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Which Games To Play

Casinos offer a variety of games and the casino's edge or advantage is different for each game. The higher the casino advantage, the less your chance of winning.

The casino advantage has 2 components. The first and easiest to understand is when you lose. When you lose a bet, it is lost, period.

The second is when you win. But how can you lose when you win? Well, instead of receiving a fair payout for a winning bet, you are paid less. For example, a fair payout for a $1 wager on roulette is $37. However, the casino pays you only $35. It keeps the $2 like a tax. As a result, the $2 disappears in the coffers of the casino, without you even knowing or realizing it! The irony of this is that you are happy you have "won" even though you have just been short changed by the casino.

What you need to know is how much is this hidden tax and what you can do to reduce it. Because the lower you reduce this tax or casino advantage, the greater your chances will be of winning more or at least minimizing your losses.

The following table summarizes the casino's advantage for different casino games. A positive casino advantage means the casino has the edge. A negative casino advantage implies the player has the better of it. Most casino games have several different types of wagers, which is why you see a range of casino advantage for most games.

Blackjack (without basic strategy) +5.0% to +10%
Blackjack (with basic strategy) 0% to +0.5%
Blackjack (with basic strategy and card counting) -0.2% to -1.05% (Player advantage)
Craps +0.2% to +17%
Pai Gow Poker -0.2% to +2.5%
Baccarat +0.1% to +14.1%
Roulette +2.6% to +7.9%
Big Six Wheel +11.1% to +22.2%
Video Poker -0.1% to +5.0%
Red Dog +3.5%
Sic Bo +2.8% to +47.5%
Poker Depends on skill level
Slots +0.5% to +10% or more
Keno +20% to +50%
Let It Ride +3.5%
Caribbean Stud Poker +5.2%

For a more in-depth analysis go to "House Advantages" which shows percentages by the various betting options for each game.

The best games - the ones with the lowest potential casino advantage - are the following casino games:

  • Blackjack (with at least basic playing strategy)

  • Craps (but only specific bets)

  • Baccarat

  • Video Poker (full pay machines with expert strategy)

  • Pai Gow Poker

  • Table Poker (but very dependent upon the skill level of fellow players)

These are the casino games, which offer you the highest potential of maximizing your winnings or minimizing your losses, and should be a part of every player's game plan.


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