i like to play video poker; never get a chance at home, which is probably good. i take an allowance to the casino -- usually $50 a day. i put it into machines, say 20/20/10, and immediately cash out. this is my play money. i put it into a cup. now, i'm most likely never going to lose it all - there will be some wins -- sometimes nice wins. whatever. after the money is gone, i scoop the coins, take them back to my cabin. the next day, i use fresh paper money; i NEVER shove the other day's coins back into action -- that's how you can really lose. at the end of the cruise, i take the accumulated tokens and cash them in. then, i give the money to the lido deck staff and others who have been so very good to make my cruise a time to remember. they send it home to families in very poor situations, usually. and everyone wins!!!!!!!!!! giving is such a wonderful thing.
ps: my theory -- first and last nights are better to play; they can and do ratchet those machines all the time. one machine really pays? bet it won't the next day; i've had experience here. also, play the machines closest to the entrance to the casino; nothing like money hitting the bins and a little music to bring in the crowds. if you find a machine you like; stay with it through 'thick and thin.' if you see a lonely machine, move on, there's a reason. if somebody is ensconced at 'your' machine, stand in back of them and make impatient, snorting noices. (only kidding, of course -- patiently wait for them to leave and them make a lunge like you are playing ol for the packers). gooooooooooood luck, and have fun.