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With a motto like “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, it is no surprise that Sin City has it fair share of secrets, especially when it comes to winning on the casino floor. That said, a few savvy travellers on question-and-answer site Quora.com were brave enough to break the code of silence and share a few things that casinos will not tell you about gambling in Las Vegas.
Drinking alcohol is a sure way to lose
Though many travellers might count the free booze as a perk of gambling in Vegas, plying players with drinks is clear house strategy. “Unless you’re some kind of alcoholic prodigy, your alcohol intake is going to impair your judgement and perceptions,” said Jon Mixon, who grew up in Nevada. “If you want to win, you’ll need to be a teetotaller.”
Every game has a house edge, save one
Quora answerers reiterated over and over again that the house has an edge on every game – but they vary by type. Users Ilya Veygman, a software engineer in Menlo Park, California, and Jenn Tseng, a hotel operations professional in Las Vegas, agreed that roulette has by far the worst odds of the popular table games. While the generally accepted house edge is 5% for a double-zero roulette wheel, 1.4 % for the pass line in craps (the game’s standard bet) and only 0.28% for blackjack, Mixon mentioned that the smaller casinos in Vegas might have slightly better odds, as they cannot afford to retain the best dealers.
As for the game with the best odds, Don Dawson, a Las Vegas resident, suggested live poker. “All other games favour the house. It’s the only game where the casino does not take money directly from the player,” he said. “It is strictly up to you and your skill on how much you win or lose.”
You must play “max bet” on slots to win big
“If you play slots, there’s no point playing the lowest bet,” said Tseng. “Max bet = max win.” The maximum bet is usually two or three times the advertised price; for example, the maximum bet on a 25 cent machine will usually be 50 or 75 cents.
Casinos are built to disorient
It can be a challenge to find your way out of a casino once you find your way in. “Casino floors are labyrinthine by design,” said Veygman. “You get lost because you’re supposed to, then you grab a seat at a slot machine or blackjack, and voila! You drop some cash gambling.”
For the same reason, you will never see a clock in a casino. “They don’t want you to say, ‘It’s getting late. Time to turn in,’” said Garrick Saito, a Los Angeles resident. “The longer you play, the more likely it is you’ll lose.”
Win, then walk away
According to every respondent, the only real way to take home cold hard cash from Vegas is by stopping while you are ahead. “You are only going to win once or twice during your entire stay,” said Mixon. “When you do, stand up and leave. If you don’t, you’ll end up losing it all back – with interest.”