Casino Player Magazine | Strictly Slots Magazine | Casino Gambling Tips

10 Simple and Effective Gambling Tips

Principles to remember the next time you’re in the casino

By John Marchel


“Knowing just a few simple things about the rules and odds of various games will enable you to play more successfully and more likely end up as a winner.”

Playing in a casino can be fun, exciting and even profitable. Knowing just a few simple things about the rules and odds of various games will enable you to play more successfully and more likely end up as a winner. The 10 simple and winning gambling tips I’m about to give you can be used in any casino in the United States, including on riverboats and in Native American facilities. These tips have been proven successful over the years by thousands of players. Read them, study them, and apply them, and you will reduce your losses and become a more successful player.


1. Ask And Ye Shall Receive.

When playing blackjack, if you’re not sure how to play your hand you can always ask the dealer. About 90 percent of the time, they will help you. Usually they’ll do so with a suggestion: “the book (basic strategy) says to  __,” or “most players will  ___ with that hand.” They are prohibited from telling you how to play any hand, but they can tell you how “others” might play. Also, there might be experienced players at the table who can tell you what the mathematically correct play is. Don’t be afraid to ask.

2. To Split Or Not To Split?

In blackjack, you should always split aces and 8’s and never split 4’s, 5’s, or 10’s. With the aces, you’re hoping to catch two tens and wind up with two 21’s. Splitting 8’s is also a good move, since 16 is considered the worst hand in blackjack. Your best course of action is to split them and hope for two 10’s, for two 18’s. You won’t always be a winner when you split 8’s, but you will end up losing less when you make it a habit to split under the right circumstances.

On the other hand, don’t split 4’s. If you just hit your hand, you might catch a 10—making your hand an 18. Splitting them could leave you with two 14’s, which is bad. Don’t spit 5’s; you want to double down if the dealer has a 2 through 9 showing. Otherwise, just hit. Two 10’s make a 20, which is the second best hand in blackjack. Don’t fool around with it by splitting; just take the win.

There are other pairs you can split, depending on the card the dealer is showing. Does the dealer have a small card (2-6)? If so, you can do a lot more splitting. For example, 9’s against dealers’ 5 or 6 is a good split. If the dealer is showing a high card, 7 through ace, than you should only split aces and eights.

3. Insure Your Car, Not Your Cards

Don’t take insurance or even money for your blackjack. The odds favor the house big-time when you accept either of these options. Remember, the house wouldn’t offer these options if it wasn’t in their favor. The bottom line is, do not take insurance with any hand or even money.

4. Reel Decisions

When playing slots, it’s a good idea to stick to three-reel machines. The four and five-reel machines push the odds against you to the extreme. In the long run, you’ll lose money faster in by playing any extra reels beside three.

5. Max Bet, Max Payout

Always play the maximum coins in a slot or video poker machine. To get the most from a machine you need to put the maximum coins in. If the price is too high with the maximum bet, simply play at a lower domination machine. If you can’t afford three $1 coins, switch to three quarters or even three nickels. But always play the maximum, which is the only way to get the big wins.

6. Avoid Risky Roulette Bets

In roulette, never play the 5 spot (0, 00, 1, 2, 3). The house edge jumps from 5.26% on a double zero table to over 7% when you bet the 5-spot. You might also want to avoid the “inside” numbers altogether and only play the “outside” bets—like red/black, odd/even, high/low or the columns or dozens. The odds are considerable better on these wagers than on any single numbers you might select.

7. Play Good Video Poker

Whenever possible, play Jacks or Better 9/6 video poker machines. These are the oldest video poker machines around and have the easiest to learn. A 9/6 machine can be identified by looking at what a Full House pays for one coin (9) and what it pays for a Flush (6). This machine will return 99.5%, which is much higher than any slot machine will pay. It won’t take you long to learn the strategy. Remember, video poker is also called “draw poker.” You receive five cards and you can choose to keep one, two, three, four or change all five. The resulting hand is the final outcome that determines what the payout will be. You are the winner of any hand that results in a pair of jacks or better. Video poker (played correctly) will pay out at a much higher rate than any slot machine will.

8. The Best Bet In the House

At craps, only play where they offer 2X odds or better. The little sign next to each dealer will tell you about the minimum and maximum bets allowed, and will also tell you about the odds offered. Placing a Pass Line bet with double odds will reduce the house advantage to only 0.08 percent. You should always take odds on the Pass Line, since the house will give you the true odds on that bet but only even money on your basic Pass Line bet. In other words, the house keeps part of the win for the Pass Line, but keeps nothing on the odds bet. If you’re not sure about how any of this works, ask a dealer.

9. Keeping It Simple

When playing craps, stick with simple bets. Wager on the Pass Line with at least 2X odds behind it, then place the 6 and 8, or two come bets with odds. These are the best bets at the craps table, and some of the best odds in the entire casino. Forget the long shots, like hard ways and Field bets, and never bet the Big 6 or Big 8. Craps really can be an easy to play game, if you keep your bets simple.

10. Make Bets For the Dealers

When playing at a table, rather than tipping the dealer by sliding a chip their way, place a bet for them instead. When you make a bet for the dealer they will be rooting for you to win. They’re certainly not going to cheat to help you win, but there are other small ways in which they can help you. And, they appreciate this gesture. They enjoy getting in on the action, just as any of us do.

10 Simple and Effective Gambling Tips.

Gambling Tips

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Scroll to Top