Top skills every gambler needs

Gambling is a fun activity. The thrills, the anticipation, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, it all adds up to an experience that can be exhilarating – but can also be devastating.

Especially when you’re playing for real money.

The right mindset

Every form of gambling is a game of chance, a game where Lady Luck has complete control. Whether you’re an online casino player, at a land-based casino, playing slots or tables, sports betting or playing the lottery, the outcome is always the same – you never know for sure. There are various ‘experts’ that speak about strategies and formulae for beating the odds but, in reality, the only thing that can be guaranteed is that the house always has the edge.

However, there are skills that every gambler should master in order to walk away a happy, expert player and not a depressed newbie.

Going into a game with the right thinking is 90% of what makes a happy gambler. Sitting at a slot machine or slots game expecting to hit the multi-million Rand progressive jackpot is a sure path to disappointment and debt.

Gambling is a game and a game that is meant to be enjoyed for the fun and excitement it offers. If you want a guaranteed promise of money coming your way, it’s called a job.

Once you realise that gambling is not a guarantee of riches, get ready to delve deeper into the games you love.

Understanding the game you’re playing is crucial. You need to make sure you understand the rules of the game so you can play effectively. Adding guesswork to luck is really just throwing money away – and throwing it straight into the casino’s bank account.

Each game has a set of rules. Read up about them. See how the game works. Find out about side bets, bonus games, wilds and scatters. A lot of games add in special bets to see of you will put a little kore money down even though the odds of you winning that side bet are astronomical. The insurance bet in blackjack is a good example, as are the bet functions on a slots game.

Set goals to track how much you are winning or losing. Being in control of your money is as important as hitting a jackpot. When you’re in control, you’re having fun. When you lose control, you’re having a problem.

Make sure you are in the right mood for gambling. Your mood will affect how you play, making bets when you normally wouldn’t or throwing bigger money at a losing streak. Go into the game positive. Stay positive. Be positive.

Bankroll management

It may seem like the simplest advice in the world but it’s astounding to know that many players don’t manage their bankroll effectively.

One of the most important skills any gambler can have is knowing how to manage their bankroll.

It starts with only gambling using money you can afford to lose. Don’t sit down expecting to win big. Sit down expecting to lose. And then decide how much you’re willing to lose. That is your budget.

Stick to the budget. Never draw more money or transfer more money to your online casino account. You came in with a plan. Stick to it. As the great Hannibal Smith of the A-Team used to say: “I love it when a plan comes together”.

An excellent tip from seasoned gamblers is to only gamble with money you’ve won. This means you won’t be losing money and will always have a nest egg for playing again.

Basic math

Practice your math skills, they will come in handy. Not in a Rain Man, counting cards kinda way, more in an understanding how to calculate and understand odds, house edges, RTPs, volatility and the weighing of risks versus rewards on your chosen online casino games or land-based play.

Having a solid grasp of the mathematics behind gambling games will help you formulate a solid playing method and strategy for the most fun and, hopefully, reward.


There are thousands of books and articles about gambling and the different online and land-based casino games you can play. If you are passionate about gambling and want to understand more than just the surface of the industry, do some research. Knowledge is power and, even in games of chance, expertise will always benefit you.

Play free games

This is where online casinos really stand out. Doing the same thing over and over is not only a sign of madness, it is also boring. Finding new games to play is always a thrill but you don’t really want to risk losing money while you figure out the rules and the best way to play. Free online casino games and no deposit offers from online casinos give you the chance to play the games at no risk and decide whether you want or are ready to put real money on the line.

Awareness and observation

This is especially important at land-based casinos and during Live Dealer online casino play – awareness and observation.

Awareness is all about present in the moment, paying attention, not letting things like alcohol or drugs impair your decision making. It’s one of the biggest hidden dangers at land-based casino: there is a reason the casino will comp you with free drinks, it makes you sloppy and makes you lose more.

Observation is about watching the dealer and your opponents. It can a small but important difference to how you play your game if you can figure out what the dealer or other players are doing before they even realise they’re doing it.


The top gamblers stand out from the rest because they seem to have an almost mystical aura of patience. You never see or hear them throwing a tantrum or letting anger override their judgement.

Gambling, as mentioned before, is not a path to instant riches. Expert gamblers know that they will lose just as many times as they will win, but they have a plan and they stick to it. They know exactly what they are doing, why they are doing, when to do it and when to stop.

Which brings us to the final skill every gambler needs, and possibly the most important one.

Walk away

You will lose. It is a fact. Go and take a look at the best land-based casino in your area. See that glitz and that opulence and that money? They can’t afford to build something like that if they are giving their cash away.

The odds always favour the house, sometimes it’s small margins like at the blackjack table, sometimes it’s bigger like at progressive jackpot slots. But the casino always has a bigger bankroll and can always play you out.

If you give it the chance.

If there is any advice that the experts at CasinoPlay can offer, one piece of advice that will make the difference between enjoying an experience and hating yourself at the end of the day it’s this: WALK AWAY.

Walk away from the games when you’re losing. Walk away from the games when you’re winning. There is always another day and luck – good luck and bad luck – does not last forever.

Take breaks while you’re playing. Have a breather and reset your mind.

Set a time limit and when you hit that limit go out and enjoy the real world. The casino will always be there when you get back.

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