Slots and Gambling (esp. in PA and NJ)
February 25, 2017 3:20 PM   Subscribe

What's the best resource (or advice) for gambling in Atlantic City and PA?

My boyfriend and I have been hitting the casinos various times since the fall. We mainly play the slots, and every so often video poker. I've read up on slots and know the general advice and myths, eg they're all pretty much based on random number generators, the odds are against you, casinos don't pump extra oxygen in, it doesn't matter where the slots are in the casino, it's a pretty much walk-away-when-you're-up game, etc. We also know about slot payback percentages and what casinos have high and low ones and that casinos cannot change odds due to laws.

My boyfriend pretty much hates the PA casinos and believes them to not have an advantage since there is less competition than AC but slot payback stats say they're about the same. Comps do seem lower compared to AC though. We love the Borgata as they give out great comps (free buffet, slot play, comedy show) and usually will stay at Harrah's for the free room and spend our money at Borgata.)

That being said, is there ANY strategy on slots or video poker, outside of walking away when you're up? Do different games have a better chance? Is it worth it to learn a table game instead? Is online gambling in moderation worth it (I seem to win more there than the physical casinos)? What's the best resource to learn about these things?

We've both responsible with money.
posted by daninnj to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do different games have a better chance? Is it worth it to learn a table game instead?

As far as casino games go, slots are very much not the way to go in terms of expected value, rather skilled games like blackjack have much smaller house edges. Slots do have high variance in outcome, meaning it's entirely possible you walk away ahead with some frequency. But you should expect to lose money in the long term. There are apparently variants of video poker with positive expected value. I don't know enough about these things to know how casinos then make money--presumably by altering the cost of the tokens/credit relative to the payout.

There's a whole website devoted to calculating how various casino games work. But how you go to the trouble of looking that up and then walk into a casino expect to win money, I don't know.
posted by hoyland at 4:01 PM on February 25, 2017

Remember that those video pokers with paybacks over 100% are assuming optimal strategy so practicing virtually to figure out your strategy would probably be a good idea. The casinos can still make money since most people won't play perfectly, unlike almost all slots.
posted by carolr at 6:21 PM on February 25, 2017

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