I just got back from a great vacation – I took a cruise on the Mexican Riviera! It was a ton of fun, and it was very reasonable too. However, I was shocked by a trend I saw all over the ship – gambling. It was evident in every form: the casino, tables on the pool deck, advertising in room, and even bingo just about every night in the showroom.
What was even more surprising was how easy the ship made it to gamble. All you needed to do was insert your room key (which, if you’ve cruised, you know also is your ships charge card and key to everything!). Everyday, you could spend up to $2,000 on your room key card, without even having to be pre-qualified or anything. Crazy! On a 7-day cruise, that could add up to over $14,000 without even blinking!
Remember: The Odds are NOT in Your Favor
No matter what game you play in a casino, it is essential that you remember the odds of winning are not in your favor. Casinos are in business to make money, and they are very good at doing so.
Here are some popular games and their odds:
- Blackjack: Player Win: 44% Dealer Win: 48%
- Craps: Best House Edge (Pass Line): 0% Worst House Edge: 16.67% (Any 7)
- Roulette: If Single Zero, House Edge is 2.7%, If Double Zero, it’s 5.26%
- Slot Machines: Average Payout Ranges from 92.5% to 98.4%
Notice a trend here? All casino games favor the house. However, they keep their margin pretty low so that it doesn’t seem abusive. However, over the long term, the odds are in the casino’s favor.
Still Want to Play?
If you still want to gamble, it is essential that you think about it for what it is: entertainment. If you look at it as part of your entertainment budget, you won’t get yourself into too much trouble. Just set yourself a limit and go have fun.
The trick is to make your money last. You don’t want $100 to last you just 10 minutes, or else you may want to bet more to play more. If you want to make your money last, play a game that has pretty good odds, and gives you control over the bet. Blackjack is pretty good, and so is craps.
Once you have your game, stick to the minimum. Try to find a low minimum table, like $5, so you don’t lose your play money too quickly. It may be tempting to bet bigger if you’re winning, but remember, it is simple odds. Think about flipping a quarter – how many times will your flip a “head” in a row? If you’ve already flipped 5 head’s in a row, you may think you odds of getting a 6th head are smaller – but it is still 50/50 every flip.
Readers, do you have any advice on making the most of gambling entertainment?