So you’ve made it to the casino floor, and you’ve even managed to practice some of your favorite casino games with friends, online or your mobile device. You’ve grabbed your chips from the cashier, drink in hand and you’re ready to hit the tables or slots, but there’s one problem. You don’t know where to start! What’s the best game to play at the casino to win money? You’ve budgeted out your night, but you want to ensure that you don’t leave the casino empty-handed. Have you ever stopped to wonder what casino game has the best odds?
When gambling in a casino, you should always choose to play a game that has the lowest house edge in order to have the best chance of winning. Planet 7 Online Casino has a list of some of the best casino game odds. These games are statistically proven to have the best odds, and are perfect for players on a budget or for those individuals trying to seriously up their bankrolls. No need to worry, because we at Planet 7 Online Casino have done the math. We’ve got the casino games with the best odds. Find out more below!
The house edge
It should be no surprise that every casino has a built-in mathematical advantage on their games. We’ve all heard of the phrase, “the house always wins”. This adage of course refers to the house edge. In numbers, the house edge is the average percentage of profit that a casino earns from a player’s bet. This doesn’t mean that for every dollar a player spends, they will lose this percentage every time.
Instead, the more time (and money) any given player spends playing a particular game, the more likely their total percentage of return will match the house edge. Take a popular game like blackjack for example, its typical house edge is around 1-2%. This means that on average, a player will see about a 98% return on their total investment when they gamble at the blackjack table.
In case you’re not Edward Thorp you might want to know what game, besides blackjack, is a casino game with the best odds. Ranked from best to worst, we’ve put together the best casino game odds for each popular casino game based on the house edge percentage.
Video Poker (Perfect Strategy), <0.5%
Though the statistical advantage varies on each particular machine, with perfect strategy certain real money video poker machines can be tipped in a players favor. On average, the house edge on video poker is less than 3% and can even be as low under 1% — but with expert strategy, a players returns can exceed 100%.
The biggest reason for this is the payout table listed on all video poker machines. By using this table, players can actually calculate their true odds of return based on the payouts a machine gives for each winning hand. True odds are difficult for a single person to calculate. However, there are computer software available to download that will help each player calculate the payback percentages according to a video poker machine’s paytable. Be sure to play the game offering the highest return to maximize the best casino game odds when you play video poker, and practice to learn good strategy!
Blackjack (Perfect Strategy), 0.5-1%
The common misconception around blackjack is that the object of the game is to get as close to the number 21 as possible without going over. This is wrong. Any experienced blackjack player will tell you that the object of the game is to beat the dealer.
For the average player the house edge on blackjack is roughly is 2%, but for a skillful player it is greatly reduced, as low as 0.5%. What is the perfect blackjack strategy? Well, this all depends on the variant of blackjack that you are playing. European blackjack utilizes 2 standard decks of cards whereas 6 to 8 standard decks are used for American blackjack. The more decks usually means the greater the house edge because it becomes harder for players to use a consistent strategy or card count multiple decks. Smart blackjack strategy revolves around what the dealer is showing. For instance, though the odds of busting for hitting on 12 are low, if the dealer is showing a 6, the odds lean in your favor if you stand, because this means that dealer is likely to bust.
Depending on the casino, in some blackjack versions dealers can hit on a “soft 17” (an ace and any combination of cards totaling six points). Whereas in others a dealer automatically loses on a soft 17 and thus the advantage goes to the player. Be sure you know what version of blackjack you are playing, and stick to a strategy that works best in order to play more effectively.
Baccarat (Punto Banco), 0.8%
Baccarat is often misconceived as a high wager game for whales, but more and more casual gamers are beginning to realize that it is a really good game for the small stakes player. There are two versions: baccarat and mini-baccarat. The only major difference is that in mini-baccarat there are fewer players and only the dealer is allowed to touch the cards.
In baccarat, chance plays a much greater factor than skill because the odds are close to 50-50 for a player to win. Although, the house edge for blackjack is statistically lower, it only applies to skilled players. This is why baccarat is a better choice for novices due to the low house edge. Even if you do not know how to play baccarat, all you really need to know is that there are only three types of bets that can be made: player, banker or tie.
The casino edge on the banker bet is 1.06% – and a 5% commission is paid to the casino if a player wins by betting on the banker (not if they lose). The casino edge on the player bet is 1.24% – but no commission is paid. If a player bets on a tie they are paid 8:1 odds. However, this bet is not advised because the casino edge for tie bets is 14.36%. So if you boil it down, there are really only two bets you should make, banker or player, much like a coin toss. Most players like to keep score cards to see the rows of previous wins, and will decide to bet on streaks in order to win.
Craps is a very popular game on casino floors. It is a very social game like poker, but tends to offer more thrills and excitement because everyone who bets gets a chance to roll the dice (although you aren’t required to). The general idea is that players can choose to bet on or against a “shooter”. A round ends once a player rolls any combination of seven on the dice (this is called “sevening out”).
Two of the best bets you’ll find on the craps table are the popular pass and don’t pass bets. When you bet on the “pass line”, you are betting that the shooter will win their roll, and this bet pays 1:1 odds with a house edge of 1.41%. If you bet on the “don’t pass” line, you are betting that the shooter will lose their roll. This bet also pays even odds, but the house edge is actually 1.40%. To even this slight disadvantage to the house, casinos have a rule in effect to even the house edge. At the beginning of each round (the “come out roll”), if a shooter rolls a 12 no pass bets won’t win, and instead are deemed a push. Players won’t lose their money, but this tips the house edge in the casinos favor.
If players choose to roll specific numbers, or combination of numbers, the house edge increases from anywhere to roughly 4-16% according to the payout odds. For beginners it’s best to avoid riskier bets, such as “one rolls”, “hardways” or “6:8” for instance, as the advantage to the player is greatly reduced. It’s best to stick to the pass/no pass bets.
One of the best bets any player can make in the entire casino is betting behind the pass line. The house edge for this bet is 0%, meaning there is no advantage to the casino when this bet is made. These are known as “odds” bets, and are a very good type of bet to make. Depending on the table rules, some casinos will allow up to 100x odds when betting behind the pass line. This not only gives a player the chance to win serious payouts, but also reduces the house edge on the official pass line bet, depending on the odds bet multiplier limit.
Roulette (American), 5.26%
Roulette is one of the easiest casino games to play, and the odds are also fairly good for bets that are made on red or black and odd or even. The house edge for these types of bets is 5.26%, assuming you’re playing in an American casino. Your odds of winning in a European casino are even better because European and French roulette tables utilize a single-zero wheel, which decreases the house edge to 2.70%
For more difficult bets such as single number bets (called “straight bets”) or split bets (betting on two numbers simultaneously), the odds are vastly increased against the player (35:1 and 17:1 odds respectively). Yet these odds remain the same however, regardless of which version of roulette you choose to play. The only difference is in when the ball lands on zero. Since American roulette utilizes the double-zero wheel, this means that the ball is twice as likely to land on zero, making the house edge greater. Want to learn more? Check out Planet 7 Online Casino’s guide for roulette beginners.
Slot Machines (flat top vs. progressive), 4-15%
In general, it is difficult to develop any sort of strategy for slot machines other than to place max bets. Slot machines operate using random number generators (RNGs) that dish out winnings at completely random intervals. Each spin of the reel is a separate event and it’s anyone’s guess when a machine will payout, big or small.
It is good to note that the range of payouts for slots machines depend on the manufacturer or provider. This information is usually made public and can be found online. In general, slots games that allow for higher denomination bets (dollar slots) compared to lower denominations (penny slots) are programmed to have a higher percentage of payout. The standard in the gambling industry are payout percentages ranging from low (85%) to high (98%) with the latter applying to higher denomination machines.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the longer you play on slots, the closer your total winnings will reflect the calculated house edge. In general, flat top machines offer lower jackpots than progressive machines, but are known record wins more frequently. Progressive machines boast huge jackpots as they pool money from players’ bets from other machines, but statistically players are less likely to win on these.
Big Six Wheel/Keno, 11-24%
These are called the “sucker games” because, unfortunately, the odds for these games are so bad for the player that only a sucker would dare try! It doesn’t mean that you cannot win playing these two types of games, but the ability to see a consistent return is highly unlikely. In big six for instance, there are six ways to bet, which means that the house has a far greater advantage over the player. For example, though the big six jackpot pays out at 40:1, your odds of winning this bet 2.5%! Same goes for Keno, where players must try to match 10 of 22 numbers that are drawn from a total of 80 to win a jackpot. Though matching numbers can earn the player winning amounts, the odds of winning big are statistically low.
State Lottery/Scratch-off jackpot, 50%+
If you are happy throwing your money away then you might as well play the lottery. In order to get even a sizeable return on a lottery ticket the odds against you are staggering (and we’re not even talking about the jackpot!).
Sure, we’ve all heard of some overwhelmingly lucky people who have won a lottery jackpot, but that’s why it makes the news! If you’re looking for a casino game with the best odds or a game with good odds in general, it’s best to steer clear of the lotto. The odds of winning the lottery are so overwhelmingly high that statistically you are more likely to be struck by lightning, or be eaten by a shark, or be struck by lightning while being eaten by a shark (talk about bad luck).
Granted there have been people who have tried to hack the system by joining groups and pooling lottery tickets; or by calculating complicated algorithms in order to hit jackpots in scratch-offs. However, this requires large sums of money up front, lots of smarts, and a great deal of time and energy. Our advice? Stick to craps.
Maximum payoffs for each game
Now that you are more familiar with the odds, it’s good to look at each game in terms of payout. If you’re going to invest your time and energy playing, you might want to know what size wins are at stake. Generally speaking the maximum payout odds of each popular gambling game are as follows:
Blackjack – 1.5 to 1
Baccarat – 1 to 1
Craps – 2 to 1
Video Poker – 800 to 1 (depending on machine)
Roulette – 35 to 1
Slot Machines (flat top) – 5,000 to 1
Keno – thousands to 1
Slot Machines (progressive) – millions to 1
(State) Lottery/Scratch-off jackpot – millions to 1
What casino game has the best odds?
- Baccarat and craps have the lowest house edge for beginners, 0.8% and 1.06% respectively
- With expert strategy, the house edge for video poker and blackjack are even better, <0.5% and 0.5%, but this requires expert skill and excellent strategy
- Roulette is an easy game to learn; red or black and odd or even are the most reliable bets, and the house edge for American roulette is higher than in European versions, 5.26% and 2.70% for the latter
- Slot machines are unpredictable based on the RNGs that calculate the outcomes, generally payouts for slots can range anywhere from 85-96% to the player in the long term
- Games like Big Six and Keno or scratch-offs and the lottery purely rely on chance and generally should be avoided because of their infrequent payouts if players are looking to get consistent returns on their investments
Now that you know the best casino game odds, it’s time to put your skills to the test online! Check out Planet 7 Online Casino’s huge selection of popular real money online casino games. These games are all tested by independent authorities for reliability and fairness. It’s simple. All you need to do is register to play. You can choose to play for free (to practice your skills) or play online casino for real money for a chance to win big. See you at the tables!