The Good and Bad of Popular Casino Games

Thumbs up and Thumbs Down With Casino Game Paraphernalia Behind it

Most casino guests hope to accomplish one thing, that’s to be entertained. Our secondary goal is to win a little money in the process.

The casinos make that challenging by stacking the odds decidedly in their favor. Advantage gamblers can sometimes flip the roles on the casino. But that only happens under perfect conditions and perfect play.

For the rest of us, casino gambling is a losing proposition. If we look at the good and bad of popular casino games, we start to see why certain games appeal to us.

Casino Gamblers Take the Good with the Bad

Why do casino gamblers subject themselves to almost guaranteed losses?

Many everyday people look at the relationship between casinos and gamblers and scratch their heads. It certainly doesn’t look like a healthy relationship on paper.

Those people aren’t looking at casinos in the same light as many of us. Sure, some players walk into the casino and believe it’s a path to financial freedom.

However, that’s a much smaller percentage of casino guests than the public perceives. The vast majority of gamblers want to be entertained.

The same person that scoffs at the notion of losing $200 in the casino might fork over the same for concert tickets. I have buddies that pay over $500 for NFL tickets a few times a year. That seems insane to me; I can see the game fine from my living room.

Still, it’s how they choose to spend their entertainment dollars. We spend our money in the casino.

Not one of my buddies has ever had Jerry Jones hand them $500 as they left the stadium. I’m willing to bet that most of us have walked out of the casino with house money in our pockets.

Casino gamblers are happy to take the good with the bad. We only wish to be entertained in exchange for our money.

Let’s cover the good and bad that come with popular casino games. Maybe you’ll be able to convert a few of your friends into our circle.

Three Card Poker Is Rising in Popularity (That’s a Good Thing)

Three Card Poker is becoming one of my casino favorites. The game hasn’t got the lowest house advantage on the casino floor.

Yet, at as low as 2%, there are certainly worse games to play. That may be partly responsible for the increased interest in the game.

Recreational gamblers prefer Three Card Poker because you’re not playing against others. It’s strictly you against the dealer.

That gives Three Card Poker a feel similar to blackjack. If you’re familiar with blackjack, Three Card Poker could be a good game for you.

Three Card Poker Table

Three Card Poker may be your next best option when a casino has poor rules on the blackjack tables. The problem is that the game moves extremely fast.

While that increases the excitement of the game, it also makes the house edge work faster. You’ll average about 70 hands per hour playing Three Card Poker.

When you compare that to 40 hands per hour in blackjack, you’ll see where your money goes. Try to play as slowly as possible to prevent the edge from killing your bankroll.

You Can Win at Craps (But You Can’t Make Money)

Craps is an electric casino game that has far more positive aspects than bad. Hit any casino floor on a busy night, and the crowd around the craps is appealing.

The entire table seems to be having the time of its life, completely separate from the casino around it.

Craps also give players a legitimate shot at winning. The primary wagers in craps both have a house edge below 2%.

The more lucrative odds bets don’t have any house edge. Many players try to exploit these wagers to make a profit.

Sometimes it pays off, and other times it doesn’t. The problem is that there’s not a way for players to get a long-term advantage.

Regardless of how much you win on trip A, the money will go back to the house by trip B, C, or any point down the line.

You can win at craps, but you can’t sustain any long-term profits.

Baccarat Is One of the Most Beloved Games in the World (Yet There’s a Dark Side)

Baccarat dominates the casino market in Asia. That trend hasn’t made its way to the U.S. and likely never will.

Yet, baccarat is a popular game that is easy on the brain and the bankroll. Players love baccarat because there’s no strategy involved.

The element of pure chance is particularly alluring to the whales. It’s not uncommon to come across a baccarat table with millions in chips stacked before players.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a high roller to enjoy casino baccarat games. Playing for low stakes is a great way to make your bankroll last.

Closeup of a Baccarat Game

In some areas, baccarat is associated with the nefarious underbelly of gambling. In Macau, it’s illegal to cross into the region with vast amounts of cash.

So, players had to operate on a type of credit system. That opened the door for money laundering and other criminal enterprises.

You’ll likely never have to face the dark side of baccarat, but the game does have a checkered past.

Advantage Gamblers Make a Living Playing Blackjack (You’re not a Card Counter)

The game of blackjack is a rare breed. Players can turn the edge on the casino and make long-term profits playing blackjack.

Card counters learn to track when the deck has an abundance of high-value cards. When the count is favorable, they’ll increase their wagers, hoping to score a blackjack.

Over time this puts the advantage in the player’s favor, and they make money. I know several card counters that make a living playing blackjack as their sole vocation.

Unfortunately, you’re probably not a card counter. So, like the rest of us, you’re going to lose more often than not.

But card counting is easier than you think. If you dedicate a bit of time to practicing, you could become a proficient card counter.

The tricky part is avoiding detection. Casinos aren’t keen on the notion of gamblers having the upper hand.

They spend time and money looking for card counters. If you’re caught, it’ll be the end of your card counting in that casino.

Get caught too often, and you won’t have any place to apply your craft.

Slot Machines Offer a Low Barrier to Entry (Then the Games Bleed You Dry)

Slot machines are great because they offer gamblers a relatively cheap way to get in the game. Penny slots are the most popular games in the casino.

The games appeal to a vast range of players because of their simplicity.

However, the penny slots aren’t as cheap as they sound. Many of the games have a minimum of 25 pay lines.

Casino Floor With Slot Machines

The max credit starts at 5X and goes up for penny slots. Most players will bet the max credits to increase jackpots. That raises the average bet to $1.25, which is a lot of pennies.

The biggest issue with slot machines is that the house edge surpasses 10% on many games. That means you’ll lose $10 for every $100 you wager.

Roulette Appeals to a Wide Range of Casino Guests (Its Wide Range of Bets Could Cost You)

Roulette is an easy game to understand. You place your bet, and the croupier spins the wheel. If the ball lands on your number, you’re a winner.

The basic wagers in roulette are easy to follow. Most players can pick the game up in a matter of minutes.

Unfortunately, that can be detrimental for some players. When players begin to spread their bets around wildly, the losses pile up faster.

You can do yourself a tremendous service by making small even money bets.

Poker will Get Your Adrenaline Pumping

Poker is as close to a real sport as you will find in the casino. The thrills and drama of the poker room are something that you can’t replicate.

Playing a cash game in a casino is one of the giant adrenaline dumps you can have gambling.

Poker Dealer Dealing Cards

The best aspect of poker is the ability for players to make money in the poker room. Advantage gambling in poker is as straightforward as playing weaker opponents.

That can be incredibly difficult for the average poker player. It becomes more of a chore when you factor in the sharks.

These avid players make their living by cruising the casino poker rooms looking for fish. Keep an eye out for the sharps, and you’ll be in a position to make some money.

In Summary

The good and bad of popular casino games can help you spot the right opportunities. It’s vital that you understand that everything will have its pros and cons.

You shouldn’t call it quits merely because a casino game has a few negatives. Instead, weigh the positive aspects with the bad.

When you find games that give you enjoyment, stick to those games. It doesn’t matter if that enjoyment comes from being entertained or getting rich.