Guide to the Casino


I can confidently say that all of the Good Guys have made more than few trips to the casino. Whether those trips proved lucrative is up for debate. But what those experiences have taught us is that there are a number of tips that can help make your first (or 50th) trip to the casino more fun.

According to the American Gaming Association, 27% of Americans visit a casino at least once per year. According to GGTK, 100% of good guys visit a casino at least once per year. We think there are two main things that you should remember when you go to the casino: 1. Casinos are supposed to be fun. If you aren’t having fun, it is probably time to leave the casino. 2. Casinos exist to make money. In 2013, Nevada casinos pocketed $23 billion in total gaming and non-gaming revenue, with statewide gaming revenue alone topping $10 billion. That means YOU have a very good chance of losing money when you visit the casino. However, there are definitely games that offer the average gambler better odds against an already stacked deck. Without further ado, let us present the GGTK Guides to the Casino!



The odds of blackjack are some of the best in the entire casino. Players who follow some basic strategy can reduce the house odds to 0.5%. The purpose of blackjack is to have the value of your cards add up to a greater number than the dealers without going over 21. Cards numbered 2-9 are worth their face value. Aces are worth either 1 or 11 (your choice) 10, J, Q and K are each worth 10. Before each hand starts, each player must place a bet. Then each player is dealt two cards face up. The dealer is dealt one card face up and one card face down. At that point each player has 2 basic plays. Ask for more cards (hit), or decided to not take any more cards (stay). Any player who goes over 21 automatically loses. After each player has finished taking cards, the dealer then shows his second card. Typically, the dealer is required to hit if they have 16 or less. Blackjack is when a player is dealt an ace and a card worth 10 (10, J, Q or K), which equals 21. At that point the player automatically wins and is paid out 3 to 2.



Baccarat is a card game that is most often available in high stake settings at a casino. In this game, a player has no responsibility in terms of electing to draw more cards. All you have to do is make one bet before cards are dealt. When you sit down at a baccarat table, you have three options: 1. Bet on the player 2. Bet on the banker 3. Bet on a tie.

It is important to remember that betting on the banker does not mean that you are betting with the house. It simply means that you are betting on one of the two hands that are being dealt. After each player places their bets, two cards are dealt face up to each of the two hands (the player and the banker). Each card has a specific value. Aces are worth 1; tens and face cards are worth 0; and all other cards are worth their face value.

The purpose of baccarat is to bet on the hand that gets closest to 9 points. If the cards add up to more than 10, the value of the hand is equal to the second digit. For example, if a player is dealt a 9 and a 3 (total of 12), their hands total is 2. A natural win occurs when the hand that you bet on equals 8 or 9 with the first two cards dealt. If either hand has a natural win, that hand is paid out and a new hand is dealt.  If neither the banker nor the player has a natural win, a third card MAY be dealt. The player hand always gets dealt to first. The player hand is required to stay on 6 or 7. If the player hand totals any other number (0-5), a third and final card is dealt.

This is where things get complicated. If a player stays with their 2 card total, the banker draws if they have 0-5, and the banker stays if they have 6-7. ALL OTHER HANDS RELY ON THE THIRD CARD THAT IS DEALT TO THE PLAYER.  Here are the possible options:

◦If the Player’s third card is 9, 10, face-card or Ace, the Banker draws when he has a 0-3, and stays with a 4-7.

◦If the Player’s third card is 8, the Banker draws when he has a 0-2, and stays with a 3-7.

◦If the Player’s third card is 6 or 7, the Banker draws when he has a 0-6, and stays with a 7.

◦If the Player’s third card is 4 or 5, the Banker draws when he has a 0-5, and stays with a 6-7.

◦If the Player’s third card is 2 or 3, the Banker draws when he has a 0-4, and stays with a 5-7.

In the event of a tie, there are no losers. You would only win if you were crazy enough to bet on the tie. The tie usually pays out 8:1 odds. Also, anytime you bet on the banker and win, you have to pay a commission to the banker (usually 5% of your bet). The reason for this commission is while the odds between the two hands are very close, the banker hand has a slight advantage. Overall, baccarat is another game where the casino does not have a significant statistical advantage over the gambler.



Craps is an incredibly exciting casino game for a number of reasons. One is that it is one of the fastest moving casino games. Blackjack tables average around 60 hands per hour. In craps, there are usually over 100 plays per hour. Also, craps has some of the best odds in the casino (nearly even odds for players betting on the come and the followup free odds bet). Finally, people playing craps are usually either winning or losing together which leads to loud reactions to just about every roll.

Craps is a dice game. At the beginning of the game one player is chosen to roll for the entire table. The roller is responsible for all rolls until the roller “craps out”. Craping out is a basically a losing roll. Betting starts with the Come Out roll, which is the first roll. Before the Come Out roll is the time to place your first bet on the Pass Line. This is a small box that wraps basically all the way around the table. After this first bet is out, the first roll is made. If it is a 7 or 11, everyone who bet on the Pass line wins! If the first roll is a 2, 3, or 12, that is craps, and everyone who bet on the Pass Line loses. Any other number which is rolled on the Come Out is set as The Point. After The Point is set, the roller keeps rolling and anytime The Point number is rolled again, anyone who still has a bet on the Pass Line wins again. However, after a point is set, anytime a 7 is rolled, bets that are on the Pass Line lose. At this point, when the roller “sevens out,” the dice are passed to the next player and betting starts over.

One of the more intimidating aspects of craps is that playing usually requires putting a more significant amount of money at risk. Typical tables have $5 minimums and in order to take full advantage of the odds, you should have at least $100 ready to play. Rarely would you get all of this money in play at once, and in most cases $100 may be enough to play for a whole night!

For more detailed rules of craps please visit:




Slot Machines:

Some people are quick to point out that slot machines are heavily weighted in favor of the casino. They would be exactly correct. Typical slot machines hold about a 10% edge over the bettor. Another bad thing about slot machines is that they are completely random. They literally use random number generators to decide what shapes are going to show up on your spin. If you are planning to win money playing slots, you better be the luckiest guy you know. If you are going to the casino to make money, slots are not the answer. However, if you are going to the casino to have fun, an argument can be made for the slot machines. Slots come in all different shapes and sizes. You can play slot machines themed after your favorite TV shows (Survivor, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones) and most importantly you can bet anywhere from 1 cent to multiple dollars with each pull. Remember that on slot machines, each wager is per line. Most machines have the options of playing multiple lines at a time which can make your money disappear very quickly. All that said, some of your greatest casino moments may come after a slot machines light up so that everyone around you can see how lucky you are.