This section of our casino guide is aimed at complete beginners. We’ll help you get started if you have never played in a casino before, and we’ll try to make sure you enjoy yourself every step of the way. Even if you’re already familiar with how to play casino games, you’ll still probably find some of this information useful.
For starters, we’ve got a selection of articles covering the basics of casino gambling. These provide detailed information on topics such as the house edge and the different variations of specific games. We also provide advice on how to improve your chances of winning, along with a useful glossary of terms. You can find links to each of these articles below, with a brief description of each one.
Further down this page, you’ll find some important information you should know before getting started, along with a list of the dos and don’ts of casino gambling. There’s information on playing at online casinos, too, including details on a variety of popular games. And if you’re looking to play at an online casino right now we have also listed our top recommendations immediately below.
Playing in a casino for the first time, whether live or online, can be a little overwhelming. There are so many games to choose from, so many different ways to bet, and so many other things to consider that it can almost seem overbearing.
You’ll discover that it’s not actually that difficult to get started. In general, the rules of the games are fairly easy to learn, and playing the games will come more naturally to you once you’ve played through them a few times. You can have a lot of fun, and you may even get lucky and win some money.
However, you shouldn’t start gambling in a casino before you understand exactly what’s involved. Let’s take a look at some key information you really need to know.
Casino Games Are Games of Chance
Casino games are considered games of chance because their outcomes are determined by random events. These events can be the turn of a card, the spin of a roulette wheel, or the roll of the dice. These are all things you have no control over, so essentially you have no control over whether you win or lose. You can influence your chances of winning in certain games, but the results are still ultimately unpredictable.
It’s very important that you recognize this fact because it’s the key aspect that makes casino games one of the riskier forms of gambling. Winning or losing mostly comes down to luck, and if luck isn’t on your side, then you are going to lose.
The House Always Wins
The casinos don’t need luck to win. They have a mathematical advantage in each and every game they offer, and this advantage will always put the odds against you as a player. Although the casino doesn’t win each and every bet, the mathematical advantage they have ensures that they will make a profit in the long run. It simply comes down to the laws of probability.
This fact is another reason why playing casino games is so risky. With the possible exception of counting cards in blackjack, which is hard to do, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to put the odds in your favor. The house is always going to have the advantage.
It’s Not Impossible to Win
Despite the fact that the house always wins, it wouldn’t be fair to say that you are guaranteed to lose every single time you play, either. You are always more likely to lose than you are to win, but you must keep in mind that casino games are games of chance and therefore have unpredictable outcomes. Although this works against you, as you can’t control the results of the game, it’s also what makes it possible to win.
Because the outcome of a casino game is unpredictable, results will sometimes favor you over the house. The house may have the mathematical advantage, but as we already mentioned, this doesn’t mean they win every single bet. Their advantage is really only effective in the long term.
If you played a million hands of blackjack, then you would almost certainly lose more than half of them and end up losing money overall. If you played just a hundred hands, however, it’s perfectly possible that you could win significantly more than half of them and end up with a decent profit. This basic principle can be applied to every casino game.
This is essentially where the luck element of casino games plays its part. With a little luck and good fortune in the short term, there’s no reason why you can’t have a winning session at a casino.
Luck Is Not the Only Factor
Luck is definitely the biggest factor in determining whether you win or lose each time you play a game at the casino, but it’s not the only factor. There may be nothing you can do to overcome the house advantage, but there are a couple of things you can do to minimize the size of that advantage.
In certain games, the house only has a small house edge, so you could simply stick to playing those games. There are also games where you can directly affect the size of the advantage by playing the mathematically correct way. If you learn the right strategies for games such as blackjack, you can keep the house advantage to a minimum.
We want you to be aware of the above points, as we believe it’s important to know what casino gambling is all about before spending your money on it. It can be a lot of fun, but it’s vital that you understand the risks involved. You can lose money by playing casino games, and you probably will.
Losing money doesn’t have to be a problem, of course, as long as it’s money that you can afford to lose. Please bear in mind, though, that it’s possible to get carried away in a casino. The majority of players are able to enjoy themselves without any problem, but you need to recognize the fact that casino games can become addicting.
The best way to approach playing casino games is ultimately to view them as a form of entertainment with an associated cost. How much they cost is up to you to decide. If you responsibly manage your money, then you can definitely benefit from the excitement and enjoyment that these games have to offer.
Casino gambling isn’t for everyone, though, and we would never encourage you to start unless you are sure it’s something you want to try. You’ll need to come to that conclusion on your own. The only advice we can give is to make sure that you are fully aware of the pros and cons of casino gambling before making any final decisions. We’ve summarized these for you below.
Pros of Casino Gambling
It can be a very enjoyable form of entertainment
You don’t have to spend much money to have fun
It is possible to win money with a bit of luck
The rules of most games are easy to learn
Cons of Casino Gambling
The house has a mathematical advantage
You need luck on your side to win
There isn’t much skill involved
It is possible to become addicted
Dos and Don’ts of Casino Gambling
If you do decide that casino gambling is for you, then there are a few rules you should try to follow. We have set out what we believe to be the most important of these rules below, in the form of a list of dos and don’ts. We strongly recommend that you take the necessary time to read through these and do your best to abide by them once you start playing.
Limit Your Losses
This is a golden rule of casino gambling, or any form of gambling, for that matter. You should have a fixed amount of money you are prepared to lose, and limit yourself to only losing that amount. You should also make sure that you only ever risk money that you can afford to lose, and never borrowing money to play with is a good way to ensure this.
Do Know the Rules
The rules of most casino games are generally incredibly simple or fairly straightforward, but there are a few games that have somewhat more complicated guidelines to follow. Regardless of whether the rules are simple or not, though, it’s very important that you fully understand them before playing any game. It’s hard enough to win casino games to begin with, and it becomes even more difficult when you don’t understand how to properly play them.
Do Learn Some Strategy
Most casino games are primarily based on luck, but there are a few games that involve some strategy, too. It’s a good idea to learn the best strategies to use where relevant, as this can help you minimize the house advantage. Strategy in casino games is usually as simple as remembering which decisions to make in certain situations, so it’s fairly easy to learn.
Do Assume You’re Going to Lose
We strongly recommend that you assume you’re going to lose every time you play in the casino. There’s nothing wrong with hoping to win, of course, but you shouldn’t expect to. Losing is always the most likely outcome, so it helps to be prepared for it. You’ll be less likely to get upset when you do lose if you take this approach, and when you win, it will be a welcome surprise.
Do Quit When You’re Ahead
When you’re winning in a casino, it can be very tempting to continue riding your lucky streak. There’s always a possibility that your luck will turn around at some point, and you must be careful not to give back everything you’ve won. You’ll never know the perfect time to stop, but you need to make sure that you quit at a point when you’re still ahead. This is the only way you’ll ever have a winning session in a casino.
Don’t Chase Your Losses
This is another golden rule that applies to any form of gambling. There are going to be times when you are losing money in the casino, and you should never try increasing your stakes in order to recover the money you’ve lost. Chasing your losses will result in even greater losses more often than not, and it can result in you spending more money than you should. Just accept that luck isn’t on your side, stick to your budget, and try again another time.
Don’t Drink Too Much
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a drink or two while at the casino, but it’s important that you don’t drink too much. Drinking will affect your judgment, and you really don’t want to start being reckless when playing casino games. A drunken gambler is rarely a successful gambler, so make sure you stay sober enough that you can focus on what you’re doing.
Don’t Rely on Betting Systems
No matter what anyone tries to tell you, there’s no betting system that will help you beat the casino. The house advantage will always be there, regardless of anything you do. Some betting systems can be quite enjoyable if you use them sensibly, but you need to recognize that they won’t actually improve your overall chances of winning. Systems such as the Martingale system, where you double your stakes every time you lose, have been tried by many gamblers without success. These systems can be very dangerous and can cause you to lose a lot of money very quickly.
Don’t Be Rude to the Dealers
This isn’t something you have to worry about when playing online, but it’s an important rule when playing in a live venue. There’s absolutely no excuse for being rude to a dealer just because you’re losing money, or for any reason at all, for that matter. It’s unacceptable behavior, and it could even lead to you being thrown out of the casino. Dealers are just there to do a job, and they have no control over whether you win or lose. You don’t have to tip them if you don’t want to, but it is respectful to do so.
Don’t Miss Out on Extra Value
Because casinos have a mathematical advantage, it’s in their best interest to encourage people to play. They usually do this by giving out incentives or rewarding players in some way. In a live casino, for example, they may give you “comps” such as a free meal or a free hotel room based on how often you play. At an online casino, you may be offered free chips for making a deposit. Whether you are playing live or online, you should always see what extra value you may be entitled to and try to take advantage of it.
We can’t promise that any of these rules will help you win money, but we are confident that you’ll have a better overall experience in the casino if you follow them.
Casino Game Rules and Information
We mentioned earlier how important it is to know the rules of any casino game before you start playing, and we have just what you need to help you with that. Our casino game guide features the rules and other vital information on a wide selection of popular casino games. There’s even some strategy advice where relevant, too.
Most of the information and advice provided on this page, and in other articles in this section, is related to casino gambling in general. If you’re looking for help with playing casino games online, then we have you covered in that area as well.
In our “Introduction to Online Casinos” section, you’ll find plenty of information and advice for using online casinos, including articles on each of the following topics.
That’s not all we have to offer you, either. We have also ranked the top online casinos in a variety of different categories to make it as easy as possible for you to find the right casino. We’ve written reviews on all of our recommended casinos, too, so that you can find out exactly what each one has to offer before deciding where to join.