When walking through a casino, you may scratch your head and contemplate, “which game should I play? Maybe the slot machines?” There’s thousands of them enticing you take little spin. “Perhaps a little blackjack?” This game is not your Father’s blackjack any more. It has since evolved into many variants. Considering craps? Those tempting props bets can deplete your bankroll quickly.
Here are some of the best, worst, and not so ugly bets of casino games:
· The Good – Video Poker.
Learn basic strategy on the Jacks or Better, Bonus and Double Bonus games offering a 5 coin maximum bet. Always check the machine pay tables for one that pays at least 9/1 for a full house, and 6/1 for a flush. These games have over a 98% return and your money may last longer. Do not play those with pay tables less than 9/6.
· The Bad – Penny Slots
Very popular with exciting themes, colorful graphics, and attractive bonus features. However, the return is in the 80% range. Casinos have to hold more because they make less money on them. The hit frequency is about one in three spins but many so called win returns are less than your original wager.
· The Not So Ugly – Traditional 3 Reel Slots
If you positively must play the slots, try the non-progressive 25 cents, 50 cents, or 1 dollar machines that accept a two or three coin maximum wager. (While they’re still around). Returns average about 95%, and when you score a hit, your smallest win will be at least the amount of your original wager.
· The Good – Traditional Blackjack
Stay with the tables that pay 3/2 for a blackjack, deal from shoes and offer liberal rules such as allowing re-splits, soft doubling, double after split and late surrender. Learn basic strategy first. Avoid the optional side bets.
· The Bad – 6/5 Blackjack
Many casinos have reduced their BJ payout from 3/2 to 6/5. A player can expect three to four BJ’s per hour. Receiving $12 instead of $15 at a $10 table will deplete your bankroll quicker. Another bad bet is playing at a table with a continuous shuffle machine. The hands played per hour jump from about 60 to 80.
· The Not So Ugly – Blackjack Switch
This game is catching on fast. You play two hands at once and are allowed the option of switching the top cards to create better hands. Blackjack only pays even money but the game has some advantages for the player. After the switch is made, basic Blackjack rules apply. You can split, double, etc.
· The Good – Craps: pass line with odds.
There is a reason why this bet is the most popular at the table. When you make an odds wager behind the pass line after a shooter’s point number is established, you will be paid in true odds if the point is made before a seven is rolled. For example, the true odds on numbers four and ten are 2/1. A $10 odds bet would pay $20.
· The Bad – Craps: one roll proposition bets
You have one chance to wager that a certain number will emerge on the next roll. For example, a bet on the two or twelve will pay 30/1 if it hits. Truth is you only have a 1 in 36 chance of winning.