When you want to play at a (online) casino, it is, of course, with the aim of winning as much money as possible. However, there are a number of beginner tips that we want to give you when it comes to odds.
Not every casino game pays out equally, and some even have very minimal house edges. Which games these are, how odds work with online casino games in general, and how these are calculated will all be covered in this extensive guide.
Every casino game has a so-called house edge. This house edge refers to the mathematical advantage the casino has on every spin, hand, or game round. This mathematical advantage causes the casino to ‘’always win in the long run’’.
It makes sure no betting strategy has any chance of being favourable for the player in the long term, including complex betting strategies like Martingale, D’Alembert, and Fibonacci. More importantly, it causes the casino to be profitable and able to stay in business.
With European Roulette, for example, the casino has a 2,70% house edge because of the presence of the zero pocket. Use the table below to compare the house edge of different commonly played casino games.
|Casino Game Type||Casino House Edge|
|Video Poker||-0,05% – 2%|
|Blackjack||0,43% – 2%|
|Baccarat||1,06% – 1,24%|
|Craps||1,36% – 1,41%|
|Ultimate Texas Hold’em||2,20%|
|Pai Gow Poker||2,84%|
These house edges can be translated into RTP ratios, which stands for return to player ratios. Return to player refers to the amount of money a player receives back in winnings in correlation to his or her wagers over the long run. If an online slot machine has an RTP of 96%, it means that the player can expect to receive $96 back for every $100 wager over a longer period of gameplay.
Although these RTP ratios give a clear indication of what the house edge of a casino on a certain casino game is, they don’t say all. For example, it is possible for a player to get extremely lucky and win a jackpot in a very short play session.
For this reason, RTP ratios should rather be seen as an overall percentage of house edge than absolute numbers that apply to each and every game, spin, or hand. We talked to Adiela who runs the South African site onlinecasino-southafrica.co.za. According to her she sees way more traffic going to casinos that state to have a high RTP. Again, don’t be too fixated on this number.
Simply put, Blackjack, Craps, Baccarat, and Roulette are the casino games with the best odds. Wheel of Fortune, Bingo, and Keno games have the worst odds. Traditional casino table games always have higher odds compared to slot machines.
- Blackjack – Blackjack is one of the casino games with the best odds in favour of the player. In fact, if you follow the basic Blackjack strategy, you have a 99,50% RTP. If you were to be able to count cards somehow correctly, you could even increase this to 100,50% RTP, resulting in a positive edge for you as a player.
- Craps – Craps is mostly a 50-50 game in terms of odds. In Craps, one person is always the shooter (the person who rolls the dice). All other players bet on the results of the dice roll. Basically, all ‘’pass line’’ bets provide you with 50-50 odds, and then there are a couple of interesting side bets that aren’t that interesting odds-wise.
- Baccarat – Your odds of winning a hand of Baccarat are about 44%. Baccarat or Punto Banco is widely popular in both land-based and online casinos. During the game, you bet on either the player or banker to have a hand as close to 9 as possible. Note that most online Baccarat games come with quite a vast range of side bets. These bets don’t pay out well and should be avoided at all costs.
- Roulette – European Roulette comes with a 2,70% house edge. This Roulette variant is played with a roulette wheel numbered 1 to 36 and a single zero. American Roulette has a 5,26% house edge. The reason for this is the presence of a second zero on the roulette wheel. French Roulette has even better odds, clocking in at a 1,35% house edge if the En Prison and/or La Partage rules are applied.
The casino games with the worst odds are, without a doubt, slot machines, Wheel of Fortune type of games (Crazy Time, Dream Catcher, Sweet Bonanza CandyLand), and Keno games.
Slots are known to be the bread and butter of every casino. They are true attention-grabbers and come in all sorts and sizes, covering all kinds of themes. However, they often have huge house edges, causing you to lose your money over a short timespan easily.
Wheel of Fortune type of games also often come with high house edges. The traditional Wheel of Fortune game has about a 16% house edge, which is quite substantial compared to Roulette’s 2,70% or Blackjack’s 0,50%.
Last but not least, we have Keno. Keno is a dice game that looks a lot like bingo and lottery games. You choose a specific amount of numbers, and then the dealer randomly selects an x amount of numbers from a bigger total number.
If your numbers happen to match the ones drawn by the dealer, you win. Keno often comes with a house edge between 25% and 30%, which is significantly bigger than most other casino games’ built-in mathematical advantage for the casino operator.