The Worst Casino Gambling Advice I’ve Ever Heard

| November 1, 2017 12:00 am PDT
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The gambling world is filled with people who want to give you advice about casino gambling. You can hear people in casinos dispensing all kinds of advice, and you can read books and articles that claim to help you.

1. This Slot Machine Is Due for a Big Win

Have you ever seen people milling around the slot machines, watching others play? And then when a player leaves a machine, the person watching grabs their seat and starts playing?

Sometimes this is simply a person waiting for their favorite machine, or it’s the only machine of a certain type. But often the player who grabs the seat as soon as it’s available has watched the other player lose for an extended period. They believe that the machine is due for a big payout because it hasn’t paid out in a while.

This belief usually comes from the fact that slot machines are programmed to keep a set percentage of the money wagered on them and pay back everything else. So if a machine is winning more money than it’s supposed to keep over a period of time, it eventually has to give back more to even out the balance.

It’s true that, in the long run, each slot machine does payout and keep exactly the programmed amount. But the fact is that the long-term payout is much longer than a few hundred or even a few thousand spins.

The long-term is based on millions of spins, and a slot machine can go thousands and thousands of spins without meeting any certain percentage of payouts.

Modern slot machines are run by computer programs. Each possible outcome displayed on the video screen, which usually shows what looks like reels, is programmed into the software that’s running the machine and has a set chance to show up.

Some machines have millions of possible combinations, and most machines have at least thousands of possible combinations.

This is a simplified explanation of how slot machines work, but if you can get a basic understanding of the process, you’re going to see why a machine is never due for a big win or anything else.

Let’s look at a slot machine with 100,000 possible combinations. Each combination on this machine has an equal chance to come up on the reels. This means that, on average, over millions and millions of spins, each of the possible combinations will land 1 out of every 100,000 times.

The computer uses a random number generator with 100,000 numbers. Each of the 100,000 numbers is assigned to one of the possible combinations.

Every time you hit the spin button or pull the lever, the random number generator is triggered, and one of the 100,000 possibilities is chosen and the result is displayed on the screen.

Each time the random number generator is triggered, each possibility has the same chance to come up. This means that the odds that any single outcome is produced on each spin are exactly the same.

If the top payout was hit on the last spin, it has the exact same numerical possibility of being hit on the next spin as it does on any other spin.

Slot machines are never due for anything. It doesn’t matter if a machine has paid out 10 straight spins or has not paid out for 10 straight spins. The odds are always the same.

2. Track the Roulette Numbers to Find a Pattern

This is almost the same thing as thinking that a slot machine is due. The main difference is that roulette only has 37 or 38 possible outcomes instead of thousands.

European and French roulette wheels have 37 spaces, and American wheels have 38. Each time the wheel spins and the ball is dropped, each number on the wheel has an equal chance to land.

This means that on every spin, each number has a one-in-37 or one-in-38 chance of coming up. The odds of a number coming up are the exact same on every spin. Nothing that happened in the past changes this fact.

Many years ago, when casinos didn’t take such great measures to make sure their roulette wheels weren’t biased, you could occasionally find a wheel that had a group of numbers that came up at a higher rate than others. But casinos use precision wheels and test them often to make sure this doesn’t happen today.

On a balanced wheel, each number will come up the same number of times over millions of spins. But anything can happen in the short term. If the wheel has landed on a black number the last six spins, the odds of it landing on black or red on the next spin is the exact same as any other time.

The human mind attempts to find patterns, and it’s often easy to assign a pattern to roulette results. But all roulette results are random and based on the odds and percentages that are built into the game.

3. Don’t Worry About Using Strategy While Playing Blackjack or Video Poker

Some casino games, like slots and keno, produce the same long-term outcomes no matter what you do. But casino games like blackjack and video poker are designed so that what you do on each hand alters the long-term results.

The ability to alter the long-term results is usually called strategy. Even simple games like baccarat have a correct strategy.

Every video poker game has a specific way to play- a strategy-which keeps the house edge as low as possible. Any time you make a play on a hand without using the best strategy, it costs you money in the long run.

Blackjack has a basic strategy that has been computer generated to produce the best possible results in the long run, based on the house rules. You can use strategy charts or cards for both blackjack and video poker games to play in the best way possible.

In baccarat, the strategy is much simpler. The best bet is to bet on the banker, so you should never bet on the player or the tie.

The best craps strategy is to bet on the “don’t pass line” and take full odds. This produces the lowest house edge.

Roulette falls into the same category as slots and keno. All of the bets, with the exception of the basket bet on an American roulette wheel, have the exact same odds. This produces the same house edge. The only strategy you can employ to reduce the house edge on roulette is to find a French wheel and make even money bets.

The point is that if you play games where strategy alters the house edge, you should always employ the best possible strategy. If you don’t, you might as well be playing slots.

4. This Roulette System Is Guaranteed to Win

I’ve seen dozens of systems for roulette and other gambling games offered over the years. Most of them use a great deal of fuzzy math and over-the-top claims to convince you that if you buy the system, you’re going to win a ton of money.

Every time I see a new system advertised, I think that if it’s so great, they wouldn’t be selling it. They would be winning with it and keeping it a secret from everyone else.

The problem with systems for games that have a built-in house edge is that nothing you do can change the edge over time. This isn’t the same as using strategy to reduce the house edge.

Most systems use some form of the martingale system. The martingale system starts with a small bet on a close-to-even-money-return and doubles the bet after every loss. If you eventually win, you win back all the money you previously lost and are left with a win equal to your first bet.

On the surface, this seems like a good system. But the problem is that you eventually hit a streak where you either run out of money before you win, or reach the maximum bet limits offered by the casino.

A few casino games can be beaten by using specific strategies, but these are based on the math that runs the game. You can learn how to count cards and alter your bet sizes to beat blackjack, and you can use strategy to become a long-term winner when playing poker. But these aren’t betting systems; they’re strategies.

Any time you see a system for roulette or any other casino game for sale, do yourself a favor and save you money. You can’t use a system to win at the casino.

5. You Can Beat Online Blackjack by Counting Cards

Card counting in blackjack is based on the remaining cards in the deck or shoe. When the remaining cards have more low cards than high cards, it increases the house edge. But when the remaining cards have more high cards than low cards, it lowers the house edge.

When the ratio of high-to-low cards reaches a certain point, the edge swings to your favor. If you raise your bets high enough when you have a small edge, you can get a long-term edge.

This is all based on a set of cards that have been removed and the ones that remain. But when you play online blackjack, the software shuffles the cards after each deal so you play with a fresh deck or shoe on each new hand.

This is why you can’t beat online blackjack by counting cards.

6. Hedge Your Bets

The term “hedging your bets” means making two or more bets in the hope of reducing your risk. The idea comes from the financial trading world, where it has some practical applications.

In some financial trading, after your first investment, you can make a second investment that locks in a profit or limits your losses.

The problem is that it doesn’t work on casino games. Casino games have odds and a house edge based on the rules and the way the game is designed. It doesn’t matter how many different bets you make on the roulette wheel; the house edge is the same.

The closest thing to an opportunity to hedge your bets that you can find while gambling is in sports betting. But it’s not something the average sports bettor should try to use.

Here’s an example:

If you place a parlay bet on two games and win the first game, you can take a separate bet that is the opposite of the bet on the parlay on the second game. So if you win the first game, and you bet on Washington over Philadelphia in the second game of the parlay, you take a second bet on Philadelphia on the second game.

This doesn’t lock in a profit, but it does limit your losses.

7. Try to Trick the Dealer to Get Bigger Payouts

I’ve read many stories and pages of advice that tell you to try to trick dealers and casinos into paying you out more than you should win. These range from placing bets with stacks of chips of different denominations, to trying to sneak an extra chip onto a bet after you win, or removing a chip after a loss.

The bottom line is that all of these suggestions are cheating. I’m not here to pass judgment on anyone. But you shouldn’t cheat at the casino.

Cheating is against the law, and in many gambling jurisdictions, when you get caught, you’re going to jail.

Cheating is different than using your mind to find an edge. When you count cards in blackjack, you’re not cheating. This is why counting cards by using your mind isn’t illegal. The casinos don’t have to let you play, but they won’t put you in jail for counting. They will just kick you out.

8. Never Bet on the “Don’t Pass Line” in Craps

Craps players often like to root for each other, so most of them bet on the pass line. When a player bets on the “don’t pass line,” they win when everyone else loses. This is often called “betting on the dark side.”

The problem with this is that the “don’t pass line” bet offers a slightly lower house edge than the pass line bet. It’s not a large difference in the house edge, but it is a difference.

If you want to be friendly and get along with the other players, feel free to bet on the pass line, but if you’re interested in making the best bet, you need to bet on the “don’t pass line.”

It’s not really anyone’s business how you bet your money, so you should play any way you want. Just be prepared for some whining from other players if you make “don’t pass line” bets.

9. Gambling Is All Luck

I understand why many players believe that gambling is all luck. But the truth is that gambling has nothing to do with luck.

Every game in the casino is designed with specific mathematical equations that eliminate luck. Every game has a house edge based on the rules. Some games have an edge that changes based on how you play, but it’s still an edge based on the math behind the game.

In the short term, many things happen that make it look like luck, but in the long run, the house edge always works out.

Casinos understand how the math works, and know how much they’ll win if they take enough bets over time at a certain house edge. They make sure that the players aren’t cheating and that the devices used in the game aren’t altered so that the house edge always wins out in the end.

All they have to do is have enough money in reserve to ride out all of the short-term variations.

This article has covered a great deal about the house edge and how you can use strategy to lower it on some games. The more you learn about how the games work and how math dictates the results, the easier it is to understand that nothing in the casino is based on luck.

When a player believes that gambling is all luck, they give themselves permission to ignore the facts and just play. If you want to just gamble for fun from time to time, you can believe in luck. But if you want to gamble with the lowest house edge possible, you need to forget about luck and deal only with facts.

Conclusion

Bad gambling advice can cost you money. In this list of the worst gambling advice I’ve ever heard, I’ve shown you why the advice was wrong.

Use this list to help you avoid accepting costly advice and to help you figure out how to gamble with the lowest house edge possible. This gives you the best chance to win and helps you play longer on the same amount of money.

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