Tips for Quick Decision Making in Casino Games

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BetMGM Feb 10, 2022, 3:28 AM

Decision-making is part of everyday life and while some people find it easy to make quick, confident choices, even insignificant choices can make others break out in a sweat! But there are ways to train yourself to act with speed and confidence. This can help you in everyday life as well as allow you to get the most out of your experience playing online casino games.

Let’s find out how to make quick, self-assured decisions.

Gather information and practice in your comfort zone

Confident decision-making isn’t only about how quickly you can come up with a course of action, it’s also about learning to acquire as much information as possible in a short amount of time in order to inform your decision.

In the online casino context, this involves getting comfortable with all the rules and nuances of a game long before you have to make important decisions. A great way to do this if you’re learning poker, for example, is to play live dealer games that give you the opportunity to pit yourself against other players while interacting with a helpful and friendly real-life dealer.

Many professional players, including World Series of Poker winner Chris Moneymaker, learned to make quick, effective poker decisions by testing their mettle in the online environment. Playing online poker games gives you a taste of most variants, including popular Texas Hold’em poker, in a casino-like setting.

If you’re playing live dealer blackjack as a novice, to make it easier to practice quick decision-making, choose a table with the least number of decks and try these easy betting tips. Double your bet (you can have one more card) on 10 or 11 when the dealer shows two to nine. Stand on 13 to 16 when the dealer shows two to six and hit (request another card) when you’re on 12 to 16 and the dealer has seven or higher.

When practicing quick decision-making, start out with a series of small decisions. 

Along with the rules, understanding a game’s odds will also help you to make better decisions and get as much stretch as possible out of your bankroll.

The popular baccarat casino game is another way you can get used to making quick betting decisions because there are only three possible results from each hand and you won’t need any skill to play, only an understanding of the basic rules. Simply bet on the banker – the house edge of 1.06% means that if you place a hundred bets of $1 each, your average loss would be around a dollar. If you bet on the player’s hand, the edge is only a bit less than the banker’s hand at 1.24%.

Give yourself a time limit

Fast decision-making is a skill like any other – it requires a few pointers in the right direction and a lot of practice. Set yourself a time limit and use a stopwatch or your phone to time yourself. Some experts recommend applying the two-minute rule. Start by practicing at home or with friends, then in the live dealer environment. Set the stopwatch and start the decision countdown. While it might be intimidating to start with, you will find your mind adjusting to the two-minute timeline and with practice, you’ll find your stride.

Don’t get too down on yourself if you find that two minutes puts you under too much pressure. Anything between one and five minutes is a good timeframe for decision making, and you’ll probably find yourself improving as you get comfortable with the idea of making a choice within a predetermined deadline.

The role of emotions in quick decision-making

While some of poker’s greats are known for their emotional outbursts, these sometimes crazy, over-the-top displays are in fact a carefully thought out part of their tournament strategy. In reality, gambling and out-of-control emotions do not mix well. You can only gamble responsibly and make quick, confident decisions when you have your feelings under control.

But how do you keep your emotions in check when you have pride or money on the line? We’d recommend making emotional awareness part of your casino games skills set. Start by naming your emotions. So, instead of registering, “I have butterflies in my stomach,” name this emotion – “I’m feeling scared and anxious.”

How you’re feeling will affect the decisions you make. For example, when you’re experiencing anxiety, you’ll tend to play it safe while excitement can make you overestimate your chances of success. By naming your emotions and understanding how they may affect your actions, you’ll be more likely to make quick decisions based on the state of play instead of the state of your emotions.

Accept failure

One factor that will always slow down your ability to make decisions in casino games is fear of failure. This can result in overthinking your hand or the game, and you could even run the risk of shutting down (the feeling that you’ve “gone blank.”) This could prevent you from making any decision at all and simply carrying out an action because the game and time require you to move on.

Accepting failure doesn’t mean you have to plan to fail. It means thinking differently about failure by accepting that it will inevitably happen and when it does, using the failure as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes so you can become a better casino games player.

Play with confidence at BetMGM

When you register online with BetMGM, you get access to a huge collection of games and exciting casino table games. Whether you’ve played at an online casino before or it’s your first time, there’s plenty of help online including our Poker Player’s Guide that covers different games, how to bet, strategy and more.


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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.