Millions of gamblers visit Atlantic City every year to see the sights on the boardwalk and take their chances in the casinos. More places in the United States have casinos than ever before, but Atlantic City is still one of the most popular gambling destinations.
If you’re planning a trip to Atlantic City, you need to plan a few things before you leave. Here are seven mistakes that Atlantic City gamblers make all of the time and how to avoid them.
1 – Drink Too Much
This advice is good for all gamblers, but many casinos in Atlantic City still offer free drinks so it’s especially important to take note here. Casinos want gamblers to drink as much as possible, because when people drink, they have poorer judgment and tend to lose more.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink at all when you gamble, but you need to be aware that when you drink too much, the odds that you’re going to lose more money than you intended are much higher.
I don’t drink, so this isn’t something that I have to keep track of, but I see other gamblers drinking too much every time I go to the casino, and I see how much this costs most of them.
I play a great deal of poker, and when many of my opponents are drinking heavily, it makes it easier to win. Keep this in mind when you travel to Atlantic City. You don’t want to make the mistake of drinking too much and losing more than you can afford.
2 – Spending All Their Time in the Casinos
Honestly, the only reason why I get on a plane or a bus to travel to Atlantic City is to gamble. If I’m not going to gamble, I don’t bother with the hassle of traveling. I can find plenty of good entertainment options closer to home.
But I also don’t spend all of my time gambling when I go to Atlantic City. You can find many different entertainment options and plenty of good places to eat. The boardwalk is filled with interesting attractions and sights, and even if you’re main plan is to hit the casinos, you should still take a walk to check out a few things.
You can plan your trip by reading about things that might interest you before you go to Atlantic City or simply plan some free time when you can look around. Don’t spend every minute in Atlantic City playing at the casino. You don’t know what you might be missing if you do.
3 – The Slot Machine Trance
I enjoy walking through casinos to see the people gambling. Some of them are laughing and cheering around the craps table, but some of them fall into what I call the “slot machine trance.” They’re sitting in front of a slot machine with a blank stare, and they keep hitting the same button to spin the reels again.
Atlantic City is the same as most gambling destinations. Every casino is filled to the brim with slot machines. That’s because slots are big money makers for casinos, and they want their machines to be occupied by people in the slot machine trance as much as possible. This is how they make the most money.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with playing the slots. You can definitely find games that have a lower house edge throughout the casino, but a lot of gamblers love the slots and don’t really want to play anything else. And that’s fine, as long as you don’t allow yourself to fall into the slot machine trance.
Set a timer on your phone, and walk around every 30 minutes or so. This is good for your physical health and helps you avoid becoming mesmerized by the spinning reels. When you fall into the slot machine trance, you can play for hours without realizing how much money you’re losing.
4 – Not Staying Hydrated
People tend to think of dehydration in terms of someone going without water for so long that they die or end up in the hospital. While both of these things can happen, you can also suffer from other levels of dehydration that aren’t quite as serious but still have negative effects.
The casino environment is one of the worst places you can be. In Atlantic City, you’re so close to the ocean and all of the saltwater, and most people who don’t live on the ocean aren’t used to the atmosphere.
It’s easy to have another beer or mixed drink or grab an iced tea while you’re in the casino, but none of these things help you stay hydrated. Drinks like soda have other ingredients in them, and the water content isn’t the same as drinking straight H20. Most sodas have so much sugar and salt in them that it nearly negates the water content.
Make sure you’re drinking enough water on every day on your trip. Even if you have to make a schedule to drink water, it’s worth your time.
5 – Ignoring Comps Programs
I’m a big believer in getting every perk and casino comp that I can. Casinos are set up to take as much money from me as possible, so I want to get as much back as possible. It doesn’t matter if I’m only going to play at a casino one time, I want comps.
The only way to earn comps at a casino is to sign up for the player’s club, or whatever they call it in the particular casino where you are. Even if you only plan to be in Atlantic City for a few days, you should sign up for comps everywhere you play.
Always check with the player’s desk when you’re done playing to see what you’ve earned. If you haven’t earned enough for a free meal or something similar, tell them you’re leaving and ask if they can give you something anyway. The worst they can do is say “no.”
6 – Playing at 6:5 Blackjack Tables
Atlantic City is a good place to play real money blackjack, and many gamblers go for just this reason. But Atlantic City is just like other gambling destinations in that they’re trying to sneak more tables in that only pay 6:5 on a blackjack. Traditionally, blackjack tables pay 3:2.
If you bet $20 and get a blackjack at a table that pays 3:2, you get your $20 bet back and win $30. The same bet on a 6:5 table only pays $24. A $6 difference on a $20 wager is huge. And this difference adds up quickly. If you hit 10 natural blackjacks in a playing session, betting only $20 per hand, you miss out on $60 in profits.
When you’re betting higher amounts, the missed profits are even bigger. Refuse to play blackjack on 6:5 tables in Atlantic City and everywhere else.
7 – Wander off the Boardwalk
If you look up tourist information for Atlantic City, everything looks nice and safe. And the truth is that, as long as you stay on the boardwalk and in the casinos, the city is as safe as most other places. But what you don’t see is what you can get into just a block or two away.
While there are other parts of Atlantic City and the surrounding areas that are fine to visit, I don’t recommend wandering too far from the boardwalk during your visit. You can get into trouble and find yourself in a bad situation if you’re not familiar with your surroundings.
If you want to see some of the other sights, go with an experienced traveler who’s been to Atlantic City before and knows where to go and where not to go. The good news is there’s plenty enough to do in the casinos in Atlantic City and on the boardwalk. You don’t have to venture far to have a great time.
Atlantic City is still a great place to visit for gamblers. You can choose from several nice casinos, and the boardwalk has some cool places to eat and find entertainment. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you run the risk of making a mistake that can ruin your entire trip.
The seven mistakes that Atlantic City travelers make every day listed on this page is a good place to learn what you need to avoid. Take these tips into consideration before your next trip and you’re going to avoid things that can ruin your fun.