The casino is home to a seemingly endless supply of options for gamblers to choose from.
There’s classic card games like blackjack and baccarat, the unique dice rolling experience offered in craps, and watching the ball bounce around a revolving roulette wheel. There’s the slot machines clanging bells to announce a jackpot payout and the age-old game of poker, along with its modernized video alternatives.
Many hone in on their preferred game of choice, while others bounce around from the pit to the machines and back again.
Whenever you’re considering taking the leap and playing a new game for the first time, be sure to ask yourself the following questions to see if you’re ready for the switch.
1 – What’s Motivating Me to Give This Game a Shot?
First things first, when you decide to play a casino game for the first time, try to think about why you want to play it in the first place.
Are you a slot player in search of a greater mental challenge? Or are you a skill-game player looking for a little relaxation?
Do you want to expand your knowledge about all casino games, or just this one in particular? If so, what do you think it is about this game that caught your interest initially?
In many cases, the answer might just boil down to sheer boredom. For all of their charms, casino games can become a bit rote when you’ve been playing the same thing for weeks, months, and even years on end. Picking up and heading to a new game might offer the change of pace you need to start enjoying the casino like you used to.
For others, picking a new game to learn about and eventually master is a point of pride. Plenty of gamblers out there won’t rest until they know how to fit in at any conceivable table or machine on the floor. For them, the casino is like a library, and they can’t rest until they’ve read every book.
Whatever motivations you happen to find, try and use them to guide your path towards playing your new game to the best of your abilities.
2 – Did I Put in the Proper Level of Study and Preparation to Play Well?
Speaking of abilities, attaining any level of proficiency in a skill-based game like blackjack or video poker is all about preparation.
You might know that Deuces Wild is the next video poker variant on your checklist, but you’ll be doomed unless you take the time to study the game’s basic strategy. Knowledge of Jacks or Better and other variants can be helpful to be sure.
However, knowing one game cold isn’t enough to make the switch given the strategic complexities of a variant like Deuces Wild.
Similarly, knowing how to play a card game like blackjack doesn’t do you a lick of good when playing Let It Ride online for real money. You’ll need to master an entirely different set of basic strategy guidelines to give yourself a fighting chance against the house edge.
Giving yourself that chance is hard work, so you must be willing to put in the research and practice time before playing for real money. Pull up as much material on the new game, published by respected experts of course, as you can find online. Then, find a free to play version of the game and test your newfound skills without incurring any financial risk.
Then, and only then, will you be ready to bring your actual bankroll into the fray at the casino.
3 – What Are the Best Bankroll Management Practices for This Game?
With your precious casino bankroll in tow, playing a new game can often lead to issues centered around money management.
In the gambling world, those who know how to sensible manage their bankroll give themselves the best chance to prevail against the house. Betting too much, or too often, making the wrong bets against bad odds, and chasing losses with impulsive plays are all symptoms attributable to bankroll management struggles.
Blackjack and baccarat tend to use a $5 per hand minimum at the lower stakes, while quarter players in video poker bet the five-credit max for a $1.25 per hand liability. In roulette, $10 per spin covering both inside and outside bets is a standard minimum, while the Pass Line in craps can be played for $5 a roll.
Slot machines can be a little wonkier, as the coin denominations and payline counts can be configured by the player as they see fit.
Once you know the minimum bet needed to play, look for info on the number of bets per hour your new game plays out on average.
Blackjack tables usually deal out 70 hands in an hour, baccarat is slightly faster at 75 hands per hour, and Pai Gow Poker is much slower at a 30 hand per hour pace. Roulette players can expect 38 spins in a 60-minute span, while craps lets the dice fly 48 times per hour.
From here, you should be able to map out an accurate assessment of how your bankroll will be deployed while playing the new game. Be sure to account for random variance by bringing enough to lose a few buy-ins before getting your bearings.
And if it ever feels like you’re losing an uncomfortable amount, simply excuse yourself from the table and recalibrate before returning with an improved game plan.
4 – Do I Need to Know Any Terminology to Get the Hang of It?
Ever heard of a “Yo-leven?” Know what a “monkey” is at the baccarat table? What does it mean if somebody is using a “solver” in a poker tournament?
Asking questions like this is important because so many casino games revolve around their own specialized language. Regular players deploy slang terms like the ones above naturally, having learned the lingo over years of action.
You can find casino gambling slang glossaries here, so brushing up on the basic should be a breeze.
And for what it’s worth, Yo-leven refers to an 11 on the dice, as dealers and players don’t want that number confused with the similar sounding 7. A monkey in baccarat is just any face card valued at 0, while a poker solver is a computer algorithm designed to ascertain optimal play given every conceivable scenario.
5 – Can I Play This Game Without Any Deeper Issues Arising?
Finally, if you’re considering taking up a new casino game, be sure to confront the more serious issues which may arise down the road.
Machine-based games can become highly addictive, what with nobody around to keep you honest and a new bet placed every few seconds or so. If you’ve ever struggled with compulsive gambling, steering clear of the machines is probably the best way to proceed.
Similarly, games of chance in which strategy remains irrelevant can frustrate folks who are used to skill-based games. When you know you’re prone to going on “tilt” when you can’t try to influence the outcome, gambling on games of chance isn’t a productive way to spend time.
By asking yourself this fifth and final question, while answering honestly and openly, you can prevent problems from cropping up down the road. And if you find yourself struggling with a gambling addiction, please seek out the help you need.
It’s always a joy to sit down and figure out how a new casino game really works. Challenging yourself, expanding your base of knowledge, and adding a new skill to your repertoire—what’s not to love right?
I’ve long believed that learning casino games can be a life skill of sorts, simply because gambling shines a light on our truest selves. Before you try a new game for the first time, take a moment to reflect on your reasons using these questions as a guide.