Drinking and Gambling

Drinking and gambling seem to go together, but that doesn’t mean they should. While doing some casual drinking while playing is fine, you should keep in mind that drinking too much impairs you judgment, and that includes at the blackjack table.

A quick search on Google News gave me the reminder I needed. The first blackjack story I found was about a man who was taken to detox after thinking a police station was a casino. The man had left a football game and then walked into the University of Nebraska-Lincoln police station, thinking it was a casino. He asked the front desk for some chips and they said they weren’t a casino, so he left. He later returned and tried again. The second time, some police offers questioned him and realized that he was drunk. The man blew a .273 on a Breathalyzer test. To put that into perspective, you’re legally impaired at 0.08. The man was taken into protective custody to detox but was not arrested.

This is a humorous example, but it’s a good reminder. The man is actually lucky that he didn’t walk into a casino. If he was visibly drunk, the casino likely would have turned him away, but if they couldn’t tell then he could have lost a lot of money there by making poor decisions.

If you visit a casino and are hitting the blackjack tables, the cocktail waitresses will bring you free drinks. That’s not out of the kindness of their hearts. It is because free drinks make you happy, which will keep you playing, and because drinking inhibits your decision-making ability. If you have had too many drinks, it becomes more likely that you will ditch basic strategy or flat betting and try something crazy, like drastically increasing your bet on a hunch.

The same thing can happen at home while playing at an online casino, though. Unfortunately, you probably don’t have a Breathalyzer there. For that reason, I advocate abstaining from drinking alcohol while you gamble. If you can’t do that, limit to a number of drinks that you know you can have while still being in total control.

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