Promise Rings! Hot Symbols of Commitment Since the 16th Century!

What’s all this fuss about promise rings? Are they something new or have they been around for a while? What do they mean and why is my teenager wearing one? If you’ve ever wondered what the rage is all about, then you’ve come to the right place!

What exactly is a promise ring?

When an agreement or oath has been made between two people, a promise ring is a piece of jewelry given as a token of the commitment that was made.

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Well, be careful because the promise made between two people can be practically anything. It’s imperative that both parties are clear on the meaning of the pact or pledge. For example:

  • Monogamy: A promise to stay faithful to one another.
  • Chastity or Purity: A promise to keep ones virginity until marriage.
  • Friendship: A promise to seal a pledge of eternal friendship.
  • Substance or Sobriety: A promise to remain free from addictive behavior (alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, etc.).
  • Religious or Christian: A promise to remain committed to one’s faith or belief in the God of their understanding.

These are just a few of the more popular reasons to give or wear a promise ring.

Pre-Engagement

That being said, the most popular reason to give a promise ring is for pre-engagement.

Are you confused yet? Pre-engagement is actually not as bad as it sounds. It has always been popular to exchange promise rings, so a couple can showcase their commitment to one another prior to getting engaged. In other words, this ring is symbolic of a promise there will be an engagement ring forthcoming.

If you are old enough to remember “going steady” with someone then giving this type of promise ring is kind of the updated version of going steady. The symbolism of the promise ring is really no different than a girl of years ago wearing her boyfriend’s high school ring on a chain around her neck or wearing her steady boyfriend’s letterman jacket. If you are too young to understand this analogy, talk to your parents or grandparents and they can enlighten you.

This trial period before the engagement is a good way for a couple to test the waters before they make an actual commitment to marriage. Some may scoff at this gesture of pre-engagement. However, with the rise in divorce rates in this country it may be wise to start off slowly in the relationship instead of rushing ahead into something you are not ready for.

The other good news here is that a promise ring costs significantly less than an engagement ring. It makes a wonderful alternative for the couple who chooses not to spend a fortune on a ring at this time but still wants to make a statement about their commitment to one another.

How does one wear a promise ring – which finger, which hand?

Basically it’s strictly a matter of personal preference, however the finger and hand you choose can depend entirely on the type of ring it is and in some cases the type of pledge. For example, an Irish Claddagh ring can have several meanings depending on the way it is:

  • Worn on the left hand, the wearer has made a promise of love and fidelity.
  • Worn on the right hand with the heart facing outward, the wearer’s heart is free.
  • Worn on the right hand with the heart turned inward, the Wearer’s heart is taken.

If you are exchanging friendship rings, it may be wise to wear the ring on your right hand so there is no confusion about romantic ties. There are many different types of rings you can share with a friend that will be meaningful to you both. A fun vacation you went on or the love of a certain hobby or animal, for example. My best friend and I share a love of cats. Therefore, we bought matching kitty cat rings, gold with diamond pave no less! These rings are special only to us and are a symbol of our friendship.

Most people associate the wearing of a ring on the left hand ring finger to mean that a significant commitment of some sort has been made.

If the promise is for pre-engagement, many couples choose to wear this ring on their left hand ring finger. They then switch the ring to their right hand once the actual engagement ring or wedding band is received.

Likewise a ring exchanged for the promise of monogamy or fidelity would be worn on the left hand ring finger to symbolize that the wearer’s heart is taken.

Where did the promise ring originate?

Rings themselves have been symbolic for many thousands of years. The circle has no beginning and no end and is a strong symbol for eternity.

Have you ever heard of a scribbling ring? In sixteenth century England, uncut diamond crystals were set into rings and exchanged by lovers. The wearers of these scribbling rings would use the points of the diamonds to etch (or “scribble”) romantic writings to each other in glass, mirrors or windows.

Another popular ring exchanged during Shakespearian times was called a Posey Ring. Posey rings are inscribed with poetic phrases or dates significant to the wearer.

It is believed that wearing words next to ones skin has a magical effect. These symbolic words may be carved on the outside or inside of the ring, or on both sides, there is no right or wrong way to do it!

Posey rings are a romantic way to share an expression of love and come engraved with beautiful sayings. It is no surprise that since French is said to be the language of love — the French poseys are very popular. Some special phrases include:

  • A Ma Vie De Coer Entier – My whole heart for my whole life
  • A Vila Mon Coer, Gardi Li Mo – Here is my heart, guard it well
  • Amor Meus – My Love
  • Autre Ne Veuil – No one, but you
  • De M’Amoure Soiez Sure – Of my love be sure

Ok, so maybe French isn’t your thing – how about one of these:

  • In Gaelic – Anam Cara – Soul Friend
  • In English – I Am My Beloved’s & My Beloved Is Mine
  • In Latin – Semper Amenus – Our love is forever
  • In German – Mine Genyst – My heart
  • In Hebrew – Mazel Tov – Marital good luck ring
  • Christian – With This Ring, I Thee Wed
  • In Italian – Mani In Fede – Hands Together in Faith
  • In Spanish – No Tengo Mas Que Darte – I have nothing more to give you but my heart

Use your imagination and write a Posey of your own!

The list of Posey ring sayings is endless! If you really want to “wow” the love of your life, come up with a special phrase that is meaningful to just the two of you. Having a special ring engraved with one of your own poseys would be a very romantic way for you to share your most heartfelt sentiments with a special someone you care about!

Perce Galea: The Prince

Among the ranks of big Australian punters, during the times when wagering on horse races often attracted an element of society not noted for exemplary scruples, Percival John Galea, a.k.a. “Perce” and “The Prince,” left his inimitable, indelible mark on the Sport of Kings in Australia.

Born 26 October 1910 in Malta, one of 10 children, his family immigrated to Australia around 1912, settling near Sydney. Perce began his punting career as early as 1924. Working as a newsboy outside Central Railway Station, he used his earnings to place small wagers.

By 1926, he was employed as a milk man, and had his first taste of the good fortune that was to follow him for the rest of his life.

This good fortune took the form of one of Galea’s customers by the name of Rodney Bangor who happened to be the owner of none other than Peter Pan. Perce took Bangor’s tip to back Peter Pan in the 1934 Melbourne cup, for which he earned a $150 payday, a considerable sum in those times.

For the next several years leading up to World War II, he was employed as a wharf labourer. The outbreak of World War II up to around 1948 saw him occupying the role of a registered bookmaker for the Wentworth Park greyhound races, along with running baccarat “schools” with Samuel Lee and a man with criminal connections, Sid Kelly.

Galea placed a $2,500 investment in Lee’s company in 1949 and given the title of director, worked as a host and manager in Lee’s restaurant. It was during this time, 1952, that he had a brush with the law over the purchase of black-market beer. He went on to become co-owner and manager of a nightclub in Elizabeth Bay called the Roslyn Social Club. The club was raided by the police in 1953 and produced 46 arrests. Galea was fined a small amount for running an illegal gambling house, from which he learned a lesson of the benefit supplied from the right amount of money placed in the proper hands. The authorities never bothered him again with the exception of a run in with the taxation commissioner over his understatement of his income between 1955 to 1963.

Galea was experiencing some financial difficulties when Lady Luck smiled on him again and bestowed $12,000 in the form of lottery winnings. This is when his punting career took off.

He took enough prize money to buy his first race horse in 1961. He regularly plunged large sums in what could have been considered as a sign of a compulsive gambler, but he adhered to the old adage that you don’t have a gambling problem if you’re winning. Even after suffering a heart attack in 1962, he continued to wager big, plunging as much as $25,000 on a single race.

1964 produced his best year as a horse owner. His horse, Eskimo Prince, won the STC Golden Slipper Stakes, bringing Galea something in the neighborhood of $33,000. He very nearly touched off a riot, when receiving an enthusiastic welcome afterward, he began tossing bank notes to the crowd.

Eskimo Prince also took the Rosehill Guineas and the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes, bringing Galea great sums to add to his tote, however, he reputedly gave $40,000 back when Eskimo Prince failed to place in the AJC Derby.

The third stroke of luck to grace Galea bore an eerie resemblance to that experienced in 1960 by Melbourne Mick Bartley. Perce, in 1975, cached $200,000 from the Sydney Opera House lottery.

Perhaps to make up for the undesirable elements in his life, Galea made generous donations to the Catholic church in Sydney as well as staging an annual party for the less fortunate.

Galea was elected a provisional member of the Australian Jockey club in 1976, which somewhat smacks of irony given Galea’s past associations.

Percival John Galea suffered another heart attack in 1977, died, and was buried in Botany cemetery.

He left behind an estate worth over $400,000, along with a reputation of being a good friend, admired by his fellow punters and feared by bookmakers.

Ten Mistakes Most Lottery Players Make

Which Mistakes Are YOU Making?

Sure you can easily stroll into just about any store and buy a lottery ticket. It’s just that easy. That’s just as it should be. Playing the lottery can be a fun and easy diversion with the chance of a major payoff. You, however, are a more serious player. The fact that you are reading this shows that. You are motivated enough to wade through detailed information to learn how to cut out the bad habits and practices and find a better way to play the lottery in an intelligent manner. Here is a list of 10 too common mistakes that lottery players make. Every single one of these items could be costing you ticket money, time, frustration, and perhaps even millions of dollars. Read them, take them to heart, and then put them into practice.

1. Playing the Wrong Lottery Games

Have you ever really considered which games you play and why? How much money do you really need to win? What amount of winnings would make an impact on your life? Here in Texas we have many different choices. You can play a large multi-state game like Mega-Millions with HUGE multi-million dollar payoffs but the unfortunate odds of only 1 chance in 175,711,536 of taking home the jackpot! Wow, that’s one ticket for each of over half the population of the U.S.A.

On the other hand the Texas Two-Step lottery prize begins at $200,000 and has often reached a million dollars. The odds of winning the smaller game are only 1 in 1,832,600! By switching from the Mega-Millions game to the Texas Two-Step you increase your chance of winning a

prize by over 95 times! Put another way you would have to buy 95 Mega-Millions tickets to have the same odds of winning with one Texas Two-Step ticket.

In the area you live there are probably the same choices between small games with small prizes like pick thee games, five and six ball games with mid-range payouts, and the huge multi-state games with incredible odds against you.

2. Playing Birthdays as Lottery Number Picks

Trust me, I know. You have a series of numbers that you have chosen based on your children’s birthdays and the day you got married and your mom and dad’s wedding anniversary date. Bad move. Here’s why.

When you choose lottery numbers based on meaningful dates you limit your choices to the number of days in a month. In other words you are limited to numbers from a pool of 1 to 31. As an example of the problem in this method think about this. In the Texas Lotto game 6 numbers are drawn from a pool of 54 numbers. 54 numbers give you a whopping 25,827,165 possible combinations! When you choose from the pool of numbers ranging from 1 to 31, how many combinations do you think there are to choose from? There are a measly little 736,281. Think about that. When you choose between 1 and 31 you get 736,281 possible combinations BUT you absolutely, positively lose out on the other 25,090,884 possible combinations! Choosing birthday numbers decreases any chance of your having the winning combination by almost 97%. That’s insane.

I know, you read about several people who chose birthday numbers and won millions. I also realize that your string of birthday numbers has EXACTLY the same chance of being drawn as any of the other 25,827,165 possible combinations. It’s true, each combination has the same chance of being drawn. Still, are you willing to cut out almost 97% of your possible winning chances? I am not willing to give up almost all of the possible winning combinations simply to use sentimental choices. My goal is to play smarter than that.

3. Inconsistent Playing

Consistency pays. It is to your advantage to be a little fanatical about making sure you are in the mix for every drawing. Lottery corporations constantly chant the mantra ‘You Can’t Win If You Don’t Play’ as a sales tool, but they are right on the money. You can’t win if you don’t play! You should never miss playing the game of your choice, the one you have set your sights on winning. If you cannot afford to play some system you are fond of or as many tickets as you wish you could, if you have no partners to pool money with, whatever the reason, you should ALWAYS have at least one ticket in each and every drawing in your game.

Some lottery guides give the advice to stay out of certain overplayed drawings. Perhaps if the odds are extreme, the competition too fierce, or the payoffs too small, then yes. But in general there is no good reason to sit out. Think about this, what if the numbers you meant to play were chosen the one night you chose to watch that rerun of that sitcom rather than traipse out into the world to get your ticket? If that happens, don’t call me to cry, though I would like to hear the story. Just don’t expect a shoulder to cry on. You’ve been warned. Sitting out with not even one ticket is the same as saying you don’t want the chance of becoming filthy rich this week.

4. Playing Too Much or Too Little

You should first decide which game is the best one for you to play, than make a commitment to play it regularly. Next it would be wise to make a quick budget of what you can afford to play or what you are comfortable wagering. I once read about a young immigrant man in Houston, Texas who won several million dollars. Great news! Then I read that he played several hundred dollars worth of tickets each week for several years before winning. I actually worried a bit for him. Everyone has a budget they can live with but most could not and would not want to spend that much money on lottery tickets. Was he married? Was he neglecting his family? Did he have a gambling problem?

So please, spend on lottery only the excess small amounts you might normally spend on coffees or other treats. Do not spend money you cannot afford to lose. Make sure you can afford the game you play. But make sure you also play, at least once in every drawing. The one headline you will never see is the person that didn’t buy a ticket and still won the lottery.

5. Using Faulty Data, Math, or Systems

Many systems have better written advertisements than actual materials and plans, and others use cumbersome software or require endless hours of drudgery and record keeping. Many are some form of wheeling system that works best (and only a little better than simply chance) if you can afford to buy hundreds of tickets in a drawing. It is easy to lose interest when a lot of work is required and the chance of winning does not change much with the system. Seek out the best ways of playing, ways that create more winners, require little or no work on your part, and are easy to use.

6. Playing Common Combinations of Numbers

Read this carefully. It would be a good idea to avoid strange combinations of numbers. Examples would be 1-2-3-4-5-6 or 49-50-51-52-53-54. Avoid sequence choices such as 5-10-15-20-25-30 or 2-4-6-8-10-12 or 7-14-21-28-35-49. Never fill out a lottery slip by checking all of the boxes on the left, or right, or spelling out a number or letter or word with the darkened squares on the play slip.

Why? Because in every drawing there are dozens, sometimes hundreds, and even thousands of folks doing the same thing as you. Imagine going to bed after checking your numbers and knowing you had won a million dollars, only to wake up the next morning to discover 99 other folks are sharing your million dollar dream. Hey, any lottery win is better than no lottery win, but a million dollars will take you a lot farther in life than $10,000! Go for the big one, and if you have to share, hope it is with a lotto pool partner instead of 99 strangers.

7. Being Tempted By New Plans and Schemes

There are dozens if not hundreds of complicated plans and schemes out there that use slick ads and empty promises to sell the latest flavor of information on how to win the lottery. One mistake many players make is to fall to the temptation of the slick advertising and empty promises. Are you one of those people who always must try every new lottery “winning” system you see? Do you buy tickets one way for a few weeks and then totally switch your methods? Lottery games are mostly a losing proposition. The odds are HUGE and against you. Spending time and money on various faulty systems, plans, and software takes away from your goal of actually taking home the big one. Find one good method and stick with it for the long haul.

8. Giving Up On the Dream Too Soon

Have you ever heard of the ‘loser’s limp’? It is said that many a football player will make a stunning run down the field, magically skirting past opposing team members, only to slow and falter in the final few yards, being tackled, and failing to make that all important touchdown. You may have seen players do this very thing and wondered what in the world they were doing. At times it makes me even wonder if the darn game is fixed! Truth is though, loser’s limp is real and to be found not just in football but in every human endeavor. It’s always darkest before the dawn is what they say. Remember, if you don’t play you can’t win. That one drawing you miss might have been the one. Persistence pays!

Don’t give up on the dream. You CAN win the lottery! Someone will!

9. Spending Money on Less Effective Games

I am not a big fan of, nor can I ever suggest that you spend money on, ‘scratch-off’ style games. Lottery odds are bad enough but if you dig deep in the odds and payout figures on scratch off tickets, WOW, they are a major hole in the ocean in which to toss your hard earned cash.

I can almost hear you saying “But come on, they are a fun diversion”. Hey, it’s your money so spend it how you want to spend it but know in advance it is a losing proposition. Unlike the lottery where creative types have found a few ways that can significantly affect the odds making it a chance worth taking, scratch-off tickets are like shooting in the dark. Often the bullet will hit you!

If you are going to tell me about Uncle Louie who “always wins with those things,” well, I have dozens of friends and not one of them ever has returned from Las Vegas with tales of losing money. They ALL won. However do the casinos pay the electric bills on all of those neon signs? For the smart player scratch-offs are not an option.

10. Not Using Guaranteed Lottery Numbers

You have so many choices on how to approach lottery games. You can just blindly buy quick pick tickets and let fate have its way with you. How has that worked out over the years?

Or you can invest large amounts of cash into complicated systems, hard to figure out software, and keeping records of cool and hot numbers, number sums, wheeling choices, and a thousand other details, and in the end have just about the same chance of winning the lottery as when you began.

Or you can make a smart choice and use a proven method that uses a proprietary system to pick the most likely numbers to be drawn, so powerful that you are guaranteed to win lottery money!

That’s right, there is such a thing as guaranteed lottery numbers, risk free and 100% money back guaranteed. You can find out much more information at guaranteedlotterynumbers.com

Understanding Razz Poker

Razz poker, which is also called five or seven-card-stud-low, is one of the dozens of poker games available today. To understand Razz poker it is a good idea to understand the basic rules and terminology used in all poker games. The other names for Razz poker, five-card-stud-low and seven-card-stud-low, refer to a game in which each player is initially dealt two cards face down and one card face up.

The player with the lowest face card must begin the betting. Players dispose of unused “burn” cards and are dealt an additional face card to make up for the card placed in the discard pile. Cards are dealt in such a manner until they total either five or seven face cards. The object of the game is to obtain the best set of either five or seven face cards with the lowest ranking. In this game aces are played as the number “1” so that they can be played “low” and built off of with a subsequent 2, 3, etc. The best hand in five-card-stud-low is 5, 4, 3, 2, ace and in seven-card-stud low Razz poker the best hand is 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, ace.

It is also important to know basic poker terminology, although “hand” terminology is not relevant in Razz poker. Straights, flushes, full houses, et cetera mean nothing in five and seven-card-stud-low. Terms that are important include: “rank,” or the number of the card: 2, 3.4,5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace; “suits,” which can be spade, heart, club, or diamond; “all-in,” which is betting all your chips; “ante,” which is a forced bet where players must bet equal amounts; and “hand,” which can be straight flush, four of a kind, full house, straight, three of a kind, two of a kind, two pair, one pair, or high card hand.

Bulgaria Casinos

Bulgaria, located in the South-East of Europe, is a popular destination for holidaymakers due to its sandy beaches and inexpensive ski resorts. Less well known is the wide choice it offers for those looking for a flutter, but in fact there are eight Bulgaria casinos.

Six of the eight are located in the capital Sofia, whilst the other two are in Varna, an important port and entertainment resort located on the famous Black Sea.

Sofia, the capital and largest city in Bulgaria, is a popular destination for tourists and business visitors. It offers great opportunities for gambling in its six casinos.

The city’s premier gambling spot is the Viva Casino Sofia, located at 5 Sveta Nedelya Square in the heart of the city. This 2,831 square foot emporium has six gaming tables, offering American Roulette, Blackjack, Electronic Roulette and Poker. There are also 51 slot machines. When you tire of gambling the complex has three restaurants, two bars, and a hotel with 188 rooms.

Elsewhere the casinos are smaller, but no less fun. If it is gaming tables that are your pleasure then there is the Casino London, based in the Hotel Radisson, Narodynoye Sbranye, which has nine table games and 10 slot machines. There is also the Casino Rila, on 6 Kaloyan Street, in the Hotel Rila. It has 10 gaming tables and a restaurant. The Hemus Hotel and Casino has 11 gaming tables and also 100 slot machines.

For those who just want to play on the slot machines there is the Casino Memphis, on the Maria Luisa Boulevard, which has 15 slot machines, and is open for 24 hours a day. Additionally the Casino Princess, also on Maria Luisa Boulevard, has 100 slot machines, and a restaurant, and is also open for 24 hours a day.

If the seaside is where you want to be then the resort town of Varna has two of the largest Bulgaria casinos. The Casino International has 2,000 square feet of gaming opportunities, with 15 table games and 157 slot machines. There are three restaurants, two bars and a hotel. The Casino Varna also has 2,000 square feet, with 75 slot machines and 11 table games (American Roulette, Blackjack, Punto Banco, and Stud Poker).

So seaside or capital city there is something on offer at the Bulgaria casinos for gamblers of all types.

What Tempts You? Number 2 – The James Sequence

“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:14-15

Temptations. I’m not talking about silly stuff like eating decadent chocolate or buying another pair of shoes. I’m talking about temptations that deal with the real you and those places in your heart and soul that nobody knows about.

What goes on inside that inner part of you that, if told, would blow people away? What are you thinking in your head that if uttered by mouth would sink your spiritual reputation in an instant? Don’t tell me you don’t have these thoughts because we all know better.

There’s that person you just wish would disappear and you wouldn’t have to deal with again. The really pretty girl that grabs the attention of a married man when he least expects it and those angry words on the tip of your tongue just waiting to be said.

The natural man wants to sin-that’s a given. It’s what we as Christians do with those urges and temptations that call us to attention in front of a holy, reverent God. A friend of mine said that men are born to look; it doesn’t mean they want it, they just look. Satan can do a lot with that look. It can turn into something that grows and is fed by lust. That lust has ruined many marriages and families over the centuries. Is that your temptation?

Satan’s desire is that the temptation he lays before you will draw you away from a holy God. He creates that temptation in the form of another human being, a gambling habit you can’t break, the insatiable desire to have the biggest, best, most expensive of…something. Whatever he sees in you that is hidden in that inner part of your heart and soul that is not God-like, He expands it right in front of you and makes it so enticing the urge to resist flees.

Don’t forget about the last part of that verse either. “When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Many of us think things in our heads and hearts that never come out. We never allow Satan the upper hand and let the temptation metastasize. But…(that little word), when we DO, we’re sinning and sin brings death. The Bible says physical death and (I’m thinking) death of your testimony before others. Death of relationships long nurtured. Death of God’s perfect plan for your life.

THANK GOD for salvation, forgiveness, a loving God! Without His accepting love covering our mistakes we would be sunk. Thank you, Jesus, for making a way of escape from Satan’s tempting snares.

The Day I Decided To Stop Gambling With Gamblers Anonymous

Everything was going perfect for me in life. Good job, good home, good life and good friends. Until one day some friends asked if I wanted to go to the casino. By the time I realized it, three years of my life were gone and I was in debt. It was time to quit.

The day I decided to stop gambling I was depressed and relieved at the same time. I couldn’t go on any longer. I thought all my hopes and dreams were shattered. I couldn’t tell anybody what I was going through. I was afraid that they would be disappointed in me. I remember the first day. I was nervous and anxious. I had a hard time focusing at work. This was not my first time trying to quit. I was sure I really wanted to quit, but wasn’t sure if I could quit.

The day I decided to quit I had no where to turn. I found it was difficult to talk to my family and friends about my problem. I began to do research and found Gamblers Anonymous. I wanted to give Gamblers Anonymous a try. I happened to have met a lot of nice people there. They welcomed me into the group and made me feel comfortable. I had tears coming down my face and my anxiety kicked in. I was very quiet buy my emotions were running wild inside. I made it through my first meeting and was somewhat looking forward to the next one. As each week passed new members would join and others would disappear. This became a weekly event. Who was going to come back and who was going to stay?

I continued to go to my Gamblers Anonymous meeting on a weekly basis. I was always afraid some one would recognize me. The turn over was extraordinary. Each week as I entered the meeting my heart began to race until I was sure I didn’t know any of the new members. It was the tenth week and an old co-worker of mine walked through the doors. We hadn’t worked together for over ten years. I thought about leaving but I decided to stay and try and work it out. Unfortunately he did not keep the Gamblers Anonymous code. He had told a friend who told another friend until it got back to me. It was unfortunate, but I dealt with it and moved on.

I and others unfortunately had other situations occur that were not very positive for us at Gamblers Anonymous. I still thank them for putting me on the road to recovery. From the first time I entered Gamblers Anonymous and followed up with the website I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/

I believe I am on the road to recovery. I take one day at a time and allow myself the option to gamble or not to gamble. This helped me to take control of my life. By allowing myself to make the choice the amount of stress on me has been significantly reduced.

A month after I stopped going to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I ran into one of the members. He was curious at how I was doing and asked me if I would be there next week? I told him I would try and make the meeting. I popped in a few times more to tell them how I was doing. They were all glad to see me, but I wasn’t in compliance with the rules of Gamblers Anonymous, so I decided not to go back. In this particular group I attended, they have rules that do not allow a member to comment during therapy if they did not attend four consecutive weekly meetings. I respected their rules but realized it was time to move on. I told the group and thanked them very much for putting me in the right direction and left.

After this experience I created a website that would allow people to be themselves as they recover. This site is also the closest to anonymous you can get. There you will also find a private stop gambling chat room and a self help manual to help gamblers stop compulsive gambling addiction. The website is I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/.

My experience from Gamblers Anonymous meetings to now has helped me to stop gambling. I stopped so can you!

Making Money Using Gambling Systems to Supplement Your Income – The Truth

To many people, the life of the professional gambler seems glamorous and inviting. But as in most cases in life, gambling, like any profession that offers the possibility of high rewards, is difficult and demanding. The truth is that most people who manage to make any profit from gambling over the long haul, work very hard, and have to sacrifice to earn the money.

When I say earn, I mean just that. I don’t mean to discourage you if you have your heart set on being a professional gambler, but knowing what you are getting into before you begin is one of the best ways to make sure you will succeed. You can make money from gambling systems if you have enough money to fund your bets and support you while you learn the game and adapt the system to suit your own talents and style, but being under funded is the number one reason that many gamblers fail. Gambling, even if you are very skilled, still involves risk and therefore losing streaks. It takes money and discipline to survive the lean times.

Surviving the losing streaks financially and emotionally is the mark of a true professional. One thing that professionals use to keep their sanity and not go on tilt permanently is statistics. I know you think that statistics are used by many gambling systems to beat the games, but they are also used to reassure the players that the tide will eventually turn in their favor. That is the strength of a system, whether it is a poker, blackjack, roulette, horse racing, dog racing, craps or any other system.

That is the good news about using a systematic method to beat any game. The not so good news is that no one is going to sell you a way to make a killing at any game right out of the box. You will have to take the information they give you, adapt it to your own talents and style, and then work very hard and endure the ups and downs of the gambler’s life.

When I say adapt the system, I mean that a good gambling system will teach you certain statistics, or situations to look for in any game. For instance, a poker system might teach you how to figure pot odds and play position, while a horse racing system might teach you how to spot an overlay or a false favorite. The most important lesson you can learn from any gambling system is how to spot a good bet. But any of these lessons will do you no good unless you have the personality to take advantage of them.

For instance, if you are a person with a limited attention span who needs fast action and stimulation to remain focused, grinding out a living sitting for hours counting cards at a blackjack table won’t work for you. On the other hand, a system that teaches you to scan the toteboard at the race track and to spot an overlay and then to bet and see the result of the bet in two minutes, may be better suited to your personality type.

Finding the right system to match your personality is the most important part of gambling success after understanding what you are up against, of course. The next most important step is taking the time to learn how to gamble successfully while making small bets. To learn any other trade, you have to go to school or learn on the job. The same is true of gambling. So research the games and systems to find what is best suited to you and then prepare by practicing and slowly increasing bets as you learn the game. That is the best approach to success in any endeavor.

Bridge Conventions for Beginners: Stayman and Blackwood

Stayman is a convention used after partner opens the bidding with one no-trump (1NT). Its purpose is to locate a 4-4 fit in hearts or spades. A response of two clubs is Stayman, asking “Partner, do you have four hearts or four spades?” To use Stayman, responder must hold at least one four-card major suit (hearts and/or spades), and 7 high card points or more (the equivalent of an ace and a king).

The purpose of Stayman is to use hearts or spades as trumps, if the hands will play better than in a no-trump contract.

If partner does not have four hearts or four spades, he should rebid two diamonds. With a four-card heart suit, he should rebid two hearts. And with four spades, he should rebid two spades. Note that with 4-4 in both major suits, partner should bid two hearts. After hearing partner’s bid, responder can bid naturally.

Stayman can also be used after an opening bid of two no-trumps (2NT). A three clubs response is then Stayman.

The Stayman convention was popularized by Sam Stayman, a wealthy businessman and bridge expert in the mid-20th century.

Blackwood is a convention for bidding slam contracts. It is used when a trump suit has been agreed and a player thinks that a small slam or grand slam is possible. A bid of four no-trumps (4NT) asks partner how many aces he holds.

Partner should bid five clubs with 0 or 4 aces; five diamonds with 1 ace; five hearts with 2 aces; and five spades with 3 aces. A five no-trumps follow-up bid asks partner how many kings he holds. Partner should bid six clubs with 0 or 4 kings; six diamonds with 1 king; six hearts with 2 kings; and six spades with 3 kings. The five no-trumps bid should only be used if there is a possibility of a grand slam.

After hearing partner’s responses, the Blackwood bidder’s subsequent bids are natural.

There are certain times when 4NT is not Blackwood. The most common example is when partner opens the bidding with one, two or three no-trumps. In those cases, then a 4NT response invites opener to bid a slam slam (6NT) with maximum strength.

Blackwood has a reputation for being an abused convention; it should only be used when there are no other good bids available for probing for slam.

Blackwood is named for Easley Blackwood, a bridge expert and contemporary of Sam Stayman.

Online Card Games

Online card games are those card games that you can play on the Internet, either with a person or with a robot, but usually with another person. Oftentimes many players can play at one time, depending on the game of choice. These online card games can be just for fun, or they can be a gambling endeavor, in which players pay a certain amount to play, and winners earn cash prizes. Online card games in which you can gamble are legal in most places right now, but they might not be that way forever, so get your gaming in while you can. Several websites on the Internet allow solo-player and multi-player card games. Here is a random sampling of some of the online gaming sites.

Net Cards (netcardsgame.com) is a shareware free format program that allows any card game using the standard 52-card pack (with jokers if needed) to be played over the Internet.

Game Zone (zone.com) offers the traditional Bridge, Hearts, Spades, and Euchre games.

Yahoo! Games (play.yahoo.com) offers Bridge, Hearts, Spades, Euchre, Poker, Gin Rummy, Cribbage, Sheepshead, Blackjack and Canasta.

Game Colony (gamecolony.com) offers head to head games and multi-player tournaments, which can be played free or for cash. The games listed include Gin Rummy, Cribbage, Solitaire and Dominoes.

Case’s Ladder Online (play.igl.net) features online play versus computer/real opponent, automated online leagues and a tournament ranking system.

Club Games (clubgames.com) currently offers Backgammon, Poker and Dominoes, with plans to launch Hearts, Spades, Gin, Canasta, Cribbage and Euchre. Another site, World Winner (worldwinner.com) offers Hearts, Spades and Solitaire.