David J. Lieberman's book Get Anyone To Do Anything explains the following:
The way people gamble and how they live their lives often parallel one another. Because, really, life is a series of decisions and gambles [...]
Here is a typical scenario of Gambler A. He bets $10 and loses; he bets $10 again and loses; now he bets $20 and loses; $30 and loses. He increases his bets as he does worse. The gambler tries to chase his money -- trying to win it all back in one hand by betting more to make up for the times he's lost.
- Gambler A: The Chaser
Here is a typical scenario of Gambler B. He bets $10 and loses; bets $10 and loses; after some time his bet goes down to $5.00 Good plan? No, because he never feels successful. If he wins the $5.00 bet then he feels he should have bet more and if he loses then he still lost. And he's partly pleased he's lost because it is through losing that he can now justify to himself lowering his bet!
- Gambler B: A Man Divided Against Himself Will Fall
And what about when we're winning? [...] gamblers don't know when to stop. The longer you play the better it is for the house. When you run out of money you'll stop. But when you're winning when do you stop? Often you don't, since there's no reason to, so you keep going until the tide turns against you, you lose, and then you are forced to stop.
So if increasing your bet when you're losing isn't the answer and decreasing it when you're losing isn't the answer, what is? Research suggests that when you are losing you should do what gamblers hate to do -- stop. However, when you are winning or on a "streak," then it is a fair strategy to increase slightly your amount of play.
One other interesting fact to note is that all unsuccessful gambling strategies are predicated out of fear. When you act out of fear your decisions are not logical, but emotional. And this will ensure that you will end up on the losing side of the game. Never do anything out of fear. If you need to win you will lose. You must only focus on the game, not the outcome. If you are praying to win then you are fearful of losing. The best mentality is that of pure detachment -- where you're completely objective and unemotional. If you're gambling with money that you cannot afford to lose it is impossible to remove the emotional element from your decision-making process.
Can you recall those times when you were completely in the zone? You may remember that fear was absent. It was just pure action, where you weren't even aware of yourself, just what you were doing. That is how you win in gambling and in life. As the saying goes, he who cares less wins!