Top Tips for Casino Beginners
If you're new to playing casino games then you probably feel like you have a lot to learn. With so many different games to play, each with their own set of rules and betting options, you could be forgiven for being a little overwhelmed. That's before even starting to think about the strategy involved, how much to spend, and where to play.
The fact is that there is a lot to learn about casino games, especially if you want to have the best possible experience and the best possible chance of winning when playing them. However, you really don't need to know that much at all to get started and have some fun. Most of the games are very straightforward, and it's perfectly possible to win some money even as a beginner. These are two of the main reasons why gambling in the casino is such a popular activity for so many people around the world.
Attempting to learn everything there is to know about casino gambling before actually trying out the games will take half of the fun out of it anyway. It's perfectly fine to learn more about things as you go along. Providing you're aware of the risks involved, and comfortable with them, you should just jump straight in and get started. That's our view anyway.
There are, however, a few pieces of advice that you should definitely try to follow from the moment you start playing. We've listed these below, and they constitute our top tips for casino beginners. They're not guaranteed to win you money, but they'll improve your overall chances of winning and they'll ensure you have a good time.
If you have never played any casino games before then the best place to start is probably online. That's our opinion for sure, as it's just so much easier and far less daunting. Taking a trip to a casino can be a very nerve-wracking experience as a beginner, but joining an online casino and learning how to play from the comfort of your own home is nothing to be worried about at all.
It doesn't take long to sign up with an online casino, and you can use the step by step guide we've provided if you want some help with what to do. Most places are very user friendly and easy to use, with customer support on hand if you need assistance. The majority of online casinos also allow you to play their games for free, which means you can familiarize yourself with how to play without having to risk a penny. You quite literally have nothing to lose.
The hardest part of getting started online is probably deciding where to play. There are hundreds of online casinos in operation, and picking the right one to join is hard. You needn't worry though, as we can help with this. We recommend the best online casinos in a variety of different categories, making it easy to find somewhere safe and enjoyable to play.
Learn The Rules
This is an obvious tip, but one that we've chosen to mention anyway because it is very important. If you don't take a little bit of time to fully understand the rules of any game you're playing then you're making a big mistake. It's hard enough to win money in the casino without making silly mistakes due to not knowing the rules. Why throw money away?
Most casino games are very simple anyway, so it doesn't even take long to learn how to play them. Online casinos generally publish the rules of all the games they have to offer on their sites, and if you're playing in a land based venue then you can usually find a dealer willing to teach you the basics of a game. Dealers will typically help out if you find yourself in a position where you don't know what to do, so don't ever be afraid to ask.
You can learn the rules to all of the popular casino games on this website. Our guide to casino games is an excellent resource for beginners, explaining everything you need to know in a very easy to understand way.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget for gambling in the casino is a golden rule whether you're a complete beginner or an experienced player. There's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to spend money in a casino if that's what you want to do, but you simply must make sure that you only ever spend an amount you are comfortable with. You should set a budget, and stick to it, every single time you play.
Understand the House Edge
You've probably heard the expression "the house always wins" in relation to casino gambling. It's a slightly misleading expression actually, as it gives the impression that it's impossible to win in the casino. This is not true, as its entirely possible for players to have winning sessions in the casinos. The house doesn't win every single time, although it is the casinos that always end up in profit over time.
The reason for this is that the odds are always slightly in their favor in every single game that they offer. There is a built in advantage for the house, and this advantage is known as the house edge. This edge, coupled with the laws of probability, ensures that the casinos are guaranteed to make an overall profit even though some players will win some of the time.
This is a rather simplified explanation of the house edge, but you can read more on the subject here. We would definitely suggest doing so at some point, as it's a subject you really should be familiar with.
What's important to understand at this stage is that the house edge cannot be beaten, and that the odds are always going to be against you in the casino. There are certain strategies that can be used to keep the effects of the house edge to a minimum, but none of them can actually put the odds in your favor. The only exception to this is if you learn to count cards when playing blackjack, and even then you're not guaranteed to win.
You should also be aware that the house edge varies from one casino game to the next. Some games have a very low house edge, while others have a very high house edge. You shouldn't feel like you can't play the high house edge games, as they can be a lot of fun, but it's worth knowing that your money will generally last longer when playing the games which have the lowest house edge.
Expect to Lose
We've just explained how the house edge means that the odds are always against you in the casino. Although this doesn't mean that you are guaranteed to lose, it does mean that losing is the most likely outcome. This is why we advise that you should always expect to lose when playing casino games.
Many gamblers find themselves thinking that their luck is about to turn and that they must be "due for a win". There is no such thing as being due for a win, and anyone that thinks otherwise is all too likely to risk money that they can't afford to lose. They won't think about the potential consequences of losing as they will have convinced themselves that they're going to win.
You can avoid falling into this trap by always expecting to lose. It's just playing a psychological trick on yourself really, but it can genuinely help you in the casino. Not only should it prevent you from taking risks that you shouldn't take, it will also lessen the disappointment when you do lose. Conversely it will make winning a more enjoyable experience, as winning will come as a pleasant surprise.
Take Advantage of Extra Value
Most casinos, land based and online, will use incentives and rewards to encourage their customers to play more. They do this because they know that their customers are ultimately more likely to lose than win, for the reasons we've outlined above. It might seem a little unethical, but it's not like they're forcing people to play. They're just giving something back to those that choose to.
Regardless of the morality involved, if you're going to play casino games then you should look to take full advantage of any incentives and rewards that are on offer. Doing so will essentially help you to get better value for you money, and can even be the difference between winning and losing money.
When playing in a land based casino, you should always sign up for a player's card. You will then earn "comps" based on how much you stake and how long you play for. These comps can be exchanged for rewards such as food and drink, accommodation, or even free chips. The basic principle is largely the same at online casinos, but there is a whole range of different bonuses and rewards on offer. It's well worth finding out about these, as they are one of the biggest benefits of playing at online casinos.
Try Different Games
One reason why casino gambling is so appealing is because of the wide variety of different games you can play. Although most players have their favorite games, they also tend to appreciate the fact that they have plenty of options if and when they feel like a change.
You will probably end up with a few favorite games once you've been playing for a while too, and you may well choose to spend most of your time playing them. As a beginner, however, we recommend that you experiment with a lot of different games. This will give you a real feel for everything on offer, and it's the best way to find out which games you enjoy the most too.
Learn The Right Strategies
We've already made it clear that the odds are against you when playing in the casino, and that the only way you're going to win is if you get lucky. You shouldn't think that all casino gambling is just about luck though, because it isn't. Some games are games of pure chance, but there are several games that involve some degree of strategy or skill too. When playing these you are actually in control of your own destiny to a degree, as your decisions will have some impact on your results.
There are also some general strategies that can be employed in the casino. These won't completely eliminate the role that luck has to play, and the insurmountable house edge will always be there, but they can have some effect on your overall chances of winning some money. We'd recommend taking a look at our casino strategy section to find out more about these.
Bank Some Winnings
Anyone who plays casino games somewhat regularly is likely to have at least a few sessions when luck is on their side and they win some money. It's a very good idea to make the most out of those situations when they happen. Good luck will always turn around at some point, and all winning streaks come to an end eventually.
We strongly advise that you bank some winnings any time you are lucky enough to win in the casino. There are few things more frustrating than actually getting ahead only to subsequently give everything back.
Stop When The Fun Stops
This is arguably the most important of all the tips on this page. Casino gambling is supposed to be fun over and above anything else, but it can easily stop being fun if you're playing for the wrong reasons, spending too much money, or getting angry when you lose. You must gamble responsibly, and you must stop if you feel like things are getting out of control.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: October 2015
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