4 Changes Gamblers Need to Make Now

Two Men Playing Cards
Some things in the world of gambling are fine. It seems like there are more options for land-based and online gamblers, and more areas are legalizing and regulating gambling all of the time. You can find more information about how to gamble and how to win than ever before. These are all good things.

But there are also some things that need to change. Some of them involve individual players like you and me changing our habits and taking advantage of things the casinos offer. Other things that need to change involve trends the casinos are creating that aren’t good for gamblers. You and I also have a part to play in some of these things.

Here’s a list of four things gamblers need to change now. The first two things involve something you and I and everyone we know who gambles need to act on immediately. It’s important to pressure casinos to change things that are bad for players. The last two changes are things you can do to improve your results starting right now.

1 – Stop Playing 6 to 5 Blackjack

For decades all of the blackjack tables available in Las Vegas and elsewhere around the world paid 3 to 2 for a natural blackjack. While the payout for a blackjack is just one of the many rules that alter the house edge, it’s one of the most important ones. It makes such a difference that it makes the game basically unplayable if it gets switched to 6 to 5 for any player who knows anything about the house edge.

Now you find more blackjack tables paying 6 to 5 for naturals, yet players still seem to be playing at these tables. The casinos make more profit from a 6 to 5 game than they do from a 3 to 2 game as long as players are willing to play for a 6 to 5 payout. So why would the casinos stop offering the more profitable table?

Blackjack 6 to 5 Table

The answer is that there’s no way the casinos stop trending toward more 6 to 5 tables unless players refuse to play the games. Almost everything casinos do is designed to increase their bottom line profit. This is bad because we end up with more 6 to 5 blackjack games.

But it’s also good, because if players stop playing 6 to 5 games the casinos will quit offering them. The danger is they might decide to replace the 6 to 5 blackjack games with something other than 3 to 2 blackjack tables. I’m willing to take this risk, because I won’t play 6 to 5 blackjack. The worst thing that can happen is they replace it with another game I won’t play.

The only way to eliminate 6 to 5 blackjack tables is if enough players refuse to play on them. Sadly, I don’t see this happening. Too many blackjack players have no idea what the house edge is and how the payout for a natural changes it. Most blackjack players don’t even use proper basic strategy, and many of them regularly take insurance.

If you want to see 6 to 5 blackjack tables go away, there are two things you can do. The first thing is the same thing I do; refuse to play on them. The second thing you can do is tell every blackjack player you know how bad 6 to 5 tables are, and urge them to not play on them. Only when enough gamblers speak with their feet, by not playing the worst tables, will the casinos stop offering them.

2 – Stop Playing Video Poker with Bad Pay Tables

This falls into the same category as playing on 6 to 5 blackjack tables. Video poker games are available with different pay tables, and each pay table produces a different house edge. Most video poker players don’t know the house edge for the pay tables they play and don’t know the best pay tables that are available.

Casinos have no reason to offer video poker machines with better pay tables if players keep playing on machines with poor pay tables. While some video poker machines with good pay tables offer a low house edge, the same machine with a worse pay table can have a house edge much higher.

Here’s an example using Jacks or Better:

Video Poker Screen

A Jacks or Better video poker game with a pay table that pays nine for a full house and six for a flush, called a 9/6 machines, has a house edge of .46% when you play using the best strategy.

A Jacks or Better machine using a 9/5 pay table has a house edge of 1.6%. The 8/6 pay table has a house edge of 1.2%. A machine with an 8/5 pay table has a house edge of 2.7%, and a 7/5 machine has a house edge of 3.9%. I’ve even seen a few machines that only offer a 6/5 pay table, which has a house edge of 5%.

The only Jacks or Better game that anyone should play is a 9/6 machine. I can understand playing an 8/6 machine is there are no better options, but any other machine is simply a waste of money. And casinos will continue replacing machines with good pay tables with ones that have bad pay tables as long as players continue playing.

The first thing you need to do is educate yourself on the best pay tables for the video poker games you play, and then stop playing on any machines that don’t offer a good pay table. Share this information with every video poker player you know and ask them to stop playing on bad machines.

If enough gamblers stop playing on video poker machines with poor pay tables, the casinos will stop putting them on the casino floor.

3 – Get a Rewards Card

Every single player in every casino around the world should immediately sign up for a player reward’s card. It might be called something else, like the slot’s club or player’s club, but there are not many good reasons to miss out on any kind of reward or comp that casinos give players.

Some gamblers simply don’t know that casinos offer reward’s programs, and some don’t think it’s worth it if they only play a few times a year. But there’s no downside to signing up. Even if you don’t play much, many programs still send special offers to members of their club.

Anything you get for being a club member is more than you’re getting now. Even if you only earn a single free buffet coupon in a year, it still saves you $10 to $20 worth of free food. If you gamble at land-based casinos, sign up for the rewards program before you place another wager. Not every online casino has a rewards program, but you should always ask if one is available.

I mentioned that there aren’t many good reasons to avoid signing up for the comp program everywhere you gamble. One of the legitimate reasons not to is if you’re an advantage player and don’t want the casino to have additional information about you. Some card counters don’t sign up for comps because of this.

It’s up to you whether or not to sign up for comps if you’re an advantage player, but casinos have so many different ways to identify and track players today that I believe in most cases you might as well earn some comps. If they think you’re counting they’re going to ban you anyway, whether you have a member card or not.

4 – Don’t Play Online Without a Bonus

You literally have over 100 choices when it comes to picking an online casino. And just about every single one of them offers some kind of sign up bonus. Many of them offer so many bonuses that you never have to make a deposit where you don’t get a bonus.

While there are other factors to consider when looking for an online casino, like deposit and withdrawal methods, and safety, there’s never a reason to play without receiving a bonus.

You need to make sure you always understand the terms and conditions attached to a bonus before you play, but the good news is if you don’t like the terms at one online casino you can check out a dozen more in a short amount of time.

Online casino bonuses offer free money so you can play more on the same size bankroll. Many bonuses offer 100% or more on your deposit, so if you deposit $500 you start with a bankroll of $1,000 or more. This is helpful no matter what games you want to play, but it’s especially good when you’re chasing a big progressive jackpot


If you want casinos to stop offering bad tables and pay tables, the main thing you can do is stop playing. The other thing you can do is educate as many gamblers as possible, so they stop playing at bad blackjack tables and on bad video poker machines.

You should always sign up for the player’s or reward’s club when you gamble. Even if you’re a low roller, you can still earn free things and receive special promotions. Finally, you never have to gamble online without receiving a bonus. With a bonus you can play longer and increase your odds of hitting a big win.