Casino: Tips for beginners

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From the October 11, 2012 edition

While I’m considered Alive’s crafty veteran when it comes to gambling, I’m by no means an expert. But I can still offer a few simple tips that will make newbies look a little more experienced when they’re at the casino for the first time.

• Make sure you take enough cash, but don’t take more than you can afford to lose. Being frugal at the casino isn’t fun, and weakens your chances of winning big, but you don’t want to go too crazy.

• Always split a pair of aces or eights at blackjack. Starting with a 2, soft 12 or 16 is not ideal. Splitting aces doubles your chances of hitting 21. Splitting eights gets away from the troublesome 16 and a better chance of hitting 18 or 19.

• Bet on lower payout options (odd, even, red, black, etc.) and higher payouts at the roulette table. Bet more on the lower payouts because they have better odds and can cover small bets on higher payout options that you’ll only win rarely. Or, you just go with Wesley Snipes’ advice and “always bet on black.”

• Tip your croupiers. These individuals, sometimes called dealers for card games, are there to run tables and games. If you win, share the wealth.