Often, the easiest gambling activities tend to be the same gambling activities that have the worst return percentages. And the activities that are the most complicated offer the highest return percentages.
The problem is that it can take a great deal of work to learn how to play these complicated gambling activities in a way that’s profitable and correct. In other words, a complicated gambling activity is often as bad as an easy one if you don’t learn how to do it the right way.
Here’s a list of casino games that are far too complicated. But many of these activities offer a better return than easier activities if you learn how to master them.
1 – Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Poker is a table game available in some casinos. It’s not as popular as most regular casino table games, but there are enough players to support it in some casinos. It’s also available in many online casinos.
The basics of the game are fairly simple. The dealer gets seven cards and you get seven cards. The dealer divides the seven cards into two hands—one hand with two cards and the other with five cards. You do the same. The only rule at this point is that the hand with five cards must rank higher than the hand with two cards.
This seems simple, but there’s some skill in building your hands. And it takes some time to get used to how the game works. Pai Gow Poker doesn’t offer a great return, even when you play your hands perfectly. But if you do play this game, you need to do some work on your hand-building strategy.
2 – Omaha Hi Lo Poker
Omaha Poker is more complicated than Texas Hold’em, and when you add the Omaha Hi Lo or Omaha 8 or Better option to the game, it gets even more complicated. This is bad news for any player who hasn’t taken the time to master the game. But it’s good news for you if you’re an Omaha 8 or Better master.
The first thing that Omaha poker players need to learn is that unlike Texas Hold’em, you can’t use any five cards to make a hand. Instead, each player must use three cards from the board cards and two from their hand. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I’ve seen it cost many players money when they forget this simple rule.
Winning as an Omaha Hi Lo player is mostly about scooping pots. You can scoop a pot by winning a hand that ends up high only or by winning both the hi and lo parts. Most losing Omaha 8 players get quartered too often in big pots.
3 – Let It Ride Poker
Let It Ride Poker is similar to Pai Gow Poker in that it’s not an especially popular casino table game and that it doesn’t offer a great return. It also has a strategy that you need to use if you want to receive the best return that you can, and the strategy isn’t exactly easy to figure out.
You can pull a bet back after you get your three cards, and you can decide to pull a bet back after the dealer turns over the first face down card. If you have a hand that pays, you let your bets ride. If you have a hand that has a good chance to improve to a paying hand, you also want to let your bets ride.
4 – Pot Limit Texas Hold’em Poker
Texas Hold’em Poker is less complicated than Omaha 8 Poker, but it’s still challenging for new players. It usually takes a lot of experience before players learn how to win, and many Hold’em players never learn how to win consistently.
Pot limit stakes aren’t popular in Texas Hold’em games, but they do exist. And pot limit play adds an extra layer of complexity to the game.
Most poker players don’t completely understand how pot limit rules work. For example, if someone bets and you want to make the maximum raise, you can add the amount of the bet to the pot before you calculate the maximum raise.
If the pot has $120 in it and an opponent bets $40, most players think the maximum raise is $160. But the maximum raise is actually $200 plus the $40 to match the bet. It’s easier for most players to stick with the no limit version of Texas Hold’em.
5 – Baccarat
I was hesitant to include baccarat on a list of gambling activities that are too complicated, because the things that you need to know to play baccarat are simple. And you don’t even have to know any of the complicated stuff about baccarat to play it well.
When you add in all of the possible side bets that baccarat games can have, it gets to be a big mess. As I mentioned, you don’t have to know all of this stuff to play baccarat well, and I’m going to tell you what you need to know before the end of this section.
The way baccarat scoring works, you add the value of the cards together and only use the last number. If you have a six and seven, it equals 13, but the value in baccarat is three.
I’m not going to get into the drawing rules because the person running the baccarat game runs all of the draws. In other words, it doesn’t benefit you to know the drawing rules because you don’t need them.
All the baccarat strategy you need to know to play baccarat well is that you need to bet on the banker 100% of the time. Forget everything else that makes it too complicated.
6 – Spanish 21
Spanish 21 is played a lot like blackjack. If you know the rules for blackjack and have played it often enough, then you can easily transition to playing Spanish 21.
But the reason why Spanish 21 is too complicated is because it’s played with something called a Spanish deck of playing cards. The only difference between a Spanish deck of playing cards and a normal deck of playing cards is that the Spanish deck doesn’t have any 10s.
This makes a deck of 48 cards. This means that it’s harder to get a natural blackjack because there are only nine cards in the deck worth 10 points instead of 12.
Spanish 21 games have all kinds of rules that are good for players in comparison to a regular blackjack game. In fact, the rules are so good that if the deck had the 10s in it, you could beat the game simply by using basic strategy for blackjack. But with the 10s missing, the casino still has an edge at Spanish 21.
You should use strategy and count cards when you play Spanish 21, but you have to learn how to do both things for that particular game.
Our Conclusion About These Complicated Games
If a gambling activity is easy to learn and easy to play, it’s probably going to cost you a lot of money. Easy in gambling almost always means a higher house edge and lower return for you.
On the other side, if you can learn how to master some of the more complicated gambling activities, you’ll be rewarded with a lower house edge and much higher return.
Of the six gambling activities listed in this article, the ones I recommend mastering are Omaha, Texas Hold’em, and Spanish 21. All three of these games can return a profit if you learn to master them.