This article is going to be dealing mainly with land based casinos rather than online casinos. But we hope you find it interesting nonetheless.
There are certain tips and tricks you can use to give yourself a small boost over the house edge, whilst there are in turn many established tricks that the casino plays on you to squeeze every last dime out of your wallet. Here are just some of them:
You: The inexperienced dealer
Occasionally you will come across a new, inexperienced or plain clumsy card dealer in a casino who occasionally accidentally flashes a bit of the down facing card. Knowing the dealers card will give you a reasonable edge for that round so keep your eyes peeled on the dealers before you sit down and see if there’s any making this mistake. Like card counting, this casino strategy is in no way illegal. It may get you banned from a casino if they know what you are doing, but apart from that there’s nothing they can do about it (apart from sacking or retraining the croupier of course).
Casino: What time is it?
Ever noticed that there are no clocks in a casino? Or that casino staff don’t wear watches? Well there’s a good reason for that, they don’t want any player to have a concept of time. You can easily lose track of the hours in a casino but if you are always fully aware of the time then you are more likely to call your session a day far earlier.
In the UK however laws were passed to enforce casinos to display the time and to also encourage players to take regular breaks from gambling.
You: Buy a watch!
In relation to the above time related question, if you have a watch then make sure you wear it if you are going to a casino. If you don’t have one then either buy one or set a recurring alarm on your phone so you can keep track of how long you have been active. Take a break every 30 or 45 minutes. This point applies to online casinos as well as land based ones.
Casino: Location, location, location
Most casinos house the toilets and the cashiers as deep inside the casino as possible. The reason for this is that once you have cashed out or gone to the toilet, you are forced to pass by all the temptations once more. It is a last ditch attempt by the casino to get you to have one last flutter. Be strong!
You: Know when to stop
In any form of gambling you really do need to set yourself two targets before starting. A maximum loss level and a maximum win level. If you reach either of these two milestones then call it a day. The longer you gamble the more likely you are to lose. Be that the house edge catching up on you, or your own concentration and discipline slipping.
Casino: Cutting off the outside world
Casinos usually have windows at the entrance/exit but that is all. They do not want you distracted by the outside world and they do not want you noticing the sun going down (or coming up in extreme cases). They have you where they want you and they aim to keep you there by any means necessary!
You: Assuming losses
You have got to assume that you are going to lose at the casino. I you are heading to a land based casino then treat it as a night out. How much money would a good night out cost you if you were going to dinner or to the cinema and then the pub? Take this amount of money in cash to the casino and leave your bank cards at home. This is a simple rule I always live by. This way I can never lose more than I had planned on spending! For the price of a night out I can enjoy the entertainment, sample the free food and drinks on offer… and there’s still the small chance I might actually get lucky and walk out with a profit!
Casino: Sexy time!
Some casinos have adopted bikini clad croupiers or even dancers to distract the punter. Some even use this lure to enable them to have tables with lower than normal house edge because the distraction will stop you noticing! Be aware of your surroundings and of the tricks the casino may be enforcing!
You: Wear and tear
You have been led to believe that a roulette wheel is 100% neutral and unbiased. However this isn’t always true. Over time a wheel may become fractionally off balance. Even the smallest percent off center gives one section a slight edge over the rest of the wheel. Add to that worn down separators and you will find that some numbers or groups of numbers have a slight long term edge over others. This has been scientifically documented by a number of studies. The percentages we are talking about are minute but they are there nevertheless.
Casino: Free beer sir?
The more you drink, the more you lose. It’s a good general rule to bear in mind. If you are out for a fun night and have followed the “Assuming losses” rule then take advantage by all means. But if you have your bank cards with you or if you have a gambling (or drinking) problem then just say no before you find yourself deeply out of pocket!
You: Practice makes perfect
Whatever your poison is, be that slots, roulette, blackjack or craps, practice as much as you can and know your variables. There is one real case of a player practicing throwing dice for hours a day, every day. He became so good that he became a professional craps player, bouncing the dice off the back plate and ending with the numbers he wanted. Of course eventually he started getting banned from casinos but not before he racked up a healthy string of wins.
I am not saying this is a realistic thing to aim for, this is about as difficult a trick to master as counting cards is. But the point remains true to practice before you buy.
Casino: Cleanliness is next to godliness
Notice your casino is spotless? Notice the low mood lighting, the flashy carpets, the alluring smell? Just one more way the casino wants you to feel comfortable, at home and set to stay for the night!