A trip to the Casino can be thrilling. You get to play fast-paced and exciting games while a waitress brings you free drinks. It’s easy to get so caught up that you don’t realize how much money you’re spending until it’s too late! You may think that gambling is just a game of chance, but you might be surprised at how the deck is stacked against you. We’ll let you in on some secrets that Casino employees would never tell you.
1. Counting Cards
As opposed to just pumping credits into the slot machines, Card games like Blackjack make players feel like they have more control over their ability to win. However, Casinos have a way of shutting you down if they suspect you’re too good. Counting cards are not illegal; It’s merely a method in which you keep track of the cards dealt and use this information to predict what the dealer will draw next. And people can use this strategy to win big, but not if the casinos catch you doing it. If the casino employees observe you winning a bit too often at card games, they can kick you out and ban you from returning. Kicking a card player out for knowing the odds too well is kind of like refusing to play scrabble with someone because they read too much. Sometimes they’ll try to be subtle and send an employee to talk to you while you’re playing, hoping they’ll be able to break your concentration. If that doesn’t work, They’ll often escalate their efforts until they finally ask you to leave. If you plan on just playing elsewhere, you should know that casinos have been known to give other casinos a heads up that you’re coming, so they can ban you before you even get to play there.
2. You’re Being Watched
Now, since casinos deal with millions of dollars per year, it’s not surprising that they have security. You’ve probably seen some surveillance cameras and noticed security guards walking around the last time you were at a casino. But most people have no idea the exact extent that they’re monitored from the second they walk in the door. Those video cameras you spotted? Most likely equipped with facial recognition software. If you’ve gotten yourself banned from a casino and decide to try sneaking back in with a novelty pair of eyeglasses with a nose attached, think again. The software will detect you and alert security to your presence. Other forms of software analyze your playing style and use a complex algorithm to calculate your worth to the casino in both the short and long term. This allows them to not only find potential criminals but adapt their marketing techniques to honest suite players. Casinos utilize cutting EDGE security, and are the first to know about new technological advancements. Many use non-obvious relationship awareness software, otherwise known as Nora, which allows casinos to determine if players and dealers have ever shared a phone number, Address, or a room at the casino hotel. This can give clues to possible cooperation between employees and guests.
3. Your Information Isn’t Safe
Okay, so the casino is monitoring your every move from the second you step inside its doors. So what? You’re just there to play a few games, maybe have a couple of drinks, and you don’t plan on cheating or doing anything illegal. Well, unfortunately, you don’t have any control over what the casino does with all the information its computer programs are collecting from you. It turns out that casinos often share information with each other. This means if you decide to mix things up and visit a different one, they likely already know all about you and your gambling habits. That player’s card that you signed up for in exchange for some credits or a free t-shirt? That likely has your home Address, Phone Number, Email Address and more, which means the casino has access to all that information. This naturally makes casinos huge targets for people seeking to breach their database. And while they try their best to protect your information, It’s not always enough. In both 2015 and 2016, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas Suffered massive data breaches from malware that had been connected to their card processing system.
Blackjack is a massively popular game at casinos, and even if you can’t count cards, it may seem like you have a decent chance of winning big. You get two cards to start with, and you try to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. But the casinos do everything in their power to make sure that they maintain their advantage over you. One move is by letting the dealer hit a soft 17. This means that the dealer’s hand includes an ace that can be used as an 11 or a 1. If the dealer is allowed to hit on a soft 17, this means that on average they have a 0.2% greater chance of winning. This may seem like such a small percentage, but it adds up to millions of dollars in the long run. Taking insurance at the Blackjack table is another bad move that adds 7% to the house odds. If you draw two tens, you have the option of splitting your cards into two separate bets, each starting with a ten. But keeping those tens together for a total of 20 is really the best move and increase your chances of winning. Don’t let the casino divide and conquer your cards!
5. Your Fellow Patrons
By now, you might be disgusted with the things that the casino does without you knowing. But wait until you hear what your fellow casino goes are up to when you’re not looking. While you might want to win big at the casino, the house loves people who lose big. These “WHALES” as they’re known, are people who spend massive amounts of money and this entitles them to more than a few perks if you want to call them that. At the Mohegan sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, whales have been known to make insane demands, like one player who requested a fridge full of bananas that he fidgets with as he gambles. Or another player who repeatedly urinated on the wall. Former employees have testified that these behaviors are tolerated because of the money these people pour into the casino. Oh, and big spenders aren’t the only people who don’t want to use the restrooms. Some casinos have separate cleaning crews because so many of their guests would rather go in their pants when nature calls, instead of getting up to use the restrooms. Just think about that the next time you’re sitting on a seat at the casino! Don’t worry, we won’t make you bet on our trivia question. In 2016, how much money did United States casinos pocket from gamblers? Keep Reading for the Answer!
Have you ever stopped to wonder why casinos use chips at their tables instead of cash? You use your money to buy chips and then when you’re done playing, you have to go up to the counter and change your chips back into cash. Kind of feels like an unnecessary step. But it’s a very deliberate move on the part of the casino. You see, the chips add a level of mental separation to the gambling process. Instead of counting out $50 for a bet, and felling the money leave your hand, you grab a chip and toss it onto the table. It’s like how when you pay cash for things it feels like you’re spending more than if you use your credit card. A big bet can look like a stack of money, but a few chips make it seem like you’re not spending as much. Some casinos also place RFID chips inside of their larger denomination chips. This makes it easy to track them and detect any fraudulent chips. Any chips that are stolen can then be deactivated. Although the technology isn’t quite there yet, it’s thought that eventually the RFID chips could be used to track your gaming habits further while you play.
7. The Playground
In addition to security and gaming technology advancing in recent years, the layout of casinos is undergoing a significant overhaul. Outdated casinos were designed using a plan known as the “MAZE LAYOUT.” It was believed that if you created a casino with no clocks, no natural light, very few doors, and machines arranged in a curved arc, it would make it difficult for customers to navigate. Because they’d be trapped for longer at the casino, they’d be more likely to spend more money. It was a good idea in theory and was the standard design until casino designer Roger Thomas created a whole new look for the WYNN Resort’s Las Vegas casino. He not only added clocks but brought in natural lights incorporating skylights into the design. The low ceilings of the past were raised, and the confusing layout became easier to navigate and lovelier to look at. Rather than trapping people inside a maze, this new model is referred to as the “PLAYGROUND LAYOUT,” and strives to be as inviting as possible. In studies, players visiting a casino with this type of layout end up spending more money and report feeling relaxed and comfortable.
8. Safety Concerns
Casinos bring in revenue and create jobs, but what the casinos try to keep quiet is that they also carry many undesirable things as well. In 2005, a study was conducted in Maryland by William Evans and Julie Topoleski. While they found that the local casinos did create a significant number of jobs, a 5% increase in total, there were many adverse side effects. Auto theft, crime, and bankruptcy all increased by 10% in communities in which gambling was permitted. In a separate study conducted across the United States, it was found that in counties with casinos 8% of the crimes committed were directly attributable to the presence of the casino. And as far as being a good source of tax revenue, that’s not entirely accurate. When a casino is put in, it takes business away from local bars and restaurants, and by doing this, it decreases the amount of tax revenue the state receives. And after an initial hiring boon, many casinos replace tons of their tables with machines, eliminating many positions.
9. Slot Machine Odds
Slot Machine is pretty straightforward: you put some credits in, you pull a lever or hit a button, and then you see if you win. If a machine has three reels with 20 symbols each, one of which is the Jackpot symbol, it’s reasonable to assume that your odds of winning big at that machine are one in 8,000. That may be the cash with older mechanical machines, but with computerized slot machines, the odds are much lower. Inside the slot machine, the computer generates random numbers only stopping when a player pushes the button. The slot machine is programmed for far more stops than the 20 visible on the reel, and in the example, we mentioned you could expect something like 256 stops per reel. The way that it’s programmed, you’re most likely to hit a blank or low winning symbol at the same time you hit the jackpot, giving you the illusion that you are close to beating it. Also, the reels themselves are weighted, making it much more likely that the jackpot symbol will appear on the first and second reels than on the third. This is to make you feel like you were just OH SO close to winning big and encouraged you to keep playing.
10. Your Odds Can Change
Okay, so the odds aren’t as good as you thought, but at least now you’re more aware of them. Well, for now. You see, back in the old days, you would have to take a slot machine apart or readjust its programming to change the odds. However, that is no longer an issue for any place. Remember when we said that casinos are monitoring your every move? If you’re winning too much money on the slots, the casino can change the odds of your game and make it nearly impossible for you to win. The Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas was the first casino to introduce this style of machine, but it’s far from the last. The slot machines run off a computer, which an employee can make adjustments to without alerting anyone that something on the machine is changing. With the press of a button, your odds, limits, and even available games can all change. And even more unsettling, is that these machines don’t look any different than regular slot machines, so it’s hard to tell if the machine is server-based or not. Talk about a Massive Win! In 2016, Us casinos took in $450 Billion. And it’s estimated that the 2019 figure will be even Bigger.