Most casino games and bets feature reasonable house edges ranging from 1% to 5%. You’re not giving up much ground to the house in these cases.
Unfortunately, not all casino games and wagers follow this trend. Some propositions give the house an oversized advantage.
In these scenarios, you might as well hand over your money to the casino. Obviously you don’t want to do this, though, which is why you should avoid the following games and bets at all costs.
1 – Keno (Land-Based)
Keno isn’t as popular as it was 20 or 30 years ago. Nevertheless, some people still play this lottery-style game in hopes of winning big payouts.
The downside of going after these large prizes, though, is that the house edge can be extremely high. In some land-based casinos, the house advantage is over 30%.
Luckily, you don’t have to settle for such poor payout percentages. Online keno typically only features a 5% house edge or less. Electronic keno games that are found in land-based casinos also feature around the same house advantage.
2 – Specific Double and Single Number Bets in Sic Bo
Sic bo has multiple unfavorable bets that are covered throughout this post. Specific double and single number wagers are the worst of the worst.
They require that two of the dice show a specific double combination, and the third dice display a certain single number.
In many cases, a specific double and single number bet carries a 29.2% house edge. It pays 50:1 on wins but offers just 71:1 odds of winning.
Some countries, such as New Zealand, offer a better payout on this wager at 60:1. However, this larger payout still only cuts the house edge to 15.3%.
3 – Big Six (Land-Based Casino)
Based on a spinning wheel, Big Six definitely looks entertaining from far away. Hidden beneath this carnival-like appearance, though, is a game that can feature up to a 22% house edge.
The Big Six house edge varies based on the specific bet. Going further, each wager is affected by how many slices it occupies on the wheel.
Naturally, the bet with a $1 payout features more slices on the wheel than one with a $20 payout. The latter appears less frequently on the wheel because it pays much more relative to the other bets.
You can do much better than this with online Big Six. Gamesys’ version, for example, features a 2.02% house advantage on every wager. This house edge is not only respectable for Big Six but also any online casino game.
4 – Casino War Tie Bet
Casino War is one of the simplest games in casinos. It merely involves trying to draw a higher-ranking card than the dealer.
The main bet depends entirely upon you drawing a better-ranking card than the dealer. However, War also offers a side bet based on whether you and the dealer will tie.
Assuming you and the dealer draw the same-ranking card, then you’ll receive a 10:1 payout. While the 10:1 payoff is attractive, the tie wager carries an 18.65% house edge.
Considering that the house advantage is just 2.88% on the main game, you should definitely skip the tie wager.
5 – Specific Double Bets in Sic Bo
A specific double bet requires that two of the three dice display the same number. This wager pays 10:1 and offers 12.5:1 odds of winning. Everything considered, specific doubles carry an 18.5% house edge.
These wagers are somewhat like the previously covered specific doubles & single number bets. Their payouts vary in different casinos.
Macau casinos, on the other hand, only deliver 8:1 payouts on this bet. The result is an atrocious 33.3% house advantage—which would be the worst on this list!
6 – Any 7 in Craps
Like sic bo, craps betting also features its fair share of poor bets. Any 7 takes the cake for the worst wager in terms of odds. In order for this bet to win, a seven must turn up.
Any 7 has better odds of coming up than any other number. After all, six out of the 36 possible dice combinations (5:1 odds) produce a seven.
Nevertheless, this wager carries a 16.67% house edge. The problem here comes with the payouts relative to the odds of winning.
You receive a 4:1 payout when successful with Any 7. However, this payout isn’t enough to counteract your 5:1 odds (1 in 6 chances) of winning. The disparity between the payout and true odds leads to the high 16.67% house advantage.
7 – Specific Triples in Sic Bo
Specific triples win when all three dice display the same number. These wagers are exciting because they pay 180:1 in many cases. A $5 bet would win you $900 in this case.
The downside, though, is that the odds of winning are just 215:1. The insane odds lead to a less-than-desirable 16.2% house edge.
Macau casinos present an even worse deal because they only pay 150:1. This lower payout results in a 30.1% house advantage on specific triples.
8 – Baccarat Tie Bet
Baccarat features three main wagers, including the player hand, banker hand, and tie. The player and banker bets are two of the best in all of gaming.
You only face a 1.06% house edge when wagering on the banker hand to win—even with a 5% commission taken from payouts. The player hand only carries a slightly higher house advantage at 1.24%.
Normally, the tie bet delivers an 8:1 payout on wins. It can, however, feature a 9:1 payout in some casinos.
In this scenario, the tie wager offers a more-respectable 4.84% house edge. While this figure doesn’t make it the greatest bet in the casino, it’s at least much better than a 14.36% house advantage.
9 – The 2 and 12 Bets in Craps
Wagers on 2 and 12 offer the highest payouts in craps. They both deliver a 30:1 payout when their respective numbers are rolled. To illustrate this impact, you’d win $150 on just a $5 bet.
Of course, casinos don’t give out huge payouts for fun. These bets only pay a lot because they don’t win very often.
Whether wagering on 2 or 12, you need an exact combination to come up. In the case of 2, the dice must both produce a one. With the 12, the dice have to each deliver a six.
The odds of either of these occurrences happening are just 35:1. The 30:1 payout, meanwhile, doesn’t totally counteract how bad these bets are.
You’ll be facing a 13.89% house edge with either 12 or 2. Craps offers much more favorable bets than these, which is why you should avoid them.
10 – Whirl Bet in Craps
The Whirl (a.k.a. “World”) bet is another craps wager that can punish your bankroll. It’s also a confusing bet that offers different payouts for different winning numbers.
This wager wins if a 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12 come up, while it pushes on a 7. The payouts for each winning combination include:
- 2 = 26:5 payout
- 12 = 26:5 payout
- 3 = 11:5 payout
- 11 = 11:5 payout
- 7 = push
Whirl looks exciting due to how it provides large wins and several paths to winning.
If you want a craps bet that provides multiple ways to win, then you should pick “Field,” which has a 5.56% house advantage. The field wager isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly better than 13.33%.
11 – Wild Hold’em Fold’em
Wild Hold’em Fold’em draws players simply because it’s a poker variation with “hold’em” in the title. Gamblers have had more interest in house-banked poker games ever since Texas hold’em exploded in the early 2000s.
If nothing else, Wild Hold’em is an interesting game. It features wild deuces and requires you to make raises to stay in hands. It’s like the reverse of Let It Ride, where you can pull back wagers as the hand goes on.
You start each round by placing an ante bet. The dealer will then give you three face-down cards. You then decide whether to place another bet or fold. When folding, you’ll forfeit the ante. If you bet, you’ll put out an amount equal to the ante.
Following this betting round, you receive a fourth card. You will then need to decide whether to bet or fold again. This time, however, the bet must be equal to 2x the ante.
When choosing to place the 2x ante wager, you’ll receive a fifth card. You must hold at least a pair to qualify for a payout.
While Wild Hold’em Fold’em is definitely an interesting game, it isn’t so great regarding your chances of winning. It carries a 6.86% house edge, which is pretty bad for a game that requires strategy. Assuming you don’t use the right strategy, the house advantage can balloon up to 10% or higher.
A large part of winning in the casino is simply knowing what games and bets to avoid. Provided you sidestep the wagers and games covered here, then you’ll be one step ahead of the curve.
You especially want to be careful when playing craps or sic bo. Both of these games feature prop bets that are absolutely terrible.
In other cases, you should avoid certain games entirely. Land-based keno and Big Six usually present bad deals. Wild Hold’em Fold’em is better comparatively, but it also requires you to learn strategy.
If you’re looking to find the best-paying games and bets, then check out the rest of our site. We cover which online wagers and games will boost your chances of winning.