Think you can beat the odds? Think again. Here are a few insider secrets to keep up your sleeve the next time you're ready to try your luck.
- There's a difference between the true odds of your winning any particular bet and the odds the casino actually uses to pay you if you do win. That difference is always in the casino's favor and it's the reason casino owners are rich and you're not.
- Because of the house edge, the casino will always win in the long run, no matter how smart you are, how good you think your system is, or how lucky you are. The Las Vegas strip is paved with the losses of innocent fun-seekers who don't know that.
- Some of the games have a much smaller house advantage than others, so your chances of walking away a winner after playing them are higher. This assumes, however, that you play the best strategy and that you're able to walk away while ahead.
- If gamblers only played blackjack, mini-baccarat, pai-gow poker, live poker, the sports book, and bingo, they'd lose a lot less money. Those are games with a house edge of less than 3 percent.
- The casino loves to see you playing games like Caribbean Stud Poker, Let It Ride, Red Dog, single-deck 21, and those undignified spectacles like the Big Wheel or Wheel of Fortune. The house edge on these is astronomical.
- Playing keno is the equivalent of making a charity donation to the casino ownership. Yes, the young keno ladies are friendly and they need the tips. And yes, it's simple and kind of fun to try to divine some numbers while you're at the coffee shop or buffet or bar. Just be aware that the house advantage in keno can run as high as 50 percent. You're better off playing the state or provincial lottery - it's essentially the same game, but at least you're donating your money to the public good instead of business magnates.
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