With many classic pokies and table games available to punters, it’s a hard task to pinpoint the 10 best casino games by any measure, but we’re going to give it a shot. First, we’ll have a look at the boring reason why each game is so good; house edge and statistics and whatnot. We’ll then have a look at the bonafide reason why each game is so good.
Can you count to 21? I can. If you can count to 21 too then you can play blackjack! The aim of blackjack is to get a points total as close to, without exceeding, 21 as possible. If you manage to get an initial two card deal of a “10” value card (10, Jack, Queen or King) and an Ace, this is the game’s namesake, “Blackjack” and usually pays 3 to 2 but can sometimes be paid at 6 to 5.
BJ House Edge: Blackjack boasts the lowest general house edge of any regular casino game at around 0.28%. This house edge can fluctuate depending on each individual casino’s house rules, how many decks of cards are being used and whether the game is dealt from a traditional shoe or an automatic shuffler. Sure there is a bet in craps that is 0% house edge, but let’s be realistic. When it comes to red-blooded, balls out gambling, blackjack is as close to even-Steven as you are ever going to get.
Baccarat is a French card game. The punter’s can make any one of three bets on the main game: Player, Banker or Tie. Between four and six cards are drawn in total each hand. The number of cards drawn depends on the points total of each hand after the initial deal of four cards. The highest hand is a two card points total of nine while the worst hand is a point total of zero, or “baccarat”.
Baccarat may be a casino’s bread and butter but it can also turn your night from “sub-standard” to “MY SHOUT!” very quickly. Baccarat tables often have very high maximum bets and with 1-1 payouts on winning Player bets and 1-1 minus 5% commission on winning Banker bets, it is easy to see why the uber rich often find their way to the baccarat tables.
Baccarat House Edge: On face value, baccarat may seem like a 50/50 game because there are only two options: Player or Banker. This is a common misconception. The addition of the tie result as well as the tableau (the rules that dictate the draw of cards) has allowed for a house edge of 1.06% on Banker, 1.24% on Player and 14.36% on Tie bets. This makes the Player and Banker bets two of the lowest house edge bets in the casino.
Craps can be played at your local casino, online casino or on your local street corner with the local street gang. Craps can seem daunting in real life, with the dealers making loud calls and the punters screaming like a gang of castrated banshee’s, but it’s a fun game once you get the hang of its rules and conventions.
Craps House Edge: The rules and odds of Craps obviously changes slightly between venues, but the traditional game usually has around 54 betting options. With 54 possible bets comes 54 different odds and 54 different house edge’s. Odds can range from even money to 33-1 and everything in between – even peculiar odds like 7.5-1 or 9.5 – 1. The great thing about Craps is that the house edge also fluctuates wildly from bet to bet, starting at a fantastic 0% house edge but blowing out to a massive 16.67% on any seven.
Roulette is the game that was the root behind Robert Redford making an indecent proposal to Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson. Aside from that, Roulette is a great game. Just place your chips on what you think will come up. Simple. The dealer then spins the ball in an opposite direction to the wheel and the rest is left to gravity.
The tension and excitement you feel as the ball ricochet’s and bounces around the wheel until it comes to rest in its final destination is why the little wheel is so iconic.
Roulette House Edge: There are two house edge variants when it comes to roulette because there are two very different games. American Roulette and European Roulette. European Roulette, or single “0” Roulette has a house edge of 2.7%. This is essentially because on a straight up the odds are 35:1 but there are 37 numbers on the wheel. American Roulette, or “00” Roulette has a higher house edge of 5.26% due to the inclusion of an extra number to the wheel: the “00”.
5. Caribbean Stud Poker
Caribbean Stud is a five card poker derivative played against the dealer. It also has a side bonus bet of between $1 and $2.50 depending on which casino or online casino you are playing. This bonus bet contributes to a progressive jackpot that can be triggered by a royal flush. 10% of the jackpot can be won with a straight flush while other bonus prizes are awarded for a four of a kind, a full house and a flush. Anything with a progressive jackpot will always get bums on seats, even if the probability of being dealt a Royal Flush sits at around 0.00015%.
Caribbean Stud House Edge: Caribbean boasts a pretty hefty house edge of 5.22% which is a bit rich by table games standards. So just keep that in mind before being dazzled by the often massive progressive jackpot.
6. Three Card Poker
One of our personal favourite games here at BestOnlineCasinos. There are three separate bets in three card: pairs plus, ante and play. You start each hand with an ante bet and a pairs plus if you are so inclined. Once you have received your cards from the dealer and had a quick look, you can decide to play on, by placing a “play” bet or forfeit the hand and your bets.
Some people call Three Card the lazy man’s poker, but who cares what they think; it’s a hard and fast poker derivative that you could play in your sleep if need be.
Three Card House Edge: Due to the different odds offered through pairs plus and ante and play there are two different sets of stats when it comes to the house’ edge on Three Card. On your ante and play bets, the house claims a 3.37% edge, while on pairs plus that edge blows out to 7.28%.
7. Casino War
Casino War is probably the easiest casino game to learn and play. The base game is essentially just high card. Whoever has the highest value card (Ace’s are high) between you and the dealer wins. It’s when you and the dealer both have the same value card, or a tie that things can get a little murky – you are given the option to “go to war” with the dealer, which requires you to double your bet to receive an extra card or you can choose to forfeit the hand and your original bet.
Casino War House Edge: The initial deal is only slightly shy of even money but it’s when the option of going to war presents itself that the house’ ugly edge appears. If you decide to surrender on a tie instead of going to war, the house edge for the game is 3.7%. However, if you decide to go to war with the dealer, the house edge is reduced to 2.88%. Given the fact that you have to double your bet to go to war but are often only paid on your original bet – not the double down too – if you win is a dubious choice despite the reduced house edge in comparison to just surrendering: you be the judge.
8. Sic Bo
Sic Bo is essentially a dice game controlled solely by the dealer. You place you bets across a board with multiple different betting options like two dice totals, three dice totals, individual dice or triples. Once your bets are placed on the board the dealer will call no more bets and then roll the dice, often in an enclosed case and call the results.
Sic Bo House Edge: Due to the large number of bets available on any given Sic Bo board the house edge fluctuates greatly from bet to bet. The house edge starts at a generally average 2.78% but blows out to a massive 33.33%. With Sic Bo, the rule of thumb is the greater the odds, the greater the house edge. So just be aware that the biggest return may be 180-1 but the house edge on that is 33.33%.
9. The Big Wheel
Whether you call it the Big Wheel, the Wheel of Fortune or the Chocolate Wheel it is still the same thing. In the casino everyone knows this is the game for drunks. Friday’s and Saturday nights the Big Wheel is choc-a-block full of drunkards wildly throwing their chips on the layout before the dealer says “no more bets”. With that, the dealer will give the wheel an almighty wrench and then the fun begins.
As the momentum of the wheel starts to slow down, the punters begin to curse gravity and physics. “How does the wheel ALWAYS stop right NEXT to 47-1?!” And with that everyone collected throws forth their respective conspiracy theories.
Odds range from even money to 47-1.
Big Wheel House Edge: On the Aussie version of Big Wheel there is a universal house edge of 7.69% across all bets. Obviously 7.69% house edge is nothing to write home about but the fact the house edge doesn’t fluctuate between the different odds is something positive.
10. Pai Gow Poker
This is basically a dumbed down version of the Chinese domino game of the same name: Pai Gow. It is also known as “two hand poker”. Once again Pai Gow poker is an adversarial game of you, the punter, against the dealer. After being dealt seven cards, you must create two hands, a five card high hand and a two card low hand, both of which must be poker hands. Your five card high hand must be of a higher value poker hand than your two card low hand.
Pai Gow House Edge: Pai Gow poker has an unusually low house edge of just 1.46% but this is offset by the casinos by a 5% commission on all winning bets.