Casinos are in the business of making money and to do that they have to make sure you lose when you play. Some games are skewed heavily in the casino’s favor. Others, especially certain traditional table games, have slimmer odds that give you a fighting chance of winning. If you want to reduce your risk and come out ahead when you play at a casino, stay away from the slots and pokies and try these casino games:
1 – Roulette (French or American)
French Roulette is the original, while American Roulette is its more modern spin-off. The main difference is the number of pockets. French Roulette features 37 colored pockets numbered 0 to 36. American Roulette has 37 pockets since it has an extra pocket for 00.
For French Roulette, the odds are skewed in the favor of the house by 2.7%. In American Roulette the house edge is 5.2%, less favorable to the player, but still impressive by modern standards.
2 – Blackjack
Blackjack is one of the best games to take on at a casino, with a house edge of 0.5 to 2%, and a return to player of 98 to 99.5%. It is easy to learn the rules, and as long as you follow a sensible strategy and don’t let greed or emotion get in the way you should walk away with a good win if you start with a reasonable bankroll. Get impulsive, however, and you will be reminded that the house edge exists.
3 – Craps
A dice game that asks you to bet on the outcome of a series of rolls, craps has a fairly low house edge, different based on the form of the game. It can be as low as 0.47%, up to 2.5%. Unlike Blackjack, where there is some element of skill involved in that players can base their bets on information such as the cards they have seen, Craps is a much more random game, but it can still be fun and, more importantly, rewarding.
4 – Baccarat
Baccarat is a fairly fast-paced card game where you have three choices for bets: tie, player, or banker. This is a longstanding game with a house edge of 1.06%. Since it is a traditional card game with pre-defined rules, casinos can’t add glitz, glamor and “more options” (read: more ways to lose) to the game. You don’t need a lot of strategy to win, it’s easy to run through lots of hands, and it’s fun.
5 – Heads Up Hold ‘Em
A twist on Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, this game gives players the option to raise their bet once each game, and they have three opportunities to do so. The house edge on this is 2.36%, but the returns can be impressive if you are a skilled poker player and raise at the right time.
If you’re looking to keep the odds reasonable, stick to the less glamorous games. Casinos would love it if players went towards slots promising huge jackpots, because slots have house edges of 5% to 15%. Don’t throw money into the pockets of the house with spin after spin. Play smart and walk out a winner.