6 Traps Casinos Set for Gamblers and How to Avoid Them

Guy Surprised, Casino Trap Text, Bear Trap With Money

Gambling is hard enough when the casinos don’t set traps, and it’s almost impossible to win if you fall into a trap. But the only way to avoid casino traps is to know what traps they set for you.

Every trap a casino sets is designed to cost you money. But, of course, your goal is to make money, so you can’t afford to fall into a casino trap.

In this post, you’re going to learn about the six worst traps casinos set and how to avoid them once you spot them. You’re also going to pick up a few tips that can help you win along the way.

1 – Bad Blackjack Rules at Low Limit Tables

You walk into a casino and want to gamble a little bit, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money. So you take a look at the slot machines, but the table games catch your eye. First, you find a few table games that cost $20 a hand to play, but then you run across a blackjack table that only costs $5 per hand.

It looks like you’ve found exactly what you’re looking for. You read somewhere that blackjack has good odds, and you can play for only $5.

Here’s the problem with this scenario. While it’s true you can find blackjack games in some casinos for $5, they almost always have terrible rules. And the rules are usually so bad that you actually lose less money playing at a $10, or sometimes even a $20 blackjack table with better rules.

Further Info:

If you’re playing at a $5 table that has a house edge of 2%, your expected loss per hand is 10 cents, or .10, per hand. If you’re playing at a $10 blackjack table with a house edge of 1%, your expected loss per hand is 10 cents, or .10. If you’re playing at a $20 table with a house edge of .5%, your expected loss per hand is 10 cents, or .10.

Your expected loss is the same at all three tables. Hopefully, now you see why playing with a low house edge is so important. And the rules in blackjack have a lot to do with what the house edge is.

2 – Even Money Insurance

Some of the worst traps found in casinos are disguised as regular parts of a game. For example, most blackjack players think insurance is a normal rule when they play. But insurance is a sneaky side bet that the casinos present as something to help you.

Blackjack insurance is offered when the dealer has an ace, and you win if the dealer has a card worth 10 points to go with their ace. Some dealers call insurance even money because you lose your first wager and break even on the hand if you win the insurance bet.

But when you lose the insurance wager, you have to play against the dealer for your first wager, and you often lose both bets. So insurance isn’t a break-even wager. And it doesn’t really have anything to do with the base blackjack game because it doesn’t have anything to do with your cards.

Insurance is a side bet that increases casinos’ profit from their blackjack games.

And when the casino increases its profit, it increases your losses.

You can avoid the insurance trap by never accepting it when it’s offered.

3 – You Name the Side Bet

Most side bets offered in casinos aren’t disguised like insurance in blackjack. Instead, you can make a bet on the base game and have the option to make one or more side bets.

You can find hundreds of different side bets available in casinos, and new side bets are being developed all of the time. Of course, you can research individual side bets to learn more about them, but I’m going to give you a blanket rule about casino side bets that covers everything you need to know.

Every side bet offered in a casino is there to make the casino more money.

So if you’re making a wager on a side bet, you’re losing more money than you’d lose if you just stuck with the base game. So the best strategy when you gamble in a casino is never making a side bet, no matter how good it looks.

4 – Video Poker Machines With Bad Pay Tables

When you compare them, do you know the difference between a good Jacks or Better video poker pay table and a bad pay table? More importantly, do you know how much more money you lose playing on a video poker machine with a bad paytable compared to playing on a machine with a good paytable?

The difference in return between a video poker machine with a good paytable and a machine with a bad table can be as high as 3% or 4%. Here’s how much money that can cost you.


If you’re betting $5 a hand and play 400 hands in an hour, you’re betting a total of $2,000. So losing an extra 3% costs you $60, and an extra 4% costs you $80. And that’s just in a single hour.

The paytable isn’t the only thing that’s important when you play video poker, but it’s one of the traps that casinos set. Not every Jacks or Better machine is the same, and not every Deuces Wild machine is the same, etc.

You need to review the pay tables before you go to a casino so you can recognize good pay tables and avoid playing on machines with bad pay tables.

5 – Slot Machines

I know that most gamblers like to play slot machines because I see them all playing every time I go to the casino. And the number of slots players hasn’t changed for the decades I’ve been going to casinos, and if it has changed, it’s increased.

I’ve got some bad news if you’re one of the many gamblers who like to play slot machines.

Every slot machine in a casino is a trap.

It doesn’t matter if you like to play slots in land-based casinos or in mobile or online casinos; they’re all a trap.

Slot machines are designed to take your money and take as much of your money as possible. The return is lower on slot machines than most other games in the casino, the machines are designed so you can take 100’s of spins every hour, and because the bets are smaller, it makes you believe that you’re not betting that much money.

You can bet as much playing slots for $1 a spin every hour as you bet playing blackjack for $10 a hand. And a slot machine is going to keep a lot more of your money on average than a blackjack game.

My advice is to find something else to play in casinos if you’re playing slots. Almost any other game is better than slot machines.

6 – Bonuses You Can Never Cash Out

Early in my online casino career, I ran across a huge bonus offer and jumped on it. I can’t remember the exact amounts, but it was something like deposit $100 and get a $1,000 bonus. I played for a long time and checked to see if I cleared the bonus yet so I could cash out.

I hadn’t cleared the bonus yet, so I played some more. I eventually cleared the bonus and started the cash out process. And the casino subtracted the bonus from my account. So my first experience with a sticky bonus taught me to read the terms and conditions before I accepted a bonus.


In reality, there’s nothing wrong with a sticky bonus, as long as you know how it works before taking the bonus. But I feel like it’s a trap to offer a huge bonus that you can never cash out.

I also don’t like the fact that most bonuses have such high clearing requirements that you have no chance to win. Once again, I suppose there’s nothing exactly wrong with high clearing requirements, but often they’re so high you’re better off without a bonus at all.


Most traps set by casinos are easy to fall into. Unfortunately, if you don’t know the difference between good and bad rules, you have no chance to avoid the trap.

But you don’t have an excuse for falling into the six traps set by casinos listed in this post. So let other gamblers fall into these traps while you avoid them and play with better odds and higher returns.

And if you feel like helping another gambler out, let them know about these traps. Just don’t expect them all to listen.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.