This area is now flush with casinos—all draft to different you from your money. Below are 7 things to understand before setup foot in one.


With critical December’s opening of MGM nationwide Harbor, the era of casino-building in this region—which began in 2009 when table gamings were approved for Charles Town, West Virginia, and ramped increase in 2010 once Maryland approved 6 casinos transparent the state—is ultimately complete.

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Now with four significant casinos within a 90-minute drive of downtown DC, there’s little reason for gamblers come head come Atlantic City or ras Vegas. (Atlantic City, in fact, is a little bit of a ghost town, through nearly fifty percent of its boardwalk casinos shuttered.) in addition to MGM, the various other three close-by casinos space Live Casino & Hotel—formerly Maryland Live—just off I-95 in between Washington and also Baltimore; Hollywood Casino at Charles town Races in West Virginia; and Horseshoe Baltimore.

While every of these is various (we’ll talk about that in a bit), what they have in common is the they’re noisy, filled through bright blinking lights, and also designed—from the background music to the lack of home windows to those lights—to different you from your money.

Which is why for most people, walking into a casino have the right to be one intimidating—and often expensive—experience.

In my conversations with casino newbies, I often hear the very same defeatist refrain: “We’re setting aside $200 for the evening, and that’s what fine lose.” i guess it is realistic, so ns never try to talk anyone out of that attitude.

Personally, ns walk right into a casino every time expecting to success a fortune. That’s occurred to me just a couple of times, if a $9,000 jackpot is a fortune. Yet I have actually a hopeful attitude. I admit that ns comfortable in casinos—I’ve to be to an ext than 100 over 25 years. While the true the most new or occasional gamblers don’t win a most money, you can walk far with some of it still in your wallet. Breaking also is okay.

Here are seven things to know prior to visiting a casino.

1. Don’t start making large bets appropriate after arriving. Some people get a explode of adrenaline once they go into a casino. Walk roughly a bit and also get acclimated before you wager. Also, it’s best not to overdo the drinking. Shot to remain clear-headed if you intended to gamble.

2. If you plan to play table gamings such as blackjack, craps, baccarat, poker, or roulette, practice online before trying it at a casino with actual money. When girlfriend play a game such as craps or roulette, in i beg your pardon chips space flying and also some bets are made by gestures, you can assume the various other players know more than friend do. Mine experience has been that no issue how little you think you know, various other players understand less. Still, a tiny practice deserve to make you feel an ext confident.

A variety of online sites permit you try your hand; one is Have an ext time? one of the ideal books come read prior to you go is Casino Gambling for the Winner by Lyle Stuart. Released in 1978, this standard is still obtainable on Amazon. If you desire to strike blackjack, check out Edward O. Thorp’s Beat the Dealer: A winning Strategy because that the video game of Twenty-One.

In most table games, you no opposing various other players—you’re playing versus the house. Just in poker is this no true. Simply remember the while dealers are instructed to it is in friendly and also helpful, your boss’s score is come empty her pockets. Although the fine to ask dealers for advice, they may suggest you make a bet that has actually a lower chance the winning. If certified dealer are helpful, you deserve to tip lock by making a side bet because that them. That way you become the dealers’ partner, and also if they win, friend win.

3. Most of a casino’s floor is given to slot machines since those are the moneymakers. this days, slots have motifs that blatantly very nice to certain interests (fans that TV shows including Wheel of Fortune, The large Bang Theory, and also The Walking Dead). One machine, based upon the entertainment present TMZ, will take it a picture of the player and superimpose his or her picture into the game.

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My advice on playing the slot is merely to discover one that looks fun and hope to obtain lucky. Yes sir no proven strategy because that beating slot machines. That said, some are famous for a reason—they might be “looser” than various other machines and also pay out more.

If you placed a $100 bill into a slot (today’s makers no longer take or dispense coins) and play the out—say you hit the bet switch 100 times on a $1 machine—you need to actually get about $90 back. Maryland regulation requires that slot devices return at the very least 87 percent that the money fed into them, but most casinos return around 90 percent. It is on average—some people win large jackpots, and others lose it all. In reality, you’ll most likely walk away with much less than 90 percent, due to the fact that the much longer you play, the much longer you keep giving the casino 10 percent the what you’re feeding the machine. I recommend cashing out when you’re ahead, pocketing her profit, and starting again with every little thing your original stake was.

4. You don’t have to dress up to visit a casino—this isn’t Monte Carlo. While ns am a believer in spring presentable (call me old-fashioned), the bigger worry is being prepared for any kind of temperature. Casinos space freezing in summer—on the sexty days, you could want to bring a irradiate jacket, particularly for poker or table gamings where you can be sitting awhile.

5. This might sound crazy, yet remember whereby you parked. In all the excitement of the casino atmosphere, the isn’t uncommon to forget where you left your car. I always take a photo of mine parking an are with my iPhone, consisting of the row and level.

6. A fun, much less intimidating way to invest an night at a casino is to sit at among the bars and also play video clip poker. Usually there’s a choice of games—the two with the ideal chance of winning room Jacks or far better and Deuces Wild. Examine the odds when you start playing, and make certain that at a minimum you get an 8–1 payout because that a complete house and also 5–1 because that a flush. Bars also have video blackjack, craps, and roulette.

7. Authorize up because that a player’s card. When you do your first bet, you will do it be inquiry if you have actually a player’s card. This allows casinos to track and also rate your play. Some will also give you a win/loss statement in ~ the finish of the year. Unless you’re yearn anonymity, it makes sense to sign up. If it’s greatly high-rollers who gain the benefits—Live Casino & Hotel gives away cruises to its higher-rated players—even infrequent gamblers can accrue point out that can be supplied for meals, discounts, and totally free play. In ~ MGM, her points can gain you free rooms in ~ its ras Vegas and Atlantic City casinos.

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This article appears in the August 2017 issue of

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