REMEMBER A COUPLE YEARS AGO when placing a bet on a poker hand felt like a safer investment strategy than a 401(k)? Those days are behind us (maybe? hopefully?), and we can finally get back to taking chances with our money because we want to—not because we have to. But if the financial meltdown taught us anything, the secret is to take calculated risks. So with that in mind, tread lightly if you plan to let it ride—and take a lesson from some of the card sharks, poker pros, and all-around gambling gurus we consulted for Seattle Met’s guide to Washington gaming.

5 Questions for Poker Pro Alex Fitzgerald

Internet Gambling: Washington Hold ’Em

Washington’s Lottery’s Best Bets, By the Numbers

Holy Rollers Film Stacks the Deck

How to Count Cards—and Not Get Caught

Washington Casino Guide

UW Alum Argues Poker Should Be Mandatory at Biz Schools