You can’t blame the casino; he has huge expenses and must turn a profit to stay in business. If you won’t accept this fee, you can look for home games – as do many recreational players. Your choice. KaptenCasino
In low limit hold’em games, the fees to play run around $ 25 per hour. How is that? There are three parts to the cost:
- The casino rate is $ 5 per hand played. (This is more so in higher limit games.)
- The Bad Beat Jackpot drops another $ 1.
- Tip to the dealer – usually $ 1. (You are not obliged to tip, but it is an accepted convention when you win the pot. On big wins, tips may be larger.)
That’s a total of $ 7 per hand. Play (usually) 30 to 35 hands per hour, which amounts to $ 210 to $ 245 per hour, divided among the nine people at the table (including you). That’s $ 23 to $ 27 per hour for each player. Let’s round it up to $ 25. Play a seven hour session and it costs an average of $ 175. To come home a winner, you have to win more than that. No wonder about 80 percent (maybe more) of the players are losers.
And, more than that, if that’s not enough to catch your eye, the fees to play can be very high. If this was a short-handed game – say an average of seven players per hand, each player’s share would go up to $ 30 per hour. Now your seven hour session will cost you $ 210 (7 x $ 30).
Yet another way the costs to play can grow is if the dealer is very nimble, speeding up each hand so as to handle more than 30 hands per hour. I have observed that some dealers can give as many as 40 hands per hour of play. The dealer has an incentive to speed up the game. The more hands distributed, the more tips to get. I’m sure casinos like it too, because the profits are increasing.
Discussing this situation with a friend, he asked a good question: How can I reduce the costs of playing for myself? What’s the lowest cost? Then he added, “I don’t care about other players.”
This is what I told him:
First of all, you cannot reduce the costs of playing as they are used today – your share of the table costs; but there are some things you can do to reduce your personal costs. Most importantly, you can win a bigger pot (more chips) for the same cost to play. It can make a difference whether you come home victorious or lose. After all, isn’t that your main goal? Additionally, you should rarely play marginal or mediocre starting hands; and don’t chase. Let me explain:
- Be careful in choosing your starting hand. As a result, you’ll be involved in losing fewer hands, saving you lots of chips. Sure, you win less often but you also tip less often.
- Never give chase – even if you have a strong gut feeling. The call bet by drawing a hand having a few good outs will lose more hands than it will win. But you still tip your lucky and winning dealer.
- Try to build up the pot size for the hands where you are the favorite to win. For that, learn strategies such as slow play, trapping and increasing checking. The cost to play is the same regardless of the size of the pot, so you’ll net more chips.
In short, you might win less, but a bigger pot more than compensates for it – at the same cost to play. Result: Your personal costs to play are proportionately smaller – and you are sure to win more chips.