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nce you are nestled safely inside the casino, know where you parked your car, and have found your way to a table or slot machine, you should remember the five top casino gambling tips to help make your stay profitable.
Tip Number One – Know Your Limit
Know your spending limit. Money management is a really boring subject and many people have trouble keeping track of what they have spent after a few hours of casino action. Make things easy on yourself by deciding on what you can afford to lose before your start playing. If you actually win, great, and don’t be afraid to go home with the bucks, the casino will be open tomorrow, too!
Know your time limit. If you start work at 8am, know when you need to quit playing to get everything you need done before hitting the sheets. Then, stick to your plan and leave the casino when your curfew comes, even if you feel like Cinderella.
Know your drinking limit. In the heat of battle, fighting for chips and rearming your weapons, you really need to keep track of how many drinks you have had. Any more than a single drink each hour is going to have a serious impact on your ability to gamble effectively. Set your limit and stick to it, or expect to go home broke.
Tip Number Two – Get Full Value
Getting full value from your bets includes taking advantage of whatever comps and freebies your casino offers. Make sure you have joined the player’s club to acquire comps, and be sure to use your card every time you gamble, even if you are only playing for a few minutes. If you are playing at the table, use your card each time you sit at a table, even if you think they know who you are – or you were playing on the other side of the pit!
Check at the player’s club desk and check your mail for any special deals offered. You may find that just a few new points get you a free breakfast, qualifies for a drawing, or gets you some item the casino is giving away like a gift or even cash. When you first sign up for a card there is usually a special deal (often $10 to $25) that you receive if you achieve x-number of points that day. Check it out!
Getting full value can have significant impact on your slot play. Many new slot machines allow you to play any number of credits, lines, and credits per line. It’s confusing. Make sure you read the info screen to ascertain how you reach the bonus screen or top payout. Sometimes you simply can’t play full credits (Some machines take up to 750 credits for full play), but weigh your wagers against the top payouts. Maximum payouts may not be your goal, but make sure you play enough credits to get to the bonus screen or you’ll miss the best part of game.
Likewise for video poker when it comes to max credits. You might want to while away a few hours playing just one or two coins, but be advised that you can’t get the big royal flush payout without at least five-credits played (and often more). You won’t hit that royal very often, but that’s usually what people are aiming for.
Tip Number Three – Cameras
Cameras, or the eye-in-the-sky in casino parlance, are most everywhere in casinos these days. They are there to protect the casino, and may protect you if there is an incident that was under camera coverage, but keep in mind that you don’t want to do anything foolish – because Big Brother is watching!
Keep in mind that while the cameras are always rolling, they won’t help you much if you are careless with your jacket, purse, cellphone (which you placed on the chair next to you and forgot about), or even chips on the table, if someone decides to take off with your belongings. Sure, the casino may have film, but if the thief is gone, so is your stuff!
Also remember that casinos don’t want you to take pictures while gambling or strolling the casino. They may allow you to snap a picture or two if you ask, but don’t take shots of the dealers, the slots, or other players. That might get you escorted out.
Tip Number Four – Know the Games First
People rarely follow this rule, but if you know the game first before you bet any money on it you will improve your odds of enjoying the game and lasting longer significantly. If you don’t know how to play blackjack, why not brush-up on the rules before risking your cash? You wouldn’t offer to play Kobe Bryant a little one-on-one basketball for $1,000 would you? Well, your odds of beating him are probably about the same as winning at a casino game you’ve never played or read about, and while reading about Kobe won’t help you beat him, learning about a new game first will really help!
Once you do know a little about a new game, keep in mind that the main bet (such as pass line at craps, banker bet at baccarat, ante bet at Three Card Poker) has the smallest house edge. The extra, or bonus bets, are the killers. Most bonus bets have a house edge that is five-times higher. For instance, the pass line bet at craps has a house edge of 1.44 percent, but betting on an eleven has a house edge of 11.11 percent (sometimes even 16.6 percent). Did you know that the average blackjack player has plays at about a 2 percent disadvantage to the house? It’s true, but the Lucky Ladies side bet has a house advantage of 25 percent, ouch!
Tip Number Five – Don’t Let the Taxman Scare You
Taxes can be levied against gaming wins in many places, the US included, but don’t let the Taxman scare you. Sure, if you hit a Keno jackpot for $100,000 you’ll get socked, but don’t fret over a $2,000 video poker jackpot. If you are using your player’s club card, the casino will make a best-effort assessment of how much you win or lose during the year. In January, you can ask for a win-loss statement, and while you’ll have to claim that jackpot (when you got that pesky W2G IRS form), your other play may offset that win. If it doesn’t, the IRS will also accept a journal-style log of your wins and losses (place, time, amount) at legal gaming establishments that can also offset that big win you had.
On the other hand, if you really do hit a big jackpot and you’re having a great year whacking the casinos, keep track and put away some of that big win so you can pay the Piper when April 15th comes. And if you do have to pay – well that just means you had great year – enjoy it!