Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Cruise ship casinos: some winning tips?

I'm not a big fan of shipboard casinos, but for those who are, here are a few tips I've picked up from aficionados:

Play the slots early in the cruise rather than later. Rumor has it that they're set to pay off better earlier so as to attract more players; once they're hooked, the machines pay off less as the days go by.

Choose slot machines that are located in the most visible positions, such as those at the end of a row or those that are nearest walkways or gaming tables; similar rumors have it that these are set to pay off more than the more obscurely located machines. Again, the idea is to attract more gamblers, but you might as well take advantage of it.

In general, no matter what your game, set a strict budget before entering the casino as to what you are willing to lose at any one session, then stick to it. (A good incentive? Perhaps pledging to pass up a shipboard cocktail or massage if you lose the money you might otherwise spend on those items.) Perhaps more important, set a maximum limit of what you are willing to win -- enabling you to walk away with extra money in your pocket and not giving it right back to the casino.

Any additional tips from readers? I'd love to hear them.

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