• During seminars and general interactions I am constantly being asked how to win at the casino what are the casino games that can be beaten.
  • Believe it or not, the answer is that every game can be vulnerable to a skilled practitioner of advantage play.
  • Here we are going to take a look at 6 games and how you can attack them in a way that will give you the best chance to acctually win at the casino. They are:

The casino games that any player can beat are:

  1. Blackjack
  2. Craps
  3. Roulette
  4. Big Six Wheel
  5. Carnival Card Table Games
  6. Slots

In order to win at the casino, I am going to take the games one at a time and give a big picture overview on the governing principle that each method of advantage play adheres too for the given game.

Note: Though the ideas presented here are easy to understand the execution is complex and takes several months of intense training to implement them correctly. Reading just one article won't make you a winning player. Some of the tips are also applied for online casino games

Blackjack table layout with an Ace of spades, King of hearts Cards and casino chips
BLACKJACK

Why will you want to play blackjack? Because this is the first and most widely publicized game you beat the casino with, and for that matter you should learn how to play it in order to understand how to win it.

Card counting was introduced by Professor Edward Thorp in 1962 in his classic book "Beat the Dealer". Card counting keeps track of the low to high card ratio of cards that remain in the deck and subsequently determines the advantage the player has over the house or vice versa. It’s a reliable method but also easily detectable by casino personal.

There are additional methods that have been used by players in the past and some are still applicable in today’s gaming environment while others have become sparse in their relevance. Shuffle tracking was popular in the mid 1990s but has countered by casinos with increasingly complex shuffles. Key card sequencing was a method used to predict when an Ace would come out. This opportunity has also been reduced because of complexity of shuffles.

The last opportunity in blackjack is the rarest form and is hole carding. This is the technical art of determining of what the dealers down card is. I say this is a rare because it’s only found in approximately 1 in 80 dealers. And it’s not something that card cannot be determined every hand. Further complicating things is that you are not determining exactly what the card is. Often times you only get a glance at the pips of the cards. You then have to determine a strategy that is optimal by the narrowing of the card. Is the card a 10 value or not is a popular strategy. Is the card an 8 or a 9 are a few more examples. The strategy determination often requires computer simulations.

Craps table layout with casino chips

CRAPS

Craps is another game that can be attacked for profit. But as in blackjack, it requires a substantial time investment as well as a large financial investment in a full size craps table, and for that matter you have to learn how to play craps and practice.

What the aspiring craps AP practices is floating the dice to bank the back wall, and land how you want them to. This is most often in a way that limits the number of times a combination of dice that adds up to 7. Another way is to throw a dice in a way that the spins the dice on the horizontally that takes 5 numbers out of play on one dice. The player then bets accordingly. Steve Fortes video series on gambling does a great job of showing how this is done, but like blackjack it takes substantial practice to pull off.

Another way to win at the casino at craps is to have a partner at the table and you bet Pass Line and your confederate bets the Don’t Pass line. The bets will offset each other 35 out of 36 rolls (on average). The betting portion is a negative expectation game but you more than make up for the loss with comp points.

Roulette table layout with roulette wheel and casino chips

ROULETTE

A player can beat roulette in a couple of different ways. The simplest way is similar to the offsetting bets that we discussed in craps. We will lose on average 2 of 36 spins, assuming the 2 players bet opposite one another in a red and black or 1-18 and 19-36 fashion. The proposition is a losing bet but similar to the craps bet we will make up for the losses in acquired comps.

Roulette prediction is another way to beat the wheel. It is tough, and like craps, you have to make a heavy investment in a roulette wheel. There are many intricacies that the successful player is going to have to account for but when you perfect the approach and you know what the roulette odds are, it is a very profitable game. The how to method is way beyond the scope of this article, but the best methodology found in the two book series by Laurence Scott.

Two versions of Big Six Wheel

BIG SIX WHEEL

The Big Six wheel is the large wheel where a pretty girl usually stands there and spins the wheel. The player hopes that the wheel of fortune like wheel lands on their bet to get the payout. To beat this game the player times the average spin of the wheel and then bets whatever of the two 40 to 1 long shots that the wheel is expected to stop closest too. 

Mississippi Stud table layout with card and casino chips, and a video poker machine

CARNIVAL CARD GAMES

These include games like:

To gain an advantage in these games you have to apply hole carding techniques. And similar to blackjack hole carding these are rare opportunities. And again like blackjack you have to develop a particular strategy. The best resource for finding determining the strategies is James Grosjean’s book Beyond Counting Exhibit CAA.

Nine types of casino slot machines games
SLOT MACHINES

So, how can you win at slots? These are called the one arm bandits for a reason. It is because in almost all cases they take your money without apology. These games are high variance games, this means that 99% of the people lose and only 1% of the players will win money. But there are a couple ways to play that gives the player an advantage over the casino, and also this great article about slot tips.

The first is to play slots on triple point days. This is where the casino gives the player 3X the points that they would normally give. This will triples the comp value the player would earn.

The second method is to play with the casinos money. Every so often a casino will send a player $20, $50 or even $100 dollars in free play. The player then uses this money to play with and any money won during these free spins the player keeps.

To maximize the chance to win a player can log on to the gaming regulatory boards website of the jurisdiction and see what denomination slot machine has the loosest hold percentage, and play that machine.

SUMMARY

It is not an easy task to get the level where a player can be proficient enough to risk real dollars in order to win at the casino, but when the aspiring player puts forth the effort the rewards can be substantial. These broad brush strokes are meant to be a starting point for the aspiring player. A lot of hard work lies ahead. But be patient and work on your game and before you know it you will be there.

About the Author
By

Nicholas is a 17 year veteran of the casino gaming industry. He is former player manager with the infamous MIT Blackjack teams and is a regular attendee of the Blackjack Ball, a gathering of the world’s top professional gamblers.

He is the Managing Director of the Alea Consulting Group, a leading gaming consultant company with a focus on gaming economics and, is a frequent contributor to world class business publications like Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines’ and over 15 gaming trade publications. He is also the founder of Casino Exploits a player centric casino gaming site.