Monday, April 19, 2021

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Six Tips From a Casino Professional to Help You Beat the House

A night at the casino – it’s the ultimate playground for adults, and gives you the chance to unleash your inner James Bond. These days, the wonders of social gaming mean you don’t even have to venture out of your house to enjoy an evening of casino gaming with friends. Indeed, over recent months, when land-based casinos were temporarily closed, the online versions won a whole new army of enthusiasts.

But whether you play in Monte Carlo, Las Vegas or from your living room via your smartphone, we all know there’s one golden rule. In the end, the house always wins. That’s fair enough, a casino is a business like any other, and logically it has to take in more money than it pays out, or it won’t last for long.

Yet there are those odd occasions when you can beat the odds and come out on top. While there’s no way to guarantee a win, there are some strategies you can adopt that will certainly improve your chances. We spoke exclusively to Jacob Hayes from to get the inside scoop. Here are six pearls of wisdom he was willing to share with us.

1) Casino dealers are better card counters than you

Card counting is seen as a magic formula for beating the house at blackjack. It certainly isn’t that, but when you do it right, it can undeniably shift the odds in your favour. That’s why casinos don’t like it.

Most casinos train their dealers in the art of card counting so that they are better able to spot when a player is doing it at their table. Exactly how they deal with card counters depends on the casino. There’s no actual rule against it, and to be honest, the vast majority of people who try to do it have simply watched the movie 21 and don’t really know what they are doing. So most often, the casino takes no action.

On the odd occasion that a big fish sits at the table and is clearly adept at card counting, they will be flat bet, which means they can continue playing but only at the same stakes, no higher and no lower.

2) Avoid the side bets in craps

Craps has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years. That’s great news for the casinos, as most of the players have little idea what they are doing. Don’t get me wrong, craps is a great game, and makes a nice change from the cards or the slots. But do yourself a favour and stick to the behind the line bets.

The side bets have an obscenely high house edge, and this is where the casino makes all its profits. Stick to the basics, though, and you have a better chance of coming out on top in a game of craps than in other games, as with line bets, the casino offers true odds. Besides, the craps table is always one of the more raucous locations in a casino, so it’s not to be missed.

3) Flash the cash and the drinks will flow

Everyone loves something for nothing, and casinos are not shy about rewarding gamblers with free drinks. Now, there are a couple of points you need to know about here. The first is that they are not dishing out those beers and gin and tonics out of generosity or because they love you and want you to be happy. They know that when the drinks flow, people are liable to lose their inhibitions and perhaps their good judgement. So my first piece of advice is to know your limits and never get rolling drunk in a casino. It can lead to all sorts of expensive consequences.

With that warning firmly in mind, there’s nothing wrong with responsibly enjoying a couple of drinks while you play, and if they cost you nothing, they taste all the sweeter. The bartenders and serving staff watch players closely, and are told to take special care of the big spenders. Far better to put a $100 bill in a machine when the eyes are on you. Just make small bets, your drink will soon arrive, and you can cash out whenever you want to and move on to another bar.

4) Don’t try to rig the slots

There are clever ways to reduce the house edge, like using basic blackjack strategy or ignoring the side bets in craps. And then there are stupid ways. Trying to rig slot machines definitely falls into the latter category, and if you try it, I can guarantee it will end in tears.

That’s not stopped plenty of people from trying over the years, and it has at least provided a rich source of after dinner anecdotes for those of us in the casino business. 25 years on, we are still laughing at the sad tale of Reid Errol McNeal. Don’t be like him, play nicely!

5) Lurking near the toilets won’t pay dividends

There might be hundreds of slots on the casino floor, so where will you base yourself? If you’re taking advantage of that special casino hospitality I mentioned earlier, you might think that somewhere in close proximity to the rest rooms is strategically wise. In fact, in most casinos, it is the opposite. Here’s the thing, casinos want everyone to know when someone has a big win. That means the machines with the better RTP or return to player will be right in the centre, not tucked away near the bathrooms.

Choosing a game with a better RTP is an art in itself. If you stand back and watch someone who’s just put a sizeable deposit in a machine, you’ll see it flashing like mad and making all sorts of excitable noises. It sounds like he’s doing great, but his balance is dwindling away. Don’t be fooled by bells and whistles, the best way to find out is to Google the machine and look up its RTP online.

6) Be a high rolling member

Whether you’re doing the weekly grocery shop or taking a long haul flight, it always pays to join whatever loyalty scheme is on offer. Exactly the same applies in casinos, but you need to play it smart with your club card. Casinos monitor average spend, so if you are just popping in for half an hour before meeting friends for dinner, leave the card in your wallet.

Save it for the big nights when you are feeling flush. That way, the casino will perceive you as a big spender, and will be all the more eager to seduce you with the best promotions and free offers.

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