
Brian Christopher: Unfortunately there are no signs on machines that tell you if a machine is volatile or not. Best bet is to watch videos online to see how the pays go. It's a good idea to watch videos of people live playing, rather than those who just show their wins, as that won't give you an accurate read. If a machine does have progressives on it, it automatically will become more volatile. Especially the state-wide progressive machines are even harder to win on. And of course Cleopatra, haha. She's just plain ole rude and volatile!
Joe K: "You seem to travel a lot and spend long times alone without Marco by your side. I was wondering as to how you’re both able to cope with the long periods of time away from each other and how he seems to be so cool and supportive while you do this and follow your dreams?"
Brian Christopher: It has been an adjustment being on the road a lot. Luckily we try to keep my travels to two weekends per month. Marco will join on occasion, otherwise we're on our own. He's super supportive of my career and the needs of my fans. If he wasn't on board with everything, I wouldn't keep doing it.
Amelia Rosales: How was Gambling introduced to you?
Brian Christopher: I think I'm one of those anomalies wherein my family never went to the casino. It was kind of within me to always want to go. It started with scratch tickets, then bingo and finally casinos! My dad would go to the race track on occasion with friends, or play poker with them at times - but that was the extent of it and I never saw it.
Bill Flanigin: Double header... "Which machine features you favorite "bonus in a bonus"?" and
"Curious, do people smoke weed IN vegas casinos??"
Brian Christopher: My favorite 'bonus in the bonus' would have to be a toss up between Mighty Cash and all the Link games (Lightning, Dragon, Ultimate Fire). And no, smoking marijuana in casinos is a no-no and you will be kicked out.
Bobby Saumier: You say : its all about timing. How long between pulls or pushes should a player take. If max bet ..."
Brian Christopher: The answer is, it's all about timing haha. If I knew, I'd be playing right now. #LuckOfTiming. More on that under Cynthia's question below.
Janny Marose: "Using player’s card. Use it or not? Seems like I win more when not being tracked??"
Brian Christopher: Always use the card. Always. The card is not synced with what the machine does or does not pay you. Its sole purpose is to track how much money you put in the machine in order to give you points (which in turn gives you comps. The casino hopes that will bring you back to continue to lose more money!). It may 'seem' like you win more with or without your card, but it's 100% not true at all.
Anne Muir: "what movies have you played in?"
Brian Christopher: You can see the complete list on my IMDB. I'm currently ranked 44,078 out of millions of actors!
Leslie Grossman: "Which bonus games where you have to pick 3 matching symbols are pre determined and which are not?"
Brian Christopher: The general rule is if they do NOT show you the other picks after matching three, then it was pre-determined. If they show you what was behind the unselected spots (Pharoahs Fortune, Quick Hit), then it was all up to you. Some states actually do not allow you pick, thus making them all pre-determined.
Jodi Miller-Whitaker: "What are slot tournaments and HOW do they work? (Winning vs losing.) I always hear about them at the casino but never participate because I don't fully know about them."
Brian Christopher: There are two different ways of getting into a slot tournament. You are either invited to join one, or you can pay to be in one. Basically a monkey could participate, haha. Casinos turn slot machines into "Tournament Mode", and you are given a time limit of 2-5 minutes in which you will non-stop hit the spin button. Depending on the game used, the only kind of skill needed is popping items that may come up on screen, which gives you extra points. Otherwise, just hit that spin button as fast as you can and hope that you're lucky to get good line hits. People are paid out for being in the top 100 places, or whatever they decide, with freeplay or cash.
Cynthia Graff: "Let's talk about rapid fire. Do you find it productive to rapid fire bet? Do you hit more jackpots using this method? Do you use it during free game sessions? For instance, using this method to stop a second coin when you see it during Buffo Gold free game sessions."
Brian Christopher: Rapid fire does nothing but speed up the inevitable. The micro-second the SPIN button is pushed, the slot machine already knows the end result. So stopping it when you think you may line it up or get that third coin, does absolutely nothing. The only thing it does is speed up the amount of spins you can do in a short while, and change the outcome of the following spin. Inside the slot machine is a Random Number Generator (RNG) that is always flickering different numbers, say between 1 and a million. We can't see what those numbers are, but each number correlates to a placement of where the reels will land. #39854 could mean you win $5 where #39855 means you win a jackpot, or nothing at all. When you press spin, the RNG stops on a number. Since the RNG is always flickering, if you rapid fire - the next time you press spin would occur at a different time, thus changing what number it stops on and the outcome. Basically if you sneezed, thus making you press the spin button 0.392 seconds later - your outcome would be different than if you didn't. That's why #ItsAllAboutTiming.
Alice Spiekhout: "What exactly is a moderator? You thank them but what are you thanking them for? Can a moderator take out a comment that is negative before we see it when you’re live? How many moderators do you employ?"
Brian Christopher: Moderators are people who 'moderate' the comments during a live stream. Because my channel is based on having a fun, positive and responsible time - my moderators ensure that is how the chat is run as well. If people are rude or 'misbehaving', then my moderators will either remove the comment or the person behind them. My moderators are all Proud Members of the Rudies who have been part of our family for more than a year and are 100% volunteer. I'm always so grateful to them, so let's give them a round of applause: Brian, Lucinda, Carol, Bridget, Joshua, Cameron, Gregory, Kristen and Adam! Our Rudies Members have now surpassed 1500, and are really something special. #RudieLove
Brian Christopher xoxo ❤️
Wayne Knisley wants me to share: "How to identify when you've gone too deep into gambling! Some people don't see it but others do. Like those who spend their paychecks at the casino and can't pay the rent..."
Thanks for bringing up such an important topic. I've written a previous blog entitled Responsible Gambling where I covered a lot about this. I will add more specifics below.
For some people, gambling can become a form of addiction, like a drug. We have talked about the warning signs and symptoms to look for and I've touched on tricks I have used to ensure it doesn't get out of hand. First and foremost you need to recognize WHY we go gambling and WHAT we can expect from it. Ask any gambler why they're in the casino and most will say that they want to WIN A JACKPOT! Although that's fine and dandy, my presumption is that if you polled those same people leaving the casino, the majority are leaving with less money than they came with.
Setting Realistic Expectations
I have always tried to keep it real on my channel and have no issues telling everyone that I lose more money than I make in the casino (as it is for everyone in the long run). The casino has made it so that you literally CAN'T win. They don't leave it up to skill, and they don't leave it up to chance. They leave it up to mathematical equations that leave it up to fact that they will win more money than you do. Every. Single. Time.
Sure you may win today or tomorrow. You may even go on a winning streak. But these complicated computers (aka slot machines) are designed to take your money. So set up the expectation that when you go to a casino, you will LOSE. If a normal night out on the town costs you $100, then that should be your casino budget. Why all of a sudden would you need to spend $1,000 to have a good time? You could just as easily hire a limousine to drive you around the city, with reservations at the top restaurant and hotel in the city for the same price! If you go to a casino expecting to win a jackpot, you are more likely to come out a loser. Go in there and plan to lose it, yet be happy if you win $5. Because you definitely are not winning $5 at Mama Rosetti's Fine Dining Italian Restaurant.
When it becomes a problem
Gambling is a form of entertainment, NOT a form of making income. If you are short on your rent, going to the casino to make the remaining $200 is the absolute worst idea. Chances are (and factually so),that you'll end up losing more. I get it, being short on funds is NOT a good place to be. I've held multiple jobs at times in my life and still struggled to pay the bills. But the casino should not be seen as a bank, but more of a money pit. Food, shelter, family and savings need to come before all else. I personally follow the financial guru, Dave Ramsey on the radio and YouTube. He gives sound advice on getting out of debt and living a safe, debt free lifestyle. Now he is not a fan of gambling, as he sees it as wasting money (and rightfully so). But, if done responsibly, with your entertainment budget - then I don't see an issue. I'd rather gamble with $200 than pay that amount to watch a screen of someone at a concert lip syncing from the nose bleed section.
If you find yourself down on your luck, then you need to reach out for help to your family, friends or other outreach programs to help get you back on track. A casino can be a dark path for many people. We all read those articles of that ONE person who hit the jackpot on Wheel of Fortune, or that ONE guy who won the Grand on an 80cent bet (lucky bum). But the chances of those occurring are extremely rare and can never be counted on. What I do on YouTube is a form of entertainment for YOU. Be entertained, but do not forget that I am losing my ass while doing so. If you need it and are struggling, seek out a friend to slap you upside the head or reach out to your local gamblers anonymous. I'm always there for you if you need a good slap as well 😬. I've placed some links down below for you to check out.
Meanwhile, next week I'll be answering a slew of more questions posed by you all, from people who filled out the form down below. Keep them coming!!
Brian xoxo ❤️
For more information or if you think you may have a problem, I encourage you to reach out to friends and family and to visit these suggested places as outlined on HelpGuide.org :
The National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline – Offers a confidential, 24-hour helpline for problem gamblers or their family members in the U.S. Call 1-800-522-4700. (NCPG)
Gamblers Anonymous – Twelve-step Gamblers Anonymous program, an international support network of meetings to assist people who have a gambling problem. Gam-Anon for the problem gambler's spouse, family members, or close friends. (Gamblers Anonymous)
Gamcare – Offers support, information, and advice for those with a gambling problem in the UK. Call the helpline 0845 6000 133. (Gamcare)
Gambling Help Online – Provides 24-hour helpline in Australia for counseling, information, and referrals. Call 1800 858 858. (Gambling Help Online)
Canadian Resources for Those Affected by Problem Gambling – Find help and information on problem gambling in your area of Canada. (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
What Is Problem Gambling? – Learn about the gambling continuum and the key differences between recreational gambling and problem gambling. (British Columbia Responsible & Problem Gambling Program)
Freedom from Problem Gambling (PDF) – Self-help workbook for compulsive gamblers, with tips on how to avoid relapse and fight gambling urges. (UCLA Gambling Studies Program and California Department of Public Health)
Choosing a Treatment Facility – Learn what treatments are appropriate for problem gambling and what questions you should ask when look at facilities. (National Council on Problem Gambling)
Problem Gamblers and their Finances (PDF) – In-depth guide for treatment professionals on how to help a problem gambler cope with financial problems and pressures. (National Endowment for Financial Education)
Help for Family, Friends, Employers, and Co-Workers – Learn how gambling addiction affects family and friends and what you can do to address the problem. (Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services)
Personal Financial Strategies for the Loved Ones of Problem Gamblers (PDF) – Designed to help families deal with personal financial issues due to a loved one's problem gambling. (National Council on Problem Gambling)
John McDonough - "I would love to know the behind the scene stuff like who helps you with filming, editing, travelling etc. Also what it looks like when you are playing a slot machine and filming it. I always wonder what the people around you are thinking ( and how they are reacting ) when you are talking to us while filming, lol"
No question, I lead an interesting life. As I often say however, it is not as interesting or as exciting as you may think. Today's blog for example is being written at 10:43pm after a long day full of meetings, interviews and work. (I also managed to squeeze in putting together a new chair for our living room and cooking an awesome meal on the grill for dinner!)
Generally on a regular trip to my local, I go it alone. It's just me, my iPhone, phone charger and monopod. I leave the house between 12 and 1pm to avoid rush hour traffic which takes me about 90 minutes. In rush hour it can double! If I need to film some videos for the channel, I'll head straight there. Otherwise if I'm just going to do a live stream, I will make a stop at a coffee shop near the casino and work on my laptop for a few hours.
Double Camera Set-Up
Now if I need to film for my weekly series, I film it on two cameras and from two different angles. For that I'll bring double the equipment and ask my Rudies if someone is available to help. I don't like asking, but they sure love to help (and I also pay them for their time, so it's a win/win). If I'm flying out of city I will often fly out a friend to help me, ask a friend who is local or another slot channel too. I've had Slot Queen accompany me on a few trips as her and I get along awesome and she's a huge help. I'm also helping to mentor her for her channel, so it's a great opportunity for her to learn. I'm currently hiring for a full time personal assistant (as opposed to a part time one I had in the past), and they will accompany me on my trips going forward so it will no longer be a hassle to organize.
When I'm filming alone and talking to myself, yes, I get a lot of looks and stares. It used to bother me more at the beginning, but not any longer. I've gained a lot more confidence over time so I think people now see me filming and they get a sense that there is a purpose to what I'm doing as opposed to some crazed guy filming a losing session haha.
Once filming is complete, I'll have hours and hours of footage on two different cameras. I upload them both to my computer and start to organize them. (That said, I haven't organized my videos in 3 weeks, so I have to organize videos from Vegas, Niagara Falls, Detroit, Reno and California!!). Then I will put them into proper folders by days and then upload all of them to the cloud along with instructions for my editor. My editor's name is John and he lives in Kentucky. We've never met, but he's worked for me for the past 2 years and does an amazing job. In fact I recently moved him into full time from part-time as well!
There are still times I do still edit myself - such as a HUGE surprise that will be on my channel either today or tomorrow (this is the biggest editing job of my LIFE!). I do enjoy the editing process, but it became too lengthy for me to handle alone.
I love to travel. Traveling for work is somewhat of another story since I don't really spend time out of the casino to explore the city. That's something I need to start working into my schedule. I employ a manager reaches out to casinos on my behalf to try and set everything up. His name is Scott and is relatively new, but doing a fine job. I've instructed him to set me up with 2 trips per month maximum so that I don't overwork myself and still get my quality time at home with Marco. As much as Marco would like to join me for my weekend work trips, it's not fair to expect him to spend his only time off traveling and working. As much as I'd love to go to every casino people ask of me, you would be surprised just how long it takes to gain permission from a single casino. Mohegan Sun took me 11 months! But it was darn worth it and we'll be returning for sure!
The other aspect of this world is all of the social media I have to put out there. I have a Social Media agency who helps me set up all of my posts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Every single post is approved by me before it goes out there and we work on everything in unison. The main lead at the agency is Stephen, and he's also from Toronto and a neighbor! We ended up meeting on a neighborhood site when he was looking for poker players haha. (I'm a kick ass poker player FYI...though I never won a tournament at his house!). Stephen will give me a concept, I'll approve or make any changes, then he'll send it to his team to create, then send it back to me to review and give final approvals. It is because of this whole song and dance of everything I have written above, why it takes me 2-3 months on average from the time I film something, to the time it appears on YouTube. I try and always be one month ahead on my videos and social posts. Currently I've slipped behind, but we have all videos and posts created for the next 3 weeks!
CRAZY the amount of work that goes into something so silly as a little slot channel. So no, I don't just gamble non-stop every day as most people assume. I work super hard with numerous staff members and another one on the way. It is a blessing that I can am able to do what I love and also provide job security for others. I don't take any of it for granted, which is why I'm not answering to Marco's calls to come to bed at 11:38pm, haha. Actually, no, it IS time for bed as my alarm is going off at 8am for another day to start all over again!
I tell you it is one thing trying to avoid all of the negativity in the world, and it is quite another trying to avoid getting eaten alive by the casinos themselves! How on earth can we as gamblers protect ourselves from getting in too deep? I'll offer some tips next week to ensure your gambling adventures don't get too far out of hand!
Brian xoxo ❤️
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Becky Dalton-Taylor wants to know my “..casino bucket list”.
It’s funny, when I decided to answer this question, the number one answer was to LAND THE GRAND! Now having hit that, my list has slightly changed.
What am I missing? Probably a lot, haha. Let me know what your goals are under the Facebook post for this post! There's just so much going on in my life that you guys mostly probably have no clue about. So next week, I take you behind the scenes!
Brian Christopher xoxo ❤️
I asked my Rudies Fan Club what questions they wanted answered, so here are a select few:
Leslie Pravda Grossman: When are the picks during a bonus game predetermined and when are they actually your choices?
Slot Manufacturers don’t publicly announce it, but the general rule is that in a bonus when you must match 3 identical symbols or even just 1, if after making your selection, the slot reveals what the other options would have been had you chosen them, then it is NOT pre-determined. Such examples include bonuses from Quick Hit, Enchanted Unicorn, Cleopatra 2 and Pharaohs Fortune. Casinos in the New York State Lottery for example, do not allow real choosing. It is the only instance I’ve ever seen a pre-determined quick hit bonus.
If on the other hand it does not reveal what the other options could have been had you chosen them, chances are it is indeed pre-determined. Most games involving a picking bonus for a progressive win are pre-determined including Dancing Drums, Fu Dao Le and 88 Fortunes.
Carol Leonard Reynolds: (What are) The pros and cons of having a successful youtube channel.
Well that’s a difficult one, haha. I’m absolutely humbled to have become successful on Youtube. I worked hard to get where I am and I have no regrets. The cons come from the negativity. Most of the negativity comes from other channels and their followers, which is quite ridiculous to say the least. As if they have nothing better to do than run their mouth about someone they have never met. I suppose it really is no different than a workplace job where there is always that one person who is always running their mouth and doesn’t know when to be quiet, lol. The hours I work is another downside. Most people assume I just gamble and then sit on my butt. Truth be told I end up working from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week. I’m even writing this blog during my flight rather than watching ‘A Star is Born’ which is on my bucket list! Marco has been most generous of his time with me. The Pros are endless which is really what keeps me going. The constant messages I receive on a daily basis from people whose lives I have changed for the better – those who have been dealt a poor hand, are disabled or are stuck in a hospital with little to do with their time. Holding my numerous events also gives me the opportunity to meet everyone which is something I absolutely love. Thanks to my channel I now have a full-time career which is rare for most entertainers. Most people don’t realize that most entertainers work paycheck to paycheck or even can’t survive on their income alone. It is reported that 70% of SAG actors make under $16,000 a year! For many years I was a bartender and lyft driver to supplement my acting income. The biggest pro of course, is my Rudies. They’ve truly become an extended family. I love hearing about their casino trips, especially when they’ve formed new relationships from within the group itself. Another great perk is the fact that I’m able to employ staff and pay them a good wage. It’s very important to me to always provide quality content while sharing the success with those who got me there.
Sandra Howe-Forney: Being a You tube Slot personality; how to remain positive although you are hitting nothing!
Haha, it’s funny but true. One thing I have never hid from you all, is the fact that I (everyone really) lose more than I make at the casino. It’s not possible to make money at it long term. So when I’m doing a live stream or sitting through a losing streak where I can’t seem to get a break – it’s important for me to remember that slot machines are designed to take my money. I understand how they are created and that my only goal should be in enjoying the ride. The destination is as important as the journey. It’s all about the anticipation of that big win that could come at any time. It only takes one!!
Kimberly Nolen Glover: Ways to get people to move who are hogging 3 machines at once.
Understanding the rules of a casino is the first step. At my local casino, San Manuel, players are not allowed to play more than one machine unless they hold a top tiered card. At that point, they can play a second machine. So if I see someone playing two or three machines, I usually just roll my eyes and keep moving. But at times when it is impossible to get on a machine and I REALLY want to get on it, I will ask them politely to let me sit down. That usually doesn’t go over well, but you can remind them that those are the rules and that if the casino wasn’t jam packed, it wouldn’t be an issue for you. Most likely they still won’t want to move, so it’s your call if you want to ask an attendant for assistance. Knowing the rules of the casino means that there is no reason at all to raise your voice or get rude. An attendant will do that for you.
Hope Fletcher Lopez: When is the ideal time for you to be approached by your fans? Live-streams seem challenging especially when you are in a bonus and we all want to be extra sensitive when you are filming!
Personally, any time is good while I’m on the casino floor. If I’m live, I love meeting fans. When I’m recording a video, it’s a little harder to stop recording so I may ask you to hold on for a minute til my bonus finishes or something. The only time I like my privacy is when I’m having a meal in a restaurant. That’s my quiet time to relax and separate from the casino life. I find it even more awkward when I can tell someone is over my shoulder, or worse, filming me "secretly" to say they saw me. I'd much rather you just come over and say hello. I'm harmless!
Leslie-Dave Kotula: If you hit a large jackpot is it wise to take a portion in a check or get it all in cash?
I think most gamblers should probably ask for a jackpot to be in the form of a check. The temptation to take that money and try to grow it into something bigger is too large. When you have $10,000 in your pocket, that high limit room is calling your name. You feel invincible! So unless you have strong will power, or hold onto 3 winners banks haha, then a check is a great idea. Three times now I have received over $10,000 in cash and it just makes you super paranoid. As a guy without a purse, I wedge it in my pocket and it barely fits and even comes out the top. Then you’re always looking over your shoulder in case someone is following you! Heck, even if I had a purse I'd be holding against me nonstop. If you’re staying at the casino hotel, then take it directly to your safe. One tip is asking for a member of security to follow you to your car or room. Another great tip is that you can request the casino to mail the W2 form to your house so that you don’t lose it in the excitement. If you’re a high roller and get multiple W2’s in a night, then this method is strongly suggested.
When we walk into a casino, we all have goals and wild expectations. Learn what my bucket list includes next week!
Have a Question you would like answered? Put it down below! Also, enjoy FREE SHIPPING at CasinoSwag.com Thursday May 2 to Monday May 6, 2019 with promo code: MAYFLOWERS19
Brian Christopher xoxo ❤️
Michelle Curry writes, “I love to gamble, but I go about once a month, so it always exciting when I go. Do you still find it exciting now that you go more often and for work?”
One misconception is that I go to the casino EVERY day to gamble, film, edit and upload to YouTube. People will see me at the casino and ask "Will this be up tonight??" I do not do that haha. In fact it takes so long to edit and organize my videos and create posts and promotions for them that they typically won't be uploaded for 2-3 months later!
On a typical month I will travel to Las Vegas for a 3 day weekend, go to my local for 3-4 days for live streams, and perhaps one extra trip to a different casino out of state for another 3 day weekend. So that would be about 6-10 days a month. Some months (like this one) I'm flying all over the place with over a dozen flights visiting half a dozen casinos.
Luckily I do still get excited to go and gamble. There have been times when I’ve been traveling nonstop and am tired and would truly prefer to rest at home. In those moments, the show must go on and I will muster up the energy to do a live stream or film. It truly is exhausting talking and entertaining for hours at a time, and after I’m done, I do tend to crash and burn. I’m sure some of you have run into me at a casino after a live stream or group pulls and found a less that excited Brian, haha. It’s because I give my shows everything I got. I do tend to put my fans ahead of my health and sometimes ahead of my family. Just take last week for example when I decided to do 9 live streams and 5 group slot pulls! I feel I have to always innovate, educate and entertain my subscribers and especially my Rudies Fan Club. And believe me, I WANT to. But it’s just not always manageable.
So do I still get excited? Absolutely. If it gets to the point that I’m no longer excited, then it would show in my videos and it would probably be time to end the channel. I definitely miss the ability to just be a ‘nobody’ and gamble for fun. These days I can’t go to a casino without getting recognized which is freaking awesome on one side, but also forces me to always keep up that energy. I do tell you though, I do not envy real celebrities. They can’t go anywhere or do anything without the expectation to be awesome always. At least it’s mainly all in one place for me. Imagine if Lady Gaga was only recognized in record stores, haha.
I always end my blog asking you to let me know about ideas to write about. Next week I will answer many questions posted by my Rudies, that didn't require an entire blog each. If you have any further questions, please let me know!
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Brian xoxo ❤️
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Brian Christopher is a popular YouTube Star specializing in Slot Machine Gambling Videos