Should you play other casino games?
Tell us if this scene sounds familiar. You step inside a casino, prepared to lay down big money at the roulette wheel. You've come armed with a healthy bankroll of several hundred dollars, and you're ready to roll.
Unfortunately, it's a Saturday night. And it's ridiculously crowded. All the roulette tables are packed and crowds of people are trying to squeeze in to drop some chips on the table. You don't have a hope of getting close to the felt, not even for a few minutes.
Roulette is your game, but tonight it's just not meant to be. A number of other casino games catch your eye. There are a few open seats at the blackjack tables. Craps is less crowded than normal. And baccarat, though completely foreign to you, looks pretty empty.
So should you play? That depends on what kind of odds you're looking for. We'll walk you through several popular games and tell you whether it pays to play them.
How the house edge varies from game to game
You play casino games because you want to win money. And casinos exist because they want to make money for themselves. That's why it's rare to find a casino game or bet that's fair for both parties. Every casino game comes with a house edge, but some are more lucrative for the casino than others.
The trick is finding a game that offers a low house edge. Here's how everything stacks up to roulette.
- Roulette - A double zero roulette table puts the house edge at 5.26%. If you opt to play at a single roulette table, you're looking at a house edge of just 2.7%.
- Blackjack - This is a tricky one because there are so many factors that can affect the house edge, including the number of decks in play, whether players can hit on split Aces, how many times a player can re-split cards, whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17, and so on. The house edge can fluctuate from half a percent to a few percentage points. But here's the deal with Blackjack. It's actually the game where you can gain an edge over the house. If you know how to count cards, you can actually increase your odds and push the house edge, well, off a cliff.
- Baccarat - In this casino game, online or off, you can bet on the bank, the player, or on a tie. Betting on the bank gives the house a 1.06% edge while betting on the player raises the house edge to 1.26%. The payouts for betting on a tie are extremely lucrative, which is why a lot of newbies jump on that option. But it's actually the worst move you can make. Betting on a tie increases the house edge to 14.4%.
- Casino War - The classic game from your youth has become a ridiculously popular casino game both online and at land-based casinos. And we totally get why. After all, it's essentially a battle of high card wins, so using basic logic, you'd think the odds of winning are 50/50 and the house doesn't really have an edge, right? Wrong. The house makes its money when you tie - and it happens way more often than you think. You've got two options when you hit a tie. You can go to war or surrender. Going to war gives the house an edge of 2.88% and surrendering jumps it up to 3.70%. And because betting on a tie seems to happen frequently, a lot of players will try and capitalize on it. Big mistake. The house edge jumps to 18.65%.
- Slots - Slot machines come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, with various jackpots and bonus rounds. The house edge fluctuates between 2% and 15%. It's the high end that gives them the bad rep of being one-armed bandits.
- Craps - One of the most confusing games at first glance, craps is actually relatively easy to master. What makes it so confusing? The sheer number of bets you can make. And each bet comes with different house edges, make it even more confusing. Betting on a Big 6 or 8 comes with a ridiculously high 9.09% house edge, yet a place 6 or 8 bet drops to just 1.52%. And odds bets of 4 or 10, 5 or 9, or 6 or 8 give the house a 0% edge at some casinos.
We love roulette for one big reason - betting opportunities. There are 16 different bet types and way more betting combinations you can make. You've got columns bets, red bets, black bets, even bets, odd bets, the 1-18 bet, the 19-36 bet, the first dozen bet, the second dozen bet, the third dozen bet, and several different betting combinations where connecting numbers are lumped into one bet. And, of course, there are straight up bets, too. In addition to that, there are roulette tips out there that can help you decide the type of bet that you should be playing.
Contrast that with a game like blackjack and it's clear why roulette is a real favourite. In blackjack, assuming there's no side bet opportunity like Lucky Ladies or Perfect Pairs, your only betting option is to lay down a chip before you receive your cards. Only after your two cards show up can you choose to split or double down, assuming you've got the appropriate cards to do so.
Baccarat offers you the opportunity to place three different types of bets off the bat, so if you're looking for slightly more variety than blackjack, you'll find it. Slots and casino war are basically autopilot games where you don't have to make any type of decision off the bat. About the only game that offers a lot of different betting options is craps, but the house edge for some of those bets can be painfully high.
Finding the best casino with a great mix of games
We admit it. While roulette offers a lot of benefits, sometimes you just want to mix things up. That's why we review online casinos not just for roulette quality, but also for the quality of their other casino games. All the sites reviewed here are ones we're confident you'll love, no matter what you're in the mood for.