Which Casino Games Have the Best Odds?

By Daniel DiPrinzio
A group, friends, the slot machines, a casino
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The people with the best odds at casinos are the ones who own them. As a player, the games with the best odds break down in the following order. The odds are tabulated as the mathematical edge the house, or casino, has over the player in the five games that give the player the best odds.

Craps

With proper betting, players can reduce the house's edge to just about even (0.2 percent). Though there are several different types of bets a player can make in craps, including hard-way bets (a hard eight would be if a player rolls two 4s) and the Yo bet (betting that a player will roll an 11), simply playing the "Pass" line, or betting that the player will make his established point before crapping out, offers the best odds. In order to maximize odds, players need to "back up" their Pass bets by putting more money behind the original bet.

Blackjack

By playing "Basic Strategy" blackjack, players can reduce the house edge to about 0.5 percent. Basic Strategy also helps players maximize their profit margins by doubling down, splitting, hitting and staying on the correct hands.

Baccarat

In Baccarat, the object is to use two or three cards to get a total of, or close to, nine. You can play as the "Player," or you can play as the "Banker." If you choose to play as the Banker, that does not mean that you are playing as the casino. As a Banker, the house has a 1.17 percent advantage. As a Player, the house has a 1.36 percent edge. Face cards and 10s have a value of 0, Aces have a value of 1, and all other cards are worth their number.

Three-card Poker

In ante and play three-card poker, the player must ante a bet before receiving his three cards. After looking at them, he can fold his hand, losing the ante, or place another bet to double the ante and play his cards. If the dealer does not have a queen or higher in his hand, the dealer folds, and the player wins only his ante bet (the second bet is returned to the player). If the dealer qualifies and the player wins, the player wins both bets. If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player loses both bets. The house edge is 1.46 percent.

With a house edge of 2.3 percent, the odds of winning pair plus three-card poker are lower than ante and play, but the payouts are higher. In pair plus, players win by making any pair or better, though the payout odds are less than the odds of actually drawing a pair or better.

Pai Gow Poker

In pai gow poker, players are dealt seven cards, from which they need to make one 5-card poker hand, and one 2-card poker hand. The 5-card hand must be better than the 2-card hand. Players win when both of their hands beat both of the dealer's hands. If the hands split with the dealer, the hand is a tie. With the house's "fee" or "rake," they always come out on top in the long run with an edge of 2.5 percent, but those odds are not nearly as bad as the odds in other casino games.

About the Author

Daniel DiPrinzio has been writing professionally in the Philadelphia since 2001. His articles have appeared on eHow and GolfLink, among other sites. His fiction, non-fiction and satirical commentary has appeared in several print publications including "Outsider Ink," the "Externalist," "Stick Your Neck Out," "The Philadelphia Inquirer" and the "Philadelphia Daily News." He earned a Master of Liberal Arts from Widener University.