Gambling Logistics: 5 easy ways to beat the casino without actually beating the casino.
Having a good day at the casino is all about perspective. It’s about getting the most bang for your buck. No, I’m not reiterating the old cliché of ‘so long as you had fun, it’s worth it‘. This concept is based on winning at the casino, without having to use fancy, mentally challenging strategies to find beatable casino games.
5 Ways to Beat the Casino (w/o Beating the Casino)
The basic strategy here is to get full value for what you’re spending. In many cases, you can get additional value, which turns into a relative profit. There are 5 easy, collective ways to do it, without actually beating the casino.
#1 Take Advantage of Comps
This is supremely important, and the number one way to gain value, even when you’re losing. Comp programs deliver cash back on losses, and a multitude of other valuable rewards. Free or discounted rooms, meals, entertainment, amenities, chips, you name it. If a casino has it, they’ll happily comp it to consistent players. The moment you walk into a casino, your first priority is to get a player’s club card.
#2 Play Tournaments
When a casino hosts a slot machine or blackjack tournament, they often throw in comps on top of it. Use your player card to register. Registering card members might get a free meal or gift, a room discount, etc. This equates to value. Plus, when playing tournaments, there’s no house edge. The entry fee is generally cheap, and every player is on equal ground. The more people that participate, the higher the prize pool, and higher the expected value becomes. Although not required, if you’re particularly skilled at the game, and/or use optimal strategy, your expected value increases proportionately.
#3 Play Poker
Depending on the location, playing poker can be a good way to increase your expected value. Again, you’re competing against other players, not the house. The location matters because some casino are teeming with sharks (poker pros). For instance, you wouldn’t want to try this on the Las Vegas Strip. Local casinos are the better option. Poker tournaments have can a lot more value, too. And again, make sure to use your player’s club card when buying in.
#4 Get Rated for Comps
If you play plan to any table games at all, don’t place a single wager until you get rated for comps. If you start playing first, and are there for awhile, chances are a floorperson will walk up and ask if you want to be rated. Don’t wait for this, though. Look for a floorperson and ask to be rated first. They’ll ask for your player’s club card and take your name. Your game play will be tracked from there, and you can expect to get back anywhere from 30-50% of your losses in comps.
#5 Play Video Poker
If you’re selective enough, you can find video poker games with a very slight house edge. In land-based casinos, Jacks or Better with 9-6 Full Pay is fairly common. That means the Full House pays 9x, and a Flush 6x. The expected return with proper strategy is 99.54% (house edge 0.46%).
Alternatively, some casinos offer what gambling author Skip Hughes coined, Not-So-Ugly Deuces Wild. To find it, look for a Deuces Wild game with a paytable that reflects 16x payout for a 5 of a Kind, and 10x payout for a Straight Flush. With the right strategy, this game has an expected return of 99.72% (house edge 0.28%).
These games present the best ways to beat the casino without beating the casino. As you’re theoretically losing just $0.28 per $100 wagered (NSU Deuces Wild), you’re gaining a lot more in comps as the hours go by.
Remember, the casino’s goal is to keep you coming back. If they give you a free $25 meal, and you only lose $10 over hours of game play, you’re up $15 in value. Even if you lose $25, you’re essentially paying for the meal, with hours of free entertainment. Enjoy!