The most popular table games are not always the games with the best odds of winning or conversely the lowest house advantage. For example, roulette is one of the most popular table games in the world. There are actually two kinds of roulette, Classic American Roulette and European Roulette. The fundamental difference? American Roulette has two zeros on the roulette wheel, whereas the European roulette has only one. There are 36 numbers plus the zero or the two zeros. Hitting a single number in Roulette pays 35 to one. If you received either 37 to 1 or 38 to 1, that would be true odds, but casinos, whether online or brick and mortar casinos such as Las Vegas aren’t into the business of paying true odds. The house advantage overall of European roulette is 2.7 percent while with the double zero, the house advantage is 5.76 percent. Compared to blackjack, craps, or baccarat, the house advantage is a lot higher, yet roulette is one of the most popular games out there. Something is mesmerizing, even tantalizing about willing that steel ball to land in your spot, and some of the other bets, such as betting on red and black make it seem like its almost and even proposition. Of course, it never is, and over the long run, which is all a casino really cares about, the house always wins.
Second in popularity to roulette would have to be blackjack and played smartly and perfectly, blackjack is a much better proposition than roulette. If you use a perfect blackjack strategy, the house advantage is only .5 percent. Compared to European roulette, which most Canadians play online at Malta-based casinos a .5 percent house advantage is a heck of a lot better than 2.7 percent. Of course, one advantage of playing at an online casino is that you can easily download a cheat sheet for playing perfect basic strategy. And if you follow that cheat sheet to the letter, you will truly have reduced the house advantage to .5 percent. Of course, most players ignore basic strategy rules and thus give up an extra 1.5 to 2 percent to the casino as a result. The low level of a house advantage is positive about blackjack. The disadvantage is the stress involved unless you use a cheat sheet. There are often many difficult decisions in the game of blackjack. One of the worst is when you have a hand of 15, say a king and a 5. You have to decide whether you are going to stand or draw, and it’s hard to either. The correct strategy is to is if the dealer is showing 5 or less you should stand. If the dealer has a 7 or above, you should hit. If the dealer has a 6, generally you should stand because there is a good chance the dealer has a total of 16 and will have to take a card and bust. The problem is that the sheer stress of standing or hitting is often enough to give many people a severe migraine. And don’t count on counting cards to bail you out. You can spend hours learning to count cards and with modern multiple decks, barely make a dent into those odds. Blackjack is a great game but stressful. Roulette is a stress-free game but the odds aren’t nearly as good.
For a better stress-free game with great odds, consider learning to play Baccarat. Baccarat is far from the most popular game with its general French accents and reputation as a high-value game, but its actually a game that many players can enjoy and get great odds. And every move in baccarat is backed by automatic rules. Therefore, you only need to know one thing, whether you will bet on the player, the house, or a tie. Ignore tie bets, since that’s where the casino has the biggest house advantage. The house advantage of betting on the player is only 1.06 percent (although you do pay a small commission for betting on the house) and 1.24 against you for betting on the player. Baccarat is such an easy, no stress game that you can sit down and either guess on the player or the banker without understanding a single thing about how the game works since the rules are automatic. Obviously its more fun when you understand what’s going on, but really, baccarat is an idiot’s game.
Craps is where the action is, and there are over 124 different possible bets on craps. Don’t be fooled on the terminology, however. For the newbie, there are only 4 bets you need to know, either bet or pass, don’t pass, come, or don’t come. The house advantage of these 4 bets is around 1.41 percent. Even better, is taking the odds on your pass line or come bets. Taking the odds is the only bet in the casino where they pay out true odds with no house advantage. Better to bet $10 on a pass line bet and bet $50 or $100 on the odds, then bet big on the pass line by itself. Finally, there is a poker. The favourite of poker players in most casinos is 3 card poker, where you play against the dealer. Without explaining all the details of the game, if you play any hand where you have Queen, Six and Four or greater and fold everything else, you have a decent chance at winning at 3 card poker. The overall house advantage in 3-card poker goes as high as 3.37 percent and as low as 2.01 percent.