Are You Raking the Pot on Cannabis?

Most seasoned gamblers understand that game selection is key to making money. It’s paramount. When playing the slots or video poker, you want to find machines that payout higher and more often. With blackjack, it’s important to play at tables with as few decks in the shoe as possible and at tables that payout the standard odds of 3-to-2 for 21, not the 6:5 ratio many of the larger casinos are transitioning to these days. Roulette is no different. You want to play European Roulette, where there is one green bit on the wheel. American roulette plays with the dreaded ‘Double Zero.’

Game selection takes on a whole different meaning in poker, where it’s people versus people as opposed to people versus the casino. Poker is a different animal. You’ve heard the saying, ‘the sharks are circling?’ Well, with poker they are. There’s blood in the water. The sharks are seeking out the so-called ‘fish,’ or weaker players, and while playing in one game will often keep tabs on other tables in an effort to spot the easy money. Many times they target drunk players who have lost their inhibitions thanks to alcohol. Booze can cause reckless play and tilt. It will trick people into playing above their limit, resulting in bigger losses, and can put a downer on an otherwise great evening of entertainment. It can leave a bad taste in your mouth, literally.

What about Gambling on Marijuana?

Marijuana in front of poker chips and dice.

Are expert and professional poker players seeking out potheads as potential fish? In a word — YES!

“Especially aggressive players like myself, I would take advantage of the situation if I knew my opponent’s were stoned,” says Christopher Womack, an online poker player from Denver, Colorado, who specializes in cash games, but who has also had success in tournaments, including a 3rd place finish at the Binion’s Poker Classic and a 6th place showing at the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza. He has also played and cashed in the money at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

I find that players who get high on marijuana often tell the truth with their bets. Actually, I seek out the stoned players, target them and three and four-bet them all night in games. I like to put them to the test. It’s the same reason I don’t partake while I’m playing. I feel if another player knows I am stoned, I may be put to the test for all my chips. I don’t like to give away information to my opponents.

Womack knows his marijuana too. It’s the reason he plays most of his poker online and only attends a few tournaments each year. He’s too busy. Womack is heavily involved in Colorado’s thriving marijuana industry, where the hemp and cannabis business is booming. He is the minority owner of a legal wholesale grow operation and co-founder of Canna Scix Labs, an agricultural scientific research and biotechnology company that looks to discover, create and mass produce elite marijuana crop plants.

Relax & Recharge

“The plant has tremendous healing qualities, provides many benefits and serves a lot of good. I enjoy cannabis because it relaxes me and allows me to recharge my mind for a good nights sleep.”

Womack takes poker more serious than most and doesn’t personally partake while gambling, but he’s not opposed to new or recreational gamblers having fun with marijuana. Legal now in Canada, and a growing number of states in the U.S., it is becoming more and more ingrained in our culture. It’s more accepted now. Where there is a casino, there is no doubt the waft and aroma of marijuana somewhere nearby.

The idea is to have fun while gambling, so if smoking a joint and playing craps is your thing, then go for it. It you just want to sit back and relax at the slot machines after a long day at the office, or play some low-limit poker on a Friday night, that’s cool. It’s about the entertainment and having fun.

Indica vs Sativa

Render of indica and sativa marijuana

If you’ve ever been to a marijuana dispensary you’ve likely noticed the various strains available are divided into three distinct categories: indica, sativa and hybrid. Indica strains are believed to be physically sedating, perfect for relaxing at the club with friends or before bed. The cerebral effects of sativa strains are more invigorating and uplifting, ideal for physical activities like exercise, social gatherings or creative projects.

“Always sativa, especially for long sessions, edibles are a good option as well,” Womack said.

Use at your own caution. You don’t want to be getting high and having fun only to lose all your hard-earned money. Marijuana can cloud your senses and your judgement. The effects can differ depending on how potent the pot is, how you use marijuana and your tolerance. It may also distort your sense of time, hurt your motor skills and make driving more dangerous. And, you will need to find an alternate route to the casino if using cannabis because it is illegal to drive on marijuana in Canada.

Always gamble responsibly.

Derrick Oliver

Derrick Oliver

Derrick Oliver Dewan is the founder of High Roller Radio and has interviewed a number of the world's top poker players and gamblers. A former radio and television broadcaster, Derrick was brand manager for Poker Pro Canada magazine and has written for a variety of publications, including the Toronto Star & Windsor Life.

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