I love to gamble. It’s one of the most fun things I get to do in my life, and over the years I’ve enjoyed thousands of hours doing it. But gambling isn’t all sunshine and flowers. Many things about gambling get under my skin.
The list below includes the top 11 things I hate about gambling. I apologize for an entire page that’s not much more than a rant, but I bet that I’m not the only gambler that feels this way.
I also include solutions for the things I hate about gambling where a solution exists. It didn’t make the list, but that’s another thing I hate; People who give you a list of problems but don’t try to offer any solutions.
You probably don’t hate all of the same things about gambling as I do, but I bet you hate a few things on the list. If you do, hopefully the solutions I include after each complaint can help you.
1 – Rude Dealers
When I go to the casino I want to have fun. I understand how games work and that in most games I’m going to lose in the long run. The casino exists to take my money in exchange for entertaining me for a while. The least they can do is make sure that the dealers don’t take the fun out of the experience.
Most dealers have a good attitude and try to help the players have a good time. A large percentage of income for most dealers is in the form of tips, and they get more tips when players like them. This helps make most dealers pleasant. The mistake the casinos make is assuming that all dealers are going to be pleasant just because it helps them get more tips.
Every once in a while I sit down at a table and have to deal with a rude dealer. I get it; dealers are humans too, and they can have a bad day. But even when you’re having a bad day you can put a smile on your face and try to make the game fun.
When I find a rude dealer I quickly find another table. It doesn’t do any good to be rude back to them or say anything about it. When you have to deal with a rude dealer, just play something else. If enough players avoid a certain dealer, the casino is going to eventually notice and move the dealer to another position.
2 – Rude Gamblers
Have you ever been playing blackjack and have a player comment on one of your plays? Of course, there are three types of comments. They can say something complimentary, something neutral, or something negative.
You’re playing blackjack and you’re seated to the immediate right of the dealer. You take a card and it ends up being a face card. The dealer then turns over her down card for a total of 15, and then draws a five.
If you hadn’t drawn a card, the dealer would’ve busted. Two players instantly start complaining about how you took the dealer’s bust card and cost the entire table money.
Not only is this rude, it shows a complete ignorance of how probability and blackjack works. But tons of blackjack players seem to think the same way. If you honestly believe that someone can take the dealer’s bust card and it costs you money, the least you can do is keep that opinion to yourself.
If this happens to you, it’s a waste of time to try to educate the complainer. I understand that this is often the first solution that comes to mind, but believe me; they don’t want to learn anything. They’re just looking for someone to blame for their loss.
Just in case you’re not sure why another player can’t make you lose in blackjack and want to understand, here’s why.
The order of the cards in the remaining shoe or deck is random. This means that over time, if you played the exact same situation thousands of times, that each remaining card has an equal chance to be anywhere in the deck.
This time you drew the face card and the dealer drew a five, but next time the dealer might draw the face card and you draw the five. The only way to play blackjack is by using the best strategy to help you win. Nothing you do hurt or helps the other players, and nothing they do helps or hurts you.
When I find rude players at my table, I usually just ignore them. I don’t really care what they say or think, so it rarely bothers me. When I play poker, I can even use this against them sometimes, so rude players aren’t always bad.
If you can’t ignore them, find another table to play at. If another player crosses a line and becomes abusive, make sure the floor boss or pit boss is aware of it as soon as possible. Most dealers don’t let players become abusive, but dealers do let some players get away with quite a bit of bad behavior. This is especially true if the rude player is a good tipper.
Some gamblers aren’t rude to other players, but they abuse dealers. This always bothers me more than when I’m the focus of a player’s abuse. The dealer is just doing their job, and they don’t deserve to be abused.
This is another case where saying something to the offending player rarely works. Get the pit boss or floor boss involved when you see this happening, or find another place to play if you don’t feel comfortable getting involved.
3 – Supposed Experts Telling Me How to Play
I read a great deal about gambling. I read gambling books, gambling blogs, and gambling web sites all of the time. I even watch gambling YouTube videos sometimes, and watch poker tournaments on television.
This shows you that I’m always trying to learn how to gamble better. The downside to the constant search for knowledge is that sometimes you run across someone who wants everyone to think that they’re some kind of expert and that you should listen to them.
These people don’t have to be authors or writers. You might find them at the blackjack tables, telling people how to play their hands. Or you might find them roaming around the casino giving unwanted advice to video poker players, or even worse, advising slots players.
Two kinds of advice givers exist. The first kind actually knows what they’re talking about and are honestly trying to help. The second type gives out bad information, and seems to believe that they know what they’re talking about.
The second kind is the most common, especially at the blackjack table. No one asks them for their help, but they tell everyone how they should be playing their hand. Most players that know how to play blackjack using the best strategy don’t look for ways to share their advice. If a player asks them how to play a hand, they might tell them, but they’re not interested in looking like an expert.
The best way to deal with the supposed expert is to ignore them. If you read a book or article giving bad advice, simply stop reading anything by the author. If you’re at a table with one of these people and can’t ignore them, leave and find another table.
4 – The House Edge
He enemy of every gambler is the house edge. It’s what makes casinos profitable, and what makes most gamblers lose money. Every game in the casino has a built in house edge. It’s one of those things that you hate, but is necessary.
If casinos didn’t make money, they’d stop existing. Then you wouldn’t have anywhere to gamble. But this doesn’t mean that I want them to make money off of my play.
The good news is that there are a few things you can do about the house edge. You can gamble without a house edge a few ways. You can learn how to play poker better than most other poker players. You can learn how to count cards and beat the blackjack tables. You can place sports bets with other people and eliminate the vig.
Even when you’re not willing to do these things, you can play games with a low house edge to reduce your losses. Instead of playing the slots with an edge of 5 to 8% in many cases, play video poker with a strategy card on a machine with a good pay table. Or play blackjack, craps, or baccarat, which all have bets with a lower house edge.
5 – Ever Changing Online Gambling Laws
It depends on where you live, but in some places it seems like a new online gambling law or regulation is being passed every week. It’s hard to keep up with everything, and you don’t know if it’s legal, illegal, or in the great gray area, to gamble from day to day.
Wouldn’t it be nice if an entire country could have the same online gambling laws and if these laws were simple and easy to understand? Why can’t this be the case I every country? Either make it 100% legal or 100% illegal, with no gray area and enforce the law. This way everyone would know exactly what’s going on.
Instead, you have to rely on what you read in the media. This is even worse than having the ever changing online gambling laws. This is my next complaint.
6 – Outright Lies in the Media
In the country where I live the media, including newspapers, television, radio, and online outlets, have been reporting online gambling activities as illegal for years. Some places are worse than others, but most stories in the news report that it’s illegal.
This would be fine if it was true. The problem is that it’s simply not true. Some forms of gambling in some areas are illegal, but most forms of gambling in most areas are either legal or not covered by a specific law.
I think that most of the lies in the media come from laziness. Instead of doing some real research, the people making the news just believe what the other liars before them have reported.
To protect yourself from the lies about gambling in the media, don’t believe anything you see, read, or hear about it. Do your own research to learn the truth. This is the only way to avoid being biased by lies.
7 – Few New Good Books
I mentioned in an earlier section that I read a great deal about gambling. I’m always looking for new gambling books, and have an extensive gambling library. The problem is that there are very few new books being published that are any good that deal with gambling.
One reason for this is that most gambling games don’t change, and everything that needs to be covered has already been covered. I don’t need to read another book about blackjack because the best strategy has been solved and there are already many excellent books about counting cards available.
Occasionally I find a new book about poker strategy that’s pretty good, but most of the good poker strategy books were written several years back. Games like baccarat and roulette don’t require more information than you can fit on a couple pages, never mind an entire book.
I don’t think there’s a solution for this. I still look for good new books, but I end up going back to the best ones that I already own to brush up on my skills most of the time. The good news is that there are hundreds of good books in print, so you have plenty of options.
8 – Dungeon Like Casino Floors
Some casinos are better than others, but most of the ones I play in feel like you’re in a dungeon. All of the light is artificial, and it never seems good enough. You also have to weave your way through the rows of slot machines and table games to get anywhere, and the bathrooms are never close to where you seem to be.
I understand that the casino doesn’t want you to see outside and I understand that they want as many square feet as possible covered with gambling options. But there’s got to be a better solution. I guess that a better solution already exists. You can play online casino games from anywhere that you have a connection to the internet.
If you’re like me and feel like you’re in a dungeon every time you go to the casino, try playing at an online casino. You can sit on your front porch or lounge on your couch while you play.
9 – Not Enough Good Poker Games
I play a lot of poker, and have for many years. One of the secrets to being a winning poker player is finding good games. A good poker game is one filled with inexperienced and bad players. These games are getting harder to play.
Not as many new players are entering the games, and many players are getting better. This is putting a squeeze on good tables, because the best players are finding them and exploiting them. As bad players lose more money they start looking for other things to do.
This one doesn’t have a simple solution, and the odds of it changing for the better in the future aren’t good. The only things you can do are keep looking for good games, and don’t be afraid to look outside the poker room. Sometimes a private game can be more valuable than one in the poker room.
10 – Smart Sportsbooks
Lines being offered by the sportsbooks seem to be tighter than ever. The lines offered from book to book also seem to be closer than they used to be also. The internet makes it easy for players and sportsbooks to look at other lines, so the books can quickly adjust their lines to be in line with other books, or they can simply wait until other books set their lines before the put out their own lines.
I still use the internet to look for lines that offer value and to look for lines that are different, but it’s getting to the point that it’s a waste of time. I’ve started looking more and more for other ways to bet on sports.
You can bet on esports and daily fantasy sports to replace your normal sports betting, but they each have their own issues. You can also try to build out a network of other people who like to bet on sports and try to place most of your bets with them. I don’t think there’s a perfect solution to smarter sportsbooks, but you should investigate other ways to gamble on sports.
11 – Crappy Comps
I like getting comps as much as the next person, but stop trying to make me feel like I got something great when you give me a hat or a shirt that advertises your casino. You should be handing them out left and right, instead of acting like it’s some special gift from God to let me advertise your business.
Instead of giving out hats and shirts, give me a buffet ticket. At least I can eat a meal without paying for it. This is just like cash in my pocket, so it’s a real comp.
Online casinos are often worse than land-based casinos. Instead of having a real comps program, they offer more bonuses. Don’t get me wrong; bonuses are great, but don’t try to convince me that giving me a bonus that requires yet another deposit and has 27 different things I have to do before the bonus clears is something special.
Some online casinos have real comps programs, so they don’t all suck. But it always irritates me when a casino tries to convince me or fool me into thinking that something that’s obviously for their own good and not mine is something special.
If you want to give me something that’s worth something and keeps me coming back, give me a cash rebate on my losses. I don’t expect the casino to lose money, or even let me gamble at a break even pace. If casinos didn’t make a profit we wouldn’t have them available to gamble in. But if you give me a 20 or 25% rebate on my losses it sets you out from the crowd, and keeps me gambling.
How many people that get a cash rebate on losses do you think actually cashes it out and stops playing? I agree with you; not very many.
If I want another bonus I can just sign up at one of the other thousands of online casinos. Stop treating your customers like idiots and they’re going to reward you with more play and loyalty. They’re probably even going to tell their friends about how great you treat them.
Actual comps do seem like they’re getting worse every year. It seems like you have to play longer to earn even the most basic comps. Casinos have gotten smarter about how to make money, and they track their comps programs. The easiest way to make more money is to offer fewer comps.
I don’t know of a good solution to the comps program, and comps probably aren’t going to get better in the future. The only thing you can do is look for the best comps programs and bonuses and keep giving the places that offer them your business.
Sorry for the extended rant. Most of the time I gamble things are good, so don’t get the idea that everything is bad. If you hate some of the same things I do about gambling, I hope that some of the solutions I gave you above are helpful.