4 Casino Games Every Gambler Needs to Know How to Play

Split Image of Four Casino Games

Most people enjoy having an abundance of choices. When you have plenty to choose from, it helps you feel like you have more control. But sometimes, too many choices can be a bad thing.

When you walk into a casino, you’re surrounded by choices. Casinos try to offer a wide variety of gambling options so that every gambler has at least one or two things that they like to play.

These choices include some games that have decent odds and plenty of gambling options that have poor odds. The casino makes more money when you play games with poor odds.

Here are four gambling choices with good odds that every gambler needs to know how to play.

1 – Jacks or Better Video Poker

Jacks or Better video poker might be a little confusing at first because there are so many different pay tables. When playing real money video poker, you also need to learn how to use strategy. But the truth is that in comparison to other variants, you only need to know a few things in order to play Jacks or Better like a pro.

Here’s all you need to know to play Jacks or Better video poker like a pro:

  • The best pay table
  • The best strategy
  • Wager five coins

Once you understand these three things, you’re in good shape! I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about these three factors to Jacks or Better video poker. But before I get to that, I’m going to explain why every gambler needs to know how to play the game.

Video Poker Machine Hitting a Royal Flush

The main reason why you need to know how to play Jacks or Better is because in the right situation is has a casino edge of less than .5%. This is 1 of the lowest casino edges available in the casino. This is over 10 times lower than most slot machines, and lower than almost every other casino game.

Most casinos offer Jacks or Better machines. And once you learn the three things I’m getting ready to explain, you’re going to know everything you need to know about the game.

Many different pay tables exist for Jacks or Better, but you only need to know about one. The pay table that you’re going to play has a payout of 45 coins for a full house and 30 coins for a flush. It also pays 4,000 coins for a royal flush. You can ignore any machine that has a different pay table.

The next step is to play with the correct video poker strategy. It’s difficult to determine the best strategy on your own, but you can use a strategy chart. Using a strategy chart is how you can play with a low casino edge.

The last thing you need to know is that you always use the five-coin wager option. This unlocks a higher payment when you get a royal flush, which reduces the overall casino edge.

2 – Blackjack

Blackjack is considered a staple game in the casino industry. It’s the first game casinos offer beyond slot machines.

What this means is that every casino that offers more than slot machines is going to have blackjack. While there are some small casinos that don’t offer table games, the casinos that do have table games start with blackjack.

That’s the first reason why you need to know how to play blackjack for real money. The second reason is because it has a lower casino edge than almost every other casino game if you know the right way to play. You also need to find games with a decent set of rules.

You need to learn a little bit about the rules and how they influence the casino edge. The most important blackjack rule is to play on a table that pays 3 to 2 for a blackjack. If it doesn’t pay 3 to 2, find a different table.

Multiple Live Hands of Blackjack

All of the other rules also influence the casino edge, but none of them are as important as the rule I just covered.

When you find a table with the right rule, the next important thing is to play using the correct strategy. Just like Jacks or Better, you can use a strategy chart when you play blackjack.

Once you learn how to play blackjack the right way, you’re always going to be able to find a casino game that gives you a good chance to win. After you learn about the rules and strategy, the next step is to learn about counting cards. Card counting can eliminate the casino edge completely.

3 – Baccarat

This section is shorter than the other three game sections because baccarat is the easiest game on the list to play correctly.

The reason why baccarat is a game that every casino gambler needs to know how to play is because it’s a common game available in casinos, and it offers a wager option with a casino edge of just over 1%. The actual casino edge on the wager I’m going to cover is 1.06%.

Closeup of a Baccarat Table

This isn’t as good as Jacks or Better with a good pay table or blackjack with good strategy, but it’s easier to play than either of these games.

The best wager at the baccarat table is on the banker hand. The other wager options are worse, and the tie option is one of the worst wagering options in the casino.

That explains the entire strategy to play baccarat effectively. This means that all you have to do to play with a casino edge close to 1% is get a seat at the baccarat table and always wager on the banker hand.

4 – Texas Hold’em Poker

Texas Hold’em poker is the most complicated game on this list, but it’s also the game that gives you a real opportunity to make money in a casino instead of losing money.

The main problem is time. It takes a long time to get good enough at real money Texas Hold’em to win on a regular basis. This isn’t a game you can learn good strategy for in a few hours. Good players usually spend hundreds of hours just to learn how to win consistently.

But it’s worth the time to be able to gamble with an edge. It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to become a great poker player.

Stack of Poker Chips

I’ve spent decades working on ways to at least break even gambling. I personally love to gamble, but I don’t want to lose money when I do it. This is why most of my time gambling is spent playing poker or blackjack or gambling on sports. These are the three areas I’ve focused on and I’ve spent enough time to learn how to gamble on each of them without losing money overall.

The reason why I’m telling you this is because I made a decision many years ago and put in the long hours to get where I am today as a gambler.

It’s time for you to make the same decision. If you’re willing to make a long-term commitment to become a winning gambler, you can do the same things I’ve done. But if you want an easy way out, you might wany to stick to the other three games on this list.

You’re probably not going to win much, or break even, if you ignore poker—unless you master card counting in blackjack. I just want you to go into it understanding what’s at stake.

If you decide to tackle Texas Hold’em, pick up a few good books and start learning. Being a good poker player takes years of dedication and real-life learning experience. I can tell you that it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a long road that seems to never end. The choice is yours!


Every game on this list offers good odds and a low casino edge. None of these games is perfect, and you’re still going to lose money sometimes. But these choices give you the best chance to win in the casino.

Baccarat and Jacks or Better video poker are easy to play and have a low casino edge. But you’re not going to win in the long run. Texas Hold’em and blackjack both offer a small chance to show a long-term profit. But you have to learn the correct strategies and play as well as the top players in the world.