Casino Strategies to Improve Your Chances of Winning
Casino games and gambling are meant to be fun forms of entertainment that either get you excited and those gambling juices flowing or relax you as an escape from the world. Regardless of what casino gambling is or does for you, we can all agree that the main goal for everyone is to try and win some money in the process!
While casino games are always going to have a house edge, this does not mean that there aren't tips and strategies to better your odds and give you a better chance of walking away a winner. Below we've outlined the most important things to remember when you're ready to start playing your favorite casino games or slots. These tips and strategies are crucial to ensuring that you have an amazing time whether you are gambling in a brick and mortar casino or playing from the comfort of your home online.
Understand the Games and the Rules
This is the number one biggest mistake that people make when they are playing casino games. Playing a game that you do not fully understand is the same as lighting money on fire. If you have no idea what you are doing, you're most likely doing something wrong and costing yourself money. What's surprising is that there are nuances and game rules for the simplest of games that people don't understand.
We're not saying that you need to be an expert on the math and all the rules of a game before you play it. This is not supposed to feel like school or an exam. All we are saying is that you need to have at least a general understanding of the specific games and the specific bets that you are going to be making.
The casino makes most of its money through the confusing prop bets and "weird" bets that people don't understand. A lot of times these are the bonus bets and things like that that are most enticing to new bettors. While these bets aren't bad, they usually have the highest house edge. We're not saying that you shouldn't bet them; we're just saying that if you're going to bet them, at least be aware of what you are doing.
If you're looking for a good resource to start learning your favorite game or a new game, we've put together this convenient collection of guides to all of the most popular casino games. It will teach you exactly what you need to know to get started with each game.
Learn the Optimal Ways to Play
We're not talking about the super secret system your Uncle Ricky told you about to beat the casino. Spoiler from a later tip, those systems do not work. We're talking about learning the optimal strategies that will give you the best odds to beat the house.
For example, let's look at blackjack. Unless you are card counting (which will get you kicked out of a casino) or cheating, you cannot beat blackjack in the long run. Vegas was not built on winners. This does not mean that you can't give yourself the best odds of winning, though. Just because the game favors the house in the long run does not mean you can't be a winner in the short term. It also does not mean you can't do things to make that more likely to happen.
If you play blackjack like a maniac with no regard for what is going on with no strategy, the house advantage is going to be huge. If you play perfect basic strategy (which is easy to learn), you can lower the house edge to down well under 1%. Yes, the house still has an advantage but it is much smaller. Taking a few minutes to learn the optimal strategies for a game will go a long way in extending how long you get to play or increasing your chances of walking away a winner.
While blackjack is the best example of this, there are strategies you can learn for almost every game in the casino. It shouldn't take you long to learn these, and they never change, so you only have to learn them once. You can even keep a cheat sheet with you if you want or a web page open if you are playing online from home. The casinos don't mind if you play perfect strategy as they still have an edge. They'd prefer you'd be stupid and ignore this tip and play like a maniac, but they won't be upset if you don't.
Identify the Sucker Bets
If you've followed the above tip about learning the optimal strategy for a game, you will have stumbled across bets in almost every game that the strategy guides tell you to stay away from. These are bets that have a huge house advantage meaning that you are much less likely to win by betting them. They're conveniently known in the industry as sucker bets, named after the people that play them.
The problem with these bets is that they are masterfully crafted by the casino to be enticing and offer the potential for big gains. For example, there may be a bonus bet on a casino game that if you get a certain set of cards dealt to you, you win a bonus or a higher payout. Some people swear by these and are addicted to betting them.
The problem is that most of these bets have an insanely high house advantage and are getting close to setting money on fire again. The reason people are drawn to them is they see the big bonus potential or potential for higher payouts and can only remember the times they won the bet. They get tunnel vision and forget all the times they lost the bet to win. We assure you, there are no magical bets in the casino that are in your favor. If the casino did this, everyone would only play those bets, and the casino would be broke in no time. If they existed, we wouldn't be taking the time to write this guide; we would be at the casino printing money.
You need to identify these bets from the start and not get sucked into playing them. For some reason, the suckers that fall for these bets are the biggest salesmen to try and get others to join them in playing them. If you're ok with the huge house edge and find the bets fun, have fun. Again, we just want you to be aware of what you're getting yourself into.
Remember that Entertainment is the Goal
Casino gambling should NEVER be used as a means to make money, pay bills, or earn an income. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't try and make money while playing. What we are saying is that you should never play with money that you can't afford to lose in the hopes of "paying your rent" or being a "professional player".
Casino games are designed to be fun and keep you entertained. People may tell you that professional roulette players and professional craps players exist, but we assure you that unless they are cheating, that is a hoax. This is the same for all casino table games where you are competing against the house. Everyone has heard of a professional gambler, but you'll notice that no one actually knows one first hand.
(If you are thinking about professional poker players, poker is a game of skill where players do not compete against the house. They compete against other players which puts it into a category of games we are not talking about here.)
There are two main problems with approaching gambling for other reasons than to have fun. First, you're going to get yourself into financial trouble. If you're out gambling with your rent money, you're going to get yourself in a world of hurt. You might win doing it a few times, but in the long run, the casino is going to win out.
Second, you're going to be disappointed and probably upset constantly. You should enjoy playing the games and enjoy the entertainment and the rush you get from it. If you are only concerned with what the final result is financially, gambling is not for you. You will have highs and lows, but ultimately you will end up disappointed.
Watch the Sauce
Drinking and gambling go together like fire and gasoline. Don't worry; we are not going to sit here and tell you that you can't drink when you gamble. Frankly, that's half the fun sometimes. What we are going to tell you is that you should be careful how much you drink when you're gambling especially if it affects your judgment.
All the tips and strategies in this guide are easy to follow when you're sober but the drunker you get, the more likely you are to toss them out the window. After one beer, betting $10 a hand on blackjack seems like a great and fun idea. After beer 11..."$10 is ferr scareddd peeeples. I is gonnnna bets $100 a handdd. LET'S GOOOOOO."
If you've got issues with your judgment after drinking, you may want to keep yourself away from the tables. If you have issues keeping yourself away from the tables while drinking, only bring with you the amount of money that you are willing to lose. Remember, this may include leaving your debit and credit cards at home as well.
We've seen people "only bring $50 with them" to gamble. This worked out well until they lost the $50 and realized they had their debit card. $50 quickly turned into a lot bigger number and a lot of regret and headache in the morning when they woke up and realized what they did.
We're not trying to be your moms and tell you what to do. We're only trying to give you some advice that will hopefully save you some heartache and not sour gambling for you. If you play online, you're able to set limits that you can't adjust in case you're worried about yourself. This is a big perk of online casinos in our opinion.
Don't Play When You're Emotional
It's no secret that we don't make the best decisions when we are emotional. If you just went through a bad break up, you probably shouldn't go to the casino to let off some steam. You're much more likely to do something dumb and end up gambling away a lot more money than you want to. Find a more constructive way to deal with your heartache that won't create more problems for you.
This can be the same when you're mad or super excited as well. You could be high on life and figure you can't lose and start betting more than you ideally want to. This can quickly kill that high and send you spiraling back down to Earth. Not only are you not going to be happy anymore, but you're going to be upset at yourself for doing something you normally wouldn't do in a different state of mind.
Again, we aren't trying to be your mother or your therapist. We just want you to know that we've seen a lot of people get themselves into trouble gambling when they were at an emotional low or emotional high. It might seem like a good idea at the time, or you might feel like you don't care anymore; but we assure you that once you get back to a normal state of emotions, you will care and you won't be happy with yourself.
Don't Believe in Systems
If we had a nickel for every time that someone told us they had a fool proof system to beat the casinos, we would have a pretty solid nickel collection. For some reason, every casino you go to or every time you start talking about casino games with people, someone chimes in that they or someone they know has a system to beat the casino.
Here's the problem. It's mathematically impossible. The only way that you can beat the casino is by cheating. If someone truly had a system that could beat the casinos, why wouldn't they be playing every single day and just collecting tons and tons of money? The answer is that their system doesn't work.
Here's how the conversation goes when we hear someone mention this.
Ok, so you have a system to beat the casino, but you are losing money. This is the first signs of a gambling problem. This person is delusional. If they really had a system that defied math and beat the casino IN THE LONG RUN, then they would retire and just print money at the casino every day. The problem is they are either lying or have only been playing their "system" for a short period of time and variance hasn't come full circle.
If you EVER have anyone that insists that their system works, please direct them to us, and we will happily explain mathematically to them why they are full of crap. If they would like to tell us that math is not real, we would enjoy the laugh.
Systems That DO Exist
The only systems that do exist are systems that might help you to extend your play time and get more fun out of the game by effectively stretching your dollar. These systems fall in line with the optimal strategies that we talked about earlier. They DO NOT overcome the house edge, and the house WILL have the edge in the long run. They may help you to make your decisions easier and be able to relax a bit more when you play.
For example, someone might tell you always to bet the roulette color of the number to the left of the number that just came out. If they tell you this strategy beats the house, they're a moron. But, this might be an easy way for you to decide what you are going to bet next. That way, you don't have to think every single spin and are able just to enjoy the game. Your odds are exactly the same, and the house still has the edge, but you may have more fun this way.
Play Within Your Bankroll
You've probably heard it a million times already, but we're going to say it again because it's important. Only gamble with money that you are willing to part with. If you aren't willing to lose the money or it puts you in a bind if you do, you should never let it anywhere near the casino felt.
Decide ahead of time how much you are willing to play with and how much you are willing to lose. Then...STICK TO YOUR RULES. If you set a limit, you have to stick to it or what is the point of even setting a limit? Also, you may get some benefit from setting a top end limit or adjusting your limit as you go.
For example, let's say you are willing to gamble with $100 for the weekend and that is it. You may also make a rule to yourself that if you get over $200, you will lock away $100 so that the worst you end up is dead even on the weekend. This means that as soon as you hit $200 on the table, you take your initial $100 and put it away. If you lose that other $100, you are done for the weekend and had fun and lost $0.
You can also set limits as you go to lock up wins as well. For example, let's say you start with $100 and you hit a small jackpot for $1200. You now have $1200 in front of you. Maybe you take $1000 of that and lock it away and then only play with the $200 you have. That way, the worst you can end up for the weekend is up $900 in profit. Sometimes locking in wins like this can make the rest of your time gambling a lot more fun as it can feel like you don't have any more risk.