It’s long been known, and accepted, that casinos use a range of psychological tactics to keep gamblers playing longer. For the most part, these can be negated by self-awareness, but encouraging you to play more isn’t the only way casinos increase their profits.
Plenty “tricks of the trade” exist among casino owners and staffers that the general public isn’t aware of. In fact, even frequent gamblers might not know everything the house is doing to ensure they keep making money.
In this article, I’ll lay out the top 6 secrets that casinos everywhere don’t want you to know.
1 – The Off Shoot Games Are Designed to Have a Higher House Edge
Nearly all gamblers are familiar with the classics like blackjack, craps, baccarat, and roulette, but some prefer raising the stakes. Games that can be considered off-shoots of the traditional games, meaning games like Three-Card Poker, Let it Ride, Caribbean Stud, etc., all present the chance to win more money.
While the higher payouts are attractive to some gamblers, the house edge makes these games even more enjoyable for the house. Of course, there will be a few big winners throughout the course of the day, but there will be many more people who lose in the process.
Just like everything else in life, if you’re looking to make a lot of money quickly, you’re going to have to take on a great deal of risk. Also similar to life, the majority of people are going to fail trying to go big.
The bottom line is that you can take home some nice wins in these games which are variations of more traditional games. However, keep in mind that the casino offers these games because they’re more profitable for the house. The odds are simply not in your favor, and if you’re more risk averse it’s a good idea to look elsewhere.
2 – Some Games Are Built for Strategic Players
Interestingly enough, there are some games in the casino that experienced and educated players can gain a real advantage. By advantage I don’t mean fully eliminate the house edge, but you can come pretty close.
One example of such a game is video poker. It’s well-known within the casino community that this seemingly obscure game offering provides a great opportunity for advanced players to be successful and win substantial amounts of money.
The reason is that there are strategies you can study which help you reduce the house edge to an extremely low percentage.
It’s important to remember that the benefits of this game are only achievable if you’ve done a good deal of research and learned some of the specifics. Don’t expect to talk into a casino today and have the same success that a long-time video poker player will have.
3 – They Want to Keep You Playing
If you’ve spent any time at casinos in the past, this one might not necessarily come as a secret. Regardless it’s worth mentioning because it can be easy to forget the things that casinos do to keep their patrons gambling.
Aside from just the lack of clocks and windows, casinos have been known to use more convincing methods to keep you in your seat.
For example, some casinos might offer players free food and drinks in order to keep them from going to the restaurant down the street. Some casinos (mostly in Las Vegas) take things to the next level and try not only to keep you in the casino, but keep you in your seat.
I won’t name any specific establishments, but a few have been known to have thoughtfully-placed stripper poles near the area where high-stakes gambling takes place. Not only does this keep players in their seat longer, but it forces them to play a little…distracted.
I don’t want to make it sound like casinos are always trying to trick you. What I am saying is if the casino staff seems to treat you like the most important person in the world, it’s probably because they want your money.
4 – Security Is Intense
When massive amounts of money are at stake, you can bet (pun intended) that the security is going to be serious. But really, how thorough is it? The answer is: you can’t really beat it.
From the moment you get out of your car until the time you leave the property, there’s a camera that has you in view. If you really want to attract attention, start winning big.
In an interview with a casino security consultant, he mentioned that any time someone hits a big jackpot or starts going on a hot streak, security is following along closely making sure nothing illegal is taking place. It isn’t so much that they don’t trust players, but simply that the risk is too great not to take it seriously.
If you think that nobody would be dumb enough to try to cheat a casino, you’d be way off. Most casinos have a shared database of players who have pulled certain scams in the past. Often times, these are small teams of people who work together.
If all this sounds a little intimidating, just remember that as long as you aren’t breaking the rules you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Winning big isn’t a crime, and as long as you don’t cheat you aren’t going to have any problems with security.
5 – There Are a Number of Cheating Tells
Okay, this might not exactly fall under the category of things casinos don’t want you to know, but it is interesting information nonetheless.
It’s likely that you’ve seen some movie about a casino heist or scam in which the casino’s security finally recognizes that they’re being duped. Here are a few of the behaviors that casino security looks for when trying to prevent cheating:
Friends Sitting Close Together
This one doesn’t always guarantee cheating, but it might put you on the radar. When two men (this one usually isn’t seen with women) sit close together at a blackjack table, it’s possible that they’re switching their cards and trying to create one strong hand.
If the table is mostly open and two people still sit right next to one another, it can be a tip-off that something is happening.
Weird Money Management
Most bettors are going to stay in the same general range for each of their bets. It makes sense – you wouldn’t expect someone to go from betting $80 on three straight hands to betting $8,000 on the fourth. But why would this indicate cheating?
Casino security looks for these betting inconsistencies because it could indicate that a player is receiving tips from somewhere. For example, they might be given information that makes their next hand a sure win. If they raise their bet substantially out of nowhere, it’s going to alert the security team
The Rubber Neck
Casino security refers to rubber-necking as when players at slot machines aren’t really looking at the game, but rather looking around.
If a slots player already knows which moves their making (because they’ve set up a scam), they don’t really need to keep their attention focused on the game. Instead, they’ll look around to make sure nobody’s watching. This is a sure tell and most security staff members recognize this pretty quickly.
6 – Dealers Want You to Bet Their Tips
Obviously, you should be tipping your dealers. What they won’t tell you, however, is that they’d rather you wager their tips instead of just handing them over.
The next time you’re getting ready to leave a table, let the dealer know you’re betting their tip. If you win, they’ll love you. If you lose, it’s still appropriate to give them a tip, even if it’s a smaller amount.
Real money casinos are fascinating because they are still very much enigmatic to those on the outside. Although I’ve explained a few of the secrets, many more exist.
If you want to see these secrets for yourself in real life, find the nearest casino to you and start exploring!