If you don’t have a big budget to visit the casino, you’re not alone. Many casino visitors don’t go with a massive budget, and can still have plenty of fun.
Of course, if you leverage some helpful tips, you can make your fun last longer, and maximize your opportunities to make your money last or win something special at the casino.
1. Match Your Bet to Your Bankroll
When I talk to lower limit players, and when I was one myself, I tended to be very aware of the limits of my budget when it came to which games I could play and how much I could bet. When I have a smaller budget I tend to seek out games with smaller bets, and when I have a larger budget I’m willing to push the bets up to correlate with it.
As I’ve written in the past, one of the biggest mistakes a casino player can make is bet well outside their bankroll. If you have $100 and bet $5 a spin, you could easily find yourself leaving the casino empty handed after just a couple of minutes. Of course, many players with lower bankrolls tend to know this, and will aim for bets of 50 cents or less to start, and if they find themselves doing well can re-evaluate from there.
2. Look for Games with Line Count Choices
A subset of games in the casino, particularly older ones, will let you have more granular control over your bet by choosing the number of lines to bet. Sometimes you have a choice of a few buttons on the bet panel, while other times, for instance at times on games like Stinkin’ Rich, you can choose precisely how many lines you wish to bet.
Betting less lines will lower your bet, although it can also lower the frequency of wins because you aren’t betting all the lines, so you can only win on specific ones. But on the flip side, you aren’t spending as much per spin, so your money tends to last longer.
3. Time Your Casino Trips
When you’re a lower limit player, it’s reasonable to expect your comps won’t be as lavish as a bigger player. But you can still maximize your opportunities. Here are a couple of things to think about:
When the casino is having a drawing, they tend to take a couple of different forms. One is a Hot Seat Drawing, where everyone playing has a chance of being picked. Another is an Entry Based Drawing, where the more you play, the more entries you get.
The latter structure will always favor higher betters because they can accrue entries faster, while the former is a bit more equalized because anyone in the casino at that time can win. If you live in a market with smaller casinos with less machines, your odds will improve because there simply will be less people who can be playing at the time of a hot seat drawing.
Comp Multiplier Days
The other benefit that can help lower limit players leverage more comps is a comp multiplier day, where you earn at a faster rate relative to normal. In this scenario you can build up some comp dollars with the same gambling budget, and have them for use for food, hotel rooms, and much more.
In this way, even though you’re spending the same amount, you’re getting a bit more. This works doubly well if your casino lets you tap into free play offers at the same time, which some do while others don’t. Stacking casino offers can be the best trick of all for lower limit players, when the scheduling works out.
4. Use a Player’s Card
None of the previous bullet’s tips matters if you aren’t playing with a player’s card, so that stands as a good tip to mention now. You don’t have to be a big spender, or bettor, to benefit from using a players card.
The players card can qualify you for discounts on hotel rooms and restaurants, even at the baseline tier in some casinos. You’ll get offers on your play, and lower bettors can still benefit form things like free play and deeper room discounts. If you get on a hot streak and manage to play more or longer than your normal amount, you could benefit from increased offers, in fact.
Casino comps in their various forms are a reward for your play, but they can only reward you if they can link the play to you, so be sure to use that card consistently.
5. Set Realistic Goals
Although I see a lot of lower limit players being realistic about their bets, I see some being unrealistic with their goals, like “today I want to get a handpay.” A handpay is an arbitrary number that’s easier to hit on higher bets than lower ones, and so if you’re betting lower, it’s just that much harder to achieve.
I didn’t get my first handpay until nearly 20 years into my gambling career, and coincidentally it’s when my bets drifted towards the $1.50/spin range on slots.
Instead, setting goals like “I want a 100x win at some point during my casino visit” or “I want to double my $20 stake in this machine” are going to be more realistic to achieve, and allow you to set stopping points that let you move on.
Realistic goals, whether for your casino visit or your individual slot sessions at the casino, will ensure you don’t keep chasing goals that will inevitably lead you to leave the casino empty handed. In fact, a reasonable goal can simply be to lock in wins and take them home. You might not win every time, but at various points wins do happen, and it’s what you decide at that point that can make all the difference.
6. Focus on a Single Casino
If you’re going to a larger market where there’s a bunch of casinos (think Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and so on), it may seem like a fun idea to drop $20 in one casino, then move on to another. Unless all those casinos are under the same ownership, where all your play could be aggregated together, this is an easy way to reduce the comp opportunity you would get by pooling all that money and playing at one casino for the day.
If you’re going to be in a location for multiple days, an alternative strategy is to switch playing at casinos daily. Play at Casino A for day one, Casino B for day two, etc. In that way all your play is concentrated on a single day, ensuring you get the maximum credit for your play.