Best ways to win at the Casino
I recently read the list on 10 Tricks Casinos Use on You, and found it interesting. As someone who has worked in the casino industry, I was well-aware of these subtle, but powerful, Jedi mind-tricks, and I’ve developed a few defenses of my own that I wanted to share. These are in no particular order.
This may seem like basic advice, but you’d be surprised how many people actually think they have an edge over the House. Regardless of how good you are, or how much experience you have, or what technique you use, the casinos have been at this for a lot longer than you have. The odds are stacked in their favor, and while you may win in the short term, you will eventually lose. Knowing this can keep help keep your head clear.
I used to be asked which machine paid out the most often in the casino, and my answer was always the same; “The one with the letters A-T-M on the front.” When you decide to go to the casino, you must assume that you are going to lose, and treat it as such. Decide beforehand how much money you can afford to spend on the evening’s entertainment, and take no more than that amount in cash. Leave your checkbook and credit cards in the room or at home. When you have played through the cash in your pocket, leave.
This seems, again, like an obvious point, but it is something that gamblers often forget. Always be aware of your win-loss ratio. At any time, you should know exactly how much you have spent and how much you have won since you began this session. It doesn’t seem like much when you’re playing quarter slots until you realize that you’ve been shoving five-dollar bills into the machine!
The casinos love to quote the old adage, “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins, ” but the opposite is true when it comes to gambling. My wife and I have a standing rule: we play only what we intended to play before we arrived (see #2), and, if at any time, we reach double the amount we came in with (or greater), we cash out and leave. Just as small losses add up quickly, so do small wins. We go to the casino to eat about once every two months or so, and when we go, we usually bring a little extra cash (often $5 or $10) to play in the machines. In general, we lose or break even, but we have won (and walked out) often enough that, over the course of three years, we’re up by about $25.
There’s a reason that few casinos have clocks or windows. Compensate for this by wearing a watch or carrying a timepiece and referring to it often. At any point, you should know exactly how long you have been sitting at the table or the machine. If you’ve been at the same location for more than 15 minutes and you haven’t at least broken even, it’s time to cut your loses and go. Sometimes, in addition to limiting the amount of money I bring with me, I also set my watch alarm to 30 minutes or so. When the alarm goes off, regardless of whether I’m up or down, I leave.
Alcohol dulls the senses and impairs judgment; that’s why they keep offering you those free drinks. Fortunately, combating this tactic is as easy as saying, “No thanks.” Of course, the waitress will keep tempting you. After all, her job is to keep you there at the table or in front of the machine. If you need an excuse, you can always claim to be the designated driver and they will usually leave you alone. Just remember, they can’t force you to accept the alcohol.