Gambling is all about the money. It’s how we keep score in gambling. You can spend hours and hours in the casino, play a dozen different games and come out the next morning with a hangover knocking at the front door and still know exactly how it went. Did you win or lose? Check your wallet.
Remember this, though. Gambling is still just a way to pass time. You can spend as much or as little money as you want and chalk it all up as a cost of entertainment. Never forget that. The casino has the advantage over the long run. Gambling isn’t (and shouldn’t) be a job. It’s a hobby. It’s a night out on the town. It’s a way to spend money.
Anyways, gambling doesn’t have to be as expensive for you as it is for everyone else. These 10 simple tips today will help you lower the cost of gambling and maybe even help you win more often.
1. Learn new games
Broaden your horizons and learn how to play new games well. If you don’t know how to play blackjack well, start with that one. If you already know how to play blackjack, remember that blackjack isn’t the only good bet in the casino.
Learn how to play video poker, baccarat, craps and poker. Those games all have a variety of good bets that can help you make money and save money at the casino. Poker can be insanely profitable if you put the time in to learn poker strategy.
2. Read a book
The internet is great for quick tidbits of gambling information, but books are a better resource. Book authors invest more time in what they write than the average writer for a website. Use the internet to research a few gambling books for whatever games you’re interested in.
3. Get a cashable casino bonus
A select few online gambling sites offer deposit bonuses that you can withdraw. What happens is you make a deposit, get some extra money and then must “clear” that bonus by playing games. After the bonus is cleared, you can withdraw your original deposit, the bonus and anything that you may have won.
4. Take the odds bet in craps for as much as you can
The odds bet in craps can be placed after the pass line bet. This is one of the only wagers in all of gambling that has zero house advantage. This one is paid at true odds. What that means is that the payouts are equal to the odds of winning.
The more money you place on the odds, the more you lower the overall house advantage you experience in craps. Most online casinos limit the odds bet to three times the size of your pass line bet. Brick and mortar casinos will sometimes let you place odds bets equal to 100 times the size of the pass line bet, although that is somewhat rare.
5. Have a rule about withdrawing your winnings
Create an agreement with yourself in which you cash in some of your winnings. There are a million ways to do this, but the point is to get some of your money out while you’re ahead. The only way to guarantee anything at the casino is to cash in your winnings you get them.
Some people do it by setting a win limit. Everything they win over that limit, they withdraw. Other people simply stop gambling when they hit the win limit. This is best combined with a loss limit as well. Many people are unable to win at the casino because they simply keep gambling until they run out of money.
6. Get random lottery numbers
The lottery is a bad bet, but sometimes the jackpot is so big that we all indulge sometimes. As long as you don’t spend every last dollar on the lottery, there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun. One thing I recommend avoiding is picking the numbers yourself.
How does that make a difference? Well, when you pick numbers yourself, you are more likely to pick numbers that other people are picking. Numbers based on patterns, significant dates and so on expose you to the risk of splitting your winnings. Lots of people pick numbers using similar selection styles.
The lottery is completely random, so the numbers you pick have no effect on your odds of winning. With that in mind, you might as well get truly random numbers so that if you are lucky enough to win, there’s a slightly lower chance that you end up splitting your win with other people.
Even if you just pick numbers willy-nilly, you probably won’t be as random as you think. Humans are bad at being random. Let the machine make random picks for you. It won’t hurt your odds, but it might, just maybe, perhaps help you avoid splitting the jackpot with someone else.
7. Try a couple of slot and blackjack tournaments
Slot and blackjack tournaments are pretty good games for the gambler. In a blackjack or slots tournament, you and the other competitors all pay a little money up front to enter the tournament. Everyone then competes with one another to try to win the most chips. Players are then either eliminated or ranked according to the number of chips at the end of the tournament and receive payouts.
There are a few advantages to playing in tournaments. For one, the entry fee itself isn’t subject to a house advantage. That’s a good thing. Second, some tournaments are played with fake chips. This gives you a lot of gambling without any additional risk. Third, the tournament format facilitates fair competition between the players rather than you having to play against the unbeatable house advantage.
8. Learn to play poker
Poker isn’t even gambling, but many casinos include a poker room. You can also play poker online for real money at dozens of websites. Poker is a game of skill based on limited information. What separates poker from gambling games is that poker is played against other people and not against the house.
Skilled poker players can make good money at the tables. It requires a lot of reading and studying, but anyone can become a decent player. If you get good at poker, this is one of the best ways to get the rush of playing with real money without exposing yourself to an unbeatable house edge.
9. Avoid 6-5 Blackjack
There’s a scourge making its rounds in Las Vegas and at various online casinos. It’s called 6-5 blackjack and it’s a bad deal for the gambler. What happens is some casinos lure players in with promises of single deck blackjack games with player-friendly rules.
The catch is that these blackjack games only pay 6:5 on blackjacks instead of 3:2. This means the payouts are lower, which results in a much higher house advantage. Stick to 3:2 blackjack.
10. Play video poker with a mathematically correct strategy
Video poker has a very low house advantage when played with the proper strategy. In some cases at live casinos, you can actually gain an advantage. Check out the Wizard of Odds video poker page for a list of mathematically correct video poker strategies.