Casinos are profit-generating machines. The only reasons casinos go out of business are poor management or the inability to attract enough gamblers.
Where does all of the profit come from that the casinos make? The profit comes from gamblers losing money. Casino profitability is all you need to know to see that casino gamblers almost always lose money.
I know you want to beat the casinos, but before you have a chance to win, you have to figure out how to break even. The good news is that there’s a simple plan you can follow to break even.
Here are six steps you can follow to be a break-even casino gambler.
1 – The Blackjack Path
Breaking even in a casino is impossible if you do what most gamblers do. Playing the same games the same way that losing gamblers do simply adds to the casino’s profits.
You have to play certain games to have a chance to break even. You can’t play slot machines or most table games. Slots and most table games have a consistent minimum house edge that guarantees a profit for the casino and a loss for you.
The best game to play if you want to break even when you gamble in a casino is blackjack. The other two decent options are poker and video poker. I cover the other two options in the following two sections.
Blackjack is the best choice for casino games because of how the game is played and the rules. The rules are set up so the casino has an edge, like every other casino game, but the rules are also designed in a way that lets you influence the house edge.
The first thing you need to do is identify the blackjack games that have good rules. The difference between a blackjack game with good rules and a game with poor rules is over 1% in-house edge. So, for example, a game with poor rules might have a base house edge of 2%, while a game with a good rule set might have a house edge of .4%.
The other things you have to do to break even playing blackjack are covered in sections four, five, and six in this post.
2 – The Poker Path
Some casinos offer poker tables, and some casinos don’t. I’m not talking about the poker-themed games found in the casino pits alongside the blackjack tables. Instead, I’m referring to the poker tables where you play Texas holdem or Omaha against other poker players.
These poker games are a good option if you want to break even because you’re gambling against other gamblers instead of against the casino. When you gamble against other gamblers, you just have to learn how to play a little better than some of your opponents to break even or win.
If you want to break even playing poker, you have to use several poker strategies effectively. Some of these strategies are simple, and some of the strategies are advanced.
The good news is that every poker strategy you need to learn is available. You can find good poker strategies in books and online. Once you identify good poker strategies, all you need to do is practice the strategies.
Another good thing about playing poker is you can learn when you make a mistake. You automatically improve your long-term results if you learn when you make a mistake and correct what you did wrong.
3 – The Video Poker Path
With the right strategies and practice, you can eventually learn how to make a profit playing blackjack and poker. Of course, it’s almost impossible to show a long-term profit playing video poker, but it’s the easiest game to break even playing in some ways.
Just like when you look for a blackjack game to play, it’s important to find the right game and rules when you play video poker. Some video poker games have a house edge under .5%, as long as you use a strategy card when you play.
When you combine such a low starting house edge with the things included in section five in this post, it’s easy to gamble with close to a break-even pace.
You need to spend a little time researching video poker games and paytables before you start gambling. I recommend investigating Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better video poker variations and pay tables.
4 – Perfect Strategy Is Required
It doesn’t matter which of the three games listed in this post you decide to play; there’s one thing that you have to commit to doing. If you want to gamble at a break-even clip, you have to be dedicated to using the perfect strategy.
You have to find or identify the best strategies, and then you have to put in the work required to learn and use the best strategies.
When you play blackjack or video poker, you can find strategy cards that have the perfect strategy listed on them. If you use a strategy card, all you have to do is find the blackjack game with the best rules or find the right video poker machines with the right pay tables.
It’s almost impossible to use the perfect strategy when you play poker, but you have to try to use the closest thing to the perfect strategy that you can achieve. In other words, poker strategy is just as important as blackjack strategy or video poker strategy.
You need to strive to be the best strategy player at the poker table. Of course, you will not be the best strategy player when you start, but you can learn how to be a top strategy player with study and practice.
5 – You Must Use Perks or Bonuses, or Both
All casino games are set up so that you lose money. So if you want to break even, you have to do the other things listed in this post, but you still have to do something else to eliminate the profit the casino usually collects.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do. The easiest things you can do to make up for the casinos’ profits are bonuses, which are found in online casinos, and perks, which are often called comps and are available in many land-based casinos. A few online casinos offer perks, but most online casinos stick with bonuses.
Bonuses and perks aren’t designed to help you break even. Instead, both of these schemes are designed to manipulate you into gambling more. But you don’t have to fall into the traps the casinos set in front of you.
Most casino bonuses are set up, so you lose more than you receive in bonus money. But you can still find a few bonuses you can clear with a profit.
For casino perks or comps, sign up for the program and then gamble using the other recommendations in this post. As long as you don’t gamble more than you planned, the perks and comps you earn help offset the profit the casino makes from your play.
6 – The Final Level
If you do everything you’ve learned in this post to this point, you’re getting better returns than other gamblers. In some cases, you’re already going to be gambling at a break-even pace. But there’s another step you can take to get even better results.
In poker, the only thing you can do is continue improving your strategies. However, you can also look for opportunities to play at tables that have weaker poker players.
If you play blackjack, the next level is learning how to count cards. You can play close to breaking even in blackjack with good rules, perfect strategy, and bonuses or perks. But with a simple counting system, you can easily break even and possibly even make a little bit of money.
Once you learn how to break even playing blackjack, you can move to an advanced counting system to start making money. Card counters make a profit from blackjack, and the profit can be significant over time.
The first step to winning when you gamble in casinos is figuring out how to break even. Of course, breaking even in a casino isn’t easy, as you can see proven by how profitable casinos are. But there are steps you can take that help you break even.
Use the six steps listed in this post until you’re breaking even. Once you learn how to break even, you can take the next step, which is making a profit. And if you never learn how to make a profit, as long as you can break even, you can gamble as much as you want for entertainment.