We’ve all heard stories about fortunes being won and lost in casinos and some have even gone down in legend like “the man who broke the bank in Monte Carlo”. But the one thing to know about any casino game before you go about trying to compete yourself is how the odds stack up.
Only by understanding what these are, and how you can use them to your advantage, will you be able to enjoy success. They split into two areas. Firstly, there are the odds themselves which are dictated by the likelihood—statistically speaking—of being likely to win.
Then there is the house edge to take into account. This is the amount that a casino aims to make on any particular game. So, what you are looking for is a combination of the best odds, combined with the lowest house edge that makes for the perfect sweet spot for gamblers.
When it comes to looking at the types of casino games that feature both in physical casinos and their increasingly popular online counterparts, there is generally not much difference in the odds that are on offer. But it’s also important to take into account the joining bonuses and other offers made by online casinos that can also put you at a quite an advantage.
Often, part or all of a new player’s bonus comes in the form of a certain number of free spins on selected slots games. This is good news, but the less good news is that slots offer players some of the lowest odds of winning.
This comes down to the random nature of the games themselves, as well as the Return To Player (RTP) figure that represents the amount of stake money that is returned as winnings. On some slots this can be around 75% which means a house edge of 25%.
That said, if you hit the right game at the right time you could be in for a seriously big payout.
With a game like roulette, it is very easy to calculate the precise odds of success and that’s thanks to both the nature of the game and the different types of bets available.
Each spin of the wheel results in a single number, from 0 to 36, coming up – so the odds are 1:36. Although, on American roulette tables, there are both 0 and 00 so the odds are a slightly longer 1:37 which increases the house edge marginally.
With bets available of odd or even and red or black the best odds you can get are a fraction under evens. But if you’re lucky enough to correctly predict a single number then the pay-out will be 35:1.
One of the most popular casino dice games is craps. In this there is a shooter who rolls the dice with other players betting on the outcome of each throw. The simplest bet to make is whether the shooter is going to win or lose, and this gives you around a 50% chance of winning.
As bets become more precise, for example about whether a specific number will be thrown, the odds get longer, but the potential pay-outs will be higher.
It’s also worth noting that on some bets in craps the house edge can be as high as 10% – not as bad as slots, but not great, all the same.
If cards are your thing, then blackjack offers a good way to enjoy odds that can also be pretty close to evens when you play. That’s because it is essentially a player versus dealer game with each having an equal chance of winning. What’s more, the house edge is very low – typically around 1%.
You can also tip the odds more in your favour by dedicating a little time to learning all about the basic strategy of the game. Based on a range of probabilities that have been calculated in advance, this gives guidance about when to take another card as well as when to stick.
Baccarat is another very popular card game in casinos all over the world, but often it’s overlooked on favour of blackjack. While its house edge is marginally higher, it still offers good value especially if you bet on the banker winning each time.
This has been calculated as being 1.06% that the banker will get closer to 9 than the player, whereas the house edge when you bet on the player winning a hand is a slightly less appealing 1.36%.
One card game in which it is very difficult to calculate the precise odds is poker. This is because there are so many variables involved as well as a great deal of skill on the part of the best players.
If you want to win, much also has to do with using the laws of probability, along with intuition about other players’ cards, It also offers many different betting options which also muddy the waters even more.
Play in a casino and the house will take varying amounts of the stake money being played for so this, too, is hard to calculate precisely.
So, all things considered, blackjack probably stands out as the best casino game to play in terms of having good odds coupled with a low house edge. Maybe it’s time to get learning that basic strategy!