Strategies for Beating Casino Odds

While gambling is a fun activity, there’s a reason that casinos are able to stay in business. It’s called the house edge. By tipping the casino odds in their own favor, casinos are able to keep a steady profit by offering games to interested gamblers. However, a smart player will be able to keep their gambling dollar longer than anyone else in a casino. By using proper strategies and selecting the right games, gamblers can dramatically cut a casino’s profit and increase their own chances of walking out a winner.

Baccarat

As a general rule, the simpler a casino game is the worse odds it has for the player. As such, slot machines, keno, and roulette are games that gamblers should avoid. However, one very simple game has some of the best odds in the casino: baccarat. While this used to be exclusively for high rollers, baccarat is now available to the general online public.

The baccarat rules are simple. Two hands, called Player and Banker, are each dealt two cards. The tens digit is omitted (a total of 12, for instance, is 2). If the Player hand is 5 or less, the Player takes a third card. If the player took a third card, the Banker hand follows a chart to determine whether it takes a third card. If the player did not take a third card, the Banker hand will take a third card if its total is 5 or less. The winning hand is that which is closer to 9. The game is nothing more than a glorified toss of the coin.

Optimal strategy is simple, as well: play the Banker hand every time. While it is slightly more likely to win, a 5% commission is taken on wins. This gives it a total edge of only 1.06%.

Blackjack

Generally the lowest-odds game in the entire casino, blackjack is one of the most widely recognized games in the world. The object of the game is for the player to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over, or to watch the dealer go over. Going over 21 is called busting. The edge in the game comes from the fact that if the player busts, he or she loses regardless of whether or not the dealer busts.

However, the game’s odds are great because of the control the player has. With the ability to hit (take another card), stand (stop taking cards), double (double the initial wager and take one card), split (split two cards of the same rank into separate hands), or even surrender (get back half the initial wager) at some casinos, players can ensure that they are betting the most when the casino odds are in their favor, and cut their losses when they’re down. Best of all, if a player gets 21 with their first two cards, he or she wins 3:2 on his or her wager instead of the usual even money.

Blackjack strategy is complex but worth memorizing. Several charts and even calculators exist online to determine proper strategy for a particular set of rules. When choosing a blackjack game, however, always stick with the most traditional version available. “Bonus” or “super” versions typically reduce the payout for blackjack or have other undesirable rules that make them bad choices. Then, just load up a strategy chart and do as it says. Players can memorize optimal strategy in no time.

Video poker

Video poker is a match made in heaven for slot players that want better casino odds, or table games players who still want good odds with more exciting gameplay. In video poker, players are dealt five cards. They then select which to keep, and then, like hold ’em poker, cards from the remaining deck replace those that are discarded. Hands are ranked according to a paytable above the cards.

Video poker strategy is likely the most intricate in the casino. Every video poker variant has its own optimal strategy. The best thing to do is to first find the best video poker game in the casino. The best games are almost always Jacks or Better (9 credits for a full house and 6 for a flush), All American (), or Bonus Poker (8 credits for a full house and 5 for a flush). Once you’ve picked a video poker machine, find an optimal strategy table for it on the Internet and follow it exactly.

« »