I was a big golf fan during the game’s golden age, when Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer ruled the links. Yet, despite the presence of those two titans, I idolized Gary Player, a South African whose diminutive size made for a less-than-intimidating physical presence in the tee box. But Player’s welter-weight appearance belied a heavy-weight swing. I was always amazed that someone so small could hit the ball so far.
Believe it or not, casino gambling and in some ways no deposit bingo is a lot like golf. And, no, not because both games are about going for the green. Golf is all about technique, skill, and knowledge. And masters of the game are inspiring to watch. With swings as graceful and elegant as a ballet dancer’s leap, they make each challenging stroke look effortless. The pros seem to play as smoothly as those on the PGA tour. But, as in golf, the successful player has gathered important knowledge and studied effective strategies to finesse the outcome in his or her favor.
In other words, casino pros aren’t winners just because they’re lucky, any more than Tiger Woods is a golf god because the angels of the green have smiled upon him. Trust me, the greats of the poker tournament circuit may look like they could take the table in their sleep – but they’re skilled, savvy, and have studied the game diligently.
I’m guessing, though, that you’re not planning to become the Tiger Woods of blackjack … or keno … or the slots. Your gambling aspirations are probably similar to my golf ambitions: to play better, win more often, and increase
enjoyment of the experience. And you have every reason to believe that you can attain your goal. But success requires knowledge, strategy, and some skill. You’ve come to the right place. This article can provide the preparation you need to help you find your swing in the casino.
Entering the Casino: What You’re Up Against
The first secret to gambling success is to understand the inner workings of the casino world before you’re seduced by the flash and dazzle. Casinos are sophisticated and highly successful enterprises – and they don’t get that way by giving away money. Your best bet, then, is to be aware of basic casino operations so you can manipulate the experience to your advantage.
Marketing their way to your wallet
They see you coming from miles away. They know exactly who you are, how much money you make, what you like and dislike, and whether you’re married, single, or divorced. Who are these omniscient watchers who track your
secrets? The IRS? CIA? Al-Qaeda?
None of the above. I’m talking about the marketing gurus at modern casinos. They’re constantly studying reams of data on millions of gamblers to develop profiles of guests who most willingly spend their discretionary income on a
couple hours of distraction.
Nothing is left to chance in a modern casino. Every possible element, from the design of the wallpaper to the thickness of the carpet, is there to draw you in and keep you gambling as long as possible. All the colors, sights,
sounds, and sensations serve one purpose: to make you happy – even when you lose.
Accepting the odds: The house rules
The casino’s first commandment is “The house shall always win.” A couple of games permit sharp players to break even or eke out a small edge occasionally. But casinos are in business to make money, so for most players, winning is a losing proposition.
Why? Three good reasons:
– The house charges a vigorish (commission) in some games, such as sports betting.
– In many games, the casino doesn’t payout true odds.
In roulette, for example, there are 37-to-l odds of guessing the right number. But if you win, the payout is only 35 to 1. This difference may seem small, but that discrepancy actually gives the house one of the biggest edges in the casino.
– The casino has a house edge – a mathematical advantage over the player in any game. Throughout the casino, players must overcome odds that aren’t favorable to winning.
Your goal is to find games where the casino has the lowest edge. Craps is a great example. This fun, exciting game offers great odds – if you stay away from the bad bets.
Protecting Your money with a plan
For most people, developing a strategy for doling out their gambling bankroll can keep them out of serious trouble. Set a budget and stick to it. Consider contingencies (such as losing your bankroll in the first few minutes of your
visit) and know how to respond when your wallet gets whacked.
Your strategy, however, is only as good as your willpower. Nothing jacks up casino profits faster than indisciplined gamblers. If you’re an impulsive type, then gambling may leave your bank account looking like it just went 15 rounds with a heavyweight boxing champion.
Now, it’s certainly true that most people can save their money by avoiding casinos altogether. So, the best advice I can give to folks who don’t want to lose money is simple: Don’t gamble! But the conservative and prudent path in life isn’t the only choice (and that would make for a very short book). Gambling can be a great way to spice up a vacation and break out of a boring routine. Gambling is all about taking a risk – exposing yourself to a chance of loss.
However, don’t overdo it. Government studies show that as many as 1 in every 25 adults has a problem with compulsive gambling. Think about that the next time you sit down at a blackjack table. Several people in the pit probably shouldn’t be there. Could you be one of them? Gambling addiction is a serious matter.
Identifing the colors of the rainbow
Knowledge is power and is your only ally against the formidable forces that threaten to separate you from your hard-earned cash. One piece of knowledge you definitely need, particularly if you’re going to wade into the shark-
infested waters of table games, is the varying colors and matching denominations of standard casino chips.
The casinos make this bit easy for you because the chips also have a denomination printed on them so that you know the red chip, for instance, is worth $5 and the green chip is worth $25. The following is a comprehensive list of
common casino-chip colors, as well as their corresponding values:
– White: $1
– Red: $5
– Green: $25
– Black: $100
– Purple: $500
– Burgundy: $1,000
– Brown: $5,000