No. 1 — Be Prepared
Try to get some basic strategy guides on the games you intend to play. Not all casino games are on cruises, but you can usually find some of the major ones like blackjack and slots.
On board staff will probably be able to help you learn the games. However, your best chance for a thorough understanding is to give yourself a brief primer beforehand.
No. 2 — Know the Rules
At live casinos or online, you have a lot of choices, so you can look around for the most favorable rules for whatever game you want to play. On a cruise ship, the games they offer are the only games you are getting, so it's likely that you will be looking at less favorable game rules than you might find on land.
There's nothing you can do about this, but be aware of what you're getting into. For example, if the blackjack rules say the dealer wins all ties, this significantly boosts the House edge.
No. 3 — Do Other Things
Some people who start casino gambling instantly get caught up in the excitement and fun of the games and get hooked. You may find you want to spend your entire trip at the tables. Don't.
There's a lot to do on a cruise and gambling should be an enhancement, not the whole experience. Remember that once you get home you can sign up with an online casino site and continue the excitement.
No. 4 — Socialize
Live casino gambling can be a very social activity. Since you are usually playing against the House and not against the other players, a team mentality can develop which can be a lot of fun and help you make new friends.
No. 5 — Try Different Games
The limits on cruise ship games are usually a bit lower than you might find at a live casino during peak times, so take advantage to try a few different games. When you get back to land, you may feel comfortable enough to try those games at live or online casinos.
No. 6 — Blackjack Tips
Before you get on board, grab a basic blackjack book or a basic strategy chart that you can print out online. Correct basic blackjack strategy is key to success, so you'll need that chart handy when you play.
No. 7 — Craps Tips
The fancy big odds bets like hard ways and one roll bets look like fun, but the odds are heavily stacked against you. If you're looking to reduce the House edge, stick to pass/don't pass and come/don't come bets with odds.
No. 8 — Slots Tips
There's probably no way to know which slot machines are better to play on than others on a cruise. While some machines may have different payout percentages, these machines are probably all the same. That does not mean that a machine that has just paid off or that hasn't paid off in a while is any more or less likely to pay off again, so don't worry about that when choosing.
No. 9 — Roulette Tips
You probably will not have this option, but if you have a choice between a roulette wheel with a single zero or one with a zero and a double zero, choose the single zero — the odds are much better. Same thing goes for those trying their luck in online roulette.
No. 10 — General Gambling Tips
You will probably have the most fun if you set aside a particular amount of money to gamble with and don't go over that amount. Divide your playing bankroll over the number of sessions you intend to play. If you win, great. If not, it won't ruin your trip.