For decades, table games always featured tangible tables with one or more dealers. However, casinos have introduced electronic table games in recent years.
The most common type includes a stadium-style setup. Up to a dozen gamblers or more sit in front of electronic monitors while a single human dealer handles the game.
Some electronic table games run through machines. These are basically like slot machines with an emphasis on a certain table game. Electronic table gaming makes sense in theory. They allow you to make smaller wagers and gamble in solitude.
Nevertheless, these games aren’t the best choice for gamblers. Below, you’ll see seven reasons why electronic “tables” should be scrapped.
1 – You’re Playing Table Games With Less of a Social Element
One of the primary reasons why table gambling has been popular in casinos for centuries is the social element. You can chat with other players and the dealer while playing.
Craps especially takes the social aspect to a high degree. Many craps players bet with the shooter through pass line and come wagers. As a result, they cheer and jeer together, following wins and losses.
Blackjack also features lots of comradery. Gamblers celebrate together when the dealer’s hand busts out by going over 21.
Electronic games rob you of most of these social elements. You’ll find it more awkward to celebrate with your buddies in a stadium-style setup. Furthermore, stadiums space you out from fellow gamblers and the dealer. You won’t be able to make small talk in these situations.
Machine-based electronic games are even worse from a social standpoint. You likely won’t have anybody around to chat with.
2 – The House Edge Is the Same
Casinos like electronic gaming because they save money by not having to pay dealers. You might think that they’d pass on some of these savings onto the gambler, but they don’t. Their electronic games usually feature the same house advantage as the table-based counterparts.
American Roulette, for example, will offer the same 5.26% house edge on both machines and tables. Likewise, the baccarat banker hand features a 1.06% house advantage on tables and machines.
One bonus to playing electronic versions is that the minimum bets are normally smaller. For instance, you might only have to wager $5 per hand in stadium blackjack versus between $10 or $25, but you’re not gaining any value per dollar wagered if the house edges are the same.
3 – You Could Lose More Money
Even if you’re making smaller minimum bets on electronic table games, you might still lose more money in the long run.
After all, electronic games play faster than the table versions. This factor is especially true when it comes to machine-based versions.
Here’s an example to illustrate this point.
- You play on a blackjack machine.
- The house edge is 1%.
- You bet $5 per hand.
- You play 300 hands per hour.
- 300 x 5 = $1,500 in total wagers
- 1,500 x 0.01 = $15 in hourly theoretical losses
- You play at a table.
- You bet $20 per hand.
- The table sees 60 hands per hour.
- 60 x 20 = $1,200 in total wagers
- 1,200 x 0.01 = $12 in hourly theoretical losses
Despite betting four times as much at the table, you face lower theoretical losses due to the slower playing speed.
Of course, you can always slow your play rate on the machines. But this method feels unnatural and may dull the entertainment value of electronic games.
4 – Some Versions Are Too Much Like Slot Machines
If you’ve ever been in a casino, then you’ve likely played a slot machine. Slots feature their own distinctive playing style that includes both advantages and drawbacks.
Assuming you feel a certain way about slot machines, then your feelings won’t change much with electronic gaming. The main difference between slots and electronic gaming is simply the games.
5 – You Can Just Play at Online Casinos
If you’re going to play electronic casino games, why not just gamble online instead? Internet gaming sites let you enjoy the same style of play without going anywhere.
Furthermore, you can look forward to lower house edges with online casino games. Some online real money blackjack games, for example, feature house advantages lower than 0.5%.
As covered before, electronic table games feature the same house edges as their table-based counterparts in many cases.
Now, stadium-based table gaming does present a slightly different format than online gambling. You can sit next to other players and see a dealer in the center of the machines.
However, you may still find that stadiums don’t differ enough from internet gaming to be worth the effort.
6 – You Must Travel to Play
What sounds more reasonable?
- Traveling to a land-based casino to play a table game that can’t be replicated online or through a machine
- Traveling to a land-based casino to play an electronic game that can easily be mimicked online
The first point perfectly represents why some gamblers visit land-based establishments in the first place. They want a unique experience that can’t be found beyond a brick and mortar casino.
The second point falls back on the fifth topic covered in this post. Why not just gamble online if you’re only interested in the solitude of electronic gaming?
You may have personal reasons for still visiting a land-based casino to gamble electronically. For example, your friends might be playing table games, and you still don’t feel comfortable with the rules and etiquette.
By and large, though, you’ll find that traveling to a brick and mortar venue just to sit on a blackjack machine isn’t worth it.
7 – You Can Play Live Dealer Games
Live dealer gaming does a great job of blending the best of land-based and electronic gambling. It streams action from a brick and mortar casino to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
You can enjoy a number of live casino games, including baccarat, blackjack, roulette, three-card poker, sic bo, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.
You also have the option to communicate with the dealer via a chat box. This aspect introduces a social element to live dealer gambling.
If you’re going to play table games away from the tables, live dealer casinos make more sense. They still let you enjoy table gaming in relative solitude. But they also bring social aspects into the fold that aren’t normally present.
Casinos offer electronic table games for a reason—people play them. You may be interested in these options if you’re looking to enjoy table gambling without actually sitting at a table. The electronic versions feature solitude, lower minimum bets, and the chance to control the game speed.
However, the downsides definitely outweigh the benefits. The biggest drawback is that electronic gaming takes away much of the social experience.
Rather than sitting right in front of a dealer and alongside other players, you’ll either be at a machine or casino stadium. You also won’t enjoy lower house edges either. In most cases, electronic versions feature the same house advantages as standard table games.
In the end, you may question the validity of gambling on machines and stadium setups when you can just visit online casinos. The latter offers the same type of gambling but with lower house edges and a wider game selection.
Live dealer gaming lets you play online and still enjoy some social interaction. It’s a great alternative if you love table games yet don’t have the time or money to visit a land-based casino.
Electronic table games still have their place in casinos. However, they shouldn’t occupy a very big place due to their notable downsides.