How many times have you heard that the house always wins? Even though gambling parlors might put the motto as an illuminated sign on their front door, the places are crawling with hopefuls fervent to prove it wrong.
Although games of chance are dependent on, well, chance, the best way to win is not to summon the mercy of the Fortune goddess but to learn how to gamble smart.
Before you find out how to gamble at a casino and win, you first need to understand the house edge or advantage that makes the house win in the long run.
Taking the Edge Off
The house edge represents a casino’s average profit from a player’s wager, expressed in percentage form. If a house edge is 5%, they will keep 5¢ as profit per dollar wagered and return the remaining 95¢ to players. Keep in mind that this is on the average, and the calculation is based on the total amount of wagered money in a casino during a longer period.
The odds say that the longer you play, the closer your losses will get to the house edge. In the long run, the casino has an advantage over gamblers. Of course, you can still leave with more than you came with. But you’re just a glitch in the system, not its fatal fault. The parlor is full of less fortunate chumps who will cover up for the loss you caused.
People tend to gravitate towards high-edge games because often, they are simpler to master and have huge prizes. But any seasoned gambler would advise you to stick to the low edge because they are more unlikely to strip you of your funds.
Now that you know thy enemy, you realize that the first advice in the crash course on how to gamble smart is to check the house advantage. If you’re unaware of the house edge, you might be taking bets where the house edge is higher. Remember though, that there is a sucker bet in every game. The edge can go significantly higher if you don’t apply smart to your wagering.
Time Is Money
Think about time and money as a space-time continuum. They are closely linked in gambling, so it is crucial to set limits to both of them. Decide how much money you wish to spend and don’t look into your wallet or friend-list for additional resources. Be ready to lose whatever you are willing to gamble. Try cashing out from time to time to control the amount of wagering money.
Time limitation depends on several things. You can limit playtime by controlling the pace of the game. Keep the stakes smaller, at least in the beginning. Table games are generally slower than machines, but even in machines, you can set the spin and coin values. If you’re more into cards and dice, you can sit at a slow table or skip every other round. You have more chances of gradually building your wealth if you avoid big losses by avoiding big bets.
How Not to Play Dumb
Out of many casino offers, one will choose according to preferences, popularity, or the game’s appeal. At Red Casino, you will find all types of table games as well as wide library of slots. Here are quick tips on how (not) to play some of the most popular choices.
Experienced gamblers would probably suggest blackjack. It’s easy to learn, and you always play against the dealer, who is, unlike you, limited by strict rules. The goal is to beat the dealer in getting your cards as close to, but not over 21.
The house edge is low (around 1% or less in most casinos) if you follow a few rules. Choose a version with the least number of decks, and stick to the classic, not its exotic variations. Another tip is to avoid side bets unless you’re counting cards. Yes, you can learn to count cards; it’s not a skill reserved for mathematical movie geniuses.
Craps may look more complicated because of the number of wagering possibilities. If you have no experience, stick to the pass/don’t pass bet, where you guess if the shooter will succeed in rolling a 7 or an 11. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 it’s craps, and the shooter loses. Any other number means the shooter will have to roll that total again before rolling a 7. The house edge in the pass bet is about 1.4%.
Another recommendable is the odds bet with no house edge. It pays if the shooter throws a point again before they roll a 7.
Complicated wagers increase the house edge significantly, so you should avoid them. The basic ones give you a chance, while the complex ones just give you cra(m)ps.
The main allure of baccarat is the fact that there are only three possible wagers to place, and no specific skills are required. The goal in this card classic is to guess whether the player or the banker’s cards will sum up to nine. You can bet on the player, on the banker, or on a tie. The first two bets have a low house edge (around 1.06%), but the third is sky-high, and you should avoid it if there’s common sense in you.
Roulette has a higher house edge, but it’s a casino classic that many wish to take for a spin. You’ve probably read about many strategies that could improve your chances of winning. Although none of these guarantee a win, some might be useful in helping you control the way you manage your time and money.
Whichever strategy you choose, if you find yourself at a roulette table, stick to the 50/50 wagers. Place your bet on the odds, evens, a color, or a group of numbers, instead of putting everything on one number, no matter how lucky it was for you up to that time. Also, look for the European version because it has only 2.70% house edge, compared to 5.26% in American roulette.
You might not be able to resist the battle against the machine, but if you’re undecided, choose video poker over slots. The outcome will at least partially depend on what you do.
The critical thing about machines is their RTP, or return to player, a percentage of all wagered money that is paid to their players. If you play poker, chose Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild, and find machines with an RTP closer to 100%. In slots, RTP is often 92–97%, so choose those with higher percentages.
If you’re a definite slot-nut, practice slowplay because in this case, the quick ARE the dead. Even minimal bets can drain you faster than you expect.
As for choosing the title, don’t fall for the first one you see. The shiny ones in the front are coin-eaters. At online casinos, learn the magic of the “load more games” button. Also, slots with many reels, bonus plays, and paylines are those that pay less because they have to cover up for all that bling. So simple is better.
Knowledge Is Power
One strategy gives the best odds of winning. It’s learning the rules and practicing. You can work on your skills at home, with your friends, or by trying a free-play mode in many online casinos.
Some games are easy to learn but harder to win. Others require getting acquainted with, but gratify you with fairer chances. Also, if you play at online casinos, read the terms and conditions. It might cost you time, especially if they’re badly written, but it’s better they devour your time than your money.
In the mid-19th century, many eagers went to California to search for gold, but few actually got rich out of gold mining. Much like the Gold Rush, casinos are counting (literally) on people’s burning desire to empty the casino vaults. Now that you know what you need to avoid the fever, you are more likely to strike gold.
In the end, casino-time should also be a fun experience. You’re not a loser if you leave on time, whatever your balance. But if you get desperate, greedy, or you chase the loss in the game that doesn’t fit you, you can say farewell to the fairytale. That is how hopefuls turn into hope-fools.