If you are going to gamble at the casino, you can be pretty sure that they will have all the essential tools you need - dice, cards, tables, slot machines and casino chips. They even have restaurants, bars, entertainment and a whole host of other things that give a night out gambling that special touch.We know how much you like easy-to-read lists, so here's some initial gambling must haves to get you started at the casino, but don't worry, we go into more detail in another list further down!

Gambling Essentials like these are waiting for you at the Casino.

  • Money - cash or card, just make sure you set limits!
  • An idea of how to play the games on offer.
  • Don't just dress to impress - accessorise too!
  • An appetite to win and a clear head to focus.
  • Strategy Cards (we'll explain later on).
  • Some good friends (even better if they are casino sharks!)

So, what are your casino essentials? Those gambling must haves that you just can't live without? The answers may be closer to home and easier to come by than you thought. Read onto find out more!

The Anticipation of Winning

This is the science bit. We're talking about the desire to win and what makes us want to gamble.  The fun you have at the casino all comes from your brain - Dopamine to be exact. This chemical is responsible for our moods and desires. It is an essential part of life, and without dopamine neurons creatures would starve to death, even if you put food right next to them. They would just have no desire to eat it, not even bacon. Dopamine is stimulated not just by desire, such as your unquenchable thirst to win big at the Blackjack Table, but also by unpredictability. Like getting a text message, Facebook PM or email, before we know who it is from, it lights up our dopamine pathways with anticipation - will it be that guy or girl we met over the weekend? Perhaps you have won something? Or an important letter is waiting at home for you. As soon as you see the reminder from your Aunt Mabel about your promise to pop round and fix her computer, your dopamine shuts down and desire and anticipation deflates. When it comes to gambling, especially on the slot machines, the same effects are seen in your brain. The thrill of each bet possibly leading to a big win stimulates the dopamine and our brains activate, lighting up with the anticipation of reward.

The Fear of Losing

Here's a video and a little bit more science. Don't worry, it will soon be over and we'll get back to your non-brain chemical must haves for the casino! If you can't wait and want to get to playing, check out our Demo Games. Neatly coupled with your brain's dopamine and craving of the anticipation of a reward, is that fear of losing, governed by your unconscious mind. You may even want to call your unconscious mind The Governor.  The fear of losing doesn't sound much like a gambling must have, but you would be surprised at how effective our subconscious, or unconscious mind, can be in helping us make the right choices, especially when it comes to betting our money on the casino floor without ending up laying on it crying afterwards. The study (video below) was conducted to show the theory of the unconscious mind protecting gamblers through fear of loss. Participants were given some money and told to lose as little as possible, while at the same time making as much as possible.  They needed to turn cards over from four different stacks, 2 blue decks and 2 red decks. They weren't told how much the decks were worth but here's a sneak preview for you:- Winning on the Blue Decks meant $100 while winning on the Red Decks meant only $50. However, losing on the Blue Decks could lose you $1250, while losing on the Red Decks would only be $100. This means that blue decks would make net losses, despite having winnings at double the amount, and red decks would produce net gains as the losing amounts were much smaller.

You will see  in the video that the subjects gravitated to the blue decks as they paid out more often.  However, the wires monitoring their fear response (skin conductance / sweating) it was noted that they would move to the red decks after around 30 moves and stick with them for the remainder of the game. When playing blue, or even just thinking about blue, their fear response increased. This shows your unconscious brain will figure it out for you if you are in a dangerous situation, or if you are in a less than desirable position on the casino floor. With or without your realising, your mind is protecting you and is an essential must have at the casino. Alcohol may dull the senses and make you less sensitive to your body's natural responses to the fear of losing, so it's best not to overdo it if you plan on winning during your casino visit. Alcohol will also increase your brains willingness to take risks, which means your unconscious mind won't be able to do its job and protect you from the possibility of loss and danger and taking too many risks as it will be overloaded and soaked through with alcohol, clogging it up somewhat. Alcohol effectively shuts down how you unconsciously notice risk in environments that your body isn't  even really aware you are in.

The Process of Intuition

This is where we talk about your natural intuition for playing and winning and all sorts of other things you didn't know you needed to do!  Intuition is one of the strongest natural gambling skills possible to have. The ability to judge the game you are playing and who you might be playing is part of intuiting your surroundings, especially in the hustle and bustle of the casino, teaming with people, sounds, sights and pregnant with the possibility of success.

Be a cool cat when you gamble on Roulette.

Intuition is based on your mood though. A good mood will mean you can trust your intuition more and go with your gut instinct on an answer to a complicated decision. A bad mood will mean you need to have a word with yourself, think about which path you should be taking and which decision you should be making with more energy, taking up your natural intuition. That's fine for simple decisions, such as whether to bet red or black on Roulette or which Slot Machine Progressive Jackpot to hit, but not so much for how to approach the Blackjack Table. If you are in a bad mood, you are more likely to be influenced by others, how they are playing, their methods, actions and any helpful (or not so helpful) tips they give you. Dopamine racing around your brain makes you want to play with uncertainty and will tip the scales, fear of losing will strengthen your unconscious mind and help you out in the casino environment. Your intuition will determine your mood, which has the potential to balance everything out and bring your whole game neatly together, so you can take it to the casino on your own level and make sure you leave a winner. Let's consider the odds for a moment and see if we can't find favour with them.

Beating The Odds

Finally, we're going to tell you how to beat the odds, which is the real casino essential and gambling must have!  There are lessons, tutorials, e-books, real books, audio books and a dozen or so other methods for teaching you how to beat the odds available. However, as we all know, there is no such thing as a sure thing.

Relax at the Casino Game Table.

The real casino essential tips for beating the odds are not hard to learn and don't take hours of your valuable time up. They are simple and easy to learn and they are as follows:

  • Take calculated risks. Don't bet what you can't afford to lose.
  • Don't always play it safe - you may end up with a bigger payout in the end.
  • The underdog may just surprise you and come out on top - thems' the odds.
  • A hunch can lead to winning big. Trust your intuition and unconscious mind.
  • Never, EVER show all your cards. Your game is your own, no-one else's.
  • Remember, the odds will even out eventually and give you your chance.

The name of any game well played is confidence. Even if you have the winning theory for any casino game, you are still going to need to pull it off. You can't plan to win, but you can take losing in your stride and persevere. After all, the odds may just turn in your favour.

Back To Basics

Just a little on physical things you are probably goign to want to have around you when you go to the Casino.  It can only help to be completely informed on whatever your casino game of choice is and you can find out everything you need to know in our Casino Guide. All the history, how-to's and tips you will need for whichever game you want to try.

Million to 1 Odds can be beaten.

You are allowed to take a strategy card to the Game Tables with you too and it is always an idea to take your own MP3 or music player if you are planning on an evening on the slots, as a combination of the piped in music and slot machine sounds is enough to give anyone a bona fide migraine. We do encourage preparation before going for a night out at the casino, even if you're going to test your beginners luck or to just have a small bet or two here and there, it is always an idea to read up on the ins and outs of game strategy beforehand. Or even just re-watch Casino. However, your only must have, or casino essential, is yourself. Remember, you're built for this game. With your unconscious mind's fear of losing built in, the dopamine boost that anticipation of winning gives you and your intuition shining out of that good mood you are in, you can't help but have all the casino essentials you will ever need.