Have you ever thought of going to a casino and trying your hand at a little recreational gambling? Many of us have. But what’s stopping you from actually doing it? Perhaps like most people, you’re too scared to give gambling a shot because of some preconceived notions that you have about it. So before we even start discussing how you could possibly maximize your chances of beating the odds at a casino, let’s address those preconceived notions of yours first.
Changing Your Mindset
A lot of people refuse to set foot in a casino because they think the odds are all stacked against them from the outset. Everything is rigged, so you don’t stand a chance, right? Wrong. That is exactly the kind of mindset you need to avoid if you want to have a good time.
Bear in mind that places where casino operations are legal typically have laws in place that are designed to protect those who play at these casinos. It is illegal to cheat their customers, so casino operators aren’t likely to risk losing their license by rigging their games.
One thing that might have caused you to think negatively of casinos is the saying, “The house always wins in the end.” Well, there is some truth to this saying, but it’s not because the games are rigged. The house does win most of the time because people who gamble tend to get greedy and start betting too much or playing too recklessly. As long as you avoid that trap, you should be okay.
The Art of Winning
Now that we’ve addressed the common misconception that casino games are rigged, perhaps you’re ready to finally give it a try. Naturally, you’d want to have the best chance possible of going home with a win, or at least not having lost too much. First things first. There is absolutely no way to guarantee that winnings will come your way every single time, so don’t go looking for quick fixes. There are none.
That being said, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of winning and precautions you can take to ensure that any losses you incur are manageable. These are things we like to call “tricks of the trade”, and instead of seeing them as quick fixes, you would do well to think of them as tips and guidelines. In most cases, people who follow these tips are able to benefit from favourable outcomes, so you might want to give it a shot.
Tip #1: Get to know the game before playing.
There was a time when casinos were obligated to teach you how to play table games, but that is no longer the case. You’re on your own now, so it is definitely a good idea to do some research on any table game you might be interested in playing before you actually play it.
If you’re leaning more towards slot machines, be sure to check out the pay table. This table shows you what each symbol is worth, and will also tell you what the rules and statistics are for the bonus rounds. If you’re playing a newer machine, the pay table may even reflect statistics from the last payout. Reading the pay table helps you decide which gameplay you like best and which set of rules you feel more comfortable with.
Regardless of whether you choose to play table games or slot machines, though, it is often a good idea to play some practice games before staking your money on any game. The good news is that most casino games now have an online version, and the online versions typically have a free play option. Start playing for actual cash only when you’re already comfortable with a game.
Tip #2: Have a plan.
Many people just go to a casino and start playing without any real plan in place. This is especially true of those who are there simply to pass the time or unwind after a stressful day at work. The problem with this is that it leaves you at risk of spending a lot more than you can afford, or wasting any winnings you may get. So many gamblers get so excited, that they end up making betting decision they later regret. Don’t make the same mistake.
Set a limit on the amount you are going to bet every time you go to a casino. If you plan to play several games on a single visit, set a betting limit for every game you plan to play. Set a limit on the time you spend in the casino and on every game you’re playing as well. This is especially important when you’re playing slot machines, as it can be easy to just keep spinning and completely lose track of time.
And speaking of time, you will notice that there aren’t any clocks or even windows in a casino. That’s exactly because casino operators want you to lose track of time. They don’t want you to glance up and see how late it is, or look out the window by chance and see that it has gotten dark. They just want you to have fun and keep playing. It may be to your advantage to wear a watch and check it from time to time, or set an alarm on your phone to make sure you don’t play beyond the time limit you’ve set for yourself.
It is also a good idea to have a plan in place for when you win. In most cases, a player becomes so excited when he wins that he ends up betting and losing all of his winnings. To make sure you don’t waste your winnings, draw up a plan on what percentage of the winnings you are going to bet and when you’re going to stop. For example, you could plan to bet only half of your winnings and stop playing when you’ve won three straight rounds. This helps ensure that you’re able to enjoy your winning moments. Remember that no one is ever so lucky that he will win more than a few rounds in a row.
Tip #3: Avoid the light.
Although casinos will not rig their games for fear of getting closed down, they will do their best to make sure you lose more than you win. Otherwise, they won’t have a business to run. One of their most common strategies is drawing people to games with the worst odds. And they do this by making these games so much more attractive than games with better odds.
So, as soon as you set foot inside a casino, check out where the nosiest, brightest, and most colorful games are and stay away from that area. It may seem like people are having the most fun there because the area is glowing with a party-like atmosphere, but that’s actually just the house trying to lure you into throwing away your money. Go to the drab part of the casino, instead; you’re likely to have much better luck there.
Tip #4: Go big.
Most of those who enter a casino for the first time choose to play slot machines, thinking that is the most practical way to go and that table games are only for the high-rollers. What you may not be aware of is that the average slot machine is actually two to three times costlier to you than any table game. Yes, the starting bets are considerably higher in table games, but slot players usually end up spending more than table players in a single casino visit. Therefore, try to avoid the slot machines as much as you can.
If you really feel that table games aren’t for you and you’ll have a lot more fun at the machines, then by all means, find a machine you like. But try to stick to those with a minimum bet of $5 or more, and go for the max bet. Note that slots that cost only a penny to start typically have the odds stacked in favor of the house by as much as 20%, which is why slots with higher minimum bets are better for you.
Remember as well to check the Return-to-Player (RTP) percentage of the game; stick to games with high RTP percentages. Finally, you may want to go for a game with a progressive jackpot, as this type of slot game usually doubles or even triples your chance of going home with a massive payout. There are very few of these games compared to non-progressive jackpot games, so it’s a good idea to do prior research so you’ll know what to look for as soon as you get to the casino.
Tip #5: Diversify.
During your practice games, you’ve probably found out which games you like better than others. While it’s normal to have a favorite table game or a preferred slot machine, it is equally important to move around when you’re playing in a casino.
Many people make the mistake of sitting at a game table or slot machine for hours in hopes of finally landing that big win. We are telling you right now: If it hasn’t happened in the first hour that you’ve been playing, it isn’t likely to happen that day. If you’re losing, make sure you don’t lose more than you can afford to lose. Remember that betting limit we talked about earlier? Stick to that limit and stop chasing a big win that might not come.
If you’re winning, but your wins aren’t really significant, then collect those winnings and try your luck in another game. Again, we go back to the plan that you’ve set. You have to know when to stop playing a certain game and move on to another. Or you could simply decide to call it a day and come back another time. The point is not to pin your hopes on a single game. The more games you play, the more chances you get of winning, simply because different games have different structures and your luck for that day might lie with a different gameplay than it did the last time you visited a casino.
Here’s a bonus tip, though: Don’t play Keno. Just don’t. This game typically has horrible odds for the player. The house even has a 35% edge in some casinos. And take note that in the history of the game, no player has ever managed to match all 20 numbers on the 20-spot Keno ticket. The odds of someone actually doing that is 1 in 3.5 quintillion! Now, why would you want to play that?
Everybody loves to win, and landing those big wins is definitely one of the joys of casino gambling. But any seasoned casino player will be quick to remind you that Lady Luck won’t always be by your side, and some days are just better than others. Regardless of how many casino playing tips we may give you, there really is no way to beat the odds EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. These tips can only help improve your chances, but they can never guarantee a win.
Most importantly, you should never lose sight of what casinos are and why you go there in the first place. Casinos are there to entertain. They provide a venue for people to unwind, to relax, and to enjoy. You are there to pass the time and to have fun. So, have fun! Winning makes us feel good, of course, but it is not the end all and be all of casino gaming. Therefore, it should not become the main focus of our time at a casino.
It may seem weird, but in most cases, those who go to casinos solely to win are the ones who rarely do. Perhaps the reason for this is that focusing too much on winning makes a person greedy and leads to one of the things we had warned you about—chasing wins that never happen. So focus your energies on being entertained by the games you play, keep the above tips in mind, and enjoy your winnings when they come.