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So what’s all the hype about casino gambling?  How do you decide which games to play?

I’m going to help you decide where to begin when you first step into a casino.

What’s First

As you make your way into a big casino, you will probably be in a little bit of awe. Just the lights and sounds can give you a jolt of adrenaline as you take in the excitement of people screaming and machines ringing.

Take a moment and just look around, slowly walk around and appreciate the atmosphere. Don’t run and plop down at the first open slot machine you see.

I suggest you make a loop around the casino and checkout the layout.  You want to know where the penny slots are, where the high dollar slots are, and where the different gaming tables like blackjack and roulette are, etc.  

Before You Start, Remember This:

  • The house has the advantage in every single game.  The house will make money if you sit and play for any extended period of time. The house doesn’t need luck, and even if you hear the screams of winners, the house is always winning more!
  • Being lucky is the biggest part of winning at gambling. You can reduce the house edge in some games by playing proper strategy, but luck is still the most relevant factor in winning.
  • Come to play with a set amount of money you can afford to lose.  Gambling should be considered entertainment and not a way to earn money.  Remember, the odds of you winning money are literally stacked against you!  The house ALWAYS has the advantage!
  • Hot streaks may happen, but they won’t last.  Recognize when a winning streak has ended and the losing starts. Be able to stop before you give back all your winnings.
  • Go ahead and join the casino’s player reward program, sometimes the incentives are quite lucrative, with plenty of free deals.  They are usually free to join, so it will be worth the few minutes of your time.

Pick the Right Games to Play

The right games to play is going to depend on the type of experience you’re looking to have.  Hopefully you’re coming in to have fun and enjoy a few free cocktails.  In all reality, you shouldn’t be coming in expecting to win money. Do you want to experience flipping chips in your hands or look for the flash and ringing of machines?

If you’ve come for the fun and want games that require little skill, choose:

  • Slots
  • Keno
  • Roulette

These games are easy to learn and winning is due more to luck, than the player’s ability to reduce the house edge.

Slots give you the chance to sit down and enjoy a free cocktail (tipping small change is custom, but not required).

Keno is another games that gives you the opportunity to sit and enjoy a drink, tv or just the sights and sounds of the casino. Pick some numbers and hope they pop up, like a mini lottery.  Depending on the casino, the speed of the game is generally slower than all others, so you can enjoy having your money a little longer.

Roulette is the easiest of table games to learn and play.  All you have to do is guess which number that little spinning ball is going to land on.  You can give yourself 50/50 odds by betting odds/evens or red/black.  Unfortunately, there are usually no chairs around a roulette table so it’s not as relaxing in my eyes.

If you’ve come looking to win some money, your choice of games should be those that can have the house edge reduced with a bit of knowledge or skill, such as:

  • Blackjack
  • Baccarat
  • Craps
  • Video Poker (Jacks or Better)

These are really not difficult to learn either, but if you take the time to learn basic strategies, you might actually enjoy playing and winning a bit more often than most.

Don’t be Afraid of the Table Games

As a casino newbie, you’ll probably fear the table games.  However, you really shouldn’t.  You can (and should) do your research beforehand and learn the basics of each game.

However, if you weren’t able to do the research, but sort of pushed by friends to play, start with small stake games, like $5 blackjack. Look for a table with no players. Don’t be afraid to tell the dealer you’re new to the game and he/she will gladly guide you on the rules of play.  They will be hoping you will tip them for their assistance, but you certainly don’t have to, even if they’re basically teaching you how to play the game.  Don’t sit at a table with several players if you’re new to the game, the other players won’t be nearly as friendly as the dealer!

Be Aware of Casino Etiquette

Despite winning or losing, you want to maintain a kind, courteous and polite demeanor.  If you can remain in a good mood when winning, as well as when losing, the entire casino will appreciate it.  Dealers will be nicer, waitresses will come back to you more often if you’re happy and tipping and the other casino patrons will appreciate it.  If you remember to treat everybody with the respect you would want yourself, your trip to the casino can be lots of fun. If you think losing money will put you a nasty mood, don’t go to a casino, because you will probably lose money.

There are basic casino rules of etiquette that should be followed:

  • Don’t sit at a table if you don’t plan on playing – if you want to watch a buddy play, stand behind him
  • Before sitting down, make sure the current hand is completed
  • Don’t answer a phone call while sitting at a table
  • Once you place a bet, don’t touch it
  • Use only 1 hand to touch your cards, if any touching allowed
  • Wait until dealer is clearly done with paying off a bet, before touching the chips
  • If you’re at a table and want to leave a tip, always tip with chips, not cash
  • If you’re at the slots and want to tip a waitress, you can tip with small change

These are just common courtesy suggestions.  You won’t win more if you do them, but it will make your time at the casino more enjoyable because you won’t likely be offending anybody.


Casino gambling can be great fun, but it can also be dangerously addictive.  Know when to stop.  That refers to the free drinking and the gaming.  There’s a reason the casino gives you free liquor, to loosen up your thinking and your wallet.

If it’s your first time, remember just that…you can come another time, don’t try to win everything or lose everything in this one visit. If you come with a set amount of money (which you should) stop when you’ve gone through that.  Learn to play the games wisely so you don’t lose all your money in 15 minutes.

It can be fun to make the goal of a casino visit to be, last 15 minutes or longer.  You can easily lose a couple hundred bucks in 15 minutes or win a couple hundred bucks in 15 minutes.  The challenge is, can you leave after either circumstance.  Know when to quit if things are going bad, and learn to quit while you’re ahead, while learning to enjoy yourself in either situation.

Don’t be afraid to go to a casino.  It’s great adult entertainment and everybody should experience it at least once. Have fun and good luck!

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