If there is one thing all casino players want, it is to win – and they are ready to do anything to reach that win. Some of the most popular ways to ensure a winning outcome are perfecting game skills and using reliable, proven strategies. However, there is also one thing called advantage gambling, which entails using advantage play techniques such as card counting and edge sorting to ensure wins.
What is advantage gambling, and does it help? Let’s find out.
What Is Advantage Gambling?
Advantage play refers to all gambling methods players use to gain an advantage over the house (the casino). This may include card counting, edge sorting, comp point hustling, and similar tactics. It is important to note that they are all legal means, so it is not cheating. Advantage players – players who use advantage play tactics – simply find weak points in the game and exploit them to gain the upper hand.
Advantage play tactics are used for nearly every game under the sun. From slots to dice games (yes, there’s something called angle shooting), advantage gamblers are used to using small tricks to turn profits.
Some of the most popular forms of advantage gambling are card counting and edge-sorting, both used for card games. Some of the most popular members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame are accomplished advantage players who often employed card counting, hole carding, shuffle tracking, and edge sorting.
Another popular activity is bonus hunting, which entails a thorough search for low-wagering bonuses and using them to your advantage. We’ll discuss bonus hunting more in the following section when we discuss the most popular advantage play techniques.
Common Types of Advantage Play
Casino players are creative. When it comes to devising new ways to win, their creativity skyrockets, which is how we’ve come to have dozens of acknowledged advantage play tactics. However, not all are equally well-known. Some of the most popular advantage gambling techniques that you must have heard of are:
- Card counting
- Edge sorting
- Bonus hunting
- Dice control
- Hole carding
- Comp hustling
- Shuffle tracking
- Matched betting
There’s also advantage gaming in Pachinko (the game, not the Apple+ series) that involves using the info to find machines with the highest payout rates. Some punters even hunt for machines from which players lost big money to try and win cash from it. There’s also dice control which refers to instructions on how to throw dice to ensure they land in a desirable way. It’s used in craps, but few players believe it is that reliable.
Angle shooting is another form of advantage play, but it is frowned upon, and most casinos prevent punters from using this technique by implementing strict rules.
Let’s have a look at three of the most famous advantage play techniques often used at online casinos worldwide.
Card counting refers to the act of counting the value of cards to predict the value of remaining cards that are yet to be dealt in the round. This helps players decide what move they want to take come decision time: if they want to Stand, Hit, or Double Down. For years, card counting had been tied to land-based casinos only. It became famous when a team of students from MIT devised a system for counting cards and rushed to Vegas to try it out. They successfully used the technique and amassed a serious fortune at the casinos, but the team soon got blacklisted as casinos did not like card counting at all. Their story went viral and made the technique legendary. Because of their ban, many punters thought (and still think) that card counting is illegal. It’s not – it’s just frowned upon by the casinos and will probably end in a mild warning from the casino.
The second form of advantage play we will explain is bonus hunting. This technique essentially entails turning profits from casino and sportsbook bonuses. Players also call it bonus bagging, a term often heard on player forums and gaming portals.
A good thing about bonus hunting is that it allows players to make a profit from casino bonuses, as opposed to the standard practice. Gambling websites often limit casino players when issuing bonuses and promotions, and punters often end up with nearly impossible wagering requirements that are hard to complete. In the end, they may lose more money than they gain – which is exactly what bonus hunting looks to avoid. It shares many traits with comp hustling. Comp hustling is playing games with a low house edge (like penny slots) that produce bigger wins than the expected loss. Players use these games to collect points which can be later exchanged for free items, bonus cash, or free spins. This is possible only at online casinos that offer comp points. It is also important to note that online casino bonuses in the UK are under strict supervision by the UKGC, so bonus hunting and comp hustling are not easy as they used to be. However, it is certainly safer than ever before, as various guidelines and rules have been implemented to protect punters and promote the responsible play.