Heading to a casino? Whether it’s your first time or you’ve enjoyed a few nights out at your local casino, it helps to have a little guidance. The casino floor is packed with so many games, each one with varying rules, degrees of difficulty, and confusion level.
Today, we’re helping you sort it all out with the ultimate casino cheat sheet. Feel free to print it out or study it and commit it to memory.
- Fewer decks are better. That’s right. You might think that playing a 6 or 8 shoe is the way to go. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to pause your game because the dealer has to shuffle. But the truth is with fewer decks, the odds are more in your favor. Plus, it’s way easier to count cards.
- Insurance is for suckers. Every Las Vegas casino offers it. In fact, every casino around the globe offers it true. But insurance is a bet you shouldn’t make. You’re way better off risking a loss than putting money down to insure against a Blackjack. Save your money and avoid this bet.
- Ask for even money. When you hit a Blackjack, there’s no better feeling in the world. Of course, that goes out the door when the dealer is showing an Ace. Suddenly, you find yourself staring down a push. Except here’s the thing most casinos won’t tell. You can actually take even money instead of the slightly higher payout a pure Blackjack would have offered. Sure, it’s not the win you were after, but there’s no reason to snub your nose at a 1:1 payout.
- Always check the payout schedule first. Video poker games vary not only from game type to game type, but also from casino to casino. Make sure you review the payout schedule before you play. You might end up throwing away a lucrative hand because you were chasing something that you thought might have been better.
- Play max credits. In some video poker games, you could miss out on the opportunity to hit a Royal Flush if you fail to play all the credits. This is truer in a live casino where credits are the norm, and not so much at online casinos where every video poker game allows you to adjust your bet. But still, playing the max is good practice.
- Pairs aren’t always perfect. Throw away a small pair if you almost four cards to a flush or three cards to a Royal Flush. It’s worth the risk and the reward could be bigger than you think.
- Never go to war. Despite the fun involved in going to war, it’s just not worth it. Many casinos will tell you that the payoff is 3:2, but in reality it’s far less. For example, when you bet $10 and hold the same card, and you decide to go to war, the dealer takes your $10. You now have to put down $10 if you decide to go to war. If you win the war, the dealer will payout $20 on that $10 bet. But here’s the thing. Half of that $20 was yours. So really, you placed a $20 bet to win $10. That’s just not cool.
- Choose European Roulette if available. Unlike the American version, European Roulette has one zero instead of two. The absence of the double zero actually increases your odds over the American version.
- Start with outside bets. It’s tempting to want to play the inside of the Roulette wheel. But if you’re new to Roulette and you don’t know how to bet on multiple numbers with a single chip, you’re better of playing the outside. The outside bets (that’s evens/odds, red/black, 1 to 18 / 19 to 36) offer you nearly 50/50 odds. It’s slightly less, since you’re betting on 18 of 38 numbers, not 18 of 36 (remember, there’s a zero and double zero). But it’s the closest thing you can get to an even chance in a casino.
- If you play the inside, stick to it. This is true in live casinos and not so much the case online. But if you’re playing the inside of a Roulette table, avoid playing the outside at the same time, especially if the table is crowded. If you’re by yourself, go nuts. But if the table is packed, things can get confusing, so it’s best to keep your bet somewhat centrally located. What’s more, some casinos offer different chips for inside and outside bets. This could confuse the matter even more if you’re playing multiple spots.
- Read the rules first. Every slot game is different. Some will allow you to pop a jackpot if you only play one payline. Otherwise will require you to bet all paylines to be eligible for the jackpot. Be sure to read the rules first or you might find yourself questioning why you never hit it big. The same goes for bonus rounds as some slots limit access to players who bet the max.
- Always play max paylines. If you’re short on funds, you’re better off betting the maximum number of paylines and reducing your bet per line instead. This will ensure you don’t miss out on hitting winning combinations or miss out on being eligible for a jackpot as explained above. Your payoff for a win might be smaller, but overall you’ll do better in the long run.
- Avoid Autoplay. Many people love Autoplay because it’s a great way to win faster. And they’re not wrong. But if you’ve got a limited bankroll, it’s better to slow down the pace a little big. Trust us. You’ll enjoy it a lot more.
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