Choosing a go-to casino game is no easy task, but most players end up settling into a casino routine that’s rarely broken. While the most logical option would be to find the game offering the best odds and play it exclusively, the truth of the matter is that playing at a casino isn’t all about winning for most players.
Believe it or not, the majority of casino-goers prioritize having a good time over maximizing their odds, and this is usually the right choice. Sure, some video poker machines offer skilled players a slim edge over the house with perfect play, but the concentration and homework required to actually cash in on this edge kind of kills the freedom and unpredictability upon which the casino industry has hung its hat for decades.
Best casinos for Smaller Bankrolls
Best Casinos for High Rollers
This tendency extends well beyond video poker to nearly every game in the casino. For example, it’s a widely-known fact that slot machines offer some of the worst odds on the casino floor. Depending on the denomination of your choice of slot, you can expect to give the house an edge of between two and 15 percent in most casinos, though some may go even higher.
The best way to find a machine with a lower house edge is to up the ante to a higher denomination machine, but this isn’t always practical when you’re on a limited budget. Then again, the size of your bankroll probably has a lot to do with which games you play. Over the years, certain games have been associated with players bringing different sized bankrolls to the table, and taking a look at these trends may be a good way to find out which games are best suited for your needs. With that in mind, let’s study a few examples.
Smaller Bankrolls: Slot Machines
Keeping in mind what we just discussed about slots, they’re still a good option if your playing power is modest. There are a few reasons why this is the case. First, slots come in many shapes and sizes, with penny slots available in the majority of casinos across America. Winning while playing penny slots is difficult, but these machines offer a great chance to soak in the casino atmosphere without breaking the bank.
Another advantage of slots when your bankroll is on the small side is that they can be played at your own pace. If you’re in town for the weekend, you won’t need to keep up with other players when you’re seated at the slot bank. Spin the reels nice and slow while keeping the wagers to a minimum, and you’re basically guaranteed to survive the weekend without running out of cash.
There are, of course, a few downsides to playing low denomination slots. The odds are never in your favor, and the overall excitement levels are generally pretty low. On the other hand, the roaming drink girls will still pay you a visit, and a nice tip will ensure that the libations keep flowing as long as the reels keep rolling. Sometimes, walking away from the casino with a small loss and a bunch of free drinks is definitely a win.
Mid-Sized Bankrolls: Craps
With a mid-sized bankroll, most of the casino floor is within reach. Just steer clear of the high roller tables, and you’ll be in good shape. For the purposes of this article, though, we needed to pick a game, so we decided on craps. This deceptively simple dice game combines the excitement and atmosphere that draw visitors to casinos with great odds if you play correctly. Additionally, since most rounds require multiple rolls of the dice, the pace isn’t too fast.
As for strategy, there are two schools of thought in craps. On the one hand, you could choose to play the spoiler and put your money on the Don’t Pass line. Although it features the smallest house edge at just 1.36 percent, it’s also usually in direct competition with the majority of players. Since it’s more fun to win with the crowd, we suggest going with the Pass Line bet. It features a respectable house edge of just 1.41 percent, and you can improve that further by taking full advantage of the even money odds bet. If you don’t know about the odds wager, be sure to do some research before heading to the casino. It’s one of the few bets in the casino that features absolutely zero house edge!
High Rollers: Baccarat
If there’s one game that’s associated almost exclusively with high rollers, it’s baccarat. According to some reports, Las Vegas was built on the losses of these high rollers, with the top one percent of elite baccarat players effectively financing hotel expansions and large-scale renovations.
So, why are these whales so attracted to this simple card game? That’s a tough nut to crack. To its credit, baccarat does offer great odds, with the banker bet featuring a house edge of just 1.06 percent and the player bet offering a similarly small 1.24 percent. We’re guessing that the real draw of baccarat is its mystique, though. James Bond plays it, and most casino-goers are unaware of just how simple this seemingly intoxicating card game is to play. In any case, if you’re in the market for a $100,000-limit table offering complementary Dom Perignon Champaign, baccarat is most likely your game.