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5 Tips to Know Before Hitting the Casino

 article about 5 Tips to Know Before Hitting the Casino
2014-07-10 09:25:38
Three-quarters of visitors to American casinos gamble only occasionally. They come with dreams of winning big and being social, but most of them are pretty clueless about their experience. You needn't be blinded by the flashing lights though. These tips will help you make the most of your next visit to the casino, whether it's in Las Vegas or it's your favorite casino in MN.

Table Games Have Better Odds Than Slots


Novices are drawn to slot machines because they're so easy to understand. You simply push a button and either win or lose. Slots typically have a house advantage of around 10 percent, which means that for every $100 the machines take they return around $90 in the long term. You might win the jackpot, but you could also lose your money in just a few minutes. It's all down to luck.

Many people are intimidated by the tables, but these games of skill actually have much better odds. Blackjack will give you your best chance of winning, with a house edge of just one percent at most casinos. The advantage with blackjack is that you're just playing against the dealer, rather than a collection of more experienced players. You'll also have a 50/50 chance of winning if you play craps, or if you stick to betting on black or red at the roulette wheel.

Research the Games

Your chances of winning at any game increase if you know a little bit about it. So it's worth reading up on the basic rules and strategies of the tables you're interested in before you arrive. If you're still feeling unsure, plan your visit for a slow time, such as a weekday afternoon. The dealers will be happy to talk you through the games as you play.

Mind Your Manners at the Tables

Getting off the slots means you're interacting with others instead of a screen, so it's important to observe table etiquette. Look out for empty chairs to work out if there's room for you. Make sure you ask before sitting down though, as some players play multiple hands. Wait patiently until the end of a hand or roll of the dice before buying in. The dealers won't take cash from your hands, so put your money on the table and ask for chips in your preferred denomination.

While you're playing, remember to keep your cool. Nobody likes a sore loser. If you're upset with how others play the game, it's best to leave the table. Also refrain from giving unsolicited advice to other players. It's rarely appreciated, so you're best focusing on your own game.

Pay Tax on Your Winnings

Nothing takes the gloss off a win like the IRS banging on your door. It's important to note that all casino winnings are taxable, and should be claimed as "other income" on your tax return. You can also deduct your gambling losses as "itemized deductions," but only to the amount of your winnings. Keep an accurate record of your gambling activities, including any receipts or tickets you receive, for tax time.

If you win big, the tax may be withheld at the casino. You will receive a Form W-2G from the casino if this occurs, but you'll still need to report these winnings on your regular tax return. This casino tax infographic clearly outlines the amount you can expect to pay on your winnings.

Set Your Limits

Few things sour a trip to the casino like a case of gambler's remorse. You win some and you lose some, but losing more than you can afford really stings. Emotions can run high in the casino, so it's smarter to establish a loss limit before you arrive, and stick to it. If you win big, you may also like to continue playing with just a percentage of your takings to ensure you leave in the black.

It's also smart to have limits on the time you'll play and the alcohol you consume. Spend too long at the tables, or throw back too many drinks, and your impaired judgment could cost you.

Remember these tips for maximum fun next time you hit the casino.




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