No matter what form of gambling you prefer, it is still gambling. There are no guarantees that you will win, so the first thing you should do is figure out your bankroll. That’s a fancy way of saying know what you can afford to lose. Nobody starts playing games online or goes to the casino thinking they will lose, but sometimes it is going to happen! Set a gambling budget that you can afford to lose as nothing more than entertainment money, and then if you win, great, but if you lose, you can still pay the rent!
Know the Game you are Playing
If you don’t know the rules and options of a game then you have little chance to do well. Learn the rules first, before you bet any money. Remember that the main bet on a game, such as the pass line at craps, or the Ante bet at 3-Card Poker, has the smallest house edge. At craps, the house edge on the pass line is just 1.41 percent, but betting on the number eleven to roll has a house edge of 11.11 percent. Likewise, at 3-Card Poker, the Ante wager has a house edge of about 3.5 percent, but the house edge on the Pair Plus wager is over 7 percent.
3-Card Poker Tips
3-Card Poker is one of the most popular table games of all time. However, unlike blackjack where the rules are standard at virtually every casino, both online and land-based, 3-Card Poker payoffs for both the Ante Bonus and the Pair Plus wagers do vary (see strategy and odds page). The standard payoff table offers the player 1-1 on a straight, 4-1 on three-of-a-kind, and 5-1 on a straight flush for the Ante Bonus. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best odds.
If you play 3-Card Poker Progressive, keep in mind that the $1 per hand wager offers a large jackpot, so it rarely pays out. In fact, since it only pays on Three-of-a-kind and higher, you can expect to be paid on just .4525 percent of your wagers. To make that more clear, you will only get a payoff on your own Progressive wager every 221 hands.
In addition, although the Pair Plus wager is very attractive to play because the payoffs are up to 50-1, you will also find that the payoffs are sporadic at best. With this in mind, you need a larger bankroll to withstand the long periods when you don’t get paid.
Other Limits to Consider
You have already considered your gambling bankroll and what you can afford to use as entertainment money for your gaming trip, but there are other limits to keep in mind.
Make sure you plan your trip or online gaming with a time limit in mind. Gaming is often so exciting that players lose track of time. Remember that your gambling is going to cost you a certain amount per hour on average, based on the size of your bets and the games you choose. And, alcohol may impair your ability to keep your bets and your time constraints in check!
With that in mind, set a time limit that is comfortable (perhaps a few hours) and stick to it, win or lose. And, stick to a pre-determined number of drinks (perhaps two, total) so you play at your best and don’t compromise your bankroll due to over-indulging. If you find that you are winning at the end of your time limit, great, that’s the best part. Now go home. If you are losing, don’t fall for the temptation to keep playing to try and “get even.” That’s a recipe for disaster.
Get Full Value for your Play!
If you are playing in a US casino, make sure your get a player’s club card to track your action. Casinos offer several bonuses for players, including an instant cash bonus just for signing up at some clubs. The more you play, the more complimentary services you’ll get. Even moderate limit players can expect to get discounted room rates and food specials. A casino rate room price is often half the standard rate, so that’s a very nice discount, and that doesn’t take any points away from your player’s club account.
Slot and video poker players will see quick jumps in their comp points. Table game players will see increases of about half the amount for similar spending slot players, because more money is wagered per hour of play at the slots.
Online casinos all offer initial new-player bonuses and first-deposit bonuses. Read the fine print, because they all have restrictions, limits, and every type of condition you could ever imagine, but overall you will receive some very helpful cash or bet-match bonuses. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best deals, and keep in mind that you want to stay with long-established, nationally known online casinos that will honor their bonuses and be there when you want to withdraw your funds!
Keep in mind that table game players have many options to choose from: blackjack, craps, 3-Card Poker, Pai Gow and others, so choose the game you enjoy the most and have fun. Also keep in mind that most games have a small casino edge on the standard bet, such as less than 2 percent at blackjack and just over 2 percent at roulette (single zero). However, the bonus bets carry a heavy house edge. Any bonus bet that is linked to a jackpot or big payoff, is going to have a very high house edge.
For example, Lucky Ladies is a very popular side-bet or bonus bet at blackjack tables and offers a payoff of up to 1,000 to 1. Unfortunately, the bet has a house edge of about 25 percent. Yikes! If you play pretty good blackjack at a house edge of 1 percent and make $10 wagers, your cost per hour to play 60 hands is going to be $6. Sometimes you’ll win; sometimes you lose a bit more. However, if you play the Lucky Ladies bonus bet 60 times, it will cost you an additional $15 per hour.
Think of a bonus bets like rare Cognac. It should be enjoyed only once in a while because no matter how much you enjoy it, the cost is prohibitive.