Five clever casino hacks that will help you to win more and lose less

The house always wins is an adage as old as casino gambling itself.

From the moment gambling was formalized as an industry, smart people on the other side of the fence had come to realize that the casino is the only winner at the end of the day.

As the saying goes – those vast entertainment behemoths were not built on winners.

However, people have also spent inordinate amounts of time trying to figure out how to turn the tables around or at least minimize the house advantage.

Some have resorted to cheating, which may be a sure way to win, but is also a pretty sure way to end up in a prison cell.

Others came up with a number of casino hacks that are actually perfectly legal and you can use them every time you visit a land based casino without any fear or repercussions.

You might get a few awkward glances here and there and some of these techniques aren’t welcomed by the casinos, but there is nothing illegal about them.

Counting cards at blackjack

The most famous and one of the most effective casino hacks there are, card counting is a technique that most casinos disapprove of.

Blackjack is a game where you can card count to get an edge on the house. But you need to be good at it, and somehow stay within house rules.
Blackjack is a game where you can card count to get an edge on the house. But you need to be good at it, and somehow stay within house rules.

The reason for the disapproval is no mystery – a good card counter can actually sit down and play blackjack expecting to win money in the long run. The house edge disappears and the player becomes the one with the edge.

While it may be frowned upon by the casinos, counting card isn’t illegal and you can’t be criminally prosecuted for it.

Legendary MIT Team card counter Mike Aponte explains his system.

Casinos may ask you to leave their premises, as they are privately-owned institutions, but they’ll have to pay any money you’d won up to that point first.

Of course, of all casino hacks, this one is the hardest one to implement as card counting skills take months and even years to learn and truly master.

Plus, nowadays, many casinos have good anti-counting measures as they change the shoe often enough that tracking cards becomes useless. Not all of them, however.

However, one sure way to improve your blackjack odds is play tables that pay 3 to 2, rather than 6 to 5. That increases your returns per bet.

Look for jackpots that are about to hit

Some land-based casinos have slots with progressive jackpots that are guaranteed to hit by a certain number. For example, there could be a machine with a progressive jackpot guaranteed to hit before $10,000.

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Of all the slots, look for ones that look near a jackpot payout

Since the current jackpot amount is usually on the display for everyone to see, it makes sense to get in on the action when the jackpot stands at, say $9,500.

Of course, there is no guarantee that you will win, but this significantly increases your chances as the window for the jackpot to land has become very small.

Know your comps

One thing that many casual players don’t pay attention to are comps and promos offered by the casino. However, this is one of the most important casino hacks you’ll want to utilize to the fullest.

Casinos offer things like free drinks and snacks and other perks in order to keep you playing. Take them, but stick to your budget. Picture: ThinkStock.
Casinos offer things like free drinks and snacks and other perks in order to keep you playing. Take them, but stick to your budget. Picture: ThinkStock.

Basically, take everything that’s there for the taking – be it free drinks, promo play coupons, prize draws, or anything else.

This can significantly offset your losses and extend your fun and can be particularly welcome if you’re a low to mid-stakes player.

Avoid games you don’t know

Casinos are notorious for introducing new table games and slot machines all the time. And when there is a new game in town, you’ll know it – because casino will make sure you know it.

However, if it is a game you know nothing about, you should avoid it at least until you learn the basic rules and find out the crucial facts about the RTP and similar. Playing a new game can be entertaining and exciting, but it can also be a sure way to set a lot of money on fire.

Stick to your gambling limits

The biggest casino hack of them all – and the one most people struggle with – is setting your gambling limits and actually sticking to them. You should always know how much you’re willing to spend on a particular casino visit and have at least an idea when you’ll stop if you happen to win.

Playing a casino should be about fun - so stick to your limits. Picture: Thinkstock.
Playing a casino should be about fun – so stick to your limits. Picture: Thinkstock.

Without these limits, you’ll end up losing money on most of your casino visits because the house always does win eventually if you give it enough chances.

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