The floors of casinos around the country are lined with a variety of games designed to draw in gamblers, and, let’s be real, try to take their money. Every single game in a casino has odds that favor the house, which puts gamblers at an immediate disadvantage. Despite this well-known fact, if you’re reading this, you probably know how much fun gambling can be.
Of all the games in a casino, certain ones have odds that are better than others, and no two games are the same. If you’ve frequented a casino recently and found yourself leaving with an empty wallet, there’s a chance you’re just playing the wrong game.
Here are some of the games that you should play at casinos and which ones you should avoid. This list factors in the potential profitability of a game along with the level of entertainment each game provides.
1 ‒ Blackjack
I might be a little biased when it comes to deciding the top choice on this list. From the time I was a kid until now, blackjack has always been one of my favorite card games, even when there’s no money on the line. From an entertainment standpoint, real money blackjack is among the best as it’s mentally stimulating, technical, and requires you to adhere to basic strategy.
These odds are contingent on a gambler playing the game with perfect strategy, which is essential to note. Blackjack has relatively simple rules to understand, making it attractive for newer, inexperienced gamblers. Dealers and fellow players are typically eager to help with rules and etiquette, so if you aren’t too introverted, try your hand at blackjack.
2 ‒ Craps
If you go to a casino and hear shouting across the floor, there’s a good chance it’s coming from a craps table. The game of craps, while more complicated than blackjack, is one of the most entertaining table games.
The rules of craps are initially complicated but can be mastered after a few times at the table, but you’re basically gambling on the outcome of another player’s roll of the dice. While playing, you have the opportunity to place several bets, including whether the person rolling the dice wins by initially rolling a 7 or an 11, or loses by rolling a 2, 3, or 12.
The dice roller’s goal changes if he or she doesn’t roll one of those numbers after the first roll, but I’ll save the technical aspects for another post. While craps is arguably the most fun table game in a casino, the odds are also some of the best. In fact, some plays provide you with better odds than blackjack. Before you lay your money down at a craps table, do some research about the game’s intricacies. While it provides some of the best odds, it’s also easy to lose money at craps fast.
3 ‒ Poker
Whether you fancy Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or Seven-Card Stud, poker is one of the best games to play at the casino. Unlike other table games, you’re not playing against the house, which can be a blessing or a curse. Depending on the variety of poker you choose to play, you’ll be playing against fellow gamblers who are eager to win your money.
Most casinos have poker rooms where you can buy into tournaments for several different versions of poker. Because you’re playing against other people and not the casino itself like blackjack and craps, the odds aren’t as favorable, unless you’re better than the other players.
If you’re new to gambling and haven’t played poker before, I advise you to skip poker. Unlike blackjack, fellow players won’t offer advice as freely because you stand in the way of them winning. It’s worth familiarizing yourself with poker, regardless of what type you choose. The games are fun, and the strategy involved is more complex and personal. Plus, if you’re good at reading people, poker might be right up your alley.
4 ‒ Roulette
Like craps, roulette is another source of lively tables and nonstop entertainment. Unlike craps, though, the game is incredibly simple and can be understood in a matter of minutes. To play, all you have to do is bet on a number, the dealer spins the wheel, and if the ball lands on your number you win.
The odds of winning at roulette are fine compared to other games. There are either 37 or 38 numbers (depending on the presence of a 0 as well as a double 0); you can bet on that payout 35 to 1. So, if you bet $1 on 4, and the ball drops into the 4 slot, you win $35.
If you don’t want to bet on any particular number, you have the option to bet on an even or odd number and red or black. Both of these bets give you nearly a 50-50 chance to win. The downside of roulette is that it requires next to no skill that some gamblers find boring. However, for new players, roulette is an exciting entry point.
5 ‒ Slots
Let’s transition from casino games with the best odds and entertainment value to casino games that you should avoid. At the top of the list for least advisable casino games, you have the slot machines’ polarizing world. Slots are the most popular and most prevalent casino game due to the sheer number of machines you can find at the casino.
The main reason slots are so low is because they’re just not that fun. Pulling a lever or pushing a button for hours on end, hoping you luck into a jackpot that most likely won’t ever hit, can be mind-numbing. The allure of slot machines is understandable. Each one has different graphics and music designed to draw you in immediately upon your entrance into a casino. But there’s more fun and better odds to be had elsewhere.
6 ‒ Keno
Speaking of mind-numbing casino games with less than stellar odds, keno ranks as one of the worst games to play at the casino due to its slow pace and a 25% house edge. Keno is a cross between bingo and the lottery. Players pick a set of numbers between 1 to 80 and wait for 20 numbers to be drawn, and if your number is drawn, you win.
Keno is slow-paced and requires absolutely zero skill or brainpower; it’s pure luck. If you’re considering which game to play and prefer games that aren’t mentally taxing, consider playing roulette. Roulette is not only more exciting and quicker; it’s much more captivating and compelling.
However, if you have played Keno in the past and enjoy the slow, methodical pace of play, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that decision. Even if you’ve never tried it before and are looking to take a break from the more energetic side of the casino, playing keno offers gamblers a way to make money and take a breath between games.
If you’ve never been to a casino before and are trying to decide which games to play, you should now have a better idea of what’s in store. Casinos are full of different games that appeal to different types of gamblers and personalities. If you’re going to have some fun, then lay some money down at the craps table or consider playing roulette.
Other games, like blackjack and poker, require gamblers to use strategy and exercise some mental ability if you want to walk away with the money. Table games like blackjack and craps offer you some of the best odds in the casino. The odds, combined with the entertainment value each game has, make them both preferred choices.
On the other hand, slot machines and keno, offer some of the worst odds and are based on pure luck. Always remember, though, you’re most likely at the casino to have fun. Regardless of the game you select, there’s a joy to be experienced all across the casino. If you pick one of these games and it appeals to you, that’s not a problem as long as you’re enjoying yourself.