Gambling information essays
What Casino Games offer the Best
During your first walk through the din and excitement
of the casino floor, it can be easy to become captivated
by the endless rush of action taking place all around
you. With winners celebrating as piles of chips are
pushed their way, players on the losing end loudly
lamenting their luck after a particularly
brutal bad beat, and passersby soaking in the
scene from afar, a casino can easily leave the uninitiated
with their heads swirling.
Even when firing up an online casino client for the
first time, this sort of sensory overload can easily
occur, as new players scroll through game menus which
easily span several hundred games and variants.
Blackjack specialists have to wade through dozens
of variations on the standard game of twenty-one,
including offshoots like Double Exposure, Pontoon,
and Spanish 21, along with regional variants like
Atlantic City, Vegas Strip, and European. If you prefer
spinning the wheel in a pure game of chance, you'll
find variants like American, European, French, and
Mini roulette to complicate matters.
This confusion is no accident, however, as both land-based
and online casinos continuously expand on their offerings
to cater to wider audiences and niche markets. It's
good to familiarize yourself with all this. After
all, for every minute you spend simply trying to assess
the lay of the land, you're not assessing game probabilities,
house edges, and other factors which help players
identify the casino games which offer the best odds.
Some casinos rely on the fact that the overwhelming
majority of casino players, weather rank novices or
seasoned veterans, will invariably waste a few wagers
on the most unfavorable games in the house. As the
player, you have a choice in determining where your
hard earned bankroll will be best allocated, and in
this respect, knowledge truly is power. By learning
the ins and outs of casino game odds, you can ensure
that your next trip to the casino holds true potential
for profit, rather than simply letting the cards fall
and relying on luck.
Below you'll find a list of the most popular casino
games available live and online which offer player
friendly odds, along with a refresher course on the
house edge associated with each game:
Even the most casual of gamblers has been taught
that blackjack represents the best bet in the house.
The game can be broken down into a simple set of mathematical
rules known as basic strategy, which allows players
to make the most optimal decision when faced with
every possible in-game scenario. The fact that blackjack
is pure math didn't go unnoticed by mathematicians,
the most prominent of which was Edward O. Thorp, a
professor at MIT, who published the bestselling blackjack
book "Beat the Dealer" in 1962.
By consulting a basic blackjack strategy chart, like
the one devised by Peter Howard of Texas A&M University,
you can easily determine whether hitting, standing,
doubling down, or splitting represents your best option
given your two-card hand and the dealer's lone up
Playing the game according to strict basic strategy
isn't easy of course, and you'll need to commit the
rules to memory at some point, but doing so lowers
the house edge against you to under 0.5 percent. The
term "house edge" simply describes the average profit
over the infinite long run which casinos can expect
to derive on each game. During a blackjack game with
a player using basic strategy, a casino can expect
to earn just one-half of one penny per every dollar
wagered. As you'll discover below, this pales in comparison
to most other casino games, many of which offer house
edges which are 10 times as high or more.
But even if your memory isn't a strong suit, and
you play blackjack according to instinct or feel more
than math, the house edge still sits at a generous
For players looking to get a leg up on the casino,
the blackjack tables offer a tried and true venue
through which you can compete on a nearly level playing
field. But, remember: as
poker icon Phil Hellmuth once said: "If you can't
quit the best hand, you can't play."
Generally underestimated as an easy game designed
to distract the tourists, roulette can admittedly
be a bit basic at first glance. Choose either red
or black, or maybe an individual number if you're
feeling adventurous, and hope the ball lands there
after the wheel stops spinning. Nothing to it, right?
First of all, let's not forget that roulette is the
most intricate casino game to actually physically
make, as roulette manufacturers like Cammegh have
to battle it out with physics, ensuring the table
is perfectly level, sockets perfectly equal and so
on. This may sound quite easy with today's modern
technology, but considering that the roulette first
appeared in the late 17th century it used to be a
much more complicated task. Its betting system is
equally simple yet complex.
In reality, the rules of roulette offer players a
multitude of additional bets which serve as supplements
to the standard color and number wagers. You can bet
that the ball will land on an odd or even number,
divide the board and bet on 1-18, or 19-36, or split
it up further by betting on 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36.
Then you have "six-line," "first-five," "corner,"
"street," or "split" bets, each of which describes
a particular placement on the table covering between
six and two numbers, respectively. The various types
of roulette bets are visually represented in the image
Overall, the most important thing to keep in mind
when assessing the odds offered by a roulette table
is the number of green "0" pockets on the wheel. In
so-called American roulette, the wheel will include
both a "0" and "00" pocket, and this extra pocket
favoring the house creates a house edge of 5.26 percent.
The alternative European roulette wheel, on the other
hand, only includes an "0" pocket, and thus the house
edge reduced to only 2.70 percent.
Finally, when playing roulette, the house edge will
remain the same for each of the bets listed above
(except for the first five bet, which is slightly
worse). In other words, when betting on just the color,
you'll have a 47.37% shot to win, but the payout is
low at even money. Bet on the exact number, and the
chances of winning drop to 2.6%, but you'll be rewarded
with a 35 to 1 payout on your wager. In both cases
though, the maths work out to the same house edge,
so players can feel free to experiment with their
betting without fear of making the proverbial "sucker
A deceptively simple game, baccarat involves nothing
more than guessing which of two hands, the "player"
or the "banker" hand, will result in the higher total.
In this game, players enjoy a house edge of only
1.06% when betting on the banker hand, and 1.24 percent
when betting on the player hand. Although regular
baccarat players will swear by their "system" for
guessing correctly, usually based on tracking previous
results and searching for patterns, sharp players
Every hand of baccarat represents an independent
event, so the proper strategy for this classic card
game is to do nothing more than bet on the banker.
By doing so, you'll enjoy one of the most favorable
games on any casino floor, losing just one penny per
one dollar wagered over the long run, and generating
decent profits when you catch a fortunate run of hands.
The classic game of dice rolling known as craps offers
a seemingly endless array of wagering options, to
the point that players unfamiliar with the game are
usually intimidated when passing by the craps table.
And indeed, craps includes one of the more complicated
betting setups on the casino floor. Splashing chips
around on various longshot craps bets can be quite
entertaining, especially with a hot roller making
magic happen, but you'll be up against stiff house
edges of between 4 and 13.9 percent.
However, by sticking to the most basic bet on the
table, known as the "Pass Line," you can reduce the
house edge against you to just 1.41 percent. Simply
put, you'll be betting with the shooter rather than
against them. When the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11
on the first roll, also known as the "come out roll,"
you'll win even money on the pass line bet. If they
roll a 2, 3, or 12, the shooter "craps out" and you
lose the pass line bet. Any other number sets the
"point," and pass line bets win if the shooter rolls
the point number a second time before evening out.
You can even reduce the house edge a little further,
down to 1.36 percent, by betting the "Don't Pass Line."
This bet goes against the shooter though, and thus
it's generally frowned upon by fellow players. Savvy
players still bet on the don't pass line of course,
so feel free to do the same. Just don't be surprised
to see other players scowling while you do.
Whether you are an absolute casino newbie or already
seasoned in some casino games, it's worth it to study
house edge for a number of reasons. It can make gambling
more pleasant. It will brush up on your math skills.
And last but not least, it will give you a great advantage
and increase your likelihood of winning.
References & Sources for Further Reading:
A&M, Mathematics: Understanding Optimal Blackjack
Producers of the World's Finest Roulette
Casino: Roulette Rules
Stuff Works: Beginners Guide to Playing Craps
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