We remember our first trip to a casino well – the sights, the sounds, the smells, all of them were new and different. It was exhilarating. We had the good fortune of going with a friend who was a veteran live gambler and they showed us the ropes.
For those of you that might not have this luxury, there are some things you need to know before you even step foot in a casino – if you want the experience to be an exciting one.
From bankroll management to playing your normal game, here’s a rundown of what you need to know before you start live gambling!
Set yourself a spending limit
The world’s most successful gamblers achieve status in their chosen games because of skill, commitment, and (at least a little) luck. These are qualities that are true in many industries, but there’s one thing that separates the pros from the chancers in gambling – bankroll management.
Now, heading to the casino for the first time doesn’t have to be the first step towards becoming a professional gambler – you might just want to experience things in real time and real life.
Even if you’re just going along for the experience, you should still decide how much you’re going to spend and stick to it – problems arise when people go over budget and overspend to compensate for what they’ve lost. So think like a pro and practice bankroll management, because this is how to gamble responsibly.
Do your research to make sure you find the right casino
In any walk of life, how often is the first thing you see the best option for you? You may spot a casino, head in, and have a great time. But you could also step into an unfriendly atmosphere, with unfamiliar games, have a terrible experience, and never visit a casino again. That’s why it’s important you do your research and make sure you find the right casino for you.
Some of the things you need to think about when deciding which casino you want to gamble at include:
- Looking at what the reviews on TripAdvisor say
- Reading casino guides from specialist gambling sites
- Checking the buy-in levels for games
- Seeing what identification you’ll need to provide
Alcohol can be cheap & that’s not necessarily a good thing
Having a drink while you gamble is part of the fun for some people, with the industry and alcohol enjoying a long and fruitful relationship with each other. If you do decide to have a pint or a short while you gamble, that’s fine; but do beware of overindulging on the cheap drinks – this could play havoc with your bankroll management!
Stick to what you know & bet at the games you already play
Every gambler has their favourite game and many have a list of the ones they do and don’t enjoy playing – it’s natural. What’s also natural is to be curious about games you haven’t tried before. That said, while it’s great to try something new, your first visit to a casino is not the time to do it. Why? Because playing live is quite different from playing your favourite online casino games.
If you’re used to playing casino games online, live gambling brings you into face-to-face contact with other players. Of course, this is one of the best parts of going to a casino, because you can strike up a relationship with people.
Unlike playing online, this means things like blind levels and antes are looked after by you. This is because while there is a dealer, you have to physically move your chips into betting positions, which can be more stressful and harder to keep pace with than you’d expect. The result is that you won’t be as focused on your game and you may make a few mistakes, which is why trying to learn a new game is not the best idea.
There are no tools to show you how to play casino games
One of the best things about playing games at an online casino, or on one of the many digital gambling platforms, is that you can get software that guides you through how to play casino games. When you gamble in a live casino, you get no such help and you need to really keep your wits about you.
PokerTracker is probably the best example of software that shows you how to play casino games. It records a huge amount of data each time you play on popular online poker platforms, such as Poker Stars. This data shows you how your opponents play and behave – whether they fold to three bets, whether they are tight or aggressive, and much more.
When you visit a casino for the first time, you’ll need to make your own reads on players and that means you really have to pay attention to how they are gambling – if you don’t, you could make the wrong decision and that might cost you a lot of money.
Our top casino tip – play your normal game & have some fun!
Given what we’ve said earlier in this article about the difference between playing online and offline, what we’re about to say might sound strange – the most important thing for you to do is to play your normal game and enjoy the experience of being in a live gambling environment.
What we mean by this is that you shouldn’t start making plays you don’t make when you’re playing online, such as folding in positions you wouldn’t normally do so. This is true in games like blackjack, where the game is you against the dealer. Where it can be tricky is games like poker, where you’re playing against another gambler. Why? Because live players are often looser than online ones, playing more hands because they want to be involved and won’t get distracted by their phone or streaming a show on Netflix during hands they’re not in.
Speaking from experience, there’s really nothing like gambling at a casino. The best way of describing the difference between live and online gambling is like listening to music on Spotify and going to a gig – the digital version is clearer but the live one is in your face.
Not everyone has the same experience when they first gamble at a casino and your winnings could be higher or lower than you’re used to online. However, one thing is certain – you’re more likely to enjoy your first time in a casino by following the advice in this guide!