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 – always 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. If you win, great, but if you lose you can still pay the rent. Only ever gamble with money you are comfortable losing.
Things to Remember
Know the Game
If you don’t know the rules and options of a game then you have little chance to do well. Always ensure to 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 per cent, but betting on the number eleven to roll has a house edge of 11.11 per cent. Likewise, at 3 Card Poker, the Ante wager has a house edge of about 3.5 per cent, but the house edge on the Pair Plus wager is over 7 per cent.
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. Alcohol may also impair your ability to keep your bets and your time constraints in check.
With that in mind, set a time limit that is comfortable and stick to it, win or lose. And stick to a pre-determined number of drinks 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. 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
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 – that’s a very nice discount – and it 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. However, 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 honour their bonuses and be there when you want to withdraw your funds.
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 0.4525 per cent of your wagers. 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.
Table game players have many options to choose from, including blackjack, craps, 3 Card Poker, Pai Gow and others. The emphasis should be on choosing the game you enjoy the most and have fun.
Most games have a small casino edge on the standard bet, such as less than 2 per cent at blackjack and just over 2 per cent at roulette (single zero). However, the bonus bets carry a heavy house edge and 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 per cent. If you play pretty good blackjack at a house edge of 1 per cent and make $10 wagers, your cost per hour to play 60 hands is going to be $6. Sometimes you’ll win and 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 bet like rare Cognac. It should be enjoyed only once in a while because no matter how much you enjoy it, the cost is prohibitive.
About the author:
Author Al W. Moe was eight years old when he first experienced the excitement of gambling after finding an old slot machine in his Uncle’s basement. The machine worked perfectly, taking the three nickels he had left from his allowance, but his imagination was set loose when he opened the back of the machine and found out just how the hundreds of moving parts made the slot work. Since that day, Moe has pulled the curtain back from hundreds of casino games to peek inside, and then offer his own views on their popularity, best features, and how to play each game like a pro. He has also played blackjack and poker for a living, while writing about his experiences. Moe is the author of several books on the history of gambling, including the Best Selling "Vegas and the Mob."