Let’s face it, casinos are experts at taking away your hard-earned money. Sure, you win some and you lose some. But, one day in the future when historians are studying modern-day culture, they will probably be in awe of the ingenious ways casinos lure players in, keep them gaming, and, oftentimes, take a fortune away from them. This would be a compelling study of human psychology, indeed, and, to be sure, casinos have a few tricks up their sleeves.
The games on offer are notably in favor of the house most of the time and security is slick and will catch even the most seasoned cheat most of the time. Learn how casinos try to get over on players and, maybe, just maybe, you will leave next time with more cash in your pocket.
Made in The Shade
Most gamblers realize that games are set up in favor of the house and, of course, there are games that are shadier than others. Cherry-pick the right games and win more is our theory. According to Sal Piacente, who used to be a dealer and now trains people to work in casinos, many games are designed in such a way that they rarely, if ever, produce a win for the player. Experienced players know in advance to keep away from such games, which Sal says, include carnival games. What exactly are carnival games? They are anything but your usual casino games, such as baccarat, blackjack, and craps. Games, such as Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, and Caribbean Stud, strongly give the casino the upper hand and lure inexperienced gamblers with high payouts. A winner might cash out 9-to-1, but he or she is going to lose a lot more often. Don’t be misled.
Some games are so skewed toward the house that Piacente says the dealer should don a black mask like a robber! All kidding aside, one such game, he says, is Double Exposure Blackjack. It has rules on when a player can is able to double down and when in a tie with a dealer with no blackjack, the winner is the dealer, which equates to about a 9 percent advantage for the house. Not great odds for you, the player.
Games with Better Odds
Just like there are some games that are hard to win, there are some games that give players a better chance … a fact that casinos would rather you not know. But, it is public knowledge for those who care to study it. Traditional blackjack gives players a decent chance of winning. It is a game where some skill is required, so more knowledgeable players are rewarded. Similarly, video poker is another good option. The best part is poker games can be learned before your trip to the casino, so you can walk in more confidently and be assured you will at least have a fair chance of winning.
Another dirty little secret casinos play is their attempt to keep players in the casino with strategies that could be considered slightly under-the-table. Have you ever noticed there are no clocks or windows? That is so players lose track of time and spend more time at the tables. In your average casino, 2 a.m. looks the same as 2 p.m. Any time of day, you see strippers on poles and enclaves designed for private parties. It is all meant to lure you in and make you not want to leave … that is, until the casino can dig deeper into your pockets.
Is the Free Buffet Really Free?
Everyone raves about the free buffets. But, are the complimentary drinks and free food free? If you think about it, the answer is a resounding no. You lost $200on a blackjack game and, then, you get a $20 buffet that is so-called free. It is not free at all. In fact, you could argue you paid $180 for it!
And, all the while, the eye in the sky is watching. Again, it is common knowledge that closed-circuit cameras are ubiquitous in casinos. But, what you might not realize is they are watching your every move during your entire stay, so they can piece it all back together and have a video log of your stay if they need it. This protects players and the casino itself from cons and thieves. However, even if you are innocent, you are being watched. Operators have even admitted that, yes, they can zoom and focus in on your hand of cards if they want to. The only truly safe place away from prying eyes is your private room or the bathroom!
And, watch out if you win a lot or get one large win. If you hit the jackpot or go on a serious winning streak, you’re going to be watched even more closely. High rollers are constantly monitored by security to make sure they are not cheating in high-stakes games. The same is true for regular Joes who suddenly have a lot of chips to play with. Security teams do what is called player evaluations. These involve watching videos of the game you won to see if you exhibited any strange behavior or manipulate or alter the slot machine in some way before you hit the jackpot. In defense of the industry though, if you’re honest, you usually won’t be harassed. Casinos know there must be winners occasionally or else people would not play the games. It is the cheats they’re after, not you.
Don’t Even Think About Cheating
If you’ve thought about trying to cheat in a major casino, you’d better think twice. Casino security and floor personnel can easily tell if somebody is card counting or edge sorting. People give themselves away most of the time. Casinos look for people pairing up and sitting near one another during a blackjack game. Especially when empty seats are available, people just don’t sit side by side unless they are up to no good. If players fold their arms while seated close together and fold their arms once they are given their cards, the casino is going to assume they are card switching and check it out.
These behaviors are referred to as tells, meaning they tell the security teams what you’re up to. Managing money in extreme ways is another tell. Let’s say a player has been regularly betting $200 for a couple of hands and, then, suddenly, decides to bet $10,000. Why? Casino management assumes you’re increasing your bet because you’re confident. And, your increase is confidence is probably because you have received some information you’re not supposed to have from tracking cards, counting cards or whatever. Sudden confidence with ensuing big bets will give you away, and the casino is secretly noting this behavior and may act.
So, there are tells and secrets in the casino industry and experienced players are aware of most of these tactics. But, it is a good idea to keep this fresh in your mind as you head to the casino floor. You win a few and you lose a few. However, knowing a few secrets about how casinos operate will help you navigate your way.
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