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Learning how to win money in a Las Vegas casino isn t the hardest thing in the world to do. People win money in Vegas casinos every day, in fact.
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But the odds are against you.
That s why the casinos are still in business and make so much money. They ve designed the games and payouts so that you can t win in the long run. They even have a word for the mathematical disadvantage the games offer you it s called the house edge.
The good news is that the house edge is a long-term phenomenon. Anyone can win money gambling in the short term. In fact, if they couldn t, the casinos would go out of business because no one would play there.
Some gamblers do a better job of winning money at Vegas casinos than others, though. This post looks at what they do differently so that you can do it, too.
The first step to winning money in a Las Vegas casino is having a gambling bankroll. This is money that you ve set aside for the purpose of gambling with. It should be money you don t need for other purposes.
The reason you need a gambling bankroll is because you can t win money without first risking money. That s how gambling works. And if you don t set aside money for this purpose, you re liable to bet money you can t afford to lose just to get into and/or stay in action.
How big a bankroll do you need?
If your goal is to stay in action forever at a negative expectation game, you need an infinitely large bankroll. Luckily, that s not the goal for most thinking people.
You should base the size of your bankroll on your goals. Which games do you want to play? How much are you planning to bet at that game? How much time do you want to spend gambling?
If you want to play blackjack for $100/hand, you need more than $200 to get in any time at the table. Lose 2 bets in a row, and you re out of action almost immediately. That s no fun. Most people want to spend more than 5 minutes at the gambling table.
With a blackjack bankroll of $200, though, you might be able to play for an hour or 2 at the $5 tables.
Frank Scoblete offers interesting bankroll management advice for gamblers who play casino games. These are usually based on what it takes to make a quick win. Some of his money management techniques are misleading, as they don t increase your probability of winning. But his bankroll management advice can help you avoid going broke before getting your fill of fun at the table.
Scoblete suggests having a bankroll of 1000 units for a casino visit, and dividing it up as follows:
According to Scoblete, this works out to this much gambling on your gaming activities:
Obviously, you can see that blackjack and craps are far and away his recommended games. In this respect, at least, Scoblete is on the money. These are probably the best 2 casino games you can play, especially if you can avoid the sucker bets at the craps table.
More about those in the next section
Some casino games offer nothing but sucker bets.
But what s that mean?
A sucker bet is a bet that only suckers make because the house edge is so much higher than it needs to be. An example of a sucker bet is the game of keno, which usually has a house edge of 15% or higher. (And I m being generous with that number most keno games have a house edge of 25% or more, making it marginally better than the lottery, but not by much.)
Some gamblers think American roulette is a sucker bet because of its house edge of 5.26%. If you re playing in a casino that offers both American roulette and European roulette (which has a house edge of 2.70% or 1.35% depending on the rules), American roulette is certainly a sucker bet. But if American roulette is the only option available, and if you really enjoy the game, it s not really a sucker bet.
Other casino games, though, have multiple betting options. Some of them have a low house edge, while others have a ridiculously high edge. Craps is the best example of this kind of game. The basic bet in craps is the pass line bet, which has a house edge of 1.41%.
But the proposition bets at the craps table have house edge figures well in excess of 10%. You d have to be a sucker to place a bet at a table that will result in 7X or 8X the losses in the same time.
How do you know which games and which bets are the sucker bets?
Just spend some time researching the house edge for various games. Baccarat, blackjack, craps, and video poker traditionally offer the best odds. Slot machines and keno are on the other end of the spectrum, offering the worst odds in the casino.
Most of the other games are somewhere in between.
Of course, unless you re an advantage player (like a card counter), all casino games have a negative expectation. This means if you play long enough, you ll eventually lose all your money. From the perspective of an advantage gambler, who only bets when he has an edge, all these casino games offer sucker bets.
But for the recreational gambler, your goal should be to get maximum game fun for the least amount of money. Your goal should also be to walk away a winner if you can.
Your best chance of doing so is to stick with the games with the best odds.
Poker games are another thing, entirely. That s a game of skill, and I encourage you to learn to play poker and play it well. Since you re competing with other poker players for their money, you don t have to worry about a house edge. You just need to be more skilled than most of the other players at the table.
Sports betting is another thing, too. The bookmakers set up the odds so that they re going to make a profit, so it s hard to get an edge, but they re not perfect. If you re better at picking winners than they are, you can get an edge over the books, too. In fact, if you re really good at handicapping, your best chance of leaving the casino with a lot of money is by putting money into action in the sports book.
Most games have no strategy other than avoiding the worst bets at the table. Some games require you to make decisions about how to play your hand, though. The latter are the games with the best odds.
No matter which kind of game you play, you should go into it with a strategy and stick with that strategy. Ignore your hunches and psychic insights about what s going to happen next. Just make the best possible bets you can.
Roulette is a game with a simple strategy. Most casinos in Las Vegas offer what s called American roulette. Every bet on that roulette game but one offers a house edge of 5.26%.
There s one exception:
The 5-number bet has a house edge of 7.89%. Since that s significantly more than all the other bets at the table, the best strategy is to never make that bet.
You can then decide how you want to bet on the other roulette numbers based on your tolerance for risk and your desire for a big payout. If you like frequent small wins, stick with the even-money bets. The probability of winning those bets is close to 50% (47.37%), but you only win even money.
On the other hand, if you don t mind losing for a while, you can place a single number bet. That pays off at 35 to 1, but the probability of winning that bet is only 1/38, or 2.63%.
You can also place a plethora of bets with payouts and probabilities between those 2 options.
With a game like blackjack, though, the house edge varies based on how well you play your hands. In blackjack, there s a mathematically correct move to make in every possible situation. This is called basic strategy.
A player using basic strategy in blackjack only faces a house edge of 0.5% to 1%. If you ignore basic strategy and just play your hunches, you re probably giving the house an extra 3% to 4%.
That s a huge difference. If you re going to play blackjack, you should at least learn a simplified version of basic strategy to keep the house edge as low as possible
Also, even if you use perfect basic strategy in blackjack, the house still has an edge. Play long enough, and you ll lose all your money.
But when you reduce the house edge as much as possible, you increase the probability of walking away from a Las Vegas casino as a winner.
You can find detailed articles about every casino game you can imagine on this site. Those articles all cover the appropriate strategies to use for these games.
No one can win money in a Las Vegas casino if they continue to play. Since the casino games have an edge, you re likelier to lose than win, and every bet you make brings you that much closer to the long run. The Law of Large Numbers suggests that the more trials you get involved in, the closer your actual results will mirror the mathematically expected results.
This means that if you hit a big win early in your casino visit, it s a good idea to set aside at least some of those winnings rather than gambling them all. I once won $6000 on a slot machine on my 6th spin of the reels. I immediately cashed out and set $3000 aside to make sure I could go home with a profit. (My bankroll for the entire trip was $1000, so I still had about $4000 to play with for the rest of my stay in Vegas.)
You ll find some writers talking about money management and the importance of setting win goals and loss limits. An example of a win goal is someone with a $1000 bankroll who decides he ll quit once he s ahead by $200. That s a win goal of 20%.
A stop loss limit, on the other hand, is an amount of money you re willing to lose before quitting. With a $1000 bankroll and a 20% stop loss limit, a gambler would quit when his bankroll got down to $800.
Here s the thing about win goals, stop loss limits, and money management:
None of these techniques change the house edge. No matter when you walk away from the tables, unless you walk away permanently, the house edge will eventually come into play in your casino game hobby.
Yes, you should quit when you get ahead.
Or at least set aside enough winnings that you can go home a winner.
Just realize that this concept doesn t increase your chances of winning money in a Las Vegas casino in the long run. It just makes sure that you sometimes go home a winner. You ll go home a loser more often, but not as often if you occasionally quit while you re ahead.
The last time I visited the Winstar, I had a small bankroll of just $200.
But I also had a plan.
I was going to bet $100 on odd. We chose that because my traveling companions and I decide that we were all odd people, so that might be lucky for us. (I didn t have the heart to tell them that the odds of winning were 47.37% regardless of whether we bet on odd or even.)
That was half my total bankroll for the trip on a single bet. I wanted to go big or go home. I was going to use the other $100 to bet on craps, actually, but I was just going to stick with the $5 bets.
But it was a Saturday night at the Winstar, and they only recently started offering real roulette and real craps. Prior to this change, they generated results using playing cards instead of wheels and dice.
As a result, the tables were so crowded I couldn t get anywhere near them. I wound up playing Lightning Sevens and The Big Lebowski slot machines, instead.
I still broke even for the night, but that was all luck.
Still, there s much to be said for making one big bet instead of making lots of small bets. I ve written about something called maximum boldness in gambling before. The idea is that making a single big bet on a negative expectation game offers you a better probability of doubling your money than making any combination of multiple, smaller bets.
This is because of the Law of Large Numbers, which I think I ve already mentioned.
Here s the
You goal is to make $1000 on a single bet in roulette. You choose black (or any other even number.) You have 2 possible outcomes:
Possibility #2 is more likely, but those are still the only 2 possibilities.
Now suppose you make 2 bets of $500 each. Here are the possible outcomes:
The likelihood of these events varies, but you re more likely to lose both bets than you are to win both bets. That s obvious. But you also have 2 other possibilities which are also pretty likely.
And obviously, the more bets you make, the more possibilities are out there. Suppose you make 4 bets of $250 each:
The reason casinos make money is because they re in it for the long run.
Wanna beat the casinos?
Decide to get happy with wins in the short run.
It s hard to win money on any kind of gambling if you re tired or bored. Gambling is supposed to be fun. If you re gambling compulsively to the point where you re uninterested in any other activity, you re in trouble.
Luckily, in Las Vegas, you can find lots of things to do. Heck, just walking around Downtown or the Las Vegas Strip can be loads of fun. There are free shows right on The Strip, too the water fountains at the Bellagio and the pirate show at the Mirage cost you nothing. You can even go see circus acts at Circus Circus.
Spend some of your entertainment money on other forms of entertainment. Think about hitting a couple of the cool museums in town. Whether you like organized crime or nuclear experiments, Las Vegas has a museum to help educate you about it.
And you won t find a better selection of shows anywhere on the planet.
The number and variety of bars and nightclubs is staggering. So is the number of restaurants.
Don t just gamble.
Enjoy some of what else Vegas has to offer.
If I could convince you of one thing, it s this:
If you want to win money in a Las Vegas casino, stay away from the casino games entirely and play poker.
Not all Vegas casinos have cardrooms, but find one that does. Learn how to play poker and learn how to play the game well.
The skill element is what sets poker apart from the other games. The casinos take a 5% cut of every pot, which means you can t just sit down and break even.
But it takes less study and effort than you might think to become a break-even poker player. With a little effort, you can make a long-term profit at the Texas holdem tables.
90% of poker players don t profit, but that means 10% of the players do. That s a bigger percentage of Vegas winners than you ll find playing slot machines, I promise you.
Anyone can come home after winning some money in Las Vegas. People do it every day. It s easier to pull off if you stick with the games offering better bets.
Of course, learning the right strategies for the games you re playing helps, too. Being able to distinguish between good and bad bets is one critical skill. But in games like blackjack and video poker, you must be able to make the decisions offering the best expected value, too.
Finally, if you really want to win money in Las Vegas casinos in the long run, become a solid poker player.
So you want to make money fast, and easily? Well who doesn't - I know I certainly do! A friend of mine has shown me a great way to make some real money, and with a pretty small outlay to start with. I'll warn you now, though, it means gambling and having courage, and a good deal of planning - so let's have a look.
Start with, say, $100. Now remember, this is a hundred you don't need and a hundred you wont miss!
Now we get the racing pages together, and look for a few races with the following criteria - eight runners or fewer, and a horse that is a clear favorite. If you're not familiar with how to tell the favorite, look at the starting prices - anything at evens, or less, is likely to be heavily favored.
Let's say you find four horses that fit the criteria - one at evens, the next at 4/5 on, the next at 3/5 and the last one at evens. You now need to place an accumulator bet on those four horses - your bookmaker will help you to do this, but put simply it means the winnings from the first bet are carried over to the second, and so on.
So, you put $100 on the accumulator that covers those four bets - when each horse wins, and at those odds the likelihood is they will, this is what happens:
Bet 1: $100 at evens = $200 return
Bet 2: $200 at 4/5 = $360 return
Bet 3: $360 at 3/5 = $572 return
Bet 4: $572 at evens = $1144 return
In four races you have turned $100 into over $1100!
If you need money now, like I mean in the next hour, try what I did. I am making more money now than in my old business and you can too, read the amazing, true story, in the link below. When I joined I was skeptical for just ten seconds before I realized what this was. I was smiling from ear to ear and you will too.
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In this post I thought it would be interesting to talk about illegal ways to make money. Note that I say interesting I am not condoning any of these ideas or suggesting you try them.
I just thought this could be a fun, if not so serious, topic to think about. The way I see it, even if we think we would never try this at home, there could still be something to learn from it.
The answers to this question are potentially many, so I certainly cant give one answer that applies to everyone who resorts to illicit activity.
The obvious reason, of course, is that many illegal money-making ventures are extremely lucrative. If it doesnt bother you knowing you are very likely harming others in the process (it would certainly bother me), then you can make a lot of money through illegal means. Admittedly much more than from taking surveys.
But that is just the obvious aspect of it. There are other, more nuanced, and more complex socio-economic reasons for why people resort to illegal means of making money.
Consider this clip from the classic movie, Aladdin:
In this scene, we see Aladdin and his pet monkey, Abu, collude to steal a melon from the marketplace. If you dont know, Aladdin is a street urchin. He is poor and must steal the melon for the sake of survival.
Sure, you could argue he should find a way to develop real skills so he doesnt have to resort to stealing.
At that exact moment, though, he is fighting for survival and doesnt have the breathing room to start learning a new skill.
This is not unlike what can happen in real life. Some people are just in a tough situation. Maybe they dont want to resort to illegal activity but maybe they dont have a choice.
Again, I just want to reiterate that anyone actually do any of these illegal activities to make money. This is more about building awareness about these things and trying to understand why people do them.
You may have heard cash is king, but lets be honest: these days, data is king.
Im sure you have heard about the many data breaches that have happened in recent years, such as those with Experian, Target, and other companies.
The result of these breaches was hundreds of millions of people having their data, and possibly even their identities, compromised.
Obviously, this type of crime requires advanced technical knowledge, and the punishment can be steep.
Im sure you have heard of the Nigerian prince character by now. Although it has almost become a farce in the world of the internet, it is nevertheless rooted in reality.
The basic concept is that some rich person youve never heard of sends you an email saying you are owed some ungodly amount of money, like $100 million. Now, all they need is your banking info to send it to you!
I hope you see where this is going.
Sadly, many people have fallen for this one over the years. Dont be one of them. And definitely dont try to run this scam on others.
Viagra pills, anyone? Although this is similar with #2, its not quite the same thing. Usually, spam doesnt have the intention to deceive, but the message will be unsightly and/or annoying.
Yes, Viagra advertisements are one example. As are life insurance ads, personal loan ads, and many others.
Indeed, typically these will be product ads, but what makes them spam is that they are being sent to millions of people when, in reality, a relatively small number of people will actually be interested.
By the way, this is not actually illegal in the US. It is, however, illegal in places with stricter email regulations you may have heard of GDPR.
Luckily, many email providers such as Gmail do have spam filters. Every now and then, however, these emails do slip through, and it can be annoying to receive them for sure.
But, due to the sheer number of these emails being sent out (think in the millions), those sending them are able to generate revenue since they have the ability to mass-send so many of them.
Malware infections are similar to stealing personal data. The biggest difference is that end-users are typically targeted directly.
The result of malware infections can be many, such as stealing personal data from personal computers. We have also seen ransomware, in which malware locks up a computer and can only be unlocked after the user pays a fee.
Malware attacks are one of the costliest types of cyber attacks, with companies in 2018 spending over $2 million on them in just 2018 alone.
Similar to stealing data is identity theft. Rather than simply stealing peoples data and then selling it to a third party, an identity thief takes over a persons entire identity.
This can be used to make purchases in the persons name, commit fraud, or do other illicit activities where it is beneficial to use someone elses identity.
The above schemes primarily focus on things done online or leveraging technology. Now were going to cover illegal money-making activities that happen in the real world.
This can be robbing a bank, convenience store, or anything that results directly in the loss of cash for a business owner.
You may have noticed, though, that this type of crime is becoming more difficult to commit. Thats because while most retail stores accept cash, it is either taken away at the end of the day, or the till wont open after the close of business.
Given the lowered success rate of this rate and the overall danger involved, it doesnt seem worth doing, although many people still attempt it.
In addition to robbing stores, many people choose to steal property instead. These days, with so many people carrying around valuable devices, this one seems like a low-hanging fruit in a way.
I have heard of lots of people having phones, laptops, and other electronics stolen from inside their cars whether locked or unlocked.
In less-common scenarios, sometimes people even have their cars stolen.
While it is certainly difficult to estimate the cost of property theft, it is usually estimated to cost Americans around $15 billion every year.
Selling drugs on the street is never good regardless of the type of drug. Even if the drug is a legal one, its still illegal to sell it if the seller is not properly licensed.
Of course, things only compound from there if the person is also selling a drug that is totally illegal, such as hard drugs.
And the opioid epidemic only makes this one worse from a moral/ethical standpoint. And given that drug dealers may not even clear six figures, this one isnt worth it in my opinion.
I buy a box [a kilogram] for ?8,500 every two weeks. Ill sell half of it for ?5,000 straight away, which makes the ounce price on the other 18 just under ?200 each. I sell them for ?350, so I make around ?5,500 profit a month.-Drug dealer named Ali, from a Vice article
Sure, thats a decent amount of money, but it only works out to ?66,000 ($86,000 currently) to sell drugs illegally. Ali was selling ketamine.
Now, when I say gambling, Im not referring to feeding penny slots. Slot machines are pure luck, and, of course, the house always wins (in the long run).
What Im actually referring to are those who play games where you can increase your chances of winning with the right level of skill and know-how. One example of this would be poker.
And then there are those who make millions playing fantasy football. These stories are surprisingly common nowadays. However, you cant expect to make millions playing fantasy sports casually.
Some of these guys (and yes, its mostly guys) have complex systems in place that most of us couldnt fathom drumming up.
All that being said, some of this activity is illegal depending on where you live. State laws often have to be taken into consideration, but playing poker for money at peoples houses is illegal in many states. Same goes for playing fantasy sports for money.
These activities might be fun and even profitable for some, but that doesnt mean they are legal.
As you can see, there are many ways to make money illegally. Unsurprisingly, though, most of them are risky and often dangerous.
In order to successfully make money in an illegal way, you usually have to be highly skilled in some way (or in multiple ways). And if you get caught, the penalties are understandably steep.
For this reason (and others) I would needless to say not recommend trying any of these. However, it is good to be aware of them so we can protect ourselves.
After all, the unfortunate reality is that there is always someone trying to carry out some kind of heist. The more you know, the safer youll be!
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