If you’re not careful the first time you gamble you can lose too much money. But if you follow the right steps you can have a great time, stay within budget, and have a chance to walk away with some money.
I’ve put together a list of 11 super easy tips for every first time gambler. If you’re getting ready for your first gambling experience, this list is going to help you. If you’re an experienced gambler and know someone who’s getting ready to start gambling, send them a link to this page.
1 – Short Time Limit
The most important thing you can do as a first time gambler is set a short time limit for your first session. Most gamblers don’t have a time limit, so they just play until they run out of money or get too tired to keep gambling.
This is exactly what the casinos want you to do. They want you to play until you run out of money. Instead of doing what the casinos want you to do, set a strict time limit and stick with it.
For your first gambling session, set a time limit of 15 minutes. Then get up and walk around and evaluate your experience to this point. This doesn’t mean you have to stop gambling, but it does keep you from gambling more than you want to.
If you decide to gamble some more, use a 15 minute time limit again. Stop playing every 15 minutes to evaluate how much you’ve lost and if you want to keep playing.
2 – Small Budget
I have a budget every time I gamble, and I’ve been gambling for around 40 years. You need to have a budget when you gamble, and you need to be disciplined enough to stop when you run out of money.
You’re not always going to run out of money. In fact, depending on what games you play and how good you play them, you might win money sometimes when you gamble.
But as a first time gambler you need to start with a small budget to make sure you don’t lose too much. I recommend starting with $50 or $100. You can play whatever you want, but if you lose your starting budget you stop playing for the day. You can adjust your budget before you gamble again, but stick with a small budget for your first session.
3 – Always Use Minimum Bets
Whether you gamble online or in a land based casino, the fact is that almost everything you do is designed to take your money. This means that the more you bet, the more you’re going to lose. So you should always make the minimum possible bet when you gamble.
Most online casinos offer small bets, with some offering $1 minimum bets. Land based casinos have larger minimum bets, but you can still find tables that take $5 and $10 bets in most casinos.
You can also find slot machines and video poker machines that take quarters in most casinos and even lower amounts online.
Another option is to find a tournament with a low entry fee. That way you can gamble for a set fee and not worry about going over your budget.
4 – Enjoy the Experience, Not Just the Gambling
Gambling can be fun and exciting. But you should try to enjoy your entire experience, and not just the gambling. I used to go to the dog track to bet on dogs, and had as much fun watching the races as I did betting on them. At the time I was only betting $10 a race or less, but it was still a great time.
If this is your first trip to a casino, take some time to walk around and see what you can find. Watch the other gamblers for a while. Learn how to have fun in a casino even when you’re not gambling. This will make your trip better and save you money.
5 – Consider a Small Sports Wager
This is one of the best ways to make a bet and enjoy it for several hours. Make a small bet on a sporting event and then watch the game. You can bet with a sportsbook or with someone you know.
Online sportsbooks often take bets as low as $1, and most land based sportsbooks will take $10 or $20 bets. Even at $20, watching a game usually takes two or three hours. This is a cheap form of entertainment, and you have a chance to win, so you make money being entertained.
6 – Play Mini Baccarat
Mini baccarat is a good game for first time gamblers because it’s so easy to play and it has a low house edge. A low house edge means that you have a decent chance to win a short playing session. And that you won’t lose too much in comparison to playing games with a higher edge.
When you play mini baccarat you just make a table minimum wager on the banker hand. The dealer deals the cards to see who wins. That’s all there is to it. Then you make the same bet again. You don’t even have to know how the game is played, because you don’t do anything except bet.
When you bet on the banker you pay a small commission on winning bets. The dealer takes care of this, usually when you stop playing. So you don’t have to worry about this either.
7 – Use a Blackjack Strategy Card
Pick up a strategy card for blackjack in a casino gift shop before you play. A strategy card shows the best way to play each hand, and you can use it at the table.
Follow these three rules and you can have a good time playing blackjack:
Always use your strategy card.
Make the table minimum bet on every hand.
Never take insurance.
Always play on tables that pay 3 to 2 for a blackjack.
8 – Use a Jacks or Better Strategy Card
You can also pick up a strategy card to play Jacks or Better video poker. Look for a machine that has a pay table that pays six coins for a flush and nine coins for a full house.
When you play on a machine with this pay table, bet the five coin level, and use a strategy card you’re playing with a low house edge. And you control how fast or slow you play, so you can stretch your bankroll out by playing slow.
9 – Play Keno, But Not Video Keno
Keno has a high house edge, but you can usually play for $1 or $5, and it’s a slow game. Ask a casino employee if they have keno, and then pick your numbers.
But you want to avoid playing video keno if the casino doesn’t have regular keno. Video keno plays too fast and with a high house edge you can lose too much too fast.
10 – Play Craps, But Only Use Two Bets
Another casino game that’s easy to play is craps. It doesn’t look easy, but you only want to make two bets.
Bet on the pass line on a come out roll, and then make an odds bet when the point is set. If you don’t know how to play, simply tell the dealer when you join the table that this is your first time and you want to make a pass line bet when it’s available.
The dealer will be glad to help you. Then tell the dealer that you want to make an odds bet after the come out roll. This is all you have to do. Just remember to stick with the table minimum bet.
11 – Take a Book
If you’re traveling far to the casino, it’s a good idea to take a book or something to do in case you run out of money. It’s also good to take a break from time to time when you’re gambling, and a book is free to read.
Some gamblers take a break to check their email or something on their phone. It doesn’t matter what you take with you, as long as you have something to keep you busy when you’re not gambling.
The first three tips on this list are going to help you avoid losing too much money on your first gambling outing. When you set a short time limit, use a strict budget, and use the smallest bets possible you can gamble longer and keep from going broke.
The other tips on this list of 11 things first time gamblers should know are going to help you in other ways. Even if you’re not a beginning gambler, there are some tips that can help you. And this is a good list to send to any beginning gamblers you know.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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