Simple Tips to Help You Start Strong at the Casino

By in Casino & Gaming on
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The first 10 minutes of a trip to the casino is arguably the most critical period. Those 10 minutes can set the tone for the rest of your stay and have a significant influence on your chances of success.

In that time frame, most gamblers will make several key decisions. Those include the amount of money you plan to spend, the game you’ll play, and whether or not to make a pit stop at the bar.

With that being said, it’s always possible to change the course of a trip, as nothing is truly finite until you cash in your chips. No matter how poorly you fare, there’s normally a way to bounce back—unless you blow through your entire bankroll, of course.

On the other end of the spectrum, getting off to a strong start can often be a good sign of things to come. Watching your chip count increase will boost confidence in your gambling abilities.

To make sure you’re ready to make the best decisions possible, here are seven simple tips to help you get off to a fast start at the casino.

Pick a Casino You Enjoy

Gambling at a casino you despise is a miserable experience. For many casual gamblers, a trip to the casino is something to look forward to and thoroughly enjoy. If you find it impossible to settle in and appreciate the experience, then there’s no reason to gamble.

The odds of winning money aren’t typically in your favor. Losing money at a casino you hate is almost as devastating as walking outside and setting all the cash in your wallet on fire—at least that would be somewhat entertaining.

The process of picking a casino you enjoy can be more challenging than it sounds. Some of us don’t have many to choose from, so you might be stuck playing at a decrepit gambling establishment.

If you are lucky enough to have options, it’s worth spending some time researching them. Consulting customer reviews and even reaching out to fellow gamblers can assist in the decision-making process.

It’s important to enjoy yourself when you gamble, so do everything within your power to make that a reality.

Set a Bankroll You Can Afford to Lose

Before you do anything else, it’s crucial to take some time and set a gambling budget, or bankroll.

There isn’t a correct amount of money to set aside for your bankroll; the decision comes down to you and you alone. That budget should come from any surplus in your entertainment expenses and shouldn’t cause unease.

Gambling with money that you depend on to maintain your livelihood is narrow-minded and immature. Doing so can put you in financial peril and result in serious problems.

If you’re new to gambling and have yet to set a bankroll, there are a few things to consider:

  • A bankroll is completely subjective.
  • There isn’t a minimum or maximum amount.
  • Setting a bankroll that you’re comfortable with is a sign of a mature gambler.
  • There are several cost-effective games and other types of entertainment at many casinos.
  • You shouldn’t feel any shame about the size of your bankroll.

Once your bankroll is set, and you’re content with its size, you will be able to gamble without having to worry about your finances. If you run into misfortune and lose your bankroll, don’t try to win your money back.

Hold Off on Drinks

A polarizing issue in some parts of the gambling world is alcohol’s place in the playing experience.

Some believe that casinos are a source of entertainment, and alcohol serves to improve trips. Others argue that gamblers should try to play to the best of their abilities, and drinking limits your mental capability.

Neither school of thought is technically incorrect. Choosing to drink or not comes should come down to a couple of factors.

It’s important to understand what your goals are when gambling. If it’s purely a means to entertain, then there’s no harm partaking in a few complimentary beverages. But if you want to take gambling seriously and hope to walk away a winner, the issue becomes more complicated.

Over the years, I’ve encountered all kinds of gamblers who handle alcohol in different ways. Some incredibly talented and savvy card players can drink a few beers without it impacting results. Others aren’t so lucky.

When in doubt, consider deferring drinks until you’ve settled into whatever game you’re playing. That way, you’ll be at your sharpest and hopefully, you’ll start off by building up your bankroll.

Start With a Game You Know You Can Win

Most seasoned gamblers have their casino games of choice. When they walk into their gambling spot of choice, they know which game they want to play and how much they’re willing to bet per hand.

Typically, that’s a result of familiarity gained over years of playing. People gravitate toward the games they enjoy and have achieved success in the past.

Similar to the question about drinking, the choice of where gamblers choose to spend their time is a polarizing issue. Once again, that decision comes down to personal preference. However, it’s worth starting with the games you know best.

Reassess After Significant Swings

It’s not uncommon to quickly lose or win a significant percentage of your bankroll when gambling at casinos.

For Example:

Let’s say your bankroll is $100 and you’re playing real money blackjack for $5 a hand. If you lose five hands in a row, which isn’t outside the realm of possibility, then 25% of your bankroll is gone.

Losses like these occur far too frequently, but knowing how to respond to big swings is a vital skill to master. The best response to these types of situations is lowering your betting amount, if possible, or pushing back from the table.

Nobody will fault a gambler for taking a few hands off to adjust expectations or develop a different strategy. Most of the time, these swings are a product of bad luck. But sometimes, it might be due to a lapse in judgment or misplaying a certain game.

As I said earlier, your first few minutes at a table can set the tone for the rest of the outing. If your chip count takes a big hit early, don’t hesitate to call an audible and reassess.

Don’t Be Fooled by Early Success

Of all the possible early outcomes, it’s always reassuring to stack up early wins. Knowing your plan, executing it, and watching your chip stack grow is gratifying.

But at the same time, it’s a challenge for many to maintain a steady pace and stick to a consistent betting amount. If you’ve ever been on a heater, you know how amazing it is to feel like you can’t lose.

At that point, you might find yourself gaining confidence at the table and playing with more bravado. If, for some reason, that confidence grows into cockiness, then things can go downhill at an alarming rate.

Most winning streaks are due to luck, not the skills you think you possess. Obviously, it helps to be a skilled gambler, but anyone familiar with casino games knows how important it is to be lucky. Because of that, it’s always important to remember that every single winning streak comes to an end. Past success shouldn’t affect the way you approach future hands.

Increasing your bet might feel like a natural response to winning. But the money you win during a heater can vanish just as fast as it appeared.


Getting off to a fast start at the casino can significantly impact your rate of success the rest of the way. While it’s always possible to change your fortune, early wins can instill some much-needed confidence in gamblers.

Most people approach the first few minutes inside a casino different, but there are a few things you should focus on. Above everything else, it’s important to make sure you enjoy the place you choose to gamble. If you’re not having a pleasant experience, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to gamble effectively.

Once you’ve settled on a destination, the responsible thing to do is set a budget. Gambling with a bankroll you’re comfortable with will set you up for success and allow you to feel comfortable at the tables.

While People Might Disagree About Mixing Drinking and Gambling, the Choice Comes Down to You

But if that decision gives you pause, consider getting settled into playing before you start drinking. Picking a game to start should be an easy decision for anyone who has gambled in the past. Go with those that you enjoy and know you can win.

If you run into early losses and your bankroll decreases by a significant amount, try to stop the bleeding. It’s always possible to recover, especially if you notice the losses are within your control. Finally, if you’re lucky enough to experience an early heater, don’t let that influence your future decisions.

There’s nothing better than watching your chip count increase rapidly. On the other hand, nothing is more devastating than suffering losses after drastically increasing your bet size.

Michael Stevens

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 since early 2016. ...

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