There are classic card games such as blackjack and baccarat, offering a unique dice rolling experience and watching the ball bounce on a spinning roulette wheel. Slot machines ring the bell, announcing jackpots and old-fashioned poker games, as well as modern video alternatives.
Many people focus on their favourite games, while others jump from the pit to the machine and back again.
Whenever you’re considering taking the first step and playing a new game for the first time, be sure to ask yourself the following questions to see if you’re ready to make the switch.
1 - What prompted me to try this game?
Firstly, when you decide to play a casino game for the first time, consider why you want to play it in the first place.
Are you a slots player looking for a greater mental challenge? Or are you a skill game player looking for relaxation?
Do you want to expand your knowledge of all casino games, or just this one in particular? If so, what do you think first attracted your interest in this game?
In many cases, the answer may boil down to sheer boredom. For all its appeal, casino games can become a bit rote when you play the same game for weeks, months or even years on end. Picking up and moving on to a new game may change the rhythm you need to start enjoying the casino as much as before.
For others, there is a sense of pride in choosing a new game to learn and eventually master. Many gamblers won’t rest until they know how to adapt to any conceivable table or machine on the floor. For them, the casino is like a library, and they can’t rest until they have read every book.
Whatever motivations you happen to find, try and use them to guide you on your way to playing a new game as hard as you can.
2 - Have I put in the right level of study and preparation to play well?
When it comes to ability, achieving any level of proficiency in skill-based games such as blackjack or video poker is all about preparation.
You may know that Deuces Wild is the next video poker variant on your list, but unless you take the time to study the basic strategy of the game, you’re doomed to failure. It may help to know Jacks or Better and other variants.
However, given the strategic complexity of variants like Deuces Wild, knowing a game cold is not enough to make the switch.
Likewise, knowing how to play a card game like blackjack is of little benefit when playing Let It Ride in a real money casino. You need to master a completely different set of basic strategy guidelines to give yourself a chance against the house edge.
Giving yourself this opportunity is hard work, so you must be willing to put in the research and practice time before playing for real money. Get as much material as you can about the new game, which is of course published by respected experts and can be found online. Then, find a free version of the game and test your new skills without incurring any financial risk.
Then, and only then, will you be ready to put your actual money into the casino competition.
3 - What are the best money management practices for this game?
Playing new games with your valuable casino funds often leads to money management-centred problems.
In the world of gambling, those who know how to manage their money wisely will give themselves the best chance of beating the house. Betting too much or too often, making the wrong bets at unfavourable odds and chasing losses in an impulsive manner are all symptoms of money management difficulties.
Blackjack and baccarat tend to use a minimum of $5 per hand at lower stakes, while a quarter of players in video poker bet up to 5 credits at $1.25 per hand. In roulette, $10 per spin including inside and outside bets is the standard minimum, while the Pass Line in craps can be played for $5 per roll.
Slots can be a little strange, as the coin denomination and number of paylines can be configured by the player in any way they see fit.
Once you know the minimum bets required to play, look for information on the average number of bets made per hour on your new game.
Blackjack tables usually deal 70 hands in an hour, baccarat is slightly faster at 75 hands per hour, and pai gow poker is much slower at 30 hands per hour. A roulette player can spin 38 times in 60 minutes, while a dice roll can make the dice fly 48 times an hour.
From here, you should be able to assess exactly how to deploy your money when playing a new game. Be sure to take into account random variance and take enough losses to reduce some of your buy-ins before gaining bearings.
If you feel you have lost an uncomfortable amount, simply leave the table and recalibrate, then return with an improved game plan.
4 - Do I need to know any terminology to master it?
Ever heard of “Yo-leven”? Know what a “monkey” is at a baccarat table? What does it mean if someone uses a “solver” in a poker tournament?
It’s important to ask questions like these because many casino games revolve around their own specialized language. The average player has learned the lingo over the years and naturally uses the slang above.
You can find a glossary of casino gambling slang here, so revising the basics should be a breeze.
For what it’s worth, Yo-leven refers to the 11 on the dice, as the dealer and player don’t want the number to be confused with a similar 7. A monkey in baccarat is simply any face card with a value of 0, whereas a poker solver is a computer algorithm designed to determine the best game for each possible scenario.
5 - Can I play this game without any deeper problems?
Finally, if you are considering starting a new casino game, it is important to face the possibility of more serious problems in the future.
Machine based games can become very accessible, with no one keeping you honest and new bets being placed every few seconds or so. If you have struggled with compulsive gambling, then avoiding machines is probably the best way to go.
Similarly, games of chance where strategy remains irrelevant can be frustrating for people used to skill-based games. Gambling on games of chance is not an effective way to spend time if you know you tend to ‘lean’ when you can’t try to influence the outcome.
By asking yourself the fifth and final question, while answering honestly and openly, you can prevent problems from popping up along the way. If you find yourself addicted to gambling, seek the help you need.
It’s always fun to sit down and figure out how a new casino game works. Challenge yourself, expand your knowledge base and add a new skill to your repertoire – what’s not to love, right?
I’ve always believed that learning casino games can be a life skill, simply because gambling allows us to see our truest selves. Before you try a new game for the first time, take a moment to reflect on your reasons, using these questions as a guide.