The glitz and glamour of the new Rivers Casino may dazzle and intimidate many a first-time gambler, but it would be wise to keep your wits about you, says William Chin, a DePaul University mathematics professor who teaches about risk, gambling and games of chance.
Rivers Casino opens today with more than 1,050 slots and 48 table games.
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Gambling 101 -- Take this quick quiz1. In the game of blackjack, how much is an ace worth?
a. None of these choices
c. Either 1 or 11
2. If the last 20 winning numbers on a roulette table have been black, what color should you bet on the next spin?
b. It doesn't matter
3. If you win $500 on a slot machine, the casino will report your winnings to the Internal Revenue Service.
(Answers: Q1: C; Q2: B; Q3: B)
To take the full quiz and get answers, visit funtrivia.com/playquiz/quiz17214813b6b68.html
FAQ about casino
Rivers Casino opens today more than 1,050 slot machines and 48 table games, restaurants, lounge, bars and a cafe in a 147,000-square-foot facility. Here's what you should know:
Ÿ Under Illinois law, guests must be 21 or older
Ÿ The casino closes at 7 a.m. daily and reopens at 9 a.m.
Ÿ Smoking is not allowed except inside ventilated smoking rooms next to the casino floor
Ÿ Photos are not allowed on the casino floor
Ÿ Pets are not allowed unless they are service animals
Ÿ There are no poker rooms
Ÿ Gaming lessons are not offered, but employees running table games can give instructions
Ÿ Slot machines start at a penny
Ÿ Winnings above $1,199 are taxable.
For more info, visit playrivers.com.
Chin warns novice gamblers to stay away from throwing their hard-earned cash on games where the odds are stacked against them.
"I'm a mathematician, so I believe in luck you can predict ahead of time," Chin said. "The odds are almost completely against you."
Here are some of his tips for first-timers who want to walk out with the shirts still on their back:
1. Don't play with money you can't afford to lose. Players should go in with an idea of the maximum amount of money they are prepared to lose, and stick to that amount.
2. Go online and read up on casino games and strategies.
3. Blackjack, craps and video poker are the best games for novices. "If you want to get really good, you can look into counting cards. You have to train yourself. Most people can do it."
4. Slot machines are games where the house has a huge advantage.
5. Stay away from roulette tables, which he compares to flushing money down the toilet.
6. Take advantage of other attractions such as shows, lounges and restaurants. "It's sometimes a fun place to go out."
7. Take advantage of promotions and comps the casino offers.
8. Know when to quit. "If you're playing for fun and entertainment, the worst thing that can happen is that you compulsively gamble, and especially, lose."