How Not To Be A Sucker In The Casino

Casino magnate Steve Wynn once quipped that he is in the business of selling dreams.  Destinations like Las Vegas count on removing you from your humdrum reality and immerse you in an environment supporting the belief that anything can happen — including a record setting run at the craps table or hitting that mega jackpot.  Each facet of your experience upon entering a casino is carefully controlled by expert psychiatrists and marketers — all with the aim of more easily prying you away from your hard earned money.

Game Selection

The first decision when gambling is the selection of which game to play.  Some games have such terrible odds that you might as well just mail the casino a check and save yourself the trouble of making the trip.  These include the “big wheel”, most forms of Caribbean Stud, and Keno.  Within some otherwise more beatable games, such as craps, there are bets which entail horrible odds.  An example would be the “hard way” bets on the craps table.


The best odds to be found in most casinos are the pass or don’t pass wagers (using full odds) on craps, and blackjack played with correct basic strategy.  These wagers give the player at least a fighting chance.  Options where you don’t bet against the house — such as poker — can help to reduce the chances of losing money.  However, do not underestimate the competition at major casino poker rooms.

Don’t Chase Comps

Many gamblers make the mistake of stepping up their wagering amounts in the pursuit of higher comps.  On this topic, Steve Wynn once aptly said that he will give you a free room for the night — you just have to pay for the hotel.  Many gamblers chasing higher comps end up enjoying “free” breakfast buffets which actually cost them $455 per sausage link.  Pick your limits and stay within them — whatever the casino doesn’t pick up you can pay for directly.  This often proves far less painful than increasing your average bet in a misguided attempt to get that proverbial free lunch.

Gambling can be a fun and exciting diversion.  However, smart players go in knowing that the deck is stacked against them, and they play shrewdly enabling their fun to come at the lowest cost possible.



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