When it comes to gambling and casinos, players have always tried to seek out magical ways to win. Many people swear that they have a perfect system that nearly always works. Others online promise that for a fee, they will share their winning formula with you.
The sad truth is, there are no winning formulas or systems. There are, however, ways to increase your chances of winning. If you follow certain rules and suggestions you will improve your odds at making a profit.
Make sure you play the games you understand
Back in the early nineties, a skilled poker player arrived in Las Vegas with just $50 in his pocket. He was loaned $10,000 by a friend and was able to pay him back in mere hours.
Over the next three years, gambler Archie Karas amassed a $40 million fortune from that initial $10,000 bankroll from playing poker and pool. He then found it difficult to find gamblers who were willing to play against him so he did the one thing he never should have, he switched games.
If you understand how a game works and you have a talent for it, then stick to it. Changing strategies and games are rarely recommended unless you are only playing casually and for fun.
By the way, Archie lost $11 million in a craps game followed by $18 million on baccarat. In 48 hours. The rest of the money followed shortly.
Learn all the rules
It isn’t just about playing the game you understand, you must also fully understand the game you play. The most popular online casino games include blackjack, poker in various forms, slots, roulette, and baccarat, but if you don’t understand the rules, you may as well throw your cash away.
There are different types of poker and blackjack, and if you want to play them you need to know the differences between the rules and also the house edge.
If you choose blackjack to be your game then the rules are relatively straightforward. Learn them inside and out and then move on to learning basic strategy. This will help you to lower the house edge.
Basic strategy and house edge
One thing you need to understand when playing in an online casino is the house edge. Understanding this will mean that you are aware that over a period of time, the casino will win and you will lose.
While that sounds depressing it must be remembered that this is a statistic represented as a percentage. In the case of blackjack, the casino has an edge of around 2% depending on how good or bad the player is.
You can lower this to 0.5% or maybe 0.25% if you learn and play basic strategy. There are many websites and videos to teach you basic strategy and understanding this can give you an almost level playing field when it comes to single-deck blackjack.
Is it possible to count cards?
As mentioned above, many people believe or say that they have a winning system. Counting cards is most certainly a way to turn the house edge on its head and give the player a big advantage.
Although card counting is not illegal, the casinos don’t like it, not surprisingly. The movie 21 showed how a group of real-life MIT students took some Las Vegas casinos for millions of dollars until they were caught. The question is, can you do this online?
Online blackjack uses a random number generator or RNG to produce the cards you are dealt. This means that you can never count further than the cards you can see. Not much use there. Random number generators are also used in casino slots and this is why they play the same as traditional slot machines. With cards though, it is a different story.
Live dealer casinos use a real shoe and they offer a better chance to count cards. However, the deck penetration is nowhere near as good as in a real casino so your chances of counting cards are highly limited.
Choosing the right casino
Not everything is about choosing the right game or having a perfect basic strategy, although that is vital if you are planning on winning more than you lose. You also need to know how to find a casino that you can trust and give you the best deals for your cash.
The days of dodgy online casinos have largely gone, fortunately, but it still pays to check the casino you are signing up to is regulated and licensed. This should be clearly displayed. Bitcoin casinos are now becoming popular and while it may suit you to gamble with crypto, you should check their credentials.
Several bitcoin online casinos have disappeared with players’ money and they are almost impossible to trace. The reason that they can do this is because bitcoin is not recognized as a currency and therefore the casinos aren’t always subject to the same regulations.
When you choose the right casino though, you can use bitcoin to play slot machines or other games which is something you cannot do in a land-based site.
Also, look for the best offers you can get. A good sign-up bonus will boost your initial bankroll and loyalty bonuses and regular free bets will help your chances of making a profit.
What about other casino games?
Online casinos aren’t only limited to blackjack, they will have slot machines, bingo sometimes, virtual games, roulette, craps, and sportsbooks.
When playing slot machines look for the best return to player, or RTP, that you can find. This represents the amount of money that will be returned to players over an extended period. The higher the percentage the better. Ideally, you will find slots with 99% RTP which means that ninety-nine percent of the takings are returned to the players.
Sports betting is another area that you could consider but unless you know your horses or football then it could be a stab in the dark. If you are a keen sports bettor then you can use online bookmakers to your advantage. It is far easier to compare odds between different websites than it is to walk between physical bookmakers.
Although checking the odds doesn’t increase your chances of winning, it does mean a bigger payout if you do predict correctly.
The key elements to increasing your profitability are to find your game, learn all the rules, learn perfect strategy, choose the best casino, never get emotional, and only gamble with what you can afford to lose.