For novice gamblers, gambling safely means playing games that are within your skill set. The best games for novices are ones that don’t require much experience. If you’re just getting your feet wet, you don’t want to dive into the deep waters of the table games.


Lotteries are the most popular form of gambling. Even people who do not consider themselves gamblers often play lottery at some point in their lives. Many countries and regions have lotteries. People who do not live in an area with a lottery may be able to play an online lottery.

Lotteries have an aspect of delayed gratification, since drawings are usually weekly. This is in contrast to other forms of gambling. The best lotteries to play are Pick 2 or Pick 3 games. These games have better odds but a lower payout than jackpot games like MegaMillions or EuroMillions. Payout for these is generally a few hundred dollars, while jackpot games are usually in the millions.

Scratch Cards

Scratch cards are another common form of gambling. People think that scratch cards are completely random, when in reality they are not. Cards are sold in packs with set win/loss percentages. Because of this, you can play a little smarter.

  • Pay attention to the odds. Most cards have the odds of winning printed on the back. It may be tempting to spend money on a more expensive game, but these games do not always have higher odds of winning.
  • Check websites to see if winning tickets have been sold. Stores will still continue to sell cards from a game whose prizes have been claimed. Stay away from second chance or mystery packs. These are often just a scam to sell leftover tickets.
  • Turn in all your tickets. Some games have confusing rules, and cards that look like losers may be winners. Always have your tickets checked at a computer.


Roulette is a favorite among gamblers of all stripes, novices and high rollers alike. It is a great game for beginners because there are a variety of bets you can place with varying degrees of risk. There are a few things you can do to improve your odds at roulette.

  • Only play at European roulette tables. American roulette has two green slots, marked 0 and 00 on the wheel. These slots do not pay out. You will lose money faster on American tables, so always stick to European tables, which have only one green slot, marked 0.
  • Stick to outside bets. Outside bets include dozens, columns, odds/evens, red/black and high/low. These bets pay 2:1 or 1:1. These are lower payouts than inside bets, but the tradeoff is a lower risk. You’ll get to spend more time gambling, which is the goal.


Slot Machines

Slot machines are the most popular games in casinos. Beginners and casual gamblers love to put their bankrolls in these money sinks. Slot machines are some of the worst games in casinos in terms of payouts. Here are a few tips on playing smart.

  • Research the slot machines in your area. Some statisticians have calculated slot machine odds at the most popular casinos worldwide. Playing games with the best odds is the best way to get a payout.
  • Avoid progressive slot machines. Progressive slot machines have the biggest jackpots, so they have the worst odds.
  • Play in casinos outside of main gambling areas. For example, casinos located off the Las Vegas Strip typically have better odds on their machines. Don’t fall for advertising that describes “loose slots” or claims that a casino’s payouts are “up to” a particular percentage. Only trust advertising that directly states that the casino’s slots payouts are an exact percentage.