15 Powerful Gambling Tips That Actually Work
Smart bettors know that betting, in any capacity, involves risk.
You could rock up to the casino armed with the best gambling tips known to man. And yet, you still cannot guarantee that you will walk away with a profit. This is the gambling game, folks; much of it comes down to luck. Sometimes it goes our way, and sometimes, we leave empty-handed.
Of course, there are things you can introduce into your game that could make more of a difference than you think. I’m talking about tips for gambling that actually work. Ways to limit your exposure while decreasing the chances of Lady Luck putting you in a chokehold until you tap out and give in.
Whether you are playing slots on the best online gambling sites or at a roulette table in Monte Carlo, it pays to play smart. I’ll cover some essential gambling techniques below that should see you well regardless of where you are in the world.
Let’s break down some of the top gambling tips for bettors looking to win some money without further ado!
1. Use a Simple Bucket Budget to Manage Your Money
Effective money management is critical to good gambling habits.
Up there, with learning how to make a cup of joe and wiping your nose, budgeting before hitting the tables is an essential skill every human must learn before joining the adult club. That is any human looking to gamble for real money.
Is budgeting sexy? No. It doesn’t invoke the glitz and glamor of a warm summer evening in a European casino. Instead, it reminds us of grandma scratching off numbers in a little black book. That’s about as far from that vision of elegance and opulence that we want to exude.
Learning the art of bankroll management is necessary for any casino player who has yet to make their first billion. It effectively keeps us in check by limiting what we can spend. If we have a cap on what we can spend, that covers what we can afford to lose.
Most experienced gamblers know what sound bankroll and money management should mean. You will likely develop your strategy for ensuring you don’t overspend. Something that will keep you in line, even when things get hairy.
I’d recommend starting with the basics of bankroll management before thinking about that. The guide below has you covered!
2. Look for Smaller Jackpots
There’s nothing like winning a jackpot. Fewer things in life can make you feel as special.
Whether you are playing the slots, keno, or roulette, you will see the temptation to play a game that promises a crazy payoff. Always remember that the money for those payoffs comes from all participating players. Naturally.
These days, you can head over to the best real money online casinos or app and find numerous jackpots to play for. In times gone by, jackpot slots games were typically geared toward the big payoffs. But not anymore. Many jackpots now pay by the hour, the day, and even before a certain figure has been accrued.
One of my top tips for gambling online is to keep an open mind when you hit the casino. Whether it’s online or in-person gaming, look for the smaller jackpot games, as you will have a better chance of winning one of them.
Traditionally, some players would target games with lower jackpots to bend the odds in their favor.
While I don’t think that is always necessary, it could be worth considering. For instance, pick the game that pays 4,000 max credits instead of the one that pays 10,000 max credits. Again, your chances of winning are better with the smaller payoffs due to lower variance in the game design.
Suppose you ignore all warnings from experienced gamblers to play keno; go for a small number of picks. The safest range of picks is 3 to 5. You don’t risk as much money because you’re more likely to win something.
Whether you target small or big jackpots, just make sure you’re using the top online slots available. Here’s a list of the very best options out there right now.
3. Make Smaller Bets
Ever heard a gambler advising you to “Go big or go broke?”
If so, rest assured that is terrible advice. The faster you lose your money, the sooner you will be out of there. Not only is this a foolhardy way of seeing your bankroll disappear faster than a shady salesman, but it also urges you to fully embrace the luck element of gambling at the expense of strategy or skill.
Unless the rules of the game make it more likely that you’ll win by betting more, there is no reason to “bet more to win more.” Your chances of winning or losing are the same regardless of whether you bet $1 or $100. But you have more chances to win or lose when you bet $1 than when you bet $100.
Of course, if you cannot control what you bet, you must have a word with yourself. Perhaps staying out of the casinos might be an idea until you get a handle on things.
If the prizes are proportionally the same regardless of the size of the bet, then you gain nothing by betting more. You’re not just multiplying your wins. You’re also multiplying your losses when making larger wagers.
Some people sneer at the idea of playing small wagers. Ignore them if they don’t do the math and see that they can stay in the game longer with small bets; that is their mistake.
You might win $1000 with a $5 bet. That is always true. And if you played a $1 bet and only won $200, you may feel like you cheated yourself by not making that larger bet. Don’t do this to yourself. You have to think about how many more wagers you can make with your current bankroll, assuming you never win until the last wager.
The aim is to see more voluminous returns with an increase in the frequency of your bets. But again, this also has something to do with how much you can afford to bet.
Read our gambling tips and strategies guide to educate yourself on both.
4. Play the Short Odds, Not the Long Odds
As far as casino techniques go, this is never popular with kamikaze bettors. And I understand why.
It may not be as much fun to win $20 as to win $200, but the short odds tell you who most people favor in a game. When enough experienced bettors favor one competitor over another, that’s a signal you’re not likely to win on the long odds.
Yes, there is always that rare event where something unexpected happens. It wouldn’t be gambling if surprises were not part of the game.
The same principle holds in table games and slot games. In blackjack, for example, experienced players don’t like to be dealt a 15 or 16 in their hand. The chances of winning are less than if they are dealt an 18. And you can always hit on an 11 or less.
Poker is another game that demands you have one eye on what you are playing. This is a game of skill where you will be gutted like a fish if you go in like a berserker without a care in the world. It also serves as a good example of games that demand discipline.
Ever wonder if those little giveaways of yours are obvious to seasoned players? Hint: they are.
5. Don’t Bet on the House Edge
Many gambling experts understand how the house edge works in the games they are playing.
They also do their homework on how much the casino expects to earn from a game over time. This is a popular concept to talk about because it’s easy to explain and understand. The idea that the casino only rakes in around 1 to 10% of all player wagers makes it sound like you will keep at least 90% of your money. But the truth is that most people lose on a wager.
The low house edge doesn’t mean the dealer won’t get natural in blackjack, the roulette wheel will land on your number, or the slot game will hit the jackpot on your next spin. The house edge means nothing on any individual wager. It only applies to the long-term play of a game.
And the same is true of “theoretical return to player,” which is the yin to the “house edge” yang. If the house edge is 5%, then the theoretical return to the player is 95%. While that seems like a great ratio, it is only relevant to many wagers made over a long period measured in months or years.
- Single Zero Roulette: 70%
- Double Zero Roulette: 26%
- Slot Machines: 2% to 15%
- Video Poker: Jacks or Better (Full Pay): 46% to 4.42
- Blackjack (Liberal Vegas Rules): 28%
So why do experts tell you to favor the games with the lowest house edge?
They want you to pick games less likely to take your money through the basic rules. It’s still your responsibility to play wisely. Although some slot machines have a theoretical return to player that approaches the RTP of blackjack and baccarat, most slot machines still have worse percentages.
Even so, you can quickly lose your money at the blackjack table if you don’t know when you should hit and when you should surrender.
For that matter, if you have a choice between a table that allows surrender and a table that doesn’t allow it, play on the table with the surrender rule.
When your cards have a low probability of winning, it’s better to get back half your bet than hoping the dealer will magically go bust. The best surrender rule is the early surrender, where you can fold before the dealer checks for a natural; unfortunately, most casinos now seem to favor the Late Surrender, where the dealer takes your bet if he has a natural.
Read the following roulette strategy guide to find out more.
6. Stay with Pass or Don’t Pass in Craps
Craps is a game that will chew you up and spit you out if you don’t give it the respect it deserves.
It’s typically regarded as a social game. It’s also considered one of the casino games that women play the most, thanks to the old movie stereotype. Needless to say, it has a personality of its own. This can often lead some bettors to lower their guard when playing it.
But what if there were ways that you could play craps without losing the knuckles on your hand? Well, there are. You stay with a pass or don’t pass and ignore the temptation to make any more exotic bets on the table. You can enhance these basic wagers by selecting the odds, but only if you understand how they work.
In any gambling game, the more complicated the betting rules mean, the more likely you won’t do so well. Those rules are there to give the house the advantage. A wagering option may only exist because the casino knows someone will try it despite the low chances of winning. And craps is one game that sees people take risks with their money that they usually wouldn’t.
A simple way to put it is that the higher the potential of payback, the less likely you are to win. The easy bets are much better to target unless you have some “guys and dolls” fantasy you’re looking to play out.
Want to learn more about the craps bets to avoid? I’ve got you.
7. Only Play Outside Bets in Roulette
There is a romantic notion that if you wait long enough, your number will come in, and you’ll get your money back.
This idea comes from too many people playing roulette the wrong way. The odds on a single number bet are 35 to 1. That’s a nice payoff, but the chances of guessing a single number are worse (either 1 in 37 on European-style tables or 1 in 38 on American-style tables).
Casinos don’t like to offer wagers where the odds (pay off) equal your probabilistic chances of winning. They want the odds to pay less. That is how they lock in the house edge. Outside bets in roulette pay less than inside bets, but their chances of paying anything are much better.
What all bets have in common is someone who thinks they can crack a code to unlock unlimited wins. That doesn’t work. Sure, there are interesting systems and tips for gambling, but they are not magical ways to beat the bookies.
The closer your prospective chance of winning gets to 50%, the fairer the game becomes to you. You’ll find that people have different opinions on where you should place your outside bets, but if you keep your bets modest, you can try different positions and form your own opinions.
Your money will last longer this way.
8. Read the Fine Print
Of all the top gambling tips on this page, this one demands your attention!
You might wonder what happens if you play the slots and spin up the top paying combination but don’t get the jackpot. Chances are you weren’t playing the maximum bet, which, in some games, is required for the maximum payoff. This can also apply to progressive slots and more of the best real money slot machines.
If an online or land-based slot game has a pay table screen, the least you should do is give it the once-over before you play. This will help you to understand the rules. If you’re at a casino with pay tables that fit on the cabinet’s front panels, that means you’re playing a simple game, but you should still look for those small words along the side or near the bottom that explain what the limits are.
Your expectations play a big role in how you gamble. If you don’t understand the game or house rules, you are at an even worse disadvantage than you think. This can easily be avoided by reading the fine print. Unlike other fancy casino techniques, this is bread and butter stuff. But don’t let that distract you from the fact that it works!
9. The Only Good Betting System Is No Betting System
If someone tells you about their surefire betting system, it’s OK to be cynical.
Betting systems rarely work as promised. When you gamble, you don’t know the outcome of any random game. Your betting system can’t change the probabilities or the payoffs.
Many betting systems are structured to recoup losses by increasing bets. The problem with this approach is that in most games, your chances of winning or losing are the same regardless of how much you bet. Increasing your next bet because you lost the last bet is the worst way to gamble.
The game, for some, aims to make a life-changing profit from gambling. For others, it’s fun. You should know what side you’re on before you deposit money into your account.
Related – Best Ways to Get Rich from Gambling
Once you decide how much you will wager per game or spin, stick to that number. Divide the amount of money you will risk on the game by your wager amount. That is how many plays you have to recoup your initial balance or get ahead.
Again, simple stuff. But these remain among the best gambling tips out there because they stand the test of time.
10. Use Time Management and Money Management Systems
You can’t change the odds and probabilities with a betting system.
But you can manage your gambling habits and budget. We have covered it a few times in this piece, in various forms, but I’d like to think that stressing this point can never be a bad thing.
Too many players just walk into the casino, start gambling, and keep going without knowing how long they will play or how much they will risk.
It’s okay to visit the ATM once, although you will save a few dollars if you withdraw your cash at your bank’s ATM. If you keep pulling money out of your accounts all night long, maybe you should take a break from gambling and come back another evening.
Setting a time limit on how long you play a game is good for several reasons.
- First, it gets you “out of the zone.” Casinos are designed to create a mesmerizing experience so that players keep gambling. When you take a break and clear your thoughts, you can make rational choices.
- Second, taking a break and walking around for a few minutes is good for your health. Studies have shown that sitting for many hours at a time is not good for your heart health.
- Third, if you’re frustrated with your progress on a game, then changing games can help you relax more. Setting a time limit allows you to assess how you are doing at a game and decide if you should try something else.
Time management can be just as effective as basic money managing techniques.
What binds both together is that they are casino techniques designed to keep an eye on what is coming in and going out. It’s likely that the more you play, the more you lose. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way at all.
11. Play Free Games Before Playing for Money
Ever heard the concept “try before you buy?” It makes sense.
If you are out of practice or have never played a gambling game before, look for free versions of the game online where you can practice. Many of the top US casinos and even those worldwide offer free variants of roulette, blackjack, and slot games to allow you to sample the goods before you commit to playing for real money.
You can learn the rules of card games without risking your money by playing free games. It’s not the same experience when you play against a computer, but you should invest a few hours studying how blackjack works by playing the free games with a tutorial. You can take your time looking up the probability tables on each hand.
This won’t make you an expert overnight, but you’ll feel more confident when you sit down at that table with the live dealer.
Furthermore, playing these games can help you pick up things that probably would have gone over your head if you were playing for real money. Many of us take fewer risks with a smaller bankroll. If you have a free play bankroll in the thousands, you can feel a little more liberal with your decisions.
If you’re interested in trying some of the top slots titles for free, you can find sites that have them below.
12. When Playing Slots, Pick Cheap Entertaining Games
There are fewer games as fun as the slots.
Modern slot games offer a lot of fun options these days. From hot drops to Red Tiger Daily Drops, there is something for everyone. But still, it pays to be aware of the types of games you play as they could impact what you stand to win. Or to lose.
If you play the game for the entertainment experience, monitor how much money you are winning or losing. You want to play some games and have some fun. But there’s nothing fun about losing your bankroll on a game because you didn’t understand how it worked. That is no fun at all.
If you choose between a 25-cent minimum bet and a $10 minimum bet, you may get more enjoyment from the 25-cent minimum game. Of course, the newest games have higher wagering minimums. Ultimately, it boils down to how you want to play and how much you are comfortable with staking.
Use common sense and enjoy yourself. Those two things do not have to be antonymous, right?
13. Be Modest When Betting on Horses
It’s okay only to wager win tickets when gambling at the top horse betting sites.
There are three basic positions you can bet on, which are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. The Win ticket pays the best of the three basic bets. The Place ticket bets on the 2nd horse (it pays the same if the horse comes in 1st or 2nd), and the Show ticket bets on the 3rd horse.
You can “box” your bets if you want to make trifecta wagers. A trifecta bet calls for a specific order for the three horses. So if you think the number 7 will come in first, the number 5 will come in second, and the number 9 will come in third, you can place that trifecta bet.
Most racing experts advise against making Show bets because a winning horse only pays for 3rd place on those bets. But if you win, you win, which means you get some money back. If you’re just gambling for fun and not trying to make a lot of money at the track, Place and Show bets are safer.
The more complicated the wager you make, the less likely you’ll win, but those big wins you hear about in the news are typically coming off the “exotic” bets. Just remember that it takes a lot of losers to pay for one big winner.
14. Be Prepared to Split in Blackjack
Splitting. It’s not for everyone.
Neither is washing, but it’s something we should all do. Or, at the very least, try to care for the love of those around us. While splitting might not be as important as cleaning yourself up, it could come in handy at the blackjack table.
Why? Well, in simple terms, our chances of winning are better if we split. Then again, we must also be able to cover the additional bet. It is wiser to hold back some money on your initial bet than to bet the last of your cash on a single hand.
Say, for example, you are playing at a $5 table and down to $10. You might think, “Well, I’ve only got $10 left, so I might as well go all in.”
If you aren’t dealt a pair, then you won’t kick yourself. But if you see a pair of 7s come up, and the dealer face card is an 8, you’ll want to make that extra bet.
Even the greatest blackjack winners of all time screw up now and again. But for the most part, their consistency keeps them running on wins.
If you are playing at a table with a high minimum and there are lower minimum tables open, moving to a lower minimum table when your bankroll runs low will give you more time to get ahead. You’ll keep that split option available longer this way.
15. Know What a Skill Stop Slot Game Is
Many slot machine games allow you to press a stop button while the reels are spinning.
This results in a quicker reveal of the outcome of your slot game, but it does not change the outcome of the game. However, a class of slot machine games offers what is called a “skill stop.” In these games, pressing stop, the button does affect the game’s outcome. The availability of skill-stop slot games varies by market, and different laws may apply to how they are programmed.
On modern slot games, you are more likely to see something like a first-person shooter bonus round. These types of games may offer true skill stop play, but most of them still only simulate the action and just prompt you to press buttons to keep you engaged.
Read the game rules carefully. The help screens should tell you either that stopping the reels has no effect on the game’s outcome, or they should explicitly tell you when and how you’ll be able to use a skill stop. They may not use the phrase “skill stop,” but they may say “press the [X] button to interrupt the game” or “to shoot the monster do [X].”
If you can find a skill stop slot game to play, practice the stop on the lowest possible bet. Don’t worry about what payoffs you may be missing.
The skill stop option gives you a better chance of winning a bonus round. Some skill stop games may slow the speed of the spinning reel a little bit as a clue that the Skill Stop option is available.
The option may only become active on a random basis.
Best Gambling Techniques to Use
Gambling tips come in all shapes and sizes. The ones above will certainly act as ways and means to prevent you from stuffing it when it matters most.
There’s nothing wrong with emphasizing the basics. After all, every casino strategy or system is based on the assumption that you are starting from a position of disadvantage. That’s the house edge in a nutshell.
It all depends on your goals.
I don’t believe a comprehensive and complex system would be appropriate for a player that just wants to bet on black in roulette. A simple bread and butter guide to betting isn’t going to satisfy the mind of an experienced casino veteran.
But there are also those in the middle. Call them intermediary gamblers, if you will. Many of these guys can be found in poker rooms across the world. They are the ones that could arguably make the most use out of the following piece.