The Art of War and Casino Gambling

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is one of the most influential warfare strategy books ever written, but did you know you can apply it to gambling?

Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War in the fifth century BC. The Chinese military treatise is as relevant today as it was more than 2,500 years ago. The book is split into 13 chapters, each devoted to different skills or art related to warfare. It is considered the influential strategy text in East Asian warfare, but what does it have to do with gambling?

You can use many strategic texts for purposes other than what they were written for. For example, I personally used The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler and Barry Carter, a book dedicated to the psychology behind poker, to help me make progress in both improving my fitness and learning new skills. The Art of War lends itself to gambling, even if your gambling is limited to online casinos.

The Art of War Opening Chapter

Frenchman Lionel Giles translated The Art of War in 1910, and the chapters used for this article are his. Laying Plans is the opening chapter. It talks about exploring the five fundamental factors in the preparation for war: the way, seasons, terrain, leadership, and management. Laying Plans is all about preparing for battle. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, as the motto goes.

Although you are not at war with the casino, you do enter a kind of battle where money is at stake. It pays to know thy enemy in great detail. Knowing if an online pokie has high variance or low, what its house edge is, or the rules and odds of outcomes in other games helps in your quest to take on the casino and, hopefully, enjoy a profitable session.

The Art of War and Bankroll Management

Waging War is the second chapter of The Art of War. It revolves around understanding the economy of conflicts, and how it is important to win decisive engagements quickly. The chapter is essentially about bankroll management.

War is as expensive as it is destructive. Weapons, vehicles, and transport all cost a small fortune. Taking thousands of men and women to the battlefield removes them from the economy. Many wars have started without properly calculating the cost.

The same can be said for gambler; many do not bother with bankroll management. By calculating how much money you need to play a game for a specific period of time means you can budget properly and not spend money you cannot afford to lose.

Have Some Tricks Up Your Sleeve

Variation of Tactics is chapter eight in The Art of War. While the book focusses on the need for flexibility, casino game players can use it differently. Pokies are games of complete chance with minimal user input. However, games such as blackjack and video poker, to an extent, have strategies that lower the house edge.

Knowing about the various strategies for games with a skill element stands you in good stead for victory. For example, following basic blackjack strategy lowers the house edge to a mere 0.5%. That tiny house advantage is much easier to overcome than 2-5% making mistakes causes.

Knowledge is Power

The final chapter of The Art of War is dedicated to the Use of Spies. It focuses on the importance of developing good information sources and how to deal with them. While you cannot spy on an online casino, you can arm yourself with information.

Playing at a casino during times you know they have promotions can increase your win rate. Knowing when a casino is offering reload bonuses helps you maximise your value regardless of what you play. Trying new games when there is a cashback promotion helps reduce your chances of losing. Knowledge is power and using any knowledge you have that can assist you in battle is 100 percent recommended.