Top 4 Effective Real Money Casino Gambling Strategies
Advantage gambling casino requires a dedication to getting an edge that borders on monomania. It also requires insane amounts of self-discipline. Those traits are more often found in certain religious orders than they are in the ranks of casino gamblers.
Casinos have a business model which takes advantage of the math behind all their games. They measure their mathematical edge as a percentage of each bet that they hope to retain over the long run.
The long run consists of about a zillion bets. The short term consists of the number of bets you’re able to make in a normal hour or two of gambling casino.
Anything can happen in the short term, but in the long run, the house edge will inevitably eat away at your bankroll. It’s like compound interest, only it works against you instead of for you, and it’s much faster than any interest rate you’ll ever see on an investment.
How the house edge works?
American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%. That means the casino expects, in the long run, to keep $5.26 out of every $100 You wager.
Suppose You’re a more-or-less average gambler who has a $400 bankroll. You’re betting red/black or odd/even, so You’re not losing Your money too quickly. According to the textbook Casino Operations Management by Jim Kilby, if you’re at a roulette table with two other people, you’re betting on about 60 spins per hour.
If You’re betting $10 per spin, you’re putting 60 X $10, or $600, into action every hour. The real casino expects to keep 5.26% of that amount, or $31.56. In the short run, You might do better than that or worse than that, but if You play long enough, Your losses will eventually come close to the mathematical expectation.
You might love roulette. $31/hour might seem like a great investment if You do—You might be having a ton of fun while You play. In fact, if You’re a Martingale system player, You might stave off the inevitable hourly losses for quite a while. But eventually, the math will catch up with You.
On the other hand, if You’re one of those people who think that $31/hour is too much to pay for an hour of entertainment playing a game of chance, You might be interested in some of the following casino gambling strategies.
All of these tactics are aimed at reducing the amount of money You spend in Your quest for fun at the gambling tables and help You to make easy money in the real money casino.
Counting Cards in Blackjack
The smart casino gamblers can get an edge over the casino when playing blackjack. The most common way of getting that edge is by counting cards. But card counting is both easier and harder than most people think.
Real card counters assign a +1 or -1 value to most of the cards in the deck, based on whether they’re high cards or low cards. High cards are the tens and the aces. Low cards are the cards lower than seven in ranking. They use those values to track the relative number of high to low cards in the deck.
In blackjack, you get paid 3 to 2 any time You get a “natural”—an ace and a ten. You’re more likely to get a natural if a lot of aces and tens are still in the deck. You’re less likely to get a natural if a lot of fives and sixes are still in the deck.
You have to increase the size of your bets when the deck is rich in tens and aces, so that You can take advantage of the better odds available. But Your biggest hurdle as an aspiring card counter is the real money casino.
For some reason, casino managers hate card counters. Most modern casinos have staff who can count cards, so it’s easy for them to catch on to what You’re up to.
The real challenge when counting cards is getting away with it. Card counting is legal—after all, we’re just talking about thinking while You’re playing cards—but casinos reserve the right to refuse Your play.
If they think You’re counting, they’ll ask You to stick with their other games. But it’s not a request. They’re refusing service to You at their blackjack tables. If the casino managers are in a bad mood, they’ll ask you to leave their casino. If You return, You could be arrested for trespassing.
If You can learn how to count cards and get away with it, You can play with as much as a 1% advantage over the casino. That’s the opposite of the house edge—that’s Your edge.
The same rules apply to Your edge as they do to the casino’s edge. In the short term, anything can happen. But as You approach a zillion bets, Your results will start to resemble the mathematical expectation.
If You’re playing 200 hands per hour at $20 per hand while counting cards, You’re putting 200 X $20 or $4000 into action each hour. With a 1% edge, You can expect to earn, in the long run, $40/hour.
That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s $41.56 per hour better than You’d be averaging at the roulette tables.
Perfect Gambling Strategy of Video Poker
Video poker is a game where you can’t get an edge over the casino unless you combine perfect play with other factors. Even if your strategy is perfect, the payback percentage on these games is etched into stone. Finding those other factors is the trick.
You like Jacks or Better video poker, which is the plain vanilla version of video poker. If You can find a game with the right pay table, you can face a payback percentage of just 99.54%. That means the house edge is only 0.46%.
You look at the pay tables. On Jacks or Better video poker games, the payouts for all the hands are the same on all variations of the game, with two exceptions:
- A full house
- A flush
You’re looking for a 9/6 Jacks or Better game. That’s a game that pays out at 9 to 1 when You get a full house and at 6 to 1 when You get a flush. This is not the most common pay table, by the way. When You can find a Jacks or Better game with this pay table, it will often be occupied.
Jacks or Better games with other payouts for those two hands are referred to by their payouts for a full house and a flush. 8/5 Jacks or Better, for example, pays 8 to 1 for a full house and 5 to 1 for a flush. The payback percentage for that game is only 97.3%. The house edge for 8/5 Jacks or better is 2.7%.
2.7% is way better than the 5.26% you’ll find at the roulette table, but it’s a far cry from 0.46%.
And that’s not even the worst pay table available. You’ll also find 7/5 Jacks or Better and 6/5 Jacks or Better. The payback percentages for those games are 96.15% and 95%, respectively. The house edge is 3.85% for 7/5 and 5% for 6/5.
You have to play the game with perfect strategy. You have one correct decision to make in every video poker situation. If You make an incorrect decision, Your payback percentage goes down, and the house edge goes up.
Video Poker has other factors which can turn this from a negative expectation game into a positive expectation game?
Those factors include things like progressive jackpots. If You’re playing a Jacks or Better video poker game where the top jackpot is constantly growing, it can eventually get large enough to increase the overall payback percentage to over 100%.
Suppose you find a $0.25 9/6 Jacks or Better game with a progressive jackpot. If the payout for the royal flush is over $1220, You have an edge over the real casino. A bigger jackpot equates to a better advantage.
On an 8/5 Jacks or Better game, you’ll need to see an even bigger jackpot–$2166—before you have an advantage over the real money casino.
Even then, You’re looking at other factors that might make it harder to get an edge at video poker. It turns out that the Internet community of video poker players is… enthusiastic, let’s say. Some professional advantage gamblers even form teams.
If a bank of video poker games with a progressive jackpot gets into positive expectation territory, the pros descend upon those games like a swarm of locusts.
Even if You’re not up for the work of searching for the best pay tables, learning the perfect strategy, and finding the additional factors necessary to get an edge, video poker offers some of the best odds in the casino.
If You’re already a slots player, try video poker. The math on the worst video poker game is almost always better than the math on the best video slot machines in any real money casino.
The Simple Bets at the Craps Table
Craps often seems incomprehensible to beginners. But if You can get past that initial intimidation factor, You can enjoy one of the most exciting games in the casino. You’ll also face some of the best odds in the casino.
What makes craps seem so intimidating is the large number of bets available on the craps table. Smart craps players know that most of the bets on the table are sucker bets anyway. The best bets, mathematically, are also the simplest bets.
Here’s how craps works:
- A round starts when a shooter rolls the dice on a “come-out” roll. Her goal is to roll a 7 or an 11. If she does, then she’s a winner–she gets to keep shooting.
- Her other goal is to avoid rolling a 2, 3, or 12. If she rolls one of those totals, she’s a loser–she has to pass the dice to the next player, who becomes the new shooter.
- But if she rolls any other total, she has “set a point”. Once the point has been set, she keeps rolling until she either rolls the point again, or until she rolls a 7.
- If she rolls the point again, she wins and gets to keep shooting.
- If she rolls a 7, she loses and has to let the next player start shooting.
- As far as the actual mechanics of the game, that’s it. The complexities involve the betting action.
- The basic bet in craps is the pass line bet. Basically, this is a bet that the shooter is going to win.
- The opposite of the pass line bet is the don’t pass bet. This is a bet that the shooter is going to lose.
Both bets offer an even money payout. They also offer some of the best odds in the casino:
- The house edge for the pass line bet is only 1.41%. The house edge for the don’t pass bet is slightly better—1.36%.
- You get a chance to reduce this house edge with a side bet called taking odds. You can only take odds when the shooter sets a point. This is a bet that the shooter will make the point before rolling a 7.
Taking odds reduces the house edge because this side bet pays out at true odds. In other words, it’s the only bet in the casino with a house edge of exactly 0. The payoff on the odds bet varies based on what the point is:
- If the point is 4 or 10, the odds bet pays out at 2 to 1.
- If the point is 5 or 9, the odds bet pays out at 3 to 2.
- If the point is 6 or 8, the odds bet pays out at 6 to 5.
Different casinos have different limits on the odds bet. Some casinos only allow You to match your original wager, but other casinos set the maximum as a multiple of Your original wager. The more You can wager on this side bet, the better, because it reduces the house edge on the total amount of money You have in action.
You make a pass line bet, and the shooter sets a point. You then take odds for the same amount as Your original bet. Your house edge on the total amount of money You have in action is now 0.85% instead of 1.41%.
Suppose You’re playing at a casino which allows You to wager 2X Your original bet when taking odds. Your overall house edge is just 0.61% if You take the maximum odds bet.
If You can find a casino which allows you to take 5X odds, You can get the house edge down to 0.32%. Now You’re placing a bet with a lower house edge than blackjack with perfect strategy or full pay Jacks or Better video poker games.
If You can find a casino that allows 10X odds, the house edge becomes almost non-existent—0.18%. You’ll probably never find a casino that allows You to take 100X odds, but if You did, You would be facing an infinitesimally low house edge of 0.02%.
Of course, if You’re betting the don’t pass line, You can also place a side bet. But instead of “taking odds”, You’re “laying odds”.
The other good bets on the craps table are the come bet and the don’t come bet. These bets are similar to the pass and don’t pass bets, but You can only make them after a point has been set. They basically treat the next roll as a new come-out roll, and they offer the same odds and payouts as the pass and don’t pass bets.
You can take or lay odds with these bets, too.
You can safely ignore all the other bets on the craps table. The house edge on all of them is much higher than the house edge on these.
Even if You were only successful at controlling the outcome once out of every three throws, You’d probably have an edge over the casino.
The player's club is also sometimes called the slots club. When You join, the casino gives You a plastic card to insert into the gambling machines when You play. This card tracks how much money You’re putting into action.
The slots club then provides You with rewards based on a percentage of that action. Usually You’re looking at a points system.
You might earn 1 point for every $10 you wager on the video slot machines.
The casino gives you cash back of $1 for every 40 points.
You’re playing 9/6 Jacks or Better for $1.25 per hand, and You’re playing 640 hands per hour. That means You’re putting $800 into action per hour–You’re earning 80 points per hour.
Your expected loss per hour is 0.46% X $800, or $3.68 per hour. But Your comp points are worth $2 per hour, so now your expected loss has dropped to $1.68 per hour.
That’s still not a profitable situation. But what if that same casino offers triple points during certain hours?
Now you’re getting $6 per hour in cash back per hour, on an expected hourly loss of $3.68, for an expected profit of $2.32 per hour.
You’re never going to make a living earning $2.32 per hour playing video poker, but wouldn’t You rather have a positive mathematical expectation than a negative mathematical expectation?
You’re basically getting paid a small amount to have fun at the casino. Heck, if You really want to ramp up your hourly expected profit, start taking advantage of the free drinks. Order the most expensive premium drinks You can, too.
If You stick with the best bets in the casino, and if You take advantage of the perks offered by the player's club, You can get a lot more fun for Your money. You’ll shave fewer losing sessions and more winning sessions.