Land-based casinos are a very complex business with a philosophy all its own. It’s a business where the players, who win the most, are rewarded by the casino. The more you win from the casino the better you are treated with dinners, rooms, villas, and anything your heart desires in Australia and elsewhere.
This may seem counterintuitive to running a profitable company, but there is a method to this madness, and from the looks of many of the large casinos’ income statements, it seems they are very successful at what they do.
What are the Tricks of the Trade for a Land-Based Casino?
Eye in the Sky
With a plethora of opportunities for cheaters, scammers, and pickpockets, both visitors and players are constantly being “spied” on by a bevy of cameras and professional spotters. Whether its at the tables, pokies machines or around the bar, there are those who prey on the vulnerable and not so vulnerable to take advantage of the enormous sums of cash, chips, credit cards, and luxury items.
Although pickpockets are one of the biggest dangers, the card counter is what the casinos dread the most. We’ve seen movies like “21” a fact-based story where a group of math wizzes clean out casinos with an elaborate setup. Based on a true story, the movie provides insight into how these groups work, and ultimately how much they can “scam” a casino. From the dealers, pit bosses, floor managers and the eyes in the sky, gambling outlets do what they can to grab these professionals before they do too much damage.
With technology evolving to a level of AI (artificial intelligence) the pokie machines have become another vulnerable target. Because of the technology dependent machines, techno geeks are always searching for ways to usurp the system. This problem brings a whole new issue to the fore and another reason why the pokie places are crawling with undercover security always on the lookout.
Impairing Your Judgement
Most of our worst decisions in life have been made while impaired, intoxicated or plain drunk. The casinos are aware of this fact and continually ply us with free booze while we are playing. To the first-time player it might seem like a generous offer, but for the more experienced players, they understand the problems which come with the free booze. For a small investment of 3-4 double Scotch servings, the casinos will increase significantly their odds of winning and put you in a position of betting like a drunken sailor.
What Time Is It?
Have you ever noticed that there are no clocks in a casino? Well, that’s just not something they overlooked. Again, there is a method to the madness and gambling operators are experts at screwing with your head.
Since all large casinos do not have windows or clocks, you have no idea what time of day it is. This is done on purpose so that you don’t look out the window or the clock and say, “oh wow its getting late, I gotta get home”. Being in a casino (just like when you play online) provides no indication of the time of day or how long you have been playing. As a player, you’ve been thrust into solitary confinement where your only form of entertainment is gambling and drinking.
Chips and not Cash
Chips of course make it easier for the player and casino to handle the money. The colors indicate specific amounts and make it easy to count and to manage when betting. But there is another reason why the casinos use chips and not cash.
For most pokie players, the chips are just a piece of colored plastic and not legal tender currency. Although they represent a specific amount, you couldn’t walk into a supermarket and pay your grocery bill with a $100 chip from Caesar’s Palace, and that’s the point! You would certainly be less reluctant to throw a $100 bill on the table then you would a $100 chip when gambling. With a few drinks in you, you forget what the chip actually represents and are more willing to spend your money to try and win.
Keep the Players Coming Back
If a player is on a winning streak and ends the day up a few hundred thousand dollars, the last thing the casino wants is for the player to leave. The casino knows that if a player keeps playing, the odds are that they will eventually lose. There is a great scene in the movie “Casino” which proves this theory correct.
Based on a true story, one scene depicts K.K. Ichikawa a Japanese “Whale” who cleans the casino out of a few million dollars as well as towels, soap, and shampoo. When he leaves to fly back to Japan, the management conspires to delay his flights back to Japan, with the hopes of getting him back to the casino. Eventually the do get him back to the casino and tables, where he eventually loses all his winnings and then some.
Casinos realize that with all things being equal, the player will eventually lose. Its not talent or wit, but just a simple mathematical equation of odds. One must also remember that all things are not equal as most players bet recklessly and/or do not follow the basic guidelines to improve their chances of winning.
How Can I Win at the Casinos?
Many players understand everything that I just said. We understand that the casino has the odds in their favor and that we are all headed to eventual loss. But as human nature dictates, we do have an innate passion for gambling and trying to beat the odds. Whether its hitting on a 17 (it’s a no-no) in Blackjack or trying to land on the moon, we are always searching for challenges and looking to beat the odds.
Your best chances of winning are to follow the rules of betting on each individual game and to stay sober. Short of this and hitting a Progressive Jackpot, the casino is always going to win.