How to Win At Casinos

By Ben Hamill - August 27 2015

Casino Floor


The newspapers are full of stories of card-counters who are expelled and banned from casinos. Casinos, which are notoriously secretive and competitive, actually join forces to identify card counters. They share their information and take great precautions to keep the card counters out of their casino venues since these individuals are able to break the odds and win on a consistent basis.

You may have read some books on how to count cards and want to try your hand at it, but with all of the precautions that casinos take nowadays to prevent card counting — continuous shufflers, multi deck games cut in half and double-deck games — it’s almost impossible to increase your success at the casino by counting cards.

The question is, however, whether there are strategies that help you to increase your chances of winning at the casino. Casino advisors say that, yes, there definitely are. Some of the top suggestions for players include:

  1. Find clumsy dealers. Casinos change dealers like you change socks, so there are always novice dealers out there who may flash a face-down card. If you identify such an individual you can increase your chances of besting the house by six to nine percent.
  2. Don’t fall for the casino attractions. Casinos consistently try to create more attractive, sexier gaming tables with bikini-clad dealers, alcoholic drinks and other types of bells and whistles that distract the gamer from the task at hand. While you’re enjoying the amenities, watch the bottom line. These are often the tables where the casinos trims the payouts — anywhere from 3/2 to 6/5. So, for instance, instead of winning $150 on a $100 bet, you may find yourself walking away with a $120 payout. The house edge has been doubled and your earnings have been reduced. Are the bikinis and booze really worth it?
  3. If you’re a slots player, stick to the online slots. Casino slots can be two or three times more expensive to play than the card games or the table games. If you’re going to play slots, focus on the big stakes slots — $5 or more — and place maximum bets. When you play penny slots your odds decrease while the house sees more lucrative odds to the tune of 15% to 20%. The online slots don’t play with the odds in this way, so if you’re a slots enthusiast, play some slots on your PC or mobile before you go to the casino and, once you’re at the casino, enjoy other game options.
  4. Watch the lotteries. Some lotteries, notably Keno, are notorious for being impossible to win while the house continues to enjoy odds that can climb as high as 35%. The local Canadian lottery gives much better odds AND you have the satisfaction of knowing that their revenues go to help local charities and non-profits.
  5. If you walk over to a gaming table with no idea of how the game is played, you deserve what you get! Read up on the games that attract you and practice in an online free casino so when you approach a gaming table at a land-based casino, you’ll be proficient at your game.
  6. Concentrate your attentions on video poker. The house edge in video poker is generally .45%. The payoff is relatively high and the pay table is posted right on the machine. Again, this game takes practice — casinos profit on video poker because many gamers don’t have the skill that is required to win consistently. But it’s worth your while to concentrate on this game because it’s more skill-based than luck-based.
  7. The more you play roulette, the more the casino wins. On your initial spins you have more chances to come out ahead, but the more you play, the better the casino’s odds climb. For this reason casinos concentrate their efforts on keeping you at the roulette table (free dinners, special casino amenities). So by all means, go ahead and enjoy the special give-aways. But cap your roulette gaming at three throws of the ball.
  8. Get a watch. There’s a reason that the casinos keep their gaming floors dark. Have you ever seen a window in a casino? Not likely….the casinos don’t want you to know when it’s daytime and when it’s nighttime because they want you to feel that time is endless while you’re playing. So take breaks, go out and take a walk (you’ll have to search for a door, since the casinos don’t want you to go out, but that’s OK) and remember that your gambling activities are a HOBBY, not a profession.
  9. Stay away from the games with the bright lights. Those are generally the games where the odds are the worst and that’s where the casino makes its money. For instance, at the craps table, the worst bests are located at the points of the craps table where the lights shine the brightest. Better your odds and stick to the boring, drab side of the room.
  10. Budget your casino event. Take your budgeted bankroll with you to the bank and not a penny more. Casinos “bank” on the fact that your emotions will get the best of you while you’re playing, making you spend more than you can afford. You might be on a losing streak and feel that, at any minute, that streak is about to end, so you’d better have your bets ready. Or you may be on a winning streak and simply not want to stop. Either way, the casino profits from your perceived streaks and the other nonsense that you tell yourself. Leave your credit cards and checkbook at home or somewhere else that you won’t be able to access them, keep track of your budget and treat gambling like any other form of entertainment — as an activity in which you engage when, and for the amount of time, that you are able.
  11. Don’t drink. Drinking impairs your judgement and dulls your senses. Why do you think that casinos keep offering you drinks?
  12. If you think that a “system” is going to help you earn more at the casino, please contact me….i have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell you. Seriously, the “systems” for defeating odds which are weighted in favor of the house are a waste of your money. Gambling is basically luck with a little skill thrown in for some games (notably video poker). So save your breath.