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How To Be a Smart Gambler

People have long debated the relationship between luck and skill in regards to gambling. There is no doubt that success at casino games relies on a large portion of luck, but nevertheless, there are is a great deal of evidence that skill also has a role to play.

In fact, there are many different skills that can contribute to gambling success, from knowing which games to choose to understanding odds and strategies. Smart casino players use many different methods to improve their returns, and there is no reason why every single player can’t adopt these tricks. In this guide, we will introduce you to the techniques and habits used by the most successful casino players. You can then begin to use them yourself, and hopefully, you will soon begin to see an improvement in your returns.

Practise Good Bankroll Management

It can never be stressed enough how important it is to manage your bankroll carefully. There are a number of techniques that will help you do this, and they will go a long way to ensuring that you can keep playing for as long as you wish.

The first thing to do is work out your overall gambling budget. You then need to decide what portion of that you want to risk on your next gambling session. Most people will say that about 10% is a good amount. For instance, if you have a budget of $1000 for the month, then you should start a session with $100.

There are then a number of different ways that you can divide that budget, and a lot will depend on the game that you are playing. For example, if you are playing Blackjack, you may know that you want to play for an hour and that in an hour you might play 80 hands. This means that you would want to start with a basic bet of around $1.25 per hand. You can then adjust this as you play. For example, if you win $50, then you could increase your bet towards $2 per hand.

Furthermore, many people will set win and loss limits. The loss limit is easy to understand, if you lose a certain percentage of your bankroll, e.g. 90%, then you stop playing. Using the above example, this means that you would stop playing when you lose $90. It is important to remember that in this case, it means that your total gambling budget will have been reduced to around $900, which means that your budget for the next session will be $90.

Setting a win limit is a way to ensure that you don’t turn a big win into a big loss. Many players will decide to stop playing if they increase their budget by around 50%, so in this case $50. This means that you will come to your next session with a bigger budget. Alternatively, you could decide to withdraw your winnings and go to the next session with the same sized budget. You could stick to this technique until you have withdrawn $1000, at which point you will be playing only with your profits.

Take Time to Explore the Casino

Whether playing online or offline, it can be very tempting to rush into playing the first games you come across. However, you should make sure that you explore exactly what the casino has to offer, especially if you are playing table games. For instance, at first you may not realise that there are multiple different versions of Roulette available and that some have better odds than others do. The same is true of games such as Blackjack. Even slot payers should take some time to check out the different machines, looking for those with higher RTPs or features that appeal to them.

Look for Valuable Bonuses

When joining a casino you are likely to be offered a number of bonuses. However, not all bonuses are created equal and some will certainly be better value than others are. Make sure that you are clever about which bonuses you accept. You need to check that the bonus funds can be used to play the games that you want to play, that the wagering conditions are fair, and that you will be able to fulfil them. Bonuses can be a fantastic way of increasing your bankroll, but you have to be careful about which you accept.

Research the Games and Their Strategies

Many casino games, and in particular table games, have strategies that can be used to reduce the house edge. Most of the time, these strategies are actually very easy to follow, even if you do not understand the mathematics behind them, and it definitely worth making the effort to utilise them.

For example, Blackjack has an optimal strategy that when followed hugely reduces the house edge. You probably already know that there are many different versions of Blackjack (European, Vegas, Atlantic City, etc.), and each of these has its own strategy. However, the strategies are very easy to find online and very easy to follow. Essentially, the charts tell you what action to take based upon your first two cards and the dealer’s up card. It is completely legal to use these strategies and at many land casinos, you can even buy small laminated cards with the strategies on them that you can use as a reference when playing at the tables.

Blackjack isn’t the only game with an optimal strategy. Craps is another game that has strategies that can be followed. When it comes to Craps, it is more about knowing which bets have a low house edge and which bets have a ridiculously high house edge. In fact, there are a huge number of Craps bets with a very high house edge and you should take the time to study all of the different types of bets so you know exactly which to avoid.

Baccarat is another game with an easy strategy to learn, the most basic of which is never to place the Tie bet. The House edge on the Tie bet is something like 14%, which is ridiculously high. Furthermore, statistically the Banker bet is most likely to win; so many players will adopt the simple strategy of only betting on the Banker.

If you want to try your luck at the Roulette table, then be careful about which version you play. American Roulette has an extra number on the wheel, a 00, and this hugely increases the house edge, so it should be avoided. Many people will already know this, but not many realise that it is actually advantageous to play French Roulette rather than European Roulette. While the games may use the same wheel, French Roulette usually has an additional rule, called La Partage, which further reduces the house edge, as it will return half of all even money bets if the ball lands on zero.

While no strategy will help you win at slots, it is still worth researching the different games. They will have varying RTPs and volatilities. You of course want to look for the highest RTPs possible, as this will improve your chances of winning. Furthermore, you should make sure that your chosen game’s volatility suits your style of play.

Avoid Novelty Games and Side Bets

Casinos are always looking for ways to attract new players and one way of doing this is to come up with enticing side bets or even new games. As a general rule, these are best avoided. For instance, you have roughly the same chance of being struck by lightning this year as you have of winning the progressive jackpot side bet when playing Caribbean Stud Poker. Side bets can add excitement to a game, but they normally have a very big house edge. As such, if you are going to place them, make sure that you have budgeted accordingly.

The same is true of any new games that may suddenly appear at a casino. They could be a great deal of fun but the chances are that they are designed to favour the casino heavily. You should never play these games without doing some serious research, and you will likely find that it is best to stick to the standard games.

Never Rush

You should never feel rushed or pressured into placing a bet when playing at a casino, online or offline. When playing online the pressure to place bets is significantly reduced, so take advantage of it. Consider each bet carefully, take the time to make sure that it is the right bet to place, refer to strategy charts if necessary and consider how it will affect your bankroll.

When playing at a land casino there is definitely more pressure, the dealers and croupiers need to keep the games going and you will have an allocated betting time. However, you can take short breaks, you do not have to bet on every round, and you are under no obligation to place any bets. Don’t start rushing, as that is the best way to lose all of your money. Similarly, remember that you are not there to impress anyone; you are playing to have fun.

As should be clear, if you want to improve your returns at a casino, then it is not all down to luck. Through careful research and bankroll management, you can do a great deal to swing things in your favour, and while luck will always play a large part in gambling, it is far from everything.

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