Get an Edge at the Casino by Knowing Which Games Have the Best Odds
The Best and Worst Casino Games to Play If You Want to Win
Some people go to a casino to have fun, and they play the games they like the most. But if you want to improve your chances of walking away with more money than you went in with, you need to get an edge. Before you sit down at a table, know which casino games have the best odds so that you can spend your money wisely.
Before you start, know that none of the casino games have good odds for players. There's a reason why people say, "The house always wins." Every casino game is designed to give the house a better chance of winning, just some of them are more tilted than others.
The Three Best Casino Games to Play
If you walk into a casino and can't remember the details of this article, keep one thing in mind: you'll have the best odds of winning at a table game. They may be more intimidating than slots, but they usually work out better for the players.
That being said, here are the three best casino games to play if you want decent odds of winning money.
Odds of Winning Blackjack: 49 Percent
Blackjack is a simple card game with an element of skill to it. The odds of winning aren't too bad, either. You play against the dealer; more people can play at one time, but each is only trying to beat the dealer. The person whose hand comes closest to 21 without going over (which is called a "bust") wins.
Winning Blackjack takes luck and a relatively small amount of skill. The dealer relies as much on luck as the players do, so the odds of winning are pretty even. In most casinos, the advantage to the dealer is about one percent.
Odds of Winning Craps: Nearly 50 Percent
Craps is a table game played with dice. One person is the "shooter," who rolls the dice, and the other players make wagers on the results of that roll.
On the first roll, called "coming out," the shooter wins on a seven or an eleven. If the shooter rolls any other number, that number is now the "point." The shooter needs to hit the point before he rolls a seven to win.
The simplest bet to make is, will the shooter win or lose on his roll? You can also place other bets; for example, you can bet that the shooter will hit another number before he rolls a seven.
If you make a "pass line" wager to bet whether or not the shooter will win, your odds are approximately 50/50. If you make more specific bets, your odds of winning drop but your payouts rise.
Odds of Winning Roulette: Nearly 50 Percent
Roulette is a wheel with the numbers 1 - 36 on it in red and black, and the numbers 0 (and in American casinos also 00) in green. The croupier, or roulette dealer, spins the wheel and the ball falls on one of the numbers.
There are a number of different ways that you can place roulette bets. The simplest is to bet on whether the ball will fall on a red or black piece, which has odds of almost 50/50 ("almost" because of the one or two green tiles at 0 and 00).
You can increase the payout but lower your odds by betting on specific numbers or on ranges of numbers (like "1 to 12" or "1 to 18").
The Two Casino Games with the Worst Odds of Winning
The two casino games with the lowest chances of winning also happen to be two of the most popular games to play. They are easy to understand and require little to no skill to play, so a lot of people play, making lots of money for the casinos.
Odds of Winning the Big Six Wheel/Wheel of Fortune: 26 - 39 Percent
When you play the Big Six Wheel, you bet on whether the wheel will stop on a segment labeled $1, $5, $10, $20, or a joker. The segment that the wheel stops on is the amount you'll receive if you win.
Placing a $1 bet has the best odds of winning, with only an 11 Percent edge for the house, but also the worst payout. The Joker offers a 36x payout but has a 24 percent edge for the house.
Odds of Winning Slots: Around 1 in 49,836,032
You play slots by putting money into a slot machine and pulling a lever or pushing a button to spin a wheel. Depending on where the wheel lands, you win or lose.
Slot machines have various odds of winning, and the odds are printed on each machine, so be sure to read them before you select a machine to play.
Generally, the more money you need to spend to play, the better your odds of winning are. You may also have better odds of winning smaller payouts than a jackpot prize.
There is one casino game where the odds are wildly variable since skill plays as large a part in winning as luck does.
Poker: Odds Vary Dramatically
Obviously, playing poker at a casino is a very different beast than playing at home with your friends. You will be up against other players who may be total beginners or vicious sharks.
If you want to win money playing poker at a casino, make sure your skills are good before you start. Then find a table that meets your budget and skill level. UpswingPoker.com recommends playing at night, when there may be more recreational players and when the drinks have been flowing for a while.
These tips will help you make informed bets at a casino, but remember that the house always has the advantage. The more often you bet, the higher your chances of losing are. Be sure to walk into the casino with a firm budget of how much money you are willing to lose, and never let yourself cross that boundary.
You should also be aware of the warning signs of gambling addiction and know how to get help, if necessary.