I consider gambling among the most rewarding endeavors of my entire life. I’ve never gotten rich from playing poker or counting cards.
Still, the places I’ve seen and the experiences I’ve had are priceless. I’ve been lucky enough to do things I never dreamt of before my casino career.
Unfortunately, not every experience has been ideal. There are things in the casino that can take an experience from excellent to painful.
The struggle is that many aspects of making casinos excellent can also be downfalls. Here are 10 things I love (and hate) about casino gambling.
1 – Blowhard Pundits Telling Me How to Play
Everywhere you look, there are “experts” telling you how to gamble. These pundits cover everything from the latest poker news to the highest RTP on slots.
Most sports bettors will rely on the talking heads to find the best values for the week. Others buy into complicated roulette systems that ultimately yield zero improvements.
It’s peak entertainment if you’re a gambling fanatic.
The flip side of this coin is the armchair experts you often see in the casino. They hover around low-limit tables and happily toss out unsolicited advice.
Another popular spot for these pundits is the bar. Once the money is gone, they head to the bar to find anyone who will listen.
In both instances, you must take either set of so-called experts with a grain of salt.
2 – The People in the Casino
Most of us enjoy the social aspect of casino gambling. If we sat at tables alone, the games would lose much of their appeal.
I love chatting with dealers and players from around the world. The stories you hear are incredible, and some are even true.
Sitting at a table with a great dealer or fun group of players will enhance a casino session. But the same group can make your casino time a total nightmare.
Bumping into a rude dealer will flat-out ruin your time at the tables. The same is true for having rude or belligerent gamblers near you.
It’s hard to ignore these people, but it’s best not to engage. Instead, it would be helpful if you walked away.
There are plenty of tables to choose from in most casinos. Don’t let a poor sport or sour dealer spoil the experience.
3 – Online Casino Bonuses
Online casino bonuses are one of the best features offered to gamblers. These bonuses welcome new players by matching an initial deposit.
The bonus money can stretch your bankroll well past its previous limit. It’s a no-brainer; casinos are giving you free money to play casino games.
Yet, these bonuses don’t come without some pitfalls. The casino levies strict wagering requirements on the bonuses.
Still, the wagering requirements can be challenging to follow. Avoid falling into the trap of tying your cash up by reading the terms and conditions.
Gamblers who take time to understand the offer are less likely to have a negative experience.
4 – Casino Floors
The casino floor is an attraction in itself. Casinos take meticulous care in designing every aspect of the casino. That is critical to suit players’ needs and interests.
The layout of the games, the buzz of tables, and the sounds of slot machines create an electric atmosphere. That makes casinos some of the finest entertainment venues in the world.
However, they can also trap players into spending money they shouldn’t. When you step into a casino, you don’t notice the tricks being played on you.
But the absence of any clocks, the labyrinth design, and the lack of a view to the outside are meant to keep you gambling. When players lose track of time, they often gamble for longer than anticipated.
I fell victim to this setup early in my gambling career many times. I’d walk into the casino around 8 pm and expect to leave in a few hours. Then I’d walk out the doors, and the sun would be peeking over the horizon.
A casino floor is a fantastic place, but don’t let it trap you.
5 – The Casino’s Constant Advantage
You’re probably wondering how I could love the house edge. It’s simple; I like a challenge.
My dad used to take me fishing almost every weekend. When we didn’t catch anything, he’d remind me it’s called “fishing,” not “catching.”
Those words have stuck with me my entire life. If an activity doesn’t challenge us, there’s probably not much reward to be had.
The reasons for hating the house edge are straightforward. Nobody enjoys losing money. Unless you can find an advantage, you lose.
You might occasionally win to add a little hope, but it’s short-lived.
6 – Expert Handicappers
Don’t confuse the experts employed by the sportsbooks with the gambling experts. The handicappers are responsible for moving the lines to land in the middle.
The aspect I love about these experts is how good they are at their craft. I spend a lot of my time handicapping games, and the level of excellence at the top is admirable.
Then again, the sportsbooks are so good that it’s hard to make any money. Sports bettors must win over 52% of the time to make a profit.
Combining the outstanding handicappers with similar lines across sportsbooks, finding value becomes impossible.
I admire the skill required to be an expert handicapper. I hate the constant struggle of staying one step ahead.
7 – Casino Loyalty Programs
Casinos offer players the chance to register for the rewards program as soon as they’re in the door. These programs allow players to earn casino comps and goodies based on how much they play.
In return, the casinos get to track players’ habits and personalize marketing campaigns. It’s a win-win for both the casinos and the players.
You can roll every dollar you save in casinos back into your bankroll. So, that $15 meal could be more beneficial than you realize.
Yet, some players get carried away chasing the casino comps. When a player is close to reaching a new level of rewards, they may extend a session.
That’s counterproductive because you’ll lose more money than you’ll get in comps. Let comps come naturally, and always sign up for the players’ card.
8 – Lack of More Legal Gambling Options
Okay, there’s not much to love about the lack of more legal gambling options. Sports betting and tribal gaming have exploded in recent years.
But large swaths of the country are still void of any casino gambling options. In most states, without gambling, you can make a trip across state lines and gamble freely.
That creates a minor inconvenience at best. I don’t enjoy neighboring states raking in the massive tax revenues from gambling.
However, I do love the fact that it gives me an excuse to travel more often. Looking for the best options in states without a casino industry is a highlight of my job.
9 – The Games
I love casino games. I’m sure that applies to most of us.
The elements of strategy keep me engaged for hours while I’m at the casino. Many gamblers prefer the essence of pure chance that some games provide.
The beautiful part of casino gambling is that the games cater to everyone. Every person that walks into a casino can find a game to suit their interests.
However, the task can be made more difficult by the sheer volume of games. Some of these games are ridiculous in their nature.
That’s a mix of unnecessary and annoying in my eyes. Then again, it’s incredible.
10 – Progressive Jackpots
Progressive jackpots offer players a world of possibilities. These pots can grow to mammoth size, giving players the potential to change their life in an instant.
I love the notion that players can head for the casino with $200 to their name and leave with over $2,000,000. It’s a bastardized version of the American Dream, but I’m a fan.
I hate that so many gamblers play progressives; sure that they’ll win. The odds of ever hitting a progressive jackpot are out of this world.
It’s fun to dream about how you’d spend the money. But it becomes dangerous when you chase jackpot glory to bankruptcy.
The 10 things I love (and hate) about casino gambling are the reason I gamble. Many of the things on this list drive me mad.
Fortunately, I can still see the good through the bad. If you consider the things you hate about gambling, you may discover that you also love aspects of them.