The Backpacking Gambling Buff: The Beginner’s Casino Travel Guide

Outside the famous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.

Backpacking in Monte Carlo in Monaco

Have you never been to a casino before? Are you ready to experience the thrill of the gaming floor for the first time? In this beginner’s casino travel guide you’ll find all the essential tips you need to help you get the most out of the experience. 

There’s a lot you need to know before you enter your first casino. Before you even think about which games to play or how to maximise your winnings, you need to decide which casinos you should visit. The world is a big place, and there are lots of exciting gambling experiences on offer. Luckily, this expert advice will point you in the right direction of amazing first time on the gaming floor. 

Admiring the Grand Lisboa casino from afar.

Which Casinos to Visit?  

The type of gambling experience you want to have will determine which casino you should visit. However, if you’re a complete newcomer to the gaming floor, you might want to consider taking a trip to Sin City itself, Las Vegas. It’s the world’s most famous gambling destination and really does have something for everyone. Even novices will find a game to suit them, from the penny slots to the high roller tables. 

If you’re looking for something a little different, Macau offers an authentic Far Eastern gambling experience, while if you’re excited by the idea of a traditional European-style casino, it doesn’t get much better than Monte Carlo, the haunt of James Bond. If you’d rather stay closer to home for your first time, this vast list of UK online casinos lets you practice your skills on the web before you set foot in a bricks-and-mortar venue. 

How Much to Spend 

Once you’ve decided where you’ll be gambling, the next step is to decide on your bankroll. You’ll find advice on websites such as telling you how to determine the right amount of money to take to the gaming floor.  

As a general rule of thumb, never gamble more than you can afford to lose. You should never put yourself in financial danger by placing a wager, and never get carried away chasing losses. If you win any money, don’t plough all your winnings straight back into your next wager. Save at least half so that you come away with some cash in your pocket. 

Gambling money

Joining Membership Programs 

Almost every casino features its own membership program that players can sign up to for free. Being a member often opens up a host of handy promotions such as free credit which might be loaded onto your card, so you can make even more of your bankroll. There are other perks to joining a loyalty program too. You may receive free coupons for the buffet or for drinks as well as a reduced room rate. Remember to present your membership card each time you play, and you’ll scoop more rewards with every wager. 

Benefiting from Free Drinks 

Many casinos offer players free drinks as long as they are gambling at the machines or at a table. This is particularly the case in Vegas. Even if you don’t want to gamble too much, you can still benefit from free drinks if you play at the penny slots. 

When to Visit Casinos 

In many places, if you choose to visit the casino on a weekday, you’ll save money. In popular gambling resorts, room rates will double or triple during the weekends as tourists and local customers arrive. During the week, you’ll find cheaper room rates and less crowded tables and slots. If you’re looking for a busy and bustling atmosphere, however, a weekend may be the right time for you. 

Remember You’re Paying for Your Surroundings 

If you’re gambling in a very upmarket casino, you may want to be aware that the chances of a big win are lower. Classy casinos have to generate higher income in order to cover their costs and break even. That means the house has a higher edge. Bear this in mind before you place a wager. If you’re playing in Vegas, you might want to head Downtown rather than the Strip for better odds on slots. You’ll also get free entertainment and excellent food deals. 

Which Games to Play 

Although your choice of games to wager on will depend on your own preferences or skills, there are certain games which have a smaller house advantage. Craps and blackjack are the two best options if you want to maximise your winnings as long as you follow the right strategies. If you’re already skilled at poker, this is another good choice since you’re playing against other players and not against the house itself. 

Backpacking in Macau.

How to Get Around 

Gambling resorts like Las Vegas and Macau often have free shuttle buses which you can use if you’re staying in one of the hotels. You’ll need to show your room key or some other evidence of your stay, but it’ll let you get around without having to worry about walking long distances or paying for taxis. 

Follow these top tips if you’re a first-time gambler and you’ll discover that your first ever casino trip will be an exciting and successful one.  


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