What Casino Games Give the Best Odds?

Some online gamblers focus on a single game - I'm thinking specifically about a friend of mine who spend all his Internet bankroll on slot machines. Me, I like variety. One weekend, I might spend my entire TV online gambling time on one specific version of blackjack; another, I might bounce from one game to the next.

Once I'd experienced enough different types of online casino games, broadcast on my beautiful Panasonic plasma TV, I decided to try to gamble smarter. I knew just enough about gambling to know that different games give the house a different advantage. So I dug in and did a little research to find out what the best casino games are, in terms of your return on investment. In other words - what casino games give the player the best odds?

The Big Two

Two games will always come up when you're talking about high-value casino bets: blackjack and video poker. Of all the games you find in any casino, whether it's a tribal gaming center in Louisiana or a high-class Vegas Strip property, these games give the player the best chance against the house, if you play them the right way.

More about Blackjack Odds

You know the little blackjack strategy card every casino sells in the gift shop? It turns out, if you follow the rules of those basic strategy programs, the casino only expects to earn 0.5% of your bankroll per hour. Players who learn (and play according to) basic blackjack strategy only stand to lose an average of $2 per hour, placing $5 bets at average game speed. Using the rules of blackjack (which limit the dealer's behavior) and the strategy worked out by gamblers and statisticians in the 1960s, blackjack players enjoy some of the best odds in any casino, online or otherwise.

Best Video Poker Odds

Because skill is a major element of play, and because game rules and payout structure vary so widely, some video poker games offer the player really great odds. In video poker, finding the best odds means examining the pay tables. Games known as 9/6, for the credits paid out for a full house and a flush, give video poker players who have a little skill much better odds than games that pay out 8/5 or 7/5. Video poker can be a high-value casino game, if you know how to read pay tables and find titles that tip the odds a little in your favor.

Other Good Odds in the Casino

If you're a poker player, playing in casino poker rooms (or at online poker games and tournaments on your TV) means betting against other players, removing the house from the equation altogether. Texas Holdem and other traditional casino poker games can offer the player a really great return on investment if that player has a lot of skill at the game. If you learn how to use poker strategy and go head-to-head against other casino customers, you can see really big returns for small investments.

The trick to getting the best odds in the casino is to know what games to avoid. If you're at all worried about odds, games based totally on luck like bingo and sic bo are to be avoided - the house advantage on these games is anywhere from 7-30% depending on what kind of wager you place. The more skill involved in your casino gaming, the better your odds are of beating the house.