How to Take the Edge Off the Casino’s Odds

From the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip to the illegal pai gow tables in New York’s Chinatown, casinos draw throngs of gamblers from all over the world. But no matter the location or type of gambling, one thing is common: The odds are stacked against players.

Most casino games rely on pure chance, but some have an element of skill. In the case of the video poker machines and the card games, the house takes a percentage of all funds played, or what’s called the “house edge.” Casinos also take in money through taxes, rakes (in games like blackjack and poker where players play against each other) and fees for comps, or complimentary items given to gamblers.

The odds for each game are stacked in the casino’s favor, making it nearly impossible to walk away with more money than you came in with. That’s why most players, even those on winning streaks, walk out with less money than they started with. In fact, some studies have shown that the more a person plays, the more likely they are to lose.

A shrewd gambler can take the edge off the casino’s odds by sticking to a budget. But there’s always a risk of losing more than you can afford to, so it’s important to set and stick to a limit and to be aware of the warning signs of gambling addiction.