Have you ever experienced the phenomenon where you’ve playing a video game solo, gotten into a deep, focused groove, and basically become a Zen master at the game? Getting into the zone, it’s referred to. And then, like a stone tossed into a calm lake, another person steps into the room, and suddenly you can’t play the game to save your life?
Don’t fret, its a common anomaly; performance anxiety – in gaming and ahem… other areas of life too. I don’t suffer from it in that regards, but I digress. The secret is to ignore the person until they leave the room, allowing calm to return to your inner Zen lake. Or, throw the person out manually, if ignoring them doesn’t work.
I joke, of course, game are always more fun with company, even the ones explicitly designed with a single player experience in mind. But I really do get pangs of performance anxiety when people watch me play games. My brain works much more sharply when it doesn’t have to worry about making small talk, or whether people are judging me for making poor game playing decisions.
And this, unfortunately, caused me all sorts of problems when trying to play live casino games.
Live Casino Panic Attacks
Having only played single player online casino games for the longest time, I got used to having all the time in the world to make decisions. The luxury was ingrained in my brain, without me even being aware of it. And why wouldn’t single player casino games offer all the decision making time you could ask for? There is, after all, an instance of the game for every person playing the game, at any given time.
Upon entering into a live casino for the first time, the dealer, in her calm, sultry tone, said; “Welcome, Marc,” and I was struck with what I can only describe as an icicle of vulnerability being stabbed straight into my gut. A bizarre thing to experience, I know, the dealer is, after all, a real person, that’s the whole point. But being accustomed to single player online experiences had built a sort of comforting anonymity into my brain, and that anonymity had been shattered in a single greeting.
The next thing that caught me off guard was having a limited time to place my roulette bets. The dealer seemed to announce, “place your bets,” followed by “no more bets,” in the blink of an eye. I seemed to never managed to think out my strategy, and place my bets in the given time frame.
Needless to say, my first time in a live casino, overall, did not go swimmingly. I lost a fair chunk of change, almost entirely to fumbling about and clumsy bet making decisions.
Adapting To Live Casinos
Now, I should point out, first of all, that live casinos really are a novelty. In my opinion there is no tangible benefit to playing with a live dealer, as opposed to a single player online version of the same game. The appeal is entirely cosmetic, and the feeling of being part of a communal online experience. So, if you’re not into live casinos, and prefer single player games, I wouldn’t blame you. But everyone should try live dealer games at least once.
I did, however, after a brief adjustment period, learn to play in live dealer online casinos, and soon found myself thoroughly enjoying the experience. There is a certain comradeship that develops between you and the other players, and this certainly can’t be found playing single player games.
One of the other players noted that I was using the Martingale betting system, and made a good-natured joke about it in the chat window, calling me being a “safe playing straight shooter.” I responded that this was better than being a “broke cowboy,” which he had a good laugh about. It was a fun exchange.
By the way; he went broke shortly after with a mad long shot bet. So, he can suck it.
What I Learned
I learned a few things getting into live casino games.
The first is that the dealer, specifically, will never give the faintest crap about what bets you make. He or she has seen so many bets get placed, in so many casino game sessions, that it is all just a massive blur. Likewise other players rarely, if ever, give a crap about the bets you’re placing. You will never be judged for how you play. I say this for the benefit of others who might get performance anxiety.
Second; you don’t need to place bets on every spin of the roulette wheel, every round of baccarat, or whatever other live casino game you happen to be playing that is in a communal setting. You can still take your time and plan your strategies; no rule says you must engage in every round of the game.
And third; casino games really are a great deal more fun when played with others; assuming that that is the experience you’re looking for.