Most people who visit a casino almost go out of their ways to hand the casino extra money. That is what I call the house’s “hidden edge”. Players don’t pay close attention to what is happening right in front of them.
This is naturally what the casino wants. They don’t want to impoverish you. They want to turn you into a happy lifelong customer.
Las Vegas casinos have and advantage over their countryside cousins. Every year more than 40 million people visit Las Vegas. The casinos there count on seeing new faces all the time.
What you need when you’re visiting a town that doesn’t rely on local gamblers so much is your own hidden edge. And because of all the competition in the gambling industry it’s easy to find ways to improve your chances of winning and how much you win.
1 – What Almost No One Ever Tells You about Player Clubs
The first tip most gambling writers mention is that you should sign up for the players club. If you’re planning on visiting 10 casinos that works out to signing up for 10 clubs. If you do this in person it can take 15-20 minutes to join each club.
Or does it?
One great thing about Vegas is that the big casinos buy out or build out other properties. If you join the Caesar’s Rewards program you can accumulate points at 9 different Las Vegas casinos on the same card.
Other multi-casino players clubs include B Connected, Boarding Pass, and M life rewards. But if you visit major casinos around the country then you’ll want a Caesar’s club membership for sure.
Although you need to check club rules to stay up-to-date on what you can do with the points, if the club card is used in other cities you’ll have more chances to earn points.
And most of these players clubs allow you to transfer points to other members. You can gift them to friends and family who may need the points more than you.
2 – Don’t Use the Same Betting Strategy on Every Game
Standard advice for slot game players is to always play max bet. But you’d be crazy to do that in craps or roulette unless you have really deep pockets. And if you have that much money the casino will probably move you into the high roller games as quickly as possible.
Max betting on slot games makes sense for 2 reasons. First, some slot games won’t pay the jackpot if you don’t make a max bet. Every time I check out slot games I run into someone who doesn’t know that.
Second, simple multiplication shows you that a 5X win pays more on a max bet than on a minimum bet. Some people think, well, yeah, but the prize amounts are proportioanally the same.
While it’s true that 5X is 5X regardless of how much you bet, the secret to winning on slots is to look at how much you win proportional to your bankroll.
If you walk into the casino with only $500 you’ll have a better chance of doubling that money on slot games with max bets than with minimum bets. Statistically the longer you play the game the more likely the casino will take all your money.
The house edge is the percentage of all wagers a casino expects to retain. The more wagers you make the more money the casino keeps.
3 – Make Your Most Aggressive Wagers on the Safest Bets
This is counter-intuitive for 2 reasons. First, you’re making safe bets. That means you’re not risking much compared to other types of wagers. Second, most people say you should make high-risk bets to win a lot of money.
Here is how this counter-intuitive strategy works in roulette. Let’s say your bankroll is $1000. The table minimum is $5 and the maximum is $100.
You could bet $5 on a single number in European roulette. The payout odds are 35-to-1 but the probability of your number coming is is 37-to-1. That’s a very risky bet and you might think, well, I’m only risking $5.
On the other hand, say you place a bet on red. The payout odds are even money. If you want to win $100 you need to bet $100.
While it looks like you’re risking more money, the probability of winning is 37-to-18. That’s 18 times more likely to pay you than the single number bet.
4 – Don’t Do Drugs or Alcohol When You Gamble
When you’re intoxicated you give the house a hidden edge. Your judgment is impaired and you’re more likely to make mistakes or bad decisions.
Everyone knows this and yet many people still drink and gamble. I want to have fun when I gamble too but if winning more money is your priority stick to caffeinated drinks.
While there are downsides to caffeine intake it’s a stimulant that helps you stay awake and aware. It also makes you need to take a break more often than just drinking water.
5 – Always Change Games When You’re 20% Up or Down
This is a basic investing strategy but it works just as well in gambling. If you’re looking to win more then set some loss limits.
Players convince themselves the next spin or card could change everything for them. While that’s true. It’s no more likely to happen when you’re 20% down than when you’re 20% up.
As long as you never lose more than 20% of your starting bankroll stay in the game until you’re 20% up. Then walk away.
6 – Make Larger Wagers on Simple Bets in Craps
Craps allows you to gamble in a lot of ways. Keep it simple. Use one of the two following basic strategies.
- Bet Pass, Come, and Odds.
- Bet Don’t Pass, Don’t Come, and Odds
The house edge is slightly lower on the second strategy but many people tell you this isn’t as popular with players as the first strategy.
Either way, avoid the more complicated betting options when you play craps.
7 – Avoid Big Jackpot Slot Games
There are two kinds of slot games. Those that take your money and those that take your money faster. Both kinds of games pay for those big jackpots out of players’ lost wagers.
Low jackpot games tend to be low volatility games. That means the variances between wins and losses are smaller. Your money lasts longer, giving you more chances to win a big prize.
8 – Always Bet the Banker in Baccarat
There is no safer, easier casino game to play than baccarat. The house edge is the lowest and they occasionally ask you to cut the cards.
The only thing you really need to remember in baccarat is that betting on the banker is more likely to pay than betting on the player.
9 – Never Make an Extra Wager
Casinos find ways to get you to take extra risks. This might be insurance in blackjack or playing double or nothing in a slot machine “bonus” game.
If you’ve won money and they ask you to bet part of it on a second round in the game, politely pass.
10 – Never Bet the Table Minimum in Blackjack
There are no high payout odds in blackjack. If you want to win some money in this game you’ll have to wager more than the table minimum.
The house edge is pretty low but the game requires some skill. When you practice at home – and you know you will – teach yourself to bet 2 or 3 times the table minimum.
The only thing you can guarantee in a casino is that there are more losers than winners. It’s great to win $800 or $1000 but do everything possible to avoid needing to win back money you’ve lost.
You’re going to lose money at some point. By playing smarter you’ll cut your losses short every hour. As long as you stay in the game you have a chance or winning or losing.
As long as your winning – keep doing whatever you’re doing.