Five Tips to Avoid Going Broke at the Casino

A happy slot machine player
Photo Courtesy (Ken Biggs)

Winning is best, but sometimes we just want to avoid going broke at the casino. Here's some of the best advice on the subject.

Tip 1 - Know the Games and Terms

Certainly, you know what blackjack is, but do you know all of the gambling terms used at the casino?  Players make better decisions when they are in a relaxed frame of mind. In addition, when a dealer asks if you want to spend your hard-earned dollars on a bad bet like insurance at blackjack, you'll know how to respond: "No thanks!"

Tip 2 - Know The Best Bets

Not all bets and casino games are created equal. Did you know that the casino edge against you at Keno is 28 percent? It's a great game to risk a few bucks at, especially at dinner, but those odds will wear down your bankroll quick!

Bets that have small house odds include the pass line at craps and the player and banker bets at baccarat, where the house edge is only about 1.5 percent. Blackjack players who master basic strategy can expect to play at less than a 1 percent disadvantage to the house!

Tip 3 - Manage Your Gambling Bankroll

Following simple steps such as dividing your gambling bankroll into several parts and never using more than one part during any visit to a casino will ensure that you won't go broke during your first few trips. Once you learn the joy of money management, you will find that your bankroll doesn't fluctuate much and your trips to the casino will be much more fun.

Tip 4 - Getting Extra Bang For Your Bucks

Regardless of which games you play and how much you bet, your local casino is in a fight with every other casino to keep you as a regular guest. To keep you loyal, casinos offer a player's club where you signup and use a card to track your play. In most casinos, the club will give you ​complimentary meals and other amenities in exchange for your play.

This will likely amount to a point for every dollar wagered in slot machines (1000 points is good for $10 cash or meals) and as high as $10 back for every $100 in hourly ​wagers at the table games ($1 for a $10 average bet per hour).

Make sure you get full value for your play by joining the player's club before you gamble!

Tip 5 - Find the Right Casino for Your Skill Level

Once you have learned some gambling terms, chosen the best games to play, and know how much you can afford to bet for the evening, choose the right casino for your skill level! In most cases, your skill level will also be tied to your bankroll and average bet, so play where you're going to be the most comfortable.

You can easily call ahead and check on a casinos' table limits, but getting a feel for what they offer in the way of slots and video poker is more likely to take an actual trip to the property. If you are new to casinos, try to avoid making Caesars, Wynn, or Belaggio your first stop in Las Vegas.

Instead, try Bally's, Imperial Palace, or the clubs downtown, where the limits are much lower. Casinos that cater to local players such as the Station's casinos and Boyd Gaming Properties are more likely to have lower limits and be more friendly, so new players won't feel intimidated.

You will enjoy your gambling more if you know the games, know the limits, and play with only a portion of your gambling bankroll.

Remember, gamble to have fun, not to try and pay your rent! You also might want to limit your play to cash, by leaving the credit cards at home.

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Moe, Al. "Five Tips to Avoid Going Broke at the Casino." ThoughtCo, Feb. 10, 2017, thoughtco.com/avoid-going-broke-at-the-casino-537783. Moe, Al. (2017, February 10). Five Tips to Avoid Going Broke at the Casino. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/avoid-going-broke-at-the-casino-537783 Moe, Al. "Five Tips to Avoid Going Broke at the Casino." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/avoid-going-broke-at-the-casino-537783 (accessed October 19, 2017).