Winning at a casino takes more than just luck.
The more you know about the games that you are playing, the more likely you are to make smarter decisions about when to play, when to stop, and what strategies to use.
In the physical casino and in an online casino, the odds of winning a game are irrevocably tied in to what is known as the ‘house edge’.
This is essentially the profit margin of the casino, and how they reliably make enough money to cover the big jackpots that are available.
When it comes to odds, however, there are several factors that should be considered , as the games with the best odds of winning might not necessarily have the biggest return.
An example of this would be something like Baccarat, where the smallest house edge is offered on a bet that returns 1:1.
If you compare this to slot machines, which have a much higher house edge but much bigger payouts (often 500x your stake or even more), then it is easy to see that choosing the right game to play is not just about the odds of winning.
With that in mind, lets look at some of the most popular casino games and their odds.
Baccarat is a popular card game in casinos that does not require any real skill other than understanding the rules of the game, and in the most-played Punto Banco version there are only three outcomes on which you can bet.
The odds of each outcome are as follows:
- Banker – 1.06% (including a 5% commission)
- Player – 1.24%
- Tie – 14.36%
Looking at these odds, most people would choose to bet on the banker, while others would bet on the player.
Both positions pay 1:1 which makes it a relatively safe bet.
However, the riskier prospect of backing a tie can pay out 8:1 if it comes in – higher risk, higher reward.
Blackjack is often referred to as the most popular game in the casino, and it not hard to see why.
In this game you are playing against the dealer, with the sole aim of making 21 using the value of the cards you have without going bust.
You can win if you get closer to 21 than the dealer.
Of course, there is a bit more to the rules than that, as you’ll need to know when you’ll have to draw a card, when you should stick or split, and follow some sort of strategy.
As a game with simple rules, blackjack can be lucrative especially if you follow a strategy rather than ‘gut feeling’.
As the chances of winning are close to 50/50, even an undisciplined player can win a few hands.
Blackjack also has a relatively low house edge – the classic game comes in at just 0.13% – but remember that the more decks are in play, the higher the house edge will be.
Betting on the roll of dice is a surprisingly complicated game to play at the casino, but once you get to grips with how it works, how you need to bet, and whether you should play some side bets, you can get some excellent results in craps.
In terms of odds, different types of bets have different house edge to consider.
Side bets have 0.00% house edge, whereas others can be up to 1.52%.
Another game with close to 50/50 odds of winning if you make the right pass line wager.
The European game of roulette has two numbers (0, 00) which represent the house edge of 2.70% (or a 35/1 chance of picking the right number).
However, players who enjoy a more conservative game might look for the wagers that are close to 50/50 – for example, choosing black or red, or odds or evens.
There are other versions of roulette that will have a slightly different house edge.
For example, the American version is 5.26% because there is an extra green slot (000).
Slots give you the details you need about the house edge, but they phrase it slightly differently so it isn’t as easy to understand.
In the game information, you will be shown the RTP rate.
This is a percentage that describes on average how much of each unit played is paid out.
It is the rest of that percentage that is the house edge.
For example, the average RTP rate is usually somewhere around 95%, which means the house edge is 5%.
Slots are usually easy to play with low staking requirements, and this is reflected in the way casinos manage players – but they are also where you can get returns of 500:1 or even more, if your luck is with you and your numbers come in.