It’s important to realize that luck alone shouldn’t determine your gambling fate. Understanding the facts and avoiding these pitfalls will help you become a smarter gambler. This knowledge will improve your odds of success.
Not Knowing Blackjack Basic Strategy
Blackjack is the most popular table game in the casino. When gambling most gamblers understand that blackjack offers very good odds for the player. What many players fail to realize, though, is the best strategy to use. Using intuition or superstition to decide whether to hit or stand isn’t a good idea. There’s a mathematically correct decision for any hand you’re dealt based on statistical probability. This is the basic strategy of Blackjack, and every serious blackjack player should know these fundamentals.
Thinking Video Poker and Table Poker are Similar Games
The first thing you need to realize when you begin playing video poker is that you’re now competing against a machine. You’re no longer gambling against other live opponents, so you should never bluff. Also, there’s no reason to hold a “kicker.” Doing so in table poker may be advisable, but in video poker, it only reduces your chances of winning. These are just two examples. There are other strategy differences, as well. Learn proper video poker strategy and don’t rely on your knowledge of table poker.
Not Maximizing Bonuses, Loyalty Points, Rewards, and “Comps”
Many new players are so eager to begin gambling that they don’t take full advantage of the perks being offered by casinos. As a gambler, you’re often rewarded for gambling at a specific casino. These rewards can include free play, cash back, prizes, gifts, deposit bonuses, and more. Not utilizing these incentives can cost you money.
The gaming industry is a competitive business and casinos are constantly competing for players. This is beneficial for gamblers. Casinos want to keep you happy and one of the ways they do that is through a strong rewards program. There’s a misconception among some gamblers that these rewards are simply a lure to get you to gamble more than you intended. It’s true that you should never gamble over your budget simply to obtain more loyalty points, but rewards shouldn’t be viewed negatively. They should be used to the fullest extent to enhance your bottom line.
Read through and fully comprehend the entire rewards program at any casino in which you gamble.
Buying into the Gambler’s Fallacy
This is probably one of the biggest and most common rookie mistakes. It’s so common because at first glance it seems logical. If red comes up eight times in a row on the roulette wheel, it certainly seems logical that black is more likely to hit on the next spin. That’s the essence of the gambler’s fallacy. Each spin of the wheel or roll of the dice is independent of the other. Black is no more likely to come up after eight reds than if it were the first spin of the wheel. The odds remain the same.
A famous example of this happened in 1913, when players rushed to the roulette wheel in Monte Carlo to put their money on red. Black had come up on the roulette wheel 15 times in a row. Bettors hurried to put down as much money as possible, fully convinced that red would hit on the next spin.
Unfortunately for them, red wouldn’t hit for another 12 spins of the wheel. Players lost millions of francs as the wheel landed on black 27 times in a row. Thanks to the gambler’s fallacy, they were so certain that red was going to hit, and subsequently continued to increase their wagers. They were right — red did eventually come up, but it was long after they were broke.
Believing in Hot and Cold Slot Machines
For years, slot players have passed around the theory that slot machines run in hot and cold cycles. If you find a slot machine that is in a hot cycle, you’ll win. If a machine is in a cold cycle, you need to switch machines.
It’s important to understand how slot machines function to debunk this myth. Slot machines use a program called a random number generator (RNG). This program is designed to randomly select a number sequence that designates the outcome. It goes through thousands of number sequences and as soon as the player hits the spin button, it stops.
Whatever sequence it stops on determines whether the player will win or lose. There are no predetermined patterns to the outcomes. Machines don’t run in hot and cold cycles; each spin is completely random. You could play a slot machine where you are consistently losing and then suddenly hit the jackpot.
As a gambler, buying into certain misconceptions and myths can cost you a lot of money. Having a complete understanding of the facts and probabilities will greatly enhance your chances of success, though. What other costly mistakes have you seen rookie gamblers make?