The purpose of this post is to provide you with the gambling secrets that no one wants you to know.
Why do other people not want you to know these secrets?
It depends on who you’re talking about. If it’s another poker player, it’s obvious — anything your opponent knows (that you don’t) provides your opponent with an edge.
And the casinos prefer that you remain as clueless as possible about how their games work.
Even the government’s in on it. They don’t want you to know just how bad the odds are in the lottery, or you won’t play.
1- You Can’t Win at Roulette in the Long Run, No Matter What
When I searched for “gambling secrets,” the #1 result had a so-called professional’s strategy for playing roulette.
Here’s the problem with that idea:
The house has a mathematical edge at roulette that’s unbeatable in the long run. Even the most effective roulette strategies are ultimately ineffective.
Let me explain how that edge works.
You have 38 possible outcomes on a standard roulette wheel. 18 of them are black, 18 of them are red, and 2 of them are green.
The black bet pays off at even money.
So does the red bet.
An individual bet on 0 or 00 (the green numbers) pays off 35 to 1.
What if you took 38 equal units and bet on all those options — 18 units on black, 18 on red, and 2 on green?
No matter where the ball lands, you lose money.
If it lands on black, you win 18 units, but you lose 20.
The same is true of red.
If it lands on 0, you win 35 units, but you lose 37 units.
Over the long run, no matter which bets you place, that’s how you’ll see your bankroll play out — gradually losing money.
2- You CAN Win at Blackjack in the Long Run, but It’s Both Harder and Easier than You Think
Most people already know that blackjack offers the best odds in the casino, but these odds come with a price:
You must be a skilled player.
People in the know evaluate casino games according to the house edge, which is a way of measuring the casino’s advantage over the player mathematically.
The higher the house edge, the more the odds favor the casino.
In the standard American version of roulette, the house edge is 5.26%. Statistically, if you play long enough, you’ll lose close to $5.26 for every $100 you wager. Even in single zero roulette, the house edge is 2.70%.
But in blackjack, if you use perfect basic strategy, the house edge is only 0.5% — give or take. The game variations in place affect this number.
This means the casino still has an edge, so you can’t win in the long run as just a basic strategy player.
To win in the long run, you’ll need an advantage play technique like card counting to get an edge over the casino.
Good card counters enjoy a house edge of 1% to 5% over the casino.
Anyone with the willingness to learn how to add and subtract 1 from an ongoing tally can learn to count cards. You don’t need superhuman intelligence or memory.
3- Slot Machines Are the Worst Casino Game You Can Play
You can measure, statistically, how much it’s going to cost you in the long run to play a casino game. The formula is simple:
You multiply your total action by the house edge.
That’s your expected loss.
Slot machines combine a high house edge with a lot of action in a short period of time.
The average slot machine player makes between 500 and 700 spins per hour — each of those spins is a bet. If you’re betting $3 per spin, you’re putting between $1500 and $2100 into action per hour.
If the house edge is 7%, which wouldn’t be unusual for a slot machine game, you’re looking at an expected loss of $105 to $147.
Compare that to roulette, with its whopping edge of 5.26%. You might be betting $5 per spin at the roulette wheel, but how many bets per hour does the average roulette player make?
If you assume 40, you’re probably close, although it depends on the croupier and the number of players at the table.
That’s $200 per hour in action, and an expected loss of slightly more than $10.
Would you rather lose $10 per hour or $100 per hour?
Smart gamblers never play slot machines.
4- If You Like Gambling on Machines, Try Video Poker Instead of Slots
Video poker machines look just like slot machines, and you’ll put a similar amount of money into action per hour playing video poker.
But if you choose the games with the right pay tables and play with the appropriate strategy, the house edge for some video poker games is comparable to the house edge for blackjack.
Where do you find the best video poker games and odds?
VPFree2 is a website generated using user contributions. The users of the site have scouted out the best video poker pay tables in every casino destination you could imagine.
Of course, casinos move machines around all the time, so the information on that site might be dated by the time you visit.
But at least you have a starting point.
Of course, you also need to learn how to identify the right pay tables and learn how to play with the appropriate strategy. I recommend Bob Dancer’s books on the most common video poker games.
He even sells training software that will teach you how to play correctly.
5- It’s Harder to Win at Poker than You Probably Think
Most people know that above-average poker players profit from below-average poker players.
But it’s not enough to be just a little bit better than average.
You need to be significantly better than average to win in the long run.
The casinos don’t run these cardrooms for free. They take a percentage of each pot, usually 5%, to pay for the game. This amount is called the rake.
What does that mean?
Assume you’re playing with 8 other players who are all exactly of the same skill level you are. If there were no rake, you’d break even over the long run, right?
There would be swings and fluctuations, of course.
But in the long run, you’d do about as well as everyone else.
If you take 5% out of every pot, though, it’s impossible to break even being “just as good as everyone else” at the table.
In fact, you’ll lose 5% of every bet you make, on average, over the long run.
So you need to not only be better than the other players, but you need to be so much better than the other players that you can still show a consistent profit even after accounting for the rake.
You can find countless resources to help you do that.
6- Don’t Share Your Gambling Secrets with Other Gamblers
Most people don’t have any gambling secrets of any consequence to share, but if you do, keep them to yourself.
If you’ve learned how to exploit the math behind any kind of gambling strategy to get an edge, someone’s going to come up with countermeasures to stop you.
If you’re counting cards, you don’t need to be subtle about it. You need to be secretive about it. Once the casinos are on to you, it’s game over, man.
If you’ve figured out a system to get an edge over the sportsbook, shut up about it. The more people who know that system, the more likely it is that the sportsbook will price it into their algorithms, eliminating any advantage you might have had.
7- Most of these So-Called “Gambling Secrets” Aren’t Really Secrets at All
Here’s the real truth:
Most of this stuff isn’t secret at all.
It’s just that most gamblers don’t want to put in the effort to understand what they’re doing. Maybe a huge percentage of people are that math-phobic.
Or maybe they’re just too lazy to try to win money.
I’ve often said that casinos are foolhardy for trying so hard to thwart card counters. After all, most card counters aren’t good enough to get an edge over the casino. And even the ones who are good enough don’t have a big enough bankroll to absorb the inevitable losing streaks that happen during a random game.
Not long ago, I read an article about how most casinos could make a profit just because the average gambler doesn’t have a big enough bankroll to absorb the fluctuations. In other words, a casino could offer mathematically break-even games and still profit because of their relatively infinite bankrolls.
There are 7 gambling secrets which should serve you in good stead. They won’t immediately make you a winning or professional gambler.
But you’ll be ahead of the rest of the pack.