There is a first time for everything and so is your very first visit to the casino. Most people will have fond memories of that first time. However, they often indicate that there are things they wish they had known before stepping into the casino.
If you’re new to the casino world and want to prepare yourself well for your first visit to the casino, then this article was written for you. You’ll read about the most important things you should know about gambling in a land-based or online casino.
How casinos make their money
Casinos are just businesses and just like any other business the goal is to make a profit. This profit comes from the so-called house edge that is applied to every game.
The house edge is a statistical mathematical advantage that the casino has on every bet that is placed. The house edge is higher on some bets and lower on others. But every bet you make always has a house edge. An example about how the casino makes money is at a roulette table as follows.
You can bet on black or red. Suppose you bet on red and the ball falls silent on a red square, you win. If the ball falls on black, you lose. On the roulette wheel there are 37 numbers, 18 of them are black, 18 of them are red and 1 is green. This means that you have 18 ways to win and there are 19 ways to lose.
So this minimal difference creates an advantage for the casino, which has been given the name house advantage. However, the house edge only works in the long run. Casinos therefore want you to keep playing as long as possible. The longer you play, the more likely you are to lose more money. This creates a consistent profit for the casino.
With every wager you place, the casino has a house edge, so too with roulette
How much money to bring to the casino
You obviously need money to gamble and enough money to cover the expected expenses you will incur. In addition to the cost of gambling, you may also have to incur other expenses. You may need to buy a ticket for the train or bus to travel to the casino.
Also, you should definitely not forget to set aside some money for some food and drinks. Finally, it is a good practice to tip dealers or waitresses. Include this in your budget. Before playing, the most important thing is to have a bankroll. The guideline for this amount is easy to determine and depends on your personal preferences.
In any case, you should only gamble with money that you may lose in the worst case. If you’re in rent arrears, haven’t paid your electric bill or need to catch up on child support payments, gambling is the last thing you should be doing. You probably need more money to gamble with at the casino than you think.
Even if you only play with very low stakes, you should still plan at least €500 to €1,000 as a budget. And you should be completely comfortable with the idea of just playing this money all the way through. If you’re just going to the local gambling hall for an hour of entertainment, you might be able to take €200 or €400 with you, but don’t expect to last very long with that.
How the casino point system works
If you’ve read anything about casinos at all, you’ve heard of casino points or comps. Casinos sometimes give away free stuff, especially in foreign casinos. Sometimes it involves a drink or a meal, but it can also just be a complete overnight stay.
To determine who is eligible for such rewards and at what time, the casino uses points or comps. If you want to make use of these, you always have to sign up for participation in this program first. You will then receive a player card which you can use while playing to collect points. The casino keeps track of exactly how much you gamble.
In slots, you can place the card in the card holder. When playing at the gaming table you give the card to the dealer or croupier. So you can use the card in any type of game to accumulate points. The casino rewards you with free stuff on a percentage basis and that percentage is actually very small. It is based on the amount of your bets and not on the amount of your winnings or losses.
In other words, if you place a total of $5,000 in wagers during your visit to the casino, you will receive points for that amount. This is regardless of how much you win or lose during your visit to the casino. The percentage varies from casino to casino, but is on average about 0.2% of all your wagers. For a total of €5,000 in wagers the reward is then €10.
If you play blackjack with a 1% house edge, your expected loss on $5,000 in bets is $50. In fact, you’re just paying your own rewards. In fact, many people sometimes play a little longer to accumulate just a few more points. In fact, in many casinos this makes the bonus point system a very profitable part.
Casinos know exactly what they can and cannot give away for free in order to keep the advantage. Thus, the system works to the advantage of both the players and the casino, only in the long run the casino draws the longest straw. In addition, this system offers another advantage. It requires you to sign up and thereby transfer your personal data. This allows casinos to send you personalized offers and remind you to visit the casino again.
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How online casino bonuses work
Online casino bonuses are a very interesting phenomenon. They are bonuses that you get, for example, when you first start playing at an online casino. For example, on the website of an online casino you will see the advertisement “200% bonus on your first deposit up to €5,000”. This means that if you deposit €2,500, the casino will add €5,000 to your account as a bonus for signing up.
This sounds too good to be true and it is. This is because the casinos do attach certain conditions to the use of such bonuses. One of these conditions is known as “wagering requirements”. You have to place a certain amount of bets before you can claim any winnings at a casino.
These requirements usually make it very difficult to actually benefit from the bonuses. Suppose you sign up at a casino and receive a bonus of $5,000. The wagering requirement states that you must first wager the bonus 35x, including deposit money, before any winnings can be cashed out. So in that case you must first wager 35x €7,500 before any winnings can be withdrawn.
The total of all your bets must then be a mega-amount of €262,500. In this case the online casino has applied wagering requirements on both the bonus money and the deposit amount. It is very important to check the terms and conditions to see if you are wagering just the bonus or the deposit + bonus. Most casinos also require you to wager this money on slot machines. These games have a very high house edge, sometimes as high as 6%.
The expected loss on €262,500 with a 6% house edge is €15,750. Since your bankroll is only €7,500, you will lose this money even before you can meet your wagering requirement. Then again, it’s also possible that you’re lucky and have a winning streak. In that case you belong to the small group of players who do manage to benefit from such bonuses.
Decide in advance the amount you are going to gamble with. Addiction will make you keep betting.
Which casino games should I play?
Experienced players use the rule of thumb never to play on games with a house edge higher than 1.5%. This gives you the best chance of not having to go home empty handed at the end of your casino visit. If the house edge gets higher than 2%, then it will be a lot harder to manage.
This means that you’d better avoid slot machines and start playing video poker. However, you should not play just any video poker game, but play on the games with the best pay tables. It also means that you better avoid games like roulette and instead start playing games like baccarat, blackjack and craps.
In blackjack, you need to learn the basic strategy to minimize the house edge. In craps, you should avoid the sucker bets and stick to the basic bets. In baccarat, you would be wise to never play the Tie bet. Avoid anything that promises big, flashy and very high payouts.
Are casino games rigged?
In a sense, casino games are rigged, but not in the way most people think. When most people think a casino game is rigged, they assume that the outcomes are not truly random. In other words, they think the casino gets to decide whether you win on that next spin of the roulette wheel or not. If that’s your definition of cheating, we have to disappoint you.
But there is something they do to influence games. They make sure that every game always has a built-in house edge. For example, a bet on a single number in roulette pays off with a probability of 35 to 1. But the probability of winning is 36 to 1. The casino wins 36 times out of 37, but the one time you win you only get 35 units. The other two units are the casino’s winnings.
EVERY game in the casino has a similar mathematical advantage. Some games have a bigger advantage than others, but every game has it. They seem like very small margins and they should be. After all, the casino does want players to win. They just don’t want players to win all the time or very much. So games are indeed set up in a way that they are advantageous to the casino, but not because they have been rigged.
How do I know if I am addicted to gambling
Addiction is a very insidious disease that doesn’t happen overnight. Some people are also more prone to it than others. The most common characteristic of addiction is that it takes more and more to satisfy the euphoric feeling of gambling.
Consider that if you used to be happy playing €5 at the blackjack table and now you find yourself bored at such a stake. Now you want to bet at least €20 or €50 per hand. If you recognize yourself in this, then you may have a gambling addiction.
If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, but you can’t stop either, then an addiction may have developed. If you really worry about whether you are a gambling addict, stop gambling completely and seek professional help.
You may learn that you are not an addict after all and you can always gamble again at another time. Never make the mistake of not taking a possible gambling addiction seriously. After all, problem behaviors in addiction can pretty much ruin your life.
If you’re about to visit the casino for the first time, then you now have some more info in your pocket. You’re going to be better prepared and may not make some beginner’s mistakes now.
Stick to the table games with a low house edge and stay away from the slot machines. If you do want to play on a slot machine, take the video poker games.
Also remember that a casino benefits in the long run. If you make a nice profit in the first hour of your visit, put the money in your pocket and go home with a smile on your face.