Casinos had 80 million visitors in 2014. That's one popular destination, especially if you look at some comparisons like the 32 million that attended a music festival in 2014 and that all of Disney's theme parks across the globe had 148,341,000 visitors in 2014. It is time to understand the casino odds.
Whether a tourist is looking to try a hand at Lady Luck or a local spending the day at their favorite casino, most novice players will want to know what casino games have the best odds of winning and how they are played.
What Casino Games Have The Best Winning Odds?
Understand first that the casino always has the edge on games that aren't skill-based. Casinos have a built-in profit, also called the house edge or casino advantage, on every bet made. Basically, every bet has a probability of losing or winning, much like flipping a coin has a 50/50 probability of landing on heads or tails.
If someone bets a $100 and was paid $100 for winning, then they were paid true odds. The house edge comes in by only paying a portion of the bet, such as 95 cents on the dollar, which would give the house an edge of 2.5%.
American Roulette, for example, has a house edge of 5.26%. Why? There are 38 slots on the wheel. The winning odds is 38 to 1. The casino pays $35 for the win and the initial dollar is kept. The difference between money in hand ($36) for a win and odds of winning (38) is $2. Divide the difference ($2) by the true odds (38) to get a house edge of 5.26%.
In looking at the casino advantage amongst the most popular games, these show the best odds of winning:
Novice players may find these games intimidating at first glance, but the rules are actually quite straightforward and easy to learn.
This popular casino game has one of the strongest winning odds and is one the easier table games. Generally, the casino edge is less than 1%. Blackjack is always played against the dealer, meaning the player doesn't have to factor in the skill level of fellow players.
How Is Blackjack Played?
Each player is playing solely against the dealer, not each other.
The object of Blackjack is to beat the value of the dealer's cards without going bust, which is any card count over 21 points. Players want to get as close as they can to 21 points without going over.
Number cards are counted at face-value. Aces can be counted as either one or 11 at the player's discretion on which will get them closest to 21. Face cards (jacks, queens, and kings) are counted as 10 points. Any combination of cards that add up to 21 is a Blackjack, but a Blackjack of an ace and face card ranks the highest.
Each player makes their bets. The dealer then begins by dealing each player at the table two cards from the deck. Both of these cards are in the face-up position, meaning the value of both cards are visible. Finally, the dealer will deal himself a single card in the face-up position and a single card that's in the face-down position. The card not visible, or face-down, is called the hole card and players can not see the value of this card.
The player to the dealer's left starts by either deciding to 1) surrender, forfeiting half the bet and leaving the round, 2) that they need another card, or 3) that they don't need another card to get closer to 21. If no card is wanted, the player will tell the dealer he will ‘stay' or ‘stand.' If a card is wanted, the player asks the dealer to ‘hit' him with another card. Hits can be dealt until the player doesn't want any more cards or os dealt a card that makes them go over 21 and bust.
If dealt two face cards or aces, the player can double the bet by separating them and playing them as two hands. Split aces always have a value of one.
Each player will go through this process before the dealer takes his turn. The dealer turns his hole card over and has his own rules to follow. A value of 16 or less means the dealer must take a hit. If the dealer has over 17, he can choose to hit or stay. If the dealer goes bust, all player's still in the game win. Otherwise, the players who have a higher value than the dealer all win. The dealer, for example, has 18, player A has 19, and player B has 20. Player A and B both win.
Most Blackjack tables pay 3:2.
How To Improve Odds In Blackjack
The following strategy has been proven to improve a player's odds of winning after the first two cards are dealt to the player:
• Always hit if the total is under 9.
• Always stand if total is 17-21.
• Double when the dealer has a 3 through 6 card showing and player has total card count of 9; ask for a hit when the dealer has a 2 or 7 card showing. Remember, players can only see one of the dealers cards at this time.
• Double if the dealer had a 2 through 9 card showing and player has total card count of 10; ask for a hit should the dealer have either a 10 or an ace card showing.
• Double if the dealer has a 2 through 10 card showing and the player total is 11; ask for a hit if dealer has ace card showing.
• Hit if the dealer has a 2 card, 3 card, or a card higher than 6 and the player has a total card count of 12; stand if the dealer has a 4 through 6 card showing.
• Hit if the dealer has a card 6 or less and the player has a total card count of 13 through 16. Player should stand if dealer has a 6 card or less showing.
One of the most recognizable and oldest casino games, Baccarat is a game of chance, luck. There's no skill or strategy involved in playing the game.
How Is Baccarat Played?
Wagers are made on the outcomes of either the Player's hand, the Banker's hand, or the Tie. These are just the names of the two hands dealt, not representative of who's hands they are per se.
Many casinos give score sheets to players so that they can track wins in each game.
The winning hand has a value closer to 9.
Card values are 2-9 at face-value, face cards and 10s have a zero value, and aces are valued at 1.
Hands that have a combined single digit value are valued as they are. However, hands with a double digit value, such as 15, must drop the left digit, giving a 15 a Baccarat value of 5.
Bets are made on one of the options. Two cards are dealt for each the Banker and the Player hands. The dealer continues to deal out cards based on the house rules. Unlike in Blackjack, the players do not need to make decisions here. The dealer follows established rules as to when more cards are given or not.
How To Improve Odds In Baccarat
There isn't a way to improve the odds here. The outcome of every game is unique and unpredictable. However, players can use score sheets to track winning hands, help follow their instincts, and look for any patterns.
Some experts feel the Banker's hand does have a slight numbers advantage, making it the preferred bet in odds.
The craps table is quite an intimating visual with its multiple betting options. Throw in some hoodoo language and the fast pace it's played, and Craps makes many novice gamblers turn and run before even giving it a chance. What they might not realize is that craps has great winning odds.
How Is Craps Played?
Players surrounding the game may place bets on the numerical outcome of a pair of rolled dice thrown by a player, the shooter.
The ‘come-out' is the first roll, and players bet by placing chips on the ‘Pass' or ‘Don't Pass' bar.
To win on the Pass bar, the numerical outcome, or total, of both dice must be either 7 or 11.
To win on the Don't Pass line, the shooter must throw a 2 or a 3.
Pass and Don't Pass bars both lose if the dice total 12.
When a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled, the number is called the ‘point' and marked by the dealer with a puck on the table.
Side bets can be made, called ‘odds,' after the point is established.
The shooter rolls again:
If the shooter rolls a 7, the Dont Pass bets win.
The Pass bets win if the shooter rolls the point.
Odds bets win when the point is thrown before a 7 is thrown.
Wins pay even money. Most Craps tables offer three to five times the odds. Three times flat bet for 4 and 10, four times for 5 and 9 , and five times for 6 and 8.
Strategy To Increase Craps Odds
Keep it simple at first. Play the Pass and Don't Pass bets until familiar enough with the game to engage in more bets.
Pros often bet the Don't Pass and back the bet up by playing the odds.
This is probably one of the easier casino table games to play. The pace is relatively slow and the rules aren't as complex as other games.
How Is Roulette Played?
A steel ball is spun on a wheel, with players betting on which color or number it will land.
Players may place bets on three factors: which number(s) the ball will land, whether it will land on black or red, and whether it will be an odd or even number. Players can bet on multiple numbers or groups of numbers at a time and can bet on as many factors as they chose at a time.
There are 38 slots 00- 36 in American Roulette and 37 slots 0-36 in European Roulette.
Bets are beginning to be made. The dealer spins the ball in the opposite direction of the spinning Roulette wheel. The ball must make at least three revolutions for a valid round. The dealer will announce when betting is closed. The ball comes to a stop and winners are paid by the dealer.
Color wins are 1:1 payouts and number bets are 35:1 payouts.
Learn To Watch, Watch To Learn
All four of these casino games are largely luck in how the cards fall, dice roll, a ball drops. What's important is that players understand the basic concepts of the game they're playing. Another great idea is to watch. Watch how more seasoned players operate the games and learn from them. Most dealers will also help novice players get a feel for the rules of the game and basic strategies, especially when the table isn't full. Most importantly, perhaps, is to keep expectations realistic by understanding the odds.