LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – You don’t have to go to Las Vegas to try your hand with Lady Luck — there are plenty of casino resorts right here in Southern California.

Morongo, San Manuel, Pechenga. Is winning at local spots all chance? Well, according to the experts at Pechanga, that depends on what you’re playing.

They tell us there’s no way to tell if a slot machine is going to pay out or not, and casinos don’t control how loose machines are as much as you might think. But they do say your odds are better if you bet the maximum amount on the higher limit machines.

“There’s something called the random number generator inside all of the slot machines, and it’s actually locked up behind a key. Only the regulators have those keys. So we cannot determine the outcome of the game,” slots instructor Jene Riddell explained.

“A good rule of thumb is the higher the denomination, the more likely you are to win on that machine,” she added.

Your odds also improve on video poker, since there is some strategy involved. But not all games are equal. Your best bet: Jacks or better. And you should look for a “9-6” pay table.

“Nine for a full house, six for a flush. This is the best odds and the best pay table for our guests who play,” Riddell said.

Of course, the best payouts are at the tables. Even though facing off against a dealer might seem intimidating at first, games like blackjack are fairly easy to pick up.

“The great thing about it is there are rules on which cards you should hit and stand on. So if you learn basic strategy, you don’t even have to think,” said Vice-President of Table Operations, Mike May.

So does the house always win, or is there a way to tip the odds in your favor?

When it comes to blackjack, you’ll win more at a table that pays 3-2. And if you can find a game using only two decks of cards, you’ve got a better shot at winning.

Roulette might seem like a pretty safe bet if you stick to red or black. But don’t forget about the green zero and double zero.

“Those numbers help in the math of the game to make it that much more advantage to the house. So when you look at red and black and go to bet, it’s not like flipping a coin,” May said.

Of course if you are feeling lucky, roulette does have one of the best “risk vs. reward” ratios.

But going to the casino isn’t just about winning. It’s also about not leaving money on the table.  That’s why experts say, you should always sign up for a rewards card.

Many southern california casinos now have rooms, restaurants and spas, and rewards members earn points while playing, to take advantage of those amenities.

But can you trust that casinos actually want you win? And that they’re telling the truth about how to boost your odds? We asked them.

“The best advertising we can do is when you leave here after you’ve won and you tell your friends,” May said. “We really believe in giving the customer the opportunity to win.”

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