Never played in a casino before? Whether you're looking to hit a land-based venue or try your hand at online gambling, we've got some advice for you that'll make getting started a breeze. Just follow our quick tips to play like an expert right away.
First things first, you don't want to get scammed. It's much easier to identify whether or not a land-based casino is unsafe than it is an online venue, but looking for the following things is a good start:
If you're in any doubt, you may want to find a different casino to play at. After all, it's not like there's any shortage of them out there.
Some casinos use different rules or variants to what you may be familiar with. Make sure to read up on the rules at each location you visit before playing a hand. Most casinos don't react too kindly to the excuse that you thought you had a winning hand based on the variant you usually play. Take a look at our free casino game guide to find out all you need to know.
Practice mode, available in most online casinos, is a great way to get to grips with a game before spending any of your hard earned cash. You can use it to double check that you understand all of the nuances of a game or a different variant than the one you're used to. Or, you can also take advantage of practice mode to finally try one of those games you've always wanted to play.
Our listings include casinos with some very attractive bonuses for new players. You'll have to gamble with some of your own money before you can claim a welcome bonus, so only lucky players will get the chance to turn that bonus into pure profit, but it's definitely worth having if you think you're going to be hanging around a casino for a while.
Winning at casino games isn't a matter of luck. Most casino games are based purely on chance, although some games like blackjack do have some elements of skill. Yet no matter what game you play, it's important to understand that the house does have a statistical advantage. That means over time, the casino will win more often than it loses, which is how casinos stay in business. The good news is that over the short term, it is possible to win. Knowing the odds will prevent you from betting recklessly and help you realise when you don't stand a chance.
New players don't realise it, but the chances of winning greatly depend on the game you choose. Slots are a fun way to while away some time, and these days online slots are flashier and nicer to look at than ever, but your chances of winning big aren't all that great. You might want to read up on games with a lower house edge, like baccarat and blackjack, and hit the tables to improve your chance of coming away with a profit in your pocket. If you like roulette, always choose European rather than American variations. When enjoying games at a reputable casino, you'll usually find the house edge and potential payouts posted alongside the rules.
Spending more than you can afford, borrowing money to gamble with or playing for a long time in an effort to win your money back are all signs of addiction. Gambling is supposed to be fun, and the best way to keep it that way is by playing with disposable income that you can afford to lose. You'll have more fun when you set a budget and stick to it.
If you've ever played video games, you probably know how easy it is to find yourself engrossed in the action. Have you ever intended on playing for 20 minutes and glanced at the clock to discover hours have passed? It's just as easy to get wrapped up in the fun of casino games. A little time management can go a long way. Don't be afraid to set a time or alarm clock if you tend to get carried away. That's true whether you are playing for fun or real money.
When playing on the internet you'll find great bonus offers and promos. Those advertised sign up bonuses that lure you through the door are just the beginning. Most online casinos offer occasional reload bonuses that aren't reserved for new players. It's a great way to grab a little extra playing cash.
Don't forget to inquire about a site's rewards programme. Both online and offline casinos reward player loyalty with free play, cash back offers, prizes, and special VIP treatment. Enrolment is usually free too.
There are tons of casinos out there. If you're looking to try a land-based venue, there are some amazing casinos in South Africa just waiting for you to try. Could it be time for a road trip? Or, if you're looking to play online, the SA casinos you see here are some of the best ones in South Africa. If there is anything that you are unsure about, take a look at our gambling glossary