How many times have you been to a casino? How many times did you walk away with a profit? If you answered ‘Never‘ to either of these questions, the following gambling tips are for you. I’ll provide the most basic casino strategies any novice gambler needs to know before placing a wager.
Please be aware that this is not intended as a complete or comprehensive list of casino strategies. It’s merely a guide for beginners to help avoid many of the common mistakes new gambler tend to make before they gain a little experience on the gaming floor.
How to Bet On The Slots
The vast majority of today’s slot machines are multi-line and/or multi-coin games. Novice players walk up to these machines with dollar signs reflecting in their eyes, having no clue what all those paylines and coins actually mean, or what to do with them.
First of all, a multi-payline slot should always be played at full lines. If it has 25 paylines, all 25 need to be activated to have the best chance of winning. That means you have to be careful what size coin you play, because that amount will be multiplied by 25 when you press spin (one credit per payline). For instance, a $0.01 bet will cost $0.25, whereas a $1 bet will cost $25 per spin.
In multi-coin slots, you will be able to choose whether you want to insert 1, 2, or 3 – sometimes up to 5 – credits per play. There is usually a benefit to betting the max number of coins, with the payout for higher winning combinations being higher at max bet.
Maybe a 3-reel slot with three 7’s on a line pays 25 credits for 1 coin, 50 for 2 coins, 75 for 3 coins and 100 for 4 coins, but when betting 5 coins, the payout is not a direct multiple, but much higher – maybe 200 or 250 coins. Therefore players must bet max to have the best odds of walking away a winner.
When to Hit 12 in Blackjack
It’s the worst hand a blackjack player can be dealt – the dastardly 12. If you hit, you could bust. If you don’t hit, you’ll probably lose anyway. But hey, it’s no sweat.
The most basic casino strategies tell us exactly when we should – and should not – hit a 12. It’s this simple:
If the dealer is showing 4, 5 or 6 – Stand.
If the dealer is showing 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K or A – Hit.
That’s right, it’s almost always better to hit a 12. When the dealer is showing 4, 5 or 6, it’s more likely that the dealer will bust. And what a great feeling that is to beat the dealer with a 12! Any other time, the odds may be against you overall, but probabilities state a Hit is the better move.
Roulette Gambling Tips – Don’t Fear the Field
There’s a wide variety of bets to be made on the roulette table. Yet most beginners will stick to just two kind of bets – straight bets on a single number (pays 35 to 1), and even money bets (black/red, odd/even, high/low).
It can be a lot more interesting, and equally rewarding, to place bets on groups of numbers in the middle of the betting table. You could wager on a group of 3 numbers, 4 numbers, 6 numbers, a columns of 12, or progressive groups of 12.
Each of these bets – straight bets, even money bets, grouped number bets – may offer a different payout for winning, but they all come with the same 2.70% house edge. The most basic casino strategies wouldn’t deter a novice from making these wagers.
The only thing you should never do is play American Roulette (the one with the Single Zero and Double Zero). This nearly doubles the house edge to 5.26% on every wager.
A slot machine’s reels are its most prominent features. They spin gloriously to their individual stops, telling us if we’ve won – anything from a massive jackpot, to a small chunk of change, to nothing at all. The reel speed – or speed at which the reels spin – has no effect on the outcome. However, the same can’t be said of a player’s experience.
I overheard a conversation the other day at my local casino in which two ladies – friends I assume, as they were seated side by side playing the slots – were questioning the reel speed of their machines. One slot machine’s reels were spinning noticeably faster than the other.
They questioned whether that might have any effect on the game play, or more importantly, if it could effect their chances of winning on each game.
Can Reel Speed Effect Payouts?
The truth is, the outcome, or payout percentage, is not effected by the reel speed. The way these machine’s are programmed, each result is determined by a random number generator (RNG) that triggers the moment the Spin button is pressed – not as the reels are coming to a stop. No matter how fast they spin, the end result will be the same.
A lot of the older slot machines, which can still be found in casinos around the world, actually give players the option to choose the speed they want the reels to spin at. There aren’t too many of these left, comparatively speaking, but they do exist.
In fact, the ladies mentioned above didn’t realize this, but one of the machine’s did have a reel speed selection feature (which is why is what spinning a bit slower), while the other (the one that was spinning faster) did not. I was inclined to point that out to them before I moved on my way, not wanting to seem like a creep who listens in on old ladies’ conversations at the casino.
Does Reel Speed Matter?
If you happen to find yourself playing a slot machine with the option to change the reel speed, I highly recommend choosing the lowest setting. Not because it will increase your odds of winning, but it will decrease your odds of losing your entire bankroll.
You see, every slot machine has a ‘Hold‘ percentage – the amount of money it keeps from players, on average, over a period of time. Players who get lucky enough can win money, but those who don’t – which is, unfortunately, the majority – will inevitably lose.
If you have a $100 bankroll, and are spinning slower reels at 5 times every minute for $0.25 per spin, you could theoretically lose your entire bankroll in 1 hour and 20 minutes. That would necessitate losing every single spin, though. That should never happen, and if it did, I would hope you would choose a new slot machine after no more than a few minutes of play.
Today’s faster slot machines, especially those known as ‘rapid fire‘ slots, can have players spinning up to 20 times per minute. That’s once every 3 seconds! At that rate, your $100 bankroll could be wiped out in as little as 20 minutes.
As every responsible gambler knows, slot machines should be enjoyed as an entertainment opportunity. We don’t play them expecting to win money. We play them because it’s fun, and affords a chance to win money. Thus extending your entertainment dollar to cover as much time as possible is crucial having a great game experience, win or lose.
Casinos have been around for hundreds of years. Thanks to the computer geniuses that brought us the world wide web, online gambling showed up about two decades ago. As technology progressed, we gained the ability to play the same games on a mobile casino for real money in the late 2000’s.
Mobile gambling has actually been around longer than that. I believe it was 2003 Microgaming launched the very first mobile casino app, but that was in the draconian days of flip-phones with arrow-keys to make selections. In terms of modern, touch-screen technology, mobile casinos didn’t begin to flourish until about five years later.
Now days, everyone uses their Android and Apple iOS smartphones and tablets for gaming. Some prefer social games, like Candy Crush or Words with Friends. I prefer something with a bit more of a bite to it, and there’s nothing quite like the exhilaration that comes with playing a mobile casino for real money.
Every game you can imagine is available these days. Hundreds of classic and 5-reel video slots grace the menus. Video poker and table games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, three card poker, ultimate Texas holdem; I could go on and on. Thanks to HTML5 optimization, mobile casinos have it all, and you don’t even have to download an app to access them (although it is an option).
Sounds great, right? And it is – but just like those social games I mentioned above, mobile casino games can be quite addicting. The thrill of the win can be like a drug-induced high. And if we’re not careful, we could find ourselves spending a lot more money on these games than we ever intended.
It’s awfully easy to keep clicking the Spin button on the slots, or doubling up a blackjack bet to regain the previous loss. But we can avoid such problems by simply being aware of what we’re doing, and how much we’re doing it, at all times.
Appreciating the Entertainment Value
The golden rule to gambling is to appreciate it as the entertainment option that it is. You don’t go to the movies expecting to win back your price of ticket and popcorn. Playing a mobile casino for real money affords that opportunity, but you should never play with expectations of a profit.
Those who think they can just play until they win are what critics and statistical data collectors refer to as ‘problem gamblers’. No one wants to end up in that category, and if we’re conscious of our actions, we never will.
Set Strict Deposit Limits
Think about how much money you make each week. Think about the bills you have to pay each month, and the amount you spend on other necessities like food, fuel and toiletries.
Now, think about what you have to spend on entertainment. Maybe you have an extra $200 each week. You’ll want to hold onto some of that for random things, like date night or a spontaneous outing with your friends.
If you split it in half, that gives you $100 to play around with. You know you can log onto your favorite mobile casino and deposit that $100, confident that you can afford to lose that much.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a negative way of thinking. It doesn’t mean you are going to lose, or that you’re even planning to lose. It just means that if you do lose, it’s okay. That’s a huge positive in my book.
It’s also a good idea to set time limits. If you only spin the reels or play blackjack for 15 minutes at a time, chances are your bankroll will last a lot longer. And if you do run out of funds before the week is out, that’s okay, too. There’s an easy solution for that.
Switch To Free Play Mode
You don’t always have to play a mobile casino for real money. All of those games – well, the vast majority of them, at least – are also available to play for free. The only games you won’t have access to are the live dealer casino games. Because the operator pays to maintain the studio and hires professionally trained dealers to run the tables, they like to make sure there’s always cash flowing in.
All of the other games, though, can be played anytime you like without spending a single coin of your own money. Yes, the overall experience may lose some of the exhilarating bite I spoke of before, but it’s still entertaining, and it’s a great opportunity to learn how to play new games you never tried before.
Practice Before You Play for Real Money
Would you go to the track and bet on a race if you didn’t know anything about the odds or horses that were running? Hopefully not. The same goes for casino gambling. Why would you risk real money on a game that you know nothing about?
Practice mode is the perfect way to learn the rules for any game you’re unfamiliar with. You may decide you don’t like that game, or you may find it’s your new favorite. Either way, knowing how to play is imperative before you try any game at a mobile casino for real money.
Be An Opportunistic Player
Free play mode is also a great way to incorporate and fine-tune your strategies. Maybe you know all the rules of blackjack, but do you know the best times to hit, stand, double or split your cards? Intuition is a wonderful thing, but it would be unwise to deny the law of probability.
If you really want your bankroll to last as long as possible, with the highest chance of actually winning some money, developing a solid strategy is the only way to go.
If your bankroll runs dry, don’t contemplate depositing more than you can afford to lose. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to improve your play until the next payday rolls around.
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Your good at math. You have a tidy bankroll stowed away. You’ve decided it’s time to turn your stash into more extra cash by playing real money blackjack online. That’s not a bad idea, seeing as blackjack is the most profitable game in any casino – but let’s back it up a moment.
Ask yourself a few questions first. Have you ever played blackjack? Do you truly understand the rules of the game? Are you aware that there are dozens of rule variations you could come across? Have you developed an optimal strategy for the type of blackjack game you intend to play?
If you answered ‘No‘ to any of these questions, you’ll want to keep reading.
Usefulness of Free-To-Play Blackjack Apps
I know you want to play real money blackjack online, where you can actually win cash. But the best way to learn the rules and develop a proper strategy is to practice. Playing free blackjack games just for fun is the best way to accomplish that.
Not just any blackjack app will do, though. You need one that allows you to set the various rules, and provides optimal strategic data for all hands. There are some great blackjack training apps out there that offer these features, compatible with all iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices.
Some of my favorite blackjack apps include:
Know The Rules You’re Going To Play
Selecting only the best rules for the lowest house edge isn’t going to get you anywhere. There’s no casino out there that’s going to provide all the best rules on a single table. Instead, you’ll need to see what rule variations are available at the online casino you intend to play at (see next section for more info).
Because these free-to-play blackjack apps allow users to set the rules, you can enter the exact rules in the settings menu before you start practicing. This way, when you do start playing real money blackjack online, you know you’ll be working with the best possible strategy, giving you the lowest house edge and, therefore, the highest possible win rate.
Real Money Blackjack Online
Never assume that all internet blackjack sites are created equal. For every reputable operator out there, there’s a rogue operator hoping you’ll deposit with them instead. Take your time. Do your research. Find an operator with a long-standing reputation for honesty, integrity and quick, reliable payouts. Royal Vegas is a good example, as it meets all of these standards.
Also make sure players from your country are accepted, and that the deposit/withdrawal methods meet your needs. Then, peruse the available blackjack games and see what rules they offer. If the rules are appealing, make sure the pay table is too.
A natural blackjack should always pay 3:2. If the payout is anything less than that, find a better game. Decreasing the payout for a natural blackjack is the easiest and most covert way for casinos to hike up the house edge by as much as 2.27%.
Finally, remember that it’s impossible to turn the tides completely into your favor. If it were that easy, casinos would be out of business. The best you’ll manage playing real money blackjack online is a house of about 0.4%. With the right knowledge and strategy, you’ll only need a bit of luck to overcome that minuscule edge.
A lot of people play slots for real money on their computer or mobile device. Most are responsible about it, but not all. Unfortunately, it’s not just the weak-spirited who don’t know when to quit. Software developers are actually designing their games to induce dangerous habits; what’s commonly known as the ‘Machine Zone‘.
Most of the daily tasks we perform that take any notable amount of time can put us into a zone. For example, when I’m writing, I love to get into a zone. I perform better, the words pour out faster, and the end result is often more pleasing to the cerebral palate. I feel empowered in the zone, but sluggish when I’m not, and I’m sure you can all relate to this in some way or another.
This same effect can be absorbed when we play real money slots online. Getting into a zone seems to increase the entertainment level – or at least, that’s the perception our minds tend to take. But the ‘Machine Zone‘ can be a very dangerous place.
This zone leads players to forget about their real purpose for playing. They are no longer playing to win, nor are they playing for sheer enjoyment. They are merely pushing buttons to keep the game moving as quickly as possible, because the thrill comes only from the zone.
Zone Induced By Incomprehensible Rules
The more confusing a game is, the more zoned out players tend to become. Slot machines confusing, you as? But they’re so simple. Line up the right symbols, get paid. It’s as easy as that – right?
Think about it. At the most basic level, slots offer 3 reels with a single payline. There’s no question as to how to win. Line up three matching symbols on that line and you are awarded a payout. But how often do we see these real money slots online? And when we do see them, how often do we actually play them? Probably not much, if ever – am I right?
That’s because they are so simple, that they cannot put us into the zone. Therefore, after a few minutes, we may become bored. Designers know that they can’t make a profit that way. Who would play slots for real money if the games are boring?
Now imagine one of today’s more popular designs. 5 reels grace the screen with 3 or more rows across, and the paylines can range up to 50+. And how about those Microgaming slots with 243 Way to Win? I’ve even seen real money slots online boasting thousands of ways to win!
Do we know where all those paylines lead? Of course not. When you win on such a machine, do you actually take time to note the path the winning pattern took across the reels? Not likely. We look at the section of the screen that tells us how much we’ve won and host a quick mini-celebration in our heads as we click the Spin button again.
Avoiding the Machine Zone
As I said, today’s slots are often too confusing to bother figuring out. We get in the Machine Zone and we play, play, play until all of the money we put into it is gone. And when we’re not careful, we can become addicted to that zone. That’s when we bet more than we can afford, ruining relationships, severing families apart and becoming another dreaded statistic.
Knowledge is power, and recognizing the zone when you play slots for real money is, for some, the only way to avoid it. Time your sessions, don’t play games you can’t understand and never – ever – use the Auto Play feature.
Talk of skill-based slot machines has run rampant through Las Vegas casinos for the last year. Nevada passed a bill that legalizes skill slots in September 2015, and while manufacturers have been busy trying to create them, they quickly learned it’s not so easy to take games of skill and turn them into slot-style games with a guaranteed house edge, as per the state’s regulatory guidelines.
Last week, a pair of tech students from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) turned up at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) where they demonstrated a new game they developed that just might become the first skill slot to pass rigorous testing from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It’s called ‘Line Em’ Up‘, and was inspired by extremely popular, puzzle-based social games like Candy Crush and Bejeweled.
Troy Pettie and Evan Thomas, both 20 year old students at UNLV, not only designed the new game, they founded their own company to house it. The company is called Guru Games, and these boys are confident they’ve got what it takes to bring the first skill-based video gambling machines to the gaming floors of Las Vegas casinos.
Line Em’ Up Skill Slots
“This is an original skill-based game called Line Em’ Up,” said Pettie while demonstrating the game at G2E.
Like other strategy puzzle games, the object is to line up matching symbols, but they won’t diappear when you do. The goal is to match as many lines as possible on a 4×4 grid before running out of moves. Lines can run horizontal, vertical and diagonal, and require four in a row (including Wild symbols) for a win.
“It’s inspired by Bejeweled and Candy Crush,” explained Thomas. “We took what we loved about those gaming mechanics, what made those games popular, and then we took what we know about gambling games and traditional slot machines and we melded the two to make something that’s seamless, unique and something that could actually work in a gambling space in a casino.”
How To Play
Players begin by choosing a bet size. The screen then fills up with symbols that drop into place (7’s, Bells, Cherries, Lemons, Gold Bars, Wilds, etc). Players will then receive a number of ‘Moves’, based on how many eligible moves there are on the screen.
If a game starts with zero moves, it’s usually an automatic loss, but as the duo explained, any game that starts with at least 1 move is destined to win.
“All zero movers are losers, but all boards that have moves are guaranteed to win,” said Pettie. He noted that even a zero-move game can be a winner, if the symbols happen to fall with a matching line of four symbols already completed.
Strategy Matters in Line Em’ Up
Just winning is one thing, but winning a larger sum of money is the real trick, and that’s where strategy comes into play. The more lines that have all matching symbols, the more money a player will win.
“The order of the moves matter,” explained Pettie in an interview with Las Vegas Review-Journal, “because it can impact how many lines you can ultimately make.” During one demo round, he was given a board where he could have made a line of 7’s in the first move, but instead, he made a different move that pulled a Wild over first, and was able to complete two lines, 7’s and Cherries, in two moves.
Best of all, said Pettie, “our math is it meets all the Nevada gaming regulations.” According to his partner, their algorithms guarantee a minimum 3.5% house edge for casinos, even by the most skilled of players. For those who don’t invoke perfect strategy, the house edge rises to about 6%.
The Line Em’ Up skill slots can be played right now for free on Android mobile devices as a social gaming app. But these boys have much bigger plans for the game, and are currently “in talks” with slot machine manufacturers to get their new game beyond free-to-play app, and into a live Las Vegas casino.
Pennsylvania is home to 12 casinos, each lining the walls of their gaming floors with hundreds, if not thousands, of slot machines. For players, knowing which casinos have the highest paying slots may seem like a futile task in extrasensory perception (ESP). But it doesn’t have to be.
In order to find out where the best paying slots are, you simply have to rifle through page after page of data from the state’s regulators; in this case, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. By subtracting the amount of money won by players from the amount that was wagered, over a given period of time, you can find the exact payout percentage of any PA casino’s slot machines.
Don’t worry, I won’t make you pull out a calculator. I’ve already done all the work for you. The following is a list of all 12 PA casinos, and the overall payout percentages of the slot machines for the month of July 2016. Based on these figures, you can easily determine where to spend your wagering dollars for the best chance of winning.
Highest Paying Slots in PA, July 2016
|The Meadows Casino
||# of Slot Machines: 3,300+
|210 Racetrack Road
|Washington, PA 15301
||Slots Payouts: 92.36%
||# of Slot Machines: 3,500+
|2999 Street Road
|Bensalem, PA 19020
||Slots Payouts: 91.10%
||# of Slot Machines:600+
|1160 1st Ave
|King of Prussia, PA 19406
||Slots Payouts: 90.56%
|Mohegan Sun Casino
||# of Slot Machines:6,500+
|1280 PA Hwy 315
|Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
||Slots Payouts: 90.22%
|Mount Airy Casino
||# of Slot Machines:1,800+
|312 Woodland Road
|Mt Pocono, PA 18344
||Slots Payouts: 90.12%
||# of Slot Machines:2,900+
|777 Harrah’s Blvd
|Chester, PA 19013
||Slots Payouts: 90.03%
||# of Slot Machines:3,000+
|77 Sands Blvd
|Bethlehem, PA 18015
|Presque Isle Casino
||# of Slot Machines:2,000+
|8199 Perry Hwy
|Erie, PA 16509
||# of Slot Machines:3,000+
|777 Casino Drive
|Pittsburgh, PA 15212
||# of Slot Machines:3,000+
|1001 N Delaware Ave
|Philadelphia, PA 19125
|Penn National Race Course
||# of Slot Machines:2,480+
|777 Hollywood Blvd
|Grantville, PA 17028
|LadyLuck Casino Nemacolin
||# of Slot Machines:600+
|4067 National Pike
|Farmington, PA 15437
Best Paying Slots at The Meadows
Clearly, The Meadows Casino in Washington, PA, southwest of Pittsburgh, deserves kudos for hosting the best paying slots in the state, with a 92.36% payout ratio. If the Pittsburgh area is a bit too inconvenient for travel, the Parx Casino, northeast of Philadelphia, is your next best bet with 91.10% payouts.
At 90.56%, Valley Forge Casino, northwest of Philly, is the only other gambling resort in Pennsylvania to beat the state average of 90.25% slots pays.
Think about what it is that drives you to play a specific slot machine. Maybe you are attracted by progressive jackpots that offer the chance to win hundred of thousands, if not millions of dollars in a single spin? Perhaps you’re drawn to themes that pique your interest? But have you ever found yourself choosing a game just because of the slots variance?
Unless you’re a seasoned gambler, chances are you don’t know what slots variance, or volatility, really is. You may have heard the term used before, but didn’t think too much of it. If that’s the case, it’s time to learn.
A slot machine’s volatility is extremely important, as it has everything to do with win rates and the size of potential payouts. A slots’ variance generally runs high or low. There are some medium variance games (a median of the low and high versions), but they are far and few between.
We’ll discuss exactly what low/high volatility means, and why you should pay close attention to it when choosing a slot machine.
Low Slots Variance
The term “low variance” applies to the fact that there’s little variety between the profit potential per spin. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
A slot with low variance is going to pay out more often, meaning you’ll hear the bells chime and see the lights flash a lot. However, you’ll experience a lower amount paid per winning spin. More often than not, it will be lower than the amount you actually spent to spin the reels.
Most slots fans actually prefer these types of games, not because they generally pay so low, but because the frequent wins keep them entertained, and their bankrolls topped off enough to make the playtime last longer.
In essence, low variance equals longer play, but less chance of walking away with a profit, unless you get lucky with free spins and other bonus features.
To find them, try looking for video reels with a high number of paylines. They are most often infused with a low slots variance.
High Slots Variance
On the opposite end of that spectrum, we have “high variance” slots, which don’t strike winning combinations very often. But when they do, the amount awarded is much larger. You could spin the reels 15 times at $1 per spin and hit nothing, then on the next spin win the whole $15 back, or even $20.
If you’re truly looking to make a profit, these games are often the best choice. However, due to the infrequency of wins, it’s just as likely that your bankroll will run dry before you manage to hit a win big enough to exceed your starting credits.
Slots with fewer reels/paylines are generally your best bet for finding games with a high slots variance.
Which Is Better?
Realistically, there’s no superior option between low and high volatility slot machines. They all have the same basic payout percentages programmed into them, ensuring the house will always win in the end. It’s more about being the lucky person who sat at the machine at the right moment.
It’s all a matter of preference, really. If you have a small bankroll, you might prefer low variance to get as much play time in as possible. With a larger bankroll, high variance may be the more entertaining choice. Either way, chances are you’ll pay more attention to slots variance now that you know how it works, and will surely discover your own preference soon enough.
While every casino gambler has dreams of walking away with a life-altering amount of money in their pocket, we all know it’s not a realistic goal. Yet we still travel to the casinos or log onto internet gambling websites, because the entertainment value is worth the price we might spend to have such a good time.
It doesn’t take a mathematical savant to know that the odds of leaving the casino with a higher bankroll than you started aren’t in our favor. The casino always has the edge. But we also know that – despite the guarantee that the casino will make money from most of us – some players are going to walk away richer.
That’s just one of the factors that drive us to gamble. Another more dominant factor is the fun we experience while doing it, and the longer we can make that fun last – without exceeding our affordable bankroll – the better.
With that in mind, here’s a few tips to help make your bankroll last longer. And don’t worry, it doesn’t involve going to college for a degree in mathematics. Yes, knowing the odds and probabilities of winning each game we play is a huge plus, but not everyone wants to calculate odds at the casino.
Place Minimum Bets
This should be a no-brainer. If the table games have a minimum bet limit of $5, there’s no reason to place a $10 or $25 chip in the betting circle. Likewise, playing the penny slots will keep your bankroll entact longer than a $1, $5 or $10 per-play slot machine.
Be careful, however, when playing penny slots, because they can be more expensive than you think. If there are 50 paylines on the reels, you’ll be spending $0.50 per play to activate them all. Instead, look for a penny slot with no more than 9 to 20 paylines.
Many players, especially at the slot machines, find their bankroll dwindling all too quickly. The problem with slots is that each spin lasts only a few seconds. With the press of a button, more money is siphoned away.
The key here is to switch slot machines frequently. Unless you’ve found a machine that’s paying well and often, keep moving around the gaming floor to ensure you’re increasing the amount of time spent, not the money.
You may even want to try video poker instead. This game requires a bit of thinking, but not so much as to hurt your brain. Ultimately, each play will last a lot longer than a spin of the reels, with equal (if not better) odds and just as much entertainment value.
Take a Break
Don’t gamble constantly while you’re at the casino. Most resorts have a lot of sites worth seeing. If it’s a racebook, head out and watch the ponies run for a bit, or go for a walk outside for fresh air.
Grab a bite to eat. The snack bar is a relatively cheap way to accomplish this, and be sure to take your time while eating. There’s no rush to get back to the gaming floor. It never closes!
Join the Players Club
This perfunctory task has a lot of benefits and can extend your bankroll in several ways. For one, a players club card collects comp points that can be redeemed for free credits in the casino. It can also deliver perks that have nothing to do with gambling, like free or discounted meals (see Take a Break above).
Players Club members often receive mailouts that give them similar benefits; anything from a free meal or hotel stay, to $10+ in free slots play. Staying and/or playing on the casino’s dime is by far the best way to extend your bankroll and increase your entertainment at the casino.
Whether you’re new to gambling or you fancy yourself as a seasoned pro, we could all use a little help from time to time. In this article we’ll take a look at several different forms of gambling, advising on how you can “beat the system”. We’re not making any promises, we’re not telling you that you can win at blackjack every time or that you can legally cheat at poker or beat the slot machines — those are pipe dreams. That’s not to say that there aren’t ways you can give yourself a foot-up though, narrowing that house edge and even putting yourself on an even keel in some areas.
How to Win at Blackjack
There is no guarantee when it comes to any casino game, but the one that does offer you a chance to eradicate the house edge is blackjack. If you avoid the gimmick blackjack variants that some casinos run, and you stick with Vegas Blackjack (European Blackjack should be avoided, and Atlantic City Blackjack uses too many decks) Classic Blackjack or Switch Blackjack, then you can beat the casino.
There is something called Basic Blackjack Strategy that effectively relies on strict mathematics to increase your odds on every hand. This is easy to learn, widely available and it will tell you how you should play every possible hand in order to increase your chances of beating the house. You should also consider card counting. This is not as difficult as Hollywood would make you believe and providing that you have a basic short term memory and can add and subtract by 1, then you’re good to go. Card counting is also not illegal, and although they can kick you out of some casinos if they suspect you of doing it (though they can also kick you out if you are winning, regardless of whether you’re counting cards) they can not arrest you. In Atlantic City, they are not even allowed to ban you due to a law that forbids them from doing so.
Card counting does not work with online casinos, but Basic Blackjack Strategy does and we use this on a regular basis to practice for our live games.
How to Win at Poker
Remember that live poker is never about your hand, it is always about your opponent and the hand that they think you have. You should also remember, however, that these rules don’t apply to online poker, where play can be significantly more erratic and where you may be called regardless of what hand you have or are pretending to have. Live poker is about your ability to bluff, online poker is about having the right hand and folding until you get there. Both forms of poker require a bucket-load of patience and nerve, because as soon as you get frustrated or angry, you could be throwing your chances of winning away.
A good trick for online poker is to find sites with weak opponents and then bide your time. These types of players will call anything with nothing, so if you remain patient and fold until something big comes along, then you can guarantee that when you bet big with a big hand, you will be called. In the case of Texas Hold’em though, never bet big before the flop, because then you’re allowing chance to settle the score. Instead, make sure you have a big hand on the flop or even on the turn or river — be patient.
How to Win Betting on Horse Races
Although it’s not so much a ticket to easy wins, the following is advice that everyone should consider if they’re making bets on horse races. Simply put, the form should be ignored. This means nothing. The same applies to the betting itself, and you should never bet on a favorite just because he is the favorite, in fact you should also avoid the amateur mistake of betting based on a pretty name.
A lot of horse racing comes down to weight, so keep a close eye on the handicaps. You should also remember that these are animals, not machines. They have good days and bad days. Make sure you leave your bet until after you have seen them in the parade ring, and avoid all horses that look despondent — head down, depressed. Look for one with its head held high and its ears pricked up. You should also never discount horses that look a little nuts and are fighting against the jockey, as these beasts are ready to tear up some track.
How to Manipulate the Betting Exchanges
This new form of gambling has taken over in the last few years and can be manipulated by anyone with extensive knowledge of one sport and some basic knowledge of exchanges. The trick is to keep an eye on the market ahead of time, and to predict any changes (injuries, postponements, team changes) that will alter those odds, before cashing out. This means that with a little sporting knowledge, you can take money from gamblers who have none and cash out before the game even begins. If you’re an expert in one or more sports, and especially if you are privy to inside information, then you should learn the basics of betting exchanges such as BetFair, as there is money to be made.