Casino Tips for Beginners: Slots and Table Games

Staff Writer Tips & Tutorials 1,155

When it comes to playing at a casino, one thing is guaranteed: the casino will win more than you.

A casino is a business and a business has to be profitable. The casino’s profitability is in ensuring players do not win more than they deposit. There will be the odd big win, may be a jackpot even, but the overall winner is always the casino. Of course, there are casino strategies and tips to help you reduce the win-loss ratio, some generic and some game-dependent.

Before discussing tips to help you minimise your losses, we need to answer a very important question: how do casinos win more than you do? This is possible because of the ‘house edge’. The house edge is the gap between the true odds of winning a game and the odds that a casino offers when you actually win – the ratio of the average loss to the initial wager. Every casino game comes with a house edge that favors the casino, except for blackjack and video poker – for these two the house edge can be lowered:

  • Slots: 2% to 15%
  • Baccarat: 1.06% for the banker, 1.24% for the player, and 14.36% for a tie
  • Blackjack: 0.28%
  • Roulette: 2.7% for European Roulette and 5.26% for American Roulette
  • Video poker: 0.46% for games following Jacks or Better rules

When it comes to games like slots and even table games, therefore, tips and strategies become very important because they can help you either plan your game or ensure you are able to lower the house edge. On this page we will discuss some of the basic tips and strategies that players can use when visiting a casino.

Page Content

  • Casino tips for slots fans
    • How slots work
    • Basic slots strategy
  • Tips for table game enthusiasts
    • Basic table game strategies to increase your chances of winning

Slots: A Brief Introduction

Slots have always been among the most popular games at casinos. These are games of chance that do not require special skills. And they are fast and easy to play. Place a wager, push the button, collect your winnings or count your losses; it is as simple as that!

And here is an interesting fact that you should know: casinos make most of their money on the slots they offer. According to data from a revenue report filed with the Nevada Gaming Control Board in 2016, the ‘total gaming win’ from slot machines was over $7 billion, while that from table games was around $4 billion.

How Slots Work

The way slots work is simple. The outcome of a game is determined by a random number generator. You hit the spin button of the game after placing your wager and immediately the RNG kicks into action and generates a number. That number dictates the positions at which the different symbols will appear on the reels. The outcome is therefore completely random.

All reputed casinos use RNGs that are tested and audited continuously for fair play and randomness. What this means is that you need a good slice of luck to win at slots. The house edge too comes into play. Depending on the casino you are playing at, it can be anywhere between 2% and 15%, though the standard average percentage is considered to be 10%.

Basic Strategies for Playing Slots

Given the randomness of the result, one thing becomes clear: no strategy is going to help you guarantee continuous or more wins compared to losses. The following are a few tips to help you strike a healthy balance between winning and losing.

  • Use the bonuses. Every casino offers bonuses and freebies; ensure that you use them. The idea is to minimize spend and maximize returns on money invested.
  • Avoid games with low payout percentages. There are a number of games that offer low payout percentages. Avoid these games because you will lose more, and not win often or enough.
  • Manage your bankroll. Bankroll management involves figuring out how much you place per wager and when to call it quits. This is important because failure to do so could result in disastrous consequences.
  • Avoid progressive jackpots. Progressive jackpots can be very tempting because of the huge prize money. But such huge prize money also comes with very low payouts. It would be easier to win smaller prizes playing the regular slots instead.
  • Skip slots and try other games like video poker. If you are losing continuously at slots, switch games and try video poker instead. The game play is more or less similar but the payout percentages are higher. The right strategy can land you some decent wins.
  • Play slots at established casinos. Established casinos offer games that are genuine and use certified random number generators. You are at least guaranteed a fair outcome, and following the tips listed above could get you some good wins too.
  • Don’t play to make money. Play to have fun, not to make money. The money-making attitude will work for strategy-driven games like blackjack.

An Introduction to Table Games

Table games like blackjack, craps, baccarat, roulette, and others are available at every online and land-based casino. These games are popular, especially games like blackjack and roulette. One reason for their popularity is the role that strategy plays. While there is a small role that strategy plays in determining wins in games like baccarat and roulette, in blackjack it plays a huge role.

How Table Games Work

Games like blackjack and baccarat require cards to be dealt, and players play against the dealer. There is a degree of complexity involved. You place your bets, the dealer deals the cards, and then you make your next move based on the cards dealt to you and the cards that the dealer has. This is followed by the dealer making his move and only then is the outcome known.

When it comes to roulette, the presence of a wheel and a ball and a betting table as against the standard set of cards in other table games is a major difference. Other factors like the range of bets available and the presence of a single or double zero add to the complexity of the game and the need for some strategy.

Table Games Tips for Beginners

The following are some tips for playing table games if you are a beginner.

  • Amp up your skills. Table games usually involve some element of skill and at least a foreknowledge of the different bets available. Practice the game thoroughly and never assume you will win all the time.
  • Remember the house edge. Remember always: the house has the edge, not you. Once in a while you will win and possibly win a big payout. But that is, as we said, only once in a while.
  • Check for games with a low house edge. Those are the games you will have an easier shot at winning. Blackjack or baccarat are games that have a lower house edge compared to other games, for instance. Another game to try out could be craps.
  • Get your strategy right. Especially if you are playing blackjack, you must ensure that you know your blackjack strategy thoroughly. This will make it easier for you to make instant decisions on what strategy to use based on the cards you are dealt and the dealer’s cards.
  • Switch between table games. If you are the type that can get stressed with rigorous playing, make it a point to switch to lighter table games every now and then.
  • Place outside bets in roulette. A safe option in roulette is to bet on the outside bets. You may not win much but you will win more often, and that does make up for the lack of a big win.
  • Plan your spend. When you are playing table games, plan in advance how much you are willing to spend and stick to that number regardless of whether you are winning or losing.
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