So, you walk into a flashy casino hall, look around and smile. What a magical place, full of opportunities and lucky chances!
Wrong. That’s just the appearance and the whisper of tropes built into our subconsciousness by pop culture.
When you enter a casino, you sign a silent agreement to lose, however discouraging it may sound. All the gambling games are designed with a negative winning probability for a gambler. This principle is their basis and the reason for their existence.
Casinos, whether located in Vegas or in the virtual space – at the best pokies online casino webpages, are an entertainment business. They sell you an unforgettable time, fun, and glamourous ambiance. And you pay for it. Not just at the cashier but also at the gambling tables and when pulling the levers of slot machines.
So, choosing a casino game with the best winning odds is actually a battle for the champion title among the worst players. We are not too proud to avoid such a contest, though. Let’s look into the winning odds of the most popular casino games and point out their advantages and drawbacks.
After you have absorbed the idea that whichever casino game you pick, you, a hypothetical gambler in a vacuum, are bound to lose in the long run. And yet, table games should always be your priority: in comparison to slots, video games, slot machines, and everything lottery-like, they will offer you better-winning chances.
Blackjack has straightforward rules, and a player can influence the course of the game. You can decide when to draw another card and when not to, learn card counting techniques or basic Blackjack strategies and apply them. While at Roulette or slots, everything is determined for you by a random drop of the ball or an embedded computer algorithm, and the only thing you do is wait. You are playing against one person – the dealer, and if you are not a green newbie, your chances to win are comparable.
Blackjack has the lowest house edge: from 0.5% to 2%. It depends on the player’s skills and knowledge, as well as on the additional rules implemented in some casinos. For example, whether the dealer has to draw another card or stop when hitting 17. A player, successfully using an advanced Blackjack strategy, can reduce the House Edge percentage to the minimum but never to 0. The winning odds at Blackjack are estimated at 42.22%, and the losing chances – are at 49.10%, which leaves 8.48% for the ‘push’ situation (tie).
Craps and Roulette
We have put these very different, at first sight, casino games into one paragraph because there are certain kinds of bets that mathematically give you impressive (for a casino) winning chances.
At Roulette, if you place a wager on the following outside bets: Red or Black, High or Low, Odd or Even, you will be gambling with the 48.65% and 47.37% winning odds for the European and American Roulette variation, respectively. These bets cover the most numbers possible on the wheel: that’s why the chances are close to 50/50. If not for the green 0 and 00 that also participate in every spin, the odds would have been equal. Consequently, the game wouldn’t have been created in the first place. The zeroes are the reason the house will always win in the long run at Roulette; they make you play with a negative winning probability from the very beginning. Blame the zeroes!
The rest of the Roulette odds are much less advantageous: the fewer numbers your bets cover (from 12 to 1), the further down your winning odds go (from 32.43% to 2.7%).
So, we are not saying that Roulette is one of the best casino options – we are just pointing out that some Roulette bets have better odds than the others, and they are the closest to that fair 50/50 that every gambler craves.
A similar thing happens at craps. The best bets, in terms of the winning probabilities, are choosing between 2 options: Pass line / Come (49.29% win, 50.71% lose, 1.41% House Edge) and Don’t Pass / Don’t Come (47.93% win, 49.29% lose, 2.78% tie, 1.36% House Edge).
Slots and Poker
Slots and Poker are considered the hardest games to win for a gambler, but the mechanics behind it are totally different.
The House Edge of slot machines may vary from 2% to 50%, and this information is usually open: it may be printed on the machine itself, and if you gamble online, you are likely to find it in the game description. The problem with slots is that the players have no influence whatsoever on the course of the game, nor can they apply any strategy to reduce the house edge.
Poker is the complete opposite. The game is too dependent on the player’s skill and the skills of your opponents. If you have never played Poker (or played it a couple of times against your friends over a pint of beer), your chances plummet as soon as you sit at a casino table. And as for the math, the probabilities of getting Royal Flush are 0.000154%, Full House – 0.1441%, Straight – 0.3925%. The lowest-paying Hands – Two Pair and One Pair – have more impressive winning chances, of course: 4.75% and 42.25%, but how often do they win?
In this review, we have looked at the casino games from the probability angle only, leaving such factors as personal preferences, a gambling budget, experience, and fun aside. Everyone means different things when they say ‘the best, and we are sure probabilities and winning chances are just one piece of the casino puzzle.