You know you’re going to lose, right?
It doesn’t matter if you sit down to play slots, craps, roulette or even a “low house edge” game like blackjack; the odds are against you. You’re supposed to lose.
You don’t have to let that dampen your spirit, though. Knowing you’re supposed to lose makes gambling much easier, because when you lose your money you don’t feel so bad about it. You expected it.
It also allows you to focus on something different. For example, instead of feeling bad about losing your money, you can focus on trying to improve your chances of winning.
Because that IS possible. We’re going to show you how.
Below, you’ll find 20 tips for how you can overcome the casino’s edge. They are split into 3 categories: casino games, game strategy, and the casino.
Follow a tip or two, and you might save a little money. Try to follow them all and you might be surprised at all the extra monies you find in your pockets.
9 Casino Game Tips
As far as casino games go, here are the things you can do to win a little more (or lose a little less).
1. Find The Best Games
This is subjective; who’s to say which games are better than others?
What we mean is to choose games that have a lower house edge. Examples of games with a low house edge include blackjack, baccarat, poker, sports betting and video poker.
What if you don’t like those games?
That’s okay, too. Just find the best version of the game you like to play. For example, choose French roulette over American or European roulette.
2. Find The Best Machine
This is like the last tip, but for slots players.
The best slot machines to play are the simplest machines. The ones that don’t stand out with the flashing lights and huge signs.
Here’s how the WizardOfOdds.com explains it:
The simpler the game, the better the odds. The fancy games with big signs and video screens tend to not pay as well as the simple games. However, slot players always tell me the fancy games are more fun.
The big games are more fun. So, you’ll have to decide what you want more. Is it fun, or an advantage over the casino?
3. Find The Best Payouts
All casinos offer the same games. However, one thing that makes them different are the payouts the casinos offer if/when you win.
This can have a significant impact on the house edge.
An easy example is blackjack. Some casinos pay 3:2 for natural blackjacks, while other casinos pay 6:5 or worse. This alone can more than double the casino’s edge.
This applies to other games, too. Caribbean stud, 3-card poker, and casino hold’em are all games where you can expect the payouts to fluctuate from one casino to the next.
You can improve your chances of winning by finding the casinos that offer the best payouts.
4. Find A Two-Seater
Walk around a Las Vegas casino nowadays and you’ll find a handful of slot machines that have bench seating. You can usually seat two people at these machines, and sometimes even three.
How does this increase your chances of winning? Well, it’s not because two heads are better than one.
The reason why this works is because with two people on the same machine, you’re spending half the amount of money you would had you two been playing on two different machines.
(This assumes you don’t increase how much you’re spending because you’re sharing a machine.)
This may not change the house edge at all, but what it does do is decrease how much you’re spending. In our eyes, saving money is just as good as winning it.
5. Know When To Bet The Max, Or To Bet Less And Play More Lines
This applies to slot and video poker players.
For slot players, the WizardOfOdds.com has a great tip for knowing how much to bet:
The higher the denomination, the better the odds. For that reason, it is better to play one coin per line on a 5-cent game than five coins per line on a 1-cent game.
The same idea applies to video poker. You should bet the max at a lower denomination, instead of betting 1-4 at a higher denomination, because the top prize and potential jackpot for a lower denomination far outweigh the extra earnings on lesser hands at higher denominations.
6. Walk Away After You Win
Easier said than done, we know. Most people use their winnings as an opportunity to double or triple their bets.
There’s nothing wrong with doing that.
However, we do recommend you have a limit as to how much you’ll win before cashing out. Or, you establish an amount you’re willing to lose (from your winnings).
When you use this tip, you all but guarantee you’ll walk away with a profit for that session.
7. Take Breaks
Taking breaks is important, because between the games, free drinks, and lack of windows or clocks, it’s easier to get lost in the game and lose track of time. Meanwhile, you’re spending a bunch of money.
When you take a break, you can clear your head, count your bankroll, and decide if you even want to continue playing.
Every minute you spend not playing is a minute you’re not giving the casino your hard-earned money.
8. Don’t Chase Losses
Usually when people chase losses, they’re “tilting.” This is a poker term for playing emotionally instead of logically.
Follow this tip, and you’ll improve your chances, because you’ve already lost your money to begin with, and chasing losses often leads to you losing even more.
9. Take Your Time
This is a great tip for slots players.
One thing we see players do when they win is that they’ll hit the spin/play button so that their winnings hit their account instantly. This enables them to get back to playing as fast as possible.
However, if you just let the machine add the money to your balance at its own pace, you can sit there for a minute or two, and all the while you’re not spending any money.
This helps to stretch your bankroll and time spent playing.
You might also find that you get your fix much sooner and that you’re ready to cash out early.
This is one of the easiest ways to spend less money, which – in theory – should mean that you’re not spending it on a machine, and thus not losing it to the casino.
Which, in a roundabout way, improves your chances in the casino.
That’s it for game related tips. These tips alone can increase your chances in the casino.
We’re not done, though. Let’s look at how you can apply some strategy to these games to improve your chances even more.
9 Game Strategy Tips
Here are some ways you can use strategy to beat the casino.
1. Find The Best Rules
You can take two identical games – say, blackjack – and have different rules.
- One game might use 2 decks. Other games might use 6.
- Sometimes you might be able to split aces. Other times you can’t.
- Some casinos will let you double down on any two cards. Other casinos won’t.
And so on.
Each rule will impact the casino’s edge on the game. We recommend you become strategic in the games you choose to play. This means learning what the different rules casinos use are, and how they impact the game’s odds.
The WizardOfOdds.com has a great page where he shows different blackjack rules and what they do to the house edge here.
2. Learn The Optimal Time To Play Video Poker
Video poker is one of those games where it’s possible to seek out a small profit per hand if you start playing at the right time.
The “right time” is usually when the progressive jackpot is large enough.
Poker pro, Huck Seed, is an example of someone who pulled this off. He averaged more than $3 per hand and eventually hit the $670,000 jackpot.
Learning how to do this involves a lot of math and is outside the scope of this article. If you learn how to do it, though, you can give yourself a major leg up on the casino.
3. Learn Basic Game Strategy
This applies to games like blackjack, video poker, baccarat, 3-card poker, casino hold’em poker, and so on.
Even if all you do is learn the best plays to make, and when to make them, you can often cut the house edge by half or more.
Basic strategy is available everywhere online. Some casinos even sell strategy cards for games like blackjack, because the casino still maintains a tiny edge when you use them.
At least you can take pride in knowing that you won’t just give your money to the casino. They’re going to have to earn it.
4. Learn Advanced Strategy
For some games, you can learn more advanced strategy. For example, counting cards is advanced strategy for blackjack.
When you learn how to count cards properly, you can shift the house edge to where you’ll have a 1-2% edge over the casino.
This isn’t illegal, but the casino doesn’t like it. They may kick you out for it, so you use this at your own risk.
5. Avoid House Games
Another way to increase your chances in the casino is not to play their games at all. Skip the slots, keno, video poker, blackjack, and so on.
What you can play instead is poker. There’s not really a house edge here, though you do have to pay rake (fees) to play.
The only edge here is what you have or don’t have against another player. However, the good news is that anyone can learn how to play (better).
You can also learn how to bet sports profitably. The sportsbook does have an edge, but it’s possible to overcome it. Just do a little research online and in forums for advanced betting strategies.
Tip! The exception to this tip is blackjack if you’re willing to learn how to count cards.
6. Play One-On-One Against The Dealer
Try to play heads-up against the dealer. When you add other players to the mix, they change the probabilities for you because of the cards they’re dealt and how they play their hands.
When it’s easier to play your hand, you’re more likely to make the right play and reduce the casino’s edge.
7. Don’t Fall For Betting Systems Or Gambling Myths
This probably sounds funny, because betting systems are a type of strategy.
They’re the wrong kind, though.
Betting systems don’t work because they don’t change the rules or payouts for the game you’re playing. Since they do neither of those things, the house edge stays the same.
You won’t improve your chances in the casino if you follow bad advice like this.
8. Skip Side Bets And Progressives
You can take a game like blackjack, baccarat or 3-card poker – where the house edge is at less than 5 percent – and make it worse than slots or keno, simply by playing the side bet or progressive.
If you want to play side bets and progressives and it fits your bankroll, have at it. You won’t improve your chances in the casino, though.
You’ll make them worse.
9. Identify Clumsy Dealers
This was an interesting tip we found on MentalFloss.com.
The idea is to find a clumsy and/or new dealer who deals sloppily. They have a tendency to flash their face-down card (by accident).
This strategy is called “card holing” and it can give you a 6-9 percent edge over the house. It’s also easy to use and totally legal. That said, like card counting, casinos can still throw you out for doing it.
There are tons of game-specific strategies you can use to reduce the house edge. However, not everyone wants to take the time to learn those strategies.
Sometimes people want super basic tips that pack a punch without taking up a bunch of time or resources.
The tips above are for those people.
Now let’s look at a few tips that are even easier yet.
2 Casino Tips
To wrap things up, let’s look at how you can use the casinos against themselves to increase your chances of winning whenever you gamble.
1. Get Comped
Most casinos have some kind of loyalty program. When you spend money, you’ll receive points, which you can then exchange for cash back. Points can also be used to determine a VIP status or tier, of which may come with additional perks.
These programs vary wildly from one casino to the next. One thing that is consistent, though, is that becoming a member is usually free and very easy to do. So, you should.
Let’s be very clear about one thing, though. Unless you’re one of the special few that can negotiate special rules and comps with the casino, then you’re never going to fully overcome the house edge with a few buffet comps.
You’re still going to lose.
However, you can subsidize your gambling, which in a roundabout way improves your chances.
2. Get Bonuses
This applies to online players, as offline casinos don’t usually offer deposit bonuses.
These are very simple. You make a deposit, then the casino matches a percentage of your deposit. This is free money you can play with.
There are terms you need to follow. You may need to wager so many dollars (relative to your deposit and/or bonus) before you can cash out.
That’s okay, though, especially if you don’t care so much about winning.
In other words, if all you do is play on the casino’s dime, then that means you’re not spending (and losing) your hard-earned money. You played at the casino for free.
Can you think of a better way to improve your chances in the casino than that?
You’re supposed to lose.
That’s the name of the game whenever you walk through a casino’s doors. But, while it’s important to accept this, that doesn’t mean you have to take it lying down.
You can improve your chances of winning in the casino. You might not eliminate your losses. You might not gain an edge over the casino.
However, you can reduce the edge they have over you. You can reduce the amount of money you give to them.
The tips above will help you do just that.