How to... survive a trip to the casino

Everybody has heard of the dangers of gambling but it can be a fun and rewarding experience - it could however leave you penniless.

Whether it’s in Blackpool or Vegas the unprepared man will quickly find himself in over his head and see his money fly out of his pockets.

So it is important to know how you can come out of the casino a winner - or at least not a loser.

Resist the environment
Every aspect of a casino screams of grandeur and magnificence, and it's easy to be overwhelmed. You look around at the marble floors, the imperial furniture and the hordes of gorgeous women employed there, and you cannot believe your eyes.

It doesn't take long before you start getting fooled into thinking that you're just as flash as the big spenders in the casino and start betting a hundred pound on each hand of blackjack instead of the meek five, tip the cocktail waitresses far too much and lose all sense of propriety.

That's the attitude the casinos want you to adopt. They want to make you feel like a king for a day, and while it's a noble idea, most people don't have the funds to afford such extravagance. So unless your gambling budget exceeds £20,000, avoid recklessness.

Set aside money
When you go to a casino, set aside a precise amount of money for gambling. Moreover, be prepared to lose it. No matter how confident you are in your card-playing skills or in the fact that Lady Luck has never let you down before, you must understand that it's not an investment that you're making.

Don't play for too long
Gambling is not a sport. It is not a win some - lose some situation. If you play long enough, you will lose everything; it's a mathematical certainty. You are paying to be entertained, nothing more. If you happen to win some money along the way, count your blessings and put away the initial funds.

Don't lose your head
Don't be enraged when your money runs out. You should expect to lose. The best course of action is to determine how much time you're going to spend on the casino floor, then spread the money around to be sure that it will last you until the end of your stay.

For example, if your budget is £500 and you want to gamble for four days, spend only £125 each day. Once you've spent your daily allowance, leave. Don't say to yourself, "Ah, just another few pounds."

Play the odds
Since you're not the expert gambler who counts cards in his sleep, you need to know which games are the most favourable when it comes to making the most of your money.

Slot machines have pre-determined payouts so if you play long enough expect to lose about 10-15% of your money.

The best odds are found at craps, blackjack and baccarat. If you have a basic strategy, you can significantly edge out the house's odds and even favour yourself. For these games, the house has less than a 1% edge, which gives you a good shot at keeping your money.

But again, this applies only if you're familiar with the requisite strategies. An amateur player who doesn't understand the intricacies of the games might make foolish mistakes and lose a lot more.

I want free stuff!
The underlying concept in the casino is that the longer you play, the more money you lose. So it's in the casino's best interest to find reasons to make you want to stay, and that's where the free stuff comes in.

When you arrive, ask the promotions department if they offer a player's card. Present this card every time you play at a table and insert it in the machine every time you play slots. This records the amount of time you spend playing and therefore helps the staff evaluate whether you are worth giving free stuff to.

Don't be afraid to ask for free stuff. The points you accumulate on your card can be redeemed for meals, rooms and entertainment. Just ask to see a casino host and politely request your freebies.

What time is it anyway?
In order to keep you playing as long as possible, casinos have devised an ingenious strategy. They cut you off from any notion of the outer world by not displaying any clocks and having no windows.

When on the casino floor, you never know whether it's day or night. So bring a watch and look at it often.

Remember it's just a game
Take your trip to the casino lightly. It should be a holiday, not a chore. You're there to have fun, not to wallow in misery. It should never be about money, but rather enjoyment.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: