When Is the Best Time to Gamble in a Casino?

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Casino Late Night Clock

I call tell you right now that there isn’t a luckiest time of the day to gamble in a casino. It doesn’t matter when you gamble at a casino – the casino has a mathematical edge you can’t overcome in the long run.

But you can look at other factors related to when you gamble to decide when an appropriate time to gamble in a casino is.

And that’s what I examine in this post.

When You’re Caught Up on All Your Bills

I’ve written any number of posts about casino bankroll management on this blog and elsewhere.

And the point I always try to hammer home is that even if you’re an advantage gambler, you should never bet money you need for any other purposes.

You Should Only Gamble With Money You Can Afford to Lose

This means that if you’re trying to win the money to pay the rent, you’re making a big mistake. If you’re short on the rent money, you’re a lot better off negotiating with your landlord than you are trying to win the difference at the craps table.

But you should take this even more seriously than that.

Don’t gamble unless your finances are tight. In other words, you should have appropriate amounts of insurance. You should be debt-free or at least caught up on all your payments to creditors. You should have money set aside in short-term savings for emergency situations – 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses is the general guideline. You should also have a regular savings plan for your retirement.

If you can’t check off all the boxes on that checklist, it’s the wrong time to gamble in a casino or anywhere else.

Some People Like to Gamble Early in the Morning

By early in the morning I mean after midnight – especially 2am or 3am.

Why would such a time be a better time to gamble than other times?

For one thing, the casinos are less crowded with gamblers. You might enjoy crowds, but I don’t, and a lot of other people don’t.

But your comfort with crowds isn’t the only consideration.

Most casinos in major casino destinations are still smoking areas. Fewer people in the casino mean less second-hand smoke. That’s going to matter to your health in the long run. And, let’s face it, you can’t gamble from a hospital bed while you’re dealing with a cancer treatment.

Another practical consideration that’s more of a short-term factor is the availability of the games that you want to play.

Let’s say you’re an expert real money video poker player. You’re naturally going to seek out the games with the best paytables.

But casinos understand that some paytables are better than others, too, so they make fewer of these games available.

Other savvy video poker players also want to play on those machines, so you’ll be more likely to get a seat in front of the one you want if you’re playing during the off-hours.

It’s also easier to play multiple slot machines or video poker games during these hours because there are fewer gamblers in your immediate area.

You Can Get Better Service in the Off-Hours

Casinos reduce the amount of players during off-hours by 2/3 or so. You’d think this would mean that the number of cocktail waitresses or change people would be lower, but it’s not.

Here’s why:

It’s all about ratios. The number of gamblers in the casino in the early hours drops dramatically, too. If you have 1/3 of the usual number of employees and 1/4 of the usual number of gamblers, the amount of staff per gambler has actually increased.

This means you won’t have to wait as long to get a drink. If you hit a jackpot, you’ll be able to get it paid faster. If you need to deal with the folks in the chip cage, you won’t have to wait as long.

More Unusual Reasons You Might Want to Gamble Early in the Morning

I have a friend whose eyes are sensitive to light. She wears sunglasses during the day. She much prefers doing stuff at night because it’s easier on her eyes.

She also prefers cooler temperatures. I have a great air conditioner in my truck, but she’s so sensitive to the heat that even the walk to and from the casino from the truck exhausts her.

For these reasons, she prefers to gamble in the early morning so that we can do most of our stuff at night. During the day, she prefers to be in the hotel room with the curtains pulled, sleeping with the air conditioner turned way up.

And, since I prefer gambling with her than gambling without her, I prefer gambling during those hours, too.

Why am I sharing such personal preferences about when I gamble?

Because I want to encourage you to think of your timing for your gambling as it relates to your personal preferences, too. You might not be able to see well enough to drive at night. My ex-wife has that problem, and it’s not uncommon among older people.

If You’re an Advantage Gambler

Most of my readers are recreational gamblers, but some of them are surely thinking about trying to get an edge at the casinos. Many of those would-be advantage gamblers might want to count cards in blackjack, for example.

When is the best time to play blackjack in a casino if you’re a card counter?

I’m going to say that the best time is when the casino is most crowded. The more people the casino is trying to deal with, the less likely they are to notice you. The biggest thing you need to do when you’re counting cards – besides keeping up with the count – is avoid detection.

And it’s just easier to avoid detection when there’s a bigger crowd for you to blend into.

Also, if you’re playing regularly, you should limit the amount of time you spend at any given table. You also need to limit the amount of time you play in a specific casino.

The best suggestion I saw was to not hit a casino more than once or twice per week during the same shift. You can still go to the same casino 3 times in a week if you make sure you go during different shifts every time.

When Is the Best Time to Play Poker in a Casino?

When I talk about playing poker in a casino, I mean in the cardroom, where you’re playing poker against other players. I’m not talking about these faux-poker games like Ultimate Hold’em, which are just casino games with more in common with blackjack than actual poker.

If you’re a serious poker player, the best time to gamble in the casino is probably when it’s busiest. You might have to deal with being on a wait list, but if there are more players in the cardroom, you have a higher probability of sitting down with someone who’s not very good at the game.

When Is the Casino Busiest?

So, if you’ve decided you want to go to the casino when it’s at its slowest, you already know to play after midnight and in the early morning.

If you’ve decided you want to go when it’s a little less busy but don’t want to go after midnight, it might help to know when the casino is at its busiest.

Also, you might be a card counter or poker player who wants to gamble when a lot of people are there.

You might even just like crowds.

In that case, you should know that the casinos’ busiest time is almost always Friday night between 6pm and 10pm. The reasons for this are probably obvious, but think about it.

Most people get paid on Friday. And most people get off work around 5pm.

People love to go out on Friday night and spend their paychecks.

Saturdays are busy at the casinos, too, especially Saturday night, but they’re not as busy as Friday nights. That’s because a lot of gamblers go through their entire bankroll for the week on Friday night – not all of them, of course, but enough to thin the herd.

Conclusion

When is the best time to gamble at the casino?

Forget about luck. You’re just as likely to win or lose at the casino at any time because of the way the games are set up. The times of day don’t matter.

Consider your personal preferences first, then go based on how busy it is or isn’t during the time period you’re thinking about gambling.

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 GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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