Combining smart with fun with winning while gambling

I talk about smart and fun gaming every week. These two aren’t mutually exclusive. Smart gaming isn’t always fun and fun gaming isn’t always smart. However, winning is always fun.
When we can combine smart with fun with winning we have a perfect time at the casino. Depending on plans for the night, playing a longer time may lead to fun gaming. Knowing the right games to play and how to play them makes for a good time. This is why I like to look at the minutia of every game in the casino.
Unfortunately, finding the right game is sometimes stressful for some people. If you’re with a group of friends you may not want to walk around the casino, especially a large one like Caesars Palace, just to find out the best paying game was in the front. With certain groups of friends you just want to sit at the first table with room for your group regardless of limits or rules.
Sometimes it’s more fun to visit a casino and not worry about strategy and making the right moves at the table. It’s okay to just want to kick back have a few drinks, let the laughs roll and not think about anything. Writing this column is a way to embed the smart games in my head. Even when I’m not looking for a particular game, I know to choose the smarter one. I hope you can say the same.
Blackjack is the table game involving the most “effort” to find the smart ones. Many casinos, especially in Las Vegas, have multiple types of blackjack games on the floor. The first – and probably most important – thing to keep an eye on is the payout for blackjack. The house advantage is always less when blackjack pays 3:2 than when it pays 6:5.
When the casino goes with 6:5 it changes the house advantage in their favor more than any other alteration to the game. Depending on the rest of the rules, it can triple the house advantage.
If you just want to kick back, hang out and play blackjack, regardless of 6:5 or 3:2 payouts you can still play smart. The 6:5 is usually lower limit games. You can minimize the damage done by the larger house advantage simply by playing hands for the least amount of money you find interesting.
If you usually play a progressive-style game you can forgo that, too. I will often play $25 blackjack with advantageous rules but if friends want to go somewhere with a lesser game I’ll just drop my play to $5 or $10.
Minimizing bets on a blackjack game with a larger house advantage is a simple change and may be obvious to some, but simply by playing lower limits you lessen your exposure to the casino. Saving money isn’t as good as making money but limiting the damage can allow you to play longer.
Ultimately we are in the casino for fun.

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