Making your first bet on a casino game is a big deal.
It could be the start of a career spent beating the casinos at their own game, a one-time event that you rarely think about in the future, or something in between.
You could win a nice amount or lose everything you put at risk.
There's even a small chance your first bet could be the beginning of a life filled with gambling addiction.
A small chance also exists that you can win a life changing amount. What if you win a million dollar jackpot?
The unknown is one of the things that draw us to things like gambling. We don't know what the first bet will lead to.
But the element of possible reward against the risk is something that many can't ignore.
The following things every gambler thinks about when choosing their first casino bet aren't in any particular order. They're among the hundreds of things that fly through your mind every minute.
The possibility of losing money is one of the first thoughts that would be gamblers have.
I use a mind trick to help me in difficult times.
Truly answer this question. Don't make a snap answer. Think about it and tell the truth.
What happens if you lose the money you place your first bet with?
Decide what the worst case scenario is and see if you can live with it.
Will the world end? Will you not eat or lose the house or will the electric be shut off?
If any of those things will happen you shouldn't make the bet.
Almost everyone thinking about placing their first bet is doing it as a form of entertainment. They might not be thinking of it that way, but when it boils down to it, the motive is to be entertained.
IIf it helps you feel better, use the money you were going to go out to eat or to the movies with to place your first bet. That way you're replacing one form of entertainment with another.
I like this one. Sometimes I still think about what I'd do if I hit a big win, and my first bet was placed so long ago I almost don't remember.
It's fine to dream about what you'll do with the money if you win. Many people buy lottery tickets so they can dream about having millions.
If you start thinking about spending your gambling winnings, consider the game you plan to play. Some games offer higher possible returns than others. You're not going to win a million playing craps or blackjack in an afternoon. But you have a better chance of hitting a big win on most slot machines than you do playing the lottery.
OOn the other hand, you stand a better chance to double your money playing blackjack in one session than you do playing slots.
What happens if I make a mistake? Will someone laugh at me or make fun of me?
So what? What if you do make a mistake and what if someone does laugh at you? What's the worst that can happen?
I've been laughed at so many times I can't count that high. I laugh at myself more than others when I do something silly - after I get over being mad at myself.
Casinos are filled with employees who want you to be comfortable and have a good time. If you have any questions at all, ask a casino worker.
The dealers are almost always helpful. Sit down at a blackjack table and tell the dealer this is your first hand and would like help doing it correctly. If the dealer is having a bad day, you can move to another table.
But dealers work for tips. Most of them go out of their way to help new players.
You can take the safest route and put $5 in a slot machine. No one will be watching you. Once you put your money in, just hit the bet max or spin button. It doesn't get much safer than that.
You're already taking the biggest step to not making a mistake by educating yourself. Take a look around this website. You'll learn how to play all kinds of casino games in no time.
Figuring out what game to play is directly related to your goals.
Before placing your first wager, ask yourself a few questions.
Do I want the chance for a big win at the greater risk of losing? Or do I want a better chance to win, but at a smaller amount?
How much am I willing to lose?
Am I just going to make one bet, or am I willing to play longer?
As you think about your goals and answer these questions, you'll get a better idea of what games you should consider playing.
Here's a quick guide based on your answers. It's far from a complete instruction manual, but it can help you get started.
Slot machines and keno both offer the chance to win a large amount on a single play, but they don't offer many opportunities to win. You might lose a lot of money before you hit a big win. You might never have a big score.
You can play these games for a low wager, usually $1 or less, but the games can quickly work through your entire bankroll. These games have some of the highest house edges in the casino.
Roulette, craps, and baccarat offer many bets that are close to even money. You can have an almost 50% chance to win your first wager. Black, red, even or odd in roulette, player and banker in baccarat, and pass line and don't pass line bets in craps are all close to 50/50 wagers.
The more you play these bets, the more the casino will grind down your bankroll.
But if you want the best chance to win single bets these are the ones to consider.
Blackjack and video poker are similar to roulette and craps, but they operate differently. A single bet in blackjack has close to an even money outcome. But it's not as close to flipping a coin as those games.
If you use the proper strategy and play with good rules, both blackjack and some video poker machines offer a house edge of less than 1%.
This is one of the lowest in the casino, but it doesn't mean a single bet is as close to a 50/50 shot as other games. Video poker games can go a long way between payouts, but they also can give you a chance to have a nice win. 4,000 coins is the top payout for most of the good video poker games, so a $5 wager can pay back up to $4,000. A $1.25 bet can pay back up to $1,000.
Blackjack does have a fairly even chance of winning any single hand, but like video poker the short term can have a string of winning hands or a string of losing hands. Unlike video poker, blackjack doesn't offer the chance for a big win on one hand. The most you can win in a single hand of most blackjack games is four times your bet. Most of the time you'll only win one or two times your bet - you can win double your wager if you split or double down or up to four times if you double and split on the same hand.
Poker is more complicated to play well than the other games on the list, but it's one of the few where you can play with an edge. You play against the other players at the poker table instead of the casino. If you're good enough, you can win consistently.
If you decide to play poker, study the game and learn some basic strategy advice before playing for real money. You can play online for free to learn more about the game and see how you do.
OOther table games range in return and short term variance. I don't recommend playing anything not listed above for your first game, but if you decide to, start with the minimum wager and ask the dealer if you have any questions.
Most people don't like change. We get comfortable and instead of trying new things we think about keeping everything the same.
This isn't always bad.
But you can miss out on things.
When you think about making your first bet, you probably will have at least a fleeting thought that you should do something else. Your mind might tell you to just forget the silly notion of making a wager.
It's up to you whether you listen or not, but unless you have a real reason to avoid placing your first bet, do it. If you're uncomfortable after that, only place a single bet and quit.
You could even limit the amount of money you deposit or take to the casino so you can only play a short time.
You'll never know how much you enjoy or dislike gambling if you never make your first bet.
This is usually the last thought before actually placing your first bet.
After considering everything else, you reach a point where you just need to forget everything and place your bet.
The best thing?
You're in control.
If you want, you can walk away after your first bet and never do it again.
Or you can keep playing.
As long as you know your goals and have a plan, you should step up to the table or machine and see what it's really like to make your first bet.
Can you remember when you made your first bet? Did you have all of these thoughts? What other thoughts ran through your mind?
Are you getting ready to place your first bet?
You're now prepared for all of the thoughts that will run through your mind. By learning about them you can deal with each in a rational manner.
The important thing is to have fun. Make your first wager as entertaining as possible and good luck at the casino.