Online gaming has seen some of the fastest growth of all the industries that have been established as a result of the technological revolution. Humans have played games since the dawn of civilization, and these have changed and evolved as society has embraced new ways of playing.

From games that date back hundreds of years, such as dice and cards, to more modern additions to our entertainment line-up, there are plenty of games that have universal global appeal. Much of the popularity of digital gaming has been for these kinds of games, and casino games are among those that have been hugely successful as video games.

Many games have made a successful transition from real-life casinos to their virtual counterparts. Some games, such as roulette and slot machines, rely largely on chance, but there are others, such as poker and blackjack, where having some degree of skill can increase your chances of winning.

In order to beat the odds at these games, there are a few skills that will help, whether you are playing online or in person. These include:

An understanding of statistics

Players with an understanding of statistics will find it easier to make good decisions when playing games of skill, and there are certain ‘rules’ and recommendations when playing card games to increase your chances of winning. Some of these are relatively simple:

  • Always double down on a hard eleven
  • Always split a pair of eights or aces
  • Never split a pair of tens or fives
  • Always double down on a ten if the dealer’s upcard is a nine or lower
  • Always stand with a pair of nines if the dealer’s upcard is a seven.

These are some of the most common recommendations for blackjack, but there are detailed charts with courses of action that incorporate all the combinations of players’ and dealers’ hands. This is possible with blackjack, where all players are competing against the dealer, but when playing poker, there are many more variables as other players’ hands have to be considered as well.

In general, it’s better to play fewer hands in a more aggressive manner when playing poker. Knowing when to fold is a vital skill, but it is also important to have an awareness of how others are playing, so an experience can be a real bonus.

Keeping calm under pressure

All the statistical knowledge in the world will not help a player that panics when the stakes get high. Although an understanding of the odds doesn’t guarantee a win, being confident in your strategy will help you to make good decisions.

Panicking and deviating from your strategy will increase the risk of losing and could mean that you don’t capitalize on your good luck when you are dealt a good hand. The ability to stay calm will also help you to bluff effectively, which is a vital skill when playing poker.

Know your game

Although there are some games that require less skill and strategy than others, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to increase your odds of winning. Those that have experience in playing online slot games will know that you can improve your chances of winning by employing some of the most popular techniques available.

Make the most of free spins: the best slot providers will offer you free spins as a welcome bonus, and these can be used to great effect as they usually require no deposit, so all your winnings are profit. Make sure you understand the terms of any free spins offered to ensure that you maximize their benefit.

Play slots with more pay lines: the more pay lines a slot machine has, the more chance you win. Some slots offer different patterns or combinations, so it’s important to check the combinations that payout on the slot that you want to play.

Look out for the RTP: slots have to display their RTP (return to player) percentage, so you will get an idea of how often you are likely to win on any given machine. Check the percentage of the games you want to play so that you can choose the ones that you think will offer you the best chance of beating the odds.

Choose the game that suits your style: the volatility of a slot tells you how likely you are to win big on it, so slots with high volatility offer fewer wins, but the prizes are bigger, whereas low volatility slots payout smaller prizes more frequently. Some people love the feeling of winning and want more frequent wins, whereas others don’t mind a run of losses for the chance at a higher-value prize.

Some slots even allow you to set a volatility level, so you can adjust it to suit your preferences, but it’s worth having an understanding of the effect of volatility on the way you play.

Whatever your favorite game, gaining a bit of experience and an understanding of how it’s played can really help increase your chances of winning. From learning how to read a person’s poker face to understanding the statistics behind the games of chance, doing your research can help you to swing the odds in your favor and develop a strategy that you can use to make your gaming all the more fun.