If you’re interested in gambling but don’t want to spend much money, it can be hard to find the right activities. But there are some good options for low rollers.
You can participate in any of the gambling activities listed in this article for $2 or less. Some of these options can give you hours of enjoyment for a single bet, while others can lead to betting a lot more than $2 if you’re not careful.
And you’re going to learn what these gambling activities are and the best strategies that might just help you win more often.
1 – Lottery Tickets
You can buy a lottery ticket for $1 or $2. And in some places, they even offer games for .50. Every time I walk into the gas station, there’s a row of scratch-off lottery tickets staring at me and a big sign with bright red numbers that lists the jackpot for the Powerball and the Mega Millions drawings.
Many of the scratch-off tickets can be purchased for $1, and a standard ticket for either of the big lottery games only costs $2. Of course, they try to get an extra $1 from you every time you buy a Mega Millions or Powerball ticket. But even if you decide to give them an extra $1, you still only have to spend $3 to get a ticket.
On the good side, buying a few lottery tickets every week is an inexpensive way to gamble. Because there are only a few drawings for the big prize pool games every week, you don’t have to spend much just to have a chance in every big draw.
2 – Keno Games
I used to love playing keno. It was available in every casino I entered, and you could win $10,000 on a $1 wager. Where I played, the games were drawn every 10 minutes. So, I had plenty of time between drawings to watch a game at the sportsbook or talk to friends.
You can still buy keno tickets for $1 in many places, but the game isn’t available in as many casinos. Some casinos have replaced old-fashioned keno games with video keno machines. Video keno machines are the worst game in the casinos, so I never play them.
The most common places to find keno games now are in taverns, and some state lotteries run keno games.
Overall, keno is similar to lottery games. Your odds of winning are low, but you can play keno for hours on a very low bankroll. And tickets to single draws are still only $1 in most places.
3 – Slot Machines
The gambling activities listed in the first two sections are the best options if you want to gamble but want to risk the smallest amount of money.
While the rest of the gambling activities listed in this article can be played for $2 or less, the fact is that once you start playing, it can be hard to quit. This leads to risking far more than $2 in a short period of time.
You can play most slot machine games for $2 or less. In fact, most casinos still have many penny slot machines that only cost .50 or .25 per spin. But if you put money in and start spinning the reels as fast as possible, you can quickly burn through $20 or $50 or even more.
4 – Video Poker Machines
Video poker machines are a lot like slot machines when it comes to how much they cost to play. You can find quarter machines in some casinos. And even if you bet five coins on every hand, you still only wager $1.25 per hand. Or you can play one coin per hand on a $1 video poker machine.
The main difference between slot machines and video poker machines is that some video poker machines have a good return. The return is based on the pay table and if you use good video poker strategy or not. You’re still going to lose when you play video poker, but the odds are good that you’re not going to lose as much as you do when you play slots games.
5 – Sports Betting
Sports betting is my favorite way to gamble with $2 or less. While I also often place bets on sports that are higher than $2, I still place small bets with friends and people I know from work all of the time.
When I get together with friends and family to watch a game, we often bet a few dollars. Sometimes, we bet on which team is going to win the game. And other times, we bet on other things like which team is going to score first or if a player is going to score more or less than 20 points.
I enjoy watching games, but it’s even more fun when you have a few dollars on the outcome of the game. And if you have a wager with someone you’re watching the game with, it’s even better. You root for your team, and you can exchange barbs with the person you bet against during the contest.
Unlike when you bet on games with a bookie, or on real money online sports betting sites, you don’t pay a fee when you bet with family and friends. You can still use the lines that the books publish when you make your bets, but there isn’t any vig.
The nice thing is that nobody has to risk too much money. If you can’t afford to risk $1 or $2 on a game, you probably shouldn’t be watching the game. You probably should be doing something else to earn money.
6 – Online Casino Games
I’ve already covered most of the ways you can walk into a land-based casino and make a wager for $2 or less. But if none of the games I already covered are what you enjoy, there’s a way to play regular casino games for small stakes.
Many online casinos and mobile casinos offer regular casino games with stakes starting at $1. You can play blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and many other table games.
However, when you play in online casinos and mobile casinos you run into the same problem as you do with slots machines and video poker machines in land-based casinos. You can play for $1 a hand, but you’re going to want to play more than one or two hands.
7 – Micro Limit Online Poker
The final option for gambling for $2 or less is called micro limit poker. You have to play online, and not every online poker room offers micro limit games.
A micro limit poker game operates just like a regular poker game, but the stakes are pennies. You can find games with blinds as low as .05/.10 at some online poker rooms.
A free roll tournament doesn’t cost anything to enter, and if you place high enough in the tournament, you win a little money. This money is placed in your account and is basically the same as cash.
Then, you can start playing at the micro limit tables and start building your bankroll. Some players are able to start playing this way and build their bankroll large enough to play at the higher limit tables.
Just make sure that you don’t move up to higher table limits until you’ve built a big bankroll. The competition gets better as you move up, so you want to have plenty of cushion to avoid going broke.
Our Final Thoughts on Gambling for $2 or Less
If you’re looking for a gambling activity or two that you can play for cheap, the options listed in this article are perfect. They aren’t all equal, but they can all be played using $2 or less.
If you’re looking for a slow activity, the lottery or keno tickets are great options. And if you like casino games, most online and mobile casinos offer bets starting at $1.
My favorite low roller gambling activity is placing bets on a few sporting events with my friends. We don’t put much on the games, but it makes the games more fun to watch if we have a few dollars on the outcome.