Thanks to the expansion of casino gambling around the United States, Canada, U.K., and Europe, few people live more than a few hours’ drive away from a legitimate, licensed casino. For some people, visiting the nearest casino is the ideal weekend getaway. But what about all those new players that have never stepped foot into a real casino? Playing at a casino for the first time is an exciting experience. It also causes a lot of anxiety for first-timers. What do I play? How much do I risk? What if I lose all my money in the first 10 minutes? These are all common concerns that new casino-goers may experience before their first trip to the casino. If you’re one of the people with those concerns, don’t worry, you’re not alone. No one walks into a casino the first time with all the answers. The best thing you can do is what you’re doing right now; educate yourself by reading all the casino tips you can find.
To get the most out of a casino visit, consider these suggestions and beginner casino tips:
1. Develop a Winning Mindset
Learning proper playing strategies is only part of a successful casino gambler’s game plan. Having a proper attitude is just as important. First and foremost, in order to be a winner, you must learn to control your emotions when gambling. Remember this….. “The real struggle when you are playing is, in most cases, not between you and the casino, but between you and yourself.” You will find many temptations to keep you from playing and losing, therefore you must learn to develop a sense of timing or awareness of when to play and, more importantly, when to quit. In short, you must develop the proper playing attitude to overcome the psychological barriers created by the casinos to keep you losing and to make it difficult for you to leave the casino with a profit. For example, when gambling at the casino, expect to win (rather than lose). Granted, there are no guarantees that you will win, but likewise, there is no guarantee that you have to lose. Always prepare yourself for those inevitable losing sessions. No matter how skillfully you play, sometimes everything will go wrong. Will you quit and call it a day or will you be like most gamblers and dig in for more cash, hoping the tide will turn? And how many gamblers have the attitude that a small profit is better than no profit or a loss? Not many. Above all, learn to develop a sense of timing for when to play and when to quit. Playing blackjack, for example, if you are tired or have been drinking will cost you dearly. These attitudes are not always natural. Most of them take an amount of work before you can feel comfortable playing with discipline. But if you develop these proper playing attitudes, you will be able to enjoy the fun and excitement of casino gambling with minimum risk to your bankroll. Isn’t it worth the effort?
2. Set (and stick to) a budget
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau says that most gamblers budget around $600 for gambling expenses for a four-day trip. Without a commitment to your casino budget, your relaxing weekend getaway could turn into a financial disaster. Not fun. Avoid the temptation to use credit cards, casino credit, or other money that is designated for expenses outside of the casino.
3. Sign up at the player’s club
One of the first stops you should make is to the casino’s player’s club. There you can get a player’s card that the casino uses to track your play. You either insert the card into the machine (for slots and video poker) or hand the card to the dealer on table games. You accumulate points that earn you free buffets and other perks like cashback. Plus, all casinos “rate” players based on the games they play and how large their bets are (on average). This rating will help the casino decide whether to give you larger comps like show tickets and complimentary rooms.
4. Pick one or two favorite games and stick with them
Avoid jumping into casino games you don’t understand. Some of the most innocent look bets have terrible odds for the player. It’s important to learn about each game and its odds of winning and then decide which games you will spend your time on. Learn how the game is played and some of its strategies. Discipline yourself to memorize strategy tables for blackjack, for instance, or know the odds on a specific roulette bet. Practice online before visiting a casino. That way you’ll have a better idea of how the games are played and maybe even pick up some of the terminologies.
5. Pace yourself
Keep in mind that gambling can be exhausting because of the mental effort of following the game and playing your strategy. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that most gamblers play about four hours a day, and then enjoy other attractions, such as sports, shows, shopping, and other pursuits.
6. Whether you’re winning or losing, increase or decrease your bets gradually
Unless you have a near-unlimited bankroll, increasing or decreasing bets drastically only increases short-term variance and your odds of going bust, which isn’t good if you want to play a long session.
7. Limit how much you drink and never play when you are tired
There’s a reason why those drinks are free and keep coming. The casino knows that alcohol impairs people’s judgment and makes them take more risks. Have fun, but don’t get too crazy or you might end up putting more money at risk than you’re comfortable with. Similarly, playing casino games when you’re tired impairs your judgment and makes you more error-prone.
8. Avoid gimmicks and betting systems (they don’t work!)
No matter what your high-rolling friend from work or your relative says, there’s no betting system that will guarantee you win or even increase your odds of winning. I’ll be honest, it can be fun to use the Martingale in blackjack, but it definitely increases your risk of losing your bankroll. So if you do decide to try a betting system, do it just for fun.
9. Don’t chase your loses
Chasing your losses is a phrase that means trying to recoup the money you’ve lost, either by increasing your bet sizes or taking bigger risks, usually with money that you can’t afford to lose. Gamblers are known for trying to “get back to even”. But as any true gambler knows, if you play negative expectation games long enough the house always wins. So don’t fall into the trap of chasing your loses with money you didn’t budget for gambling, or can’t afford to lose.
10. Quit when you’re ahead
It’s every player’s dream – to leave the casino with the house’s money. There’s no downside to quitting early while you’re ahead, no matter how the other players may razz you. Smart gamblers know that setting and keeping limits lets them play on other days. Know your limit. If you quit while you are ahead, you can afford to play another day.