There’s a familiar series of events that happens time and again in casinos worldwide. A player strolls into the casino, intending to play for a few hours on a small bankroll and enjoy a few complimentary drinks.
Then, hours later, the player makes another trip to the casino ATM for another cash replenishment. Rarely is much thought given to the initial plans of a light gaming session; they’ve been bitten by greed.
Fortunately, you don’t need to suffer the same fate. By understanding these nine clever tricks the casinos use to bilk you for more money, I can teach you to avoid the costly pitfalls.
Not surprisingly, most of the common casino mistakes can be avoided by using common sense.
You’re Going to Lose Track of Time
Casinos walls are noticeably absent of any clocks. You also won’t find clocks around the tables or other areas near the casino floor.
That’s because the casinos are hoping you lose track of time. When a player walks into the casino prepared to keep tabs on the hour, they are much less likely to gamble past their intended time.
That moment can provide some much-needed clarity on what you’re doing and, more importantly, how you’re fairing. Set your time limit before you get to the casino, and you’ll be far more likely to adhere to them.
The casino is designed to make you stay for one more spin, one more hand, or one more drink. Of course, those one mores are rarely enough.
A Maze of Games to Contend With
The casino floor doesn’t stop with making you forget about the time when pulling more money from your wallet. The design of the gaming floor and the placement of machines are all crafted to have you lose more money.
You may have a break scheduled to make a bathroom trip; on your way, you happen to pass a progressive jackpot slot machine with the chance to win a massive sum of money. What’s the harm in dropping a few dollars in for a quick shot at millions?
Well, if you’re already getting your tail handed to you at the craps table, you’re merely digging a deeper hole. Stick to playing the games you prefer and avoid the impulse bets while heading to the bathroom.
You may also face a similar challenge when it’s time to leave. It’s shocking how many times I’ll be leaving a casino with my buddies, and someone throws a $100 chip on a blackjack table, hoping to settle the score.
I’ve seen this pay off about half the time, but something more disheartening happens on half of those occasions. When it’s time to go, head straight for the exit without placing a single bet.
Creating a Buzz
If you’ve ever been in the casino when a lucky player hit the jackpot, you can probably still remember the moment the party was started. A ton of fanfare comes with a player hitting the jackpot, and most of it is designed to get more of your money.
The casino will immediately have casino personnel on the floor, creating hype over the win. They’ll then take photos and present the winner with a massive check to commemorate the feat.
This buzz is the same reason slot machines are built to create such havoc when a player gets a win of any level.
Separating You From Your Money Early On
Probably the most brilliant way casinos trick you into taking more of your money is by immediately separating you from your money. When you walk through the casino doors with $1,000 in your pocket (I used $1,000, it could just as quickly be $100 or $10,000), you have an emotional attachment to that money.
It’s your money in your wallet, and you worked hard to get it. So, the casino must break this strong emotional bond.
They do exactly this through casino chips. Suddenly, that money is gone, and you have these casino chips that are basically useless outside the casino. It’s not like the bank will let you pay your mortgage with casino chips from the ARIA Casino.
Stop treating your casino chips like play money; they represent cold hard cash. Keep this in mind, and you’ll be less prone to making stupid money decisions in the casino.
The Casino ATMs
It seems that the casino is doing players a tremendous solid by providing ATMs all around the casino floor. That service enables you to refill the chip stack without ever leaving the casino.
Unfortunately, the ATMs are anything but your friend. The ATMs will not only charge you insane fees to access your money, but they do something far more dangerous.
They give you a convenient way to instantly up your bankroll. Most gamblers will head to the casino with a budget in mind.
It’s paramount that you set a tight budget before you leave for the casino. Only take that money with you and do not increase the funding in the casino.
Chasing Comps for Greater Losses
Casinos are clever in the way that they tier their rewards program. They hand out gifts and amenities according to a detailed structure.
This entices players to gamble more as they are approaching a new level of comps. In many instances, players will chase comps by betting well past their time or budget constraints.
That’s because casino comps are earned by the amount that you’re gambling. So, you could earn a new cooler or a complimentary room by gambling longer and reaching the next tier.
However, you’re likely to have a much higher expected loss than any casino comp will provide in value. Let me put it this way, when the casino is giving you a $300 loyalty reward, you’ve likely lost in the thousands.
In other words, you could have purchased several coolers by holding onto your money. Don’t get so enamored by the promise of a free meal in a B-tier restaurant that you bankrupt your entire gambling bankroll.
Offer Free Rooms to Get You to Gamble More
The casino freebies are all designed to get you spending more money. The casinos have done the math, and they understand that if you gamble enough, you’ll lose.
So, their primary concern becomes getting you to gamble as much as possible. One excellent draw for players is having a free room.
Depending on where you’re gambling, a hotel room in the casino may be less than $50 per night during the week. So, the casino is happy to toss an accessible room as a way to get gamblers through the door.
Still, if you hadn’t planned or budgeted for your casino getaway, you’re not really saving anything. Every dime the casino gets out of you is profit and more money than they would have got by letting you stay home for the weekend.
The Drinks Are On the House
We all know that when you’re gambling in the casino, drinks are on the house. Many people have yet to figure out why the casino is so eager to give complimentary beverages.
It’s simple, the alcohol lowers players’ inhibitions, and they gamble more. This will lead to longer sessions in the casino and the tendency to blow much more money than your sober self had determined on your way to the casino.
When you spot a player standing in line at the ATM, they’ve almost assuredly had a few adult cocktails. Watch the booze while you’re gambling, and you’ll leave the casino with more money.
Obscure Your View of the Real World
In addition to the lack of clocks in the casino, you may also notice a lack of windows. You definitely won’t come home and tell all your friends about the fantastic views you enjoyed on the casino floor.
That’s because the casinos want your internal clock to shut off when you’re gambling.
Had I had an eye on the time, I probably would have headed to the room several hours and many dollars sooner.
There are a number of ways the casinos keep you gambling for longer. Look out for these nine clever tricks the casinos use to bilk you for more money, and you’ll consistently escape with more cash in your pocket.