The House Edge – A Guaranteed Win for the Casinos

Here’s why it’s important to know the house edge, which is the amount of money the casino expects to win from you over time when you play the games. The bigger the edge, the more they win. The smaller the casino advantage the longer your money may last. You are at risk for a quicker loss on any type of bet within a game that has a house edge of more than 2%.

Here is the house edge, AKA casino advantage, for some of the most popular gambling games in casinos today:

Roulette

There are 38 numbered positions that players can wager on in a number of ways. Betting a single number and winning will net you a payoff of 35 to 1. Therefore the casino makes a 2 unit profit for each win. 2/38 = 5.26% advantage for the house. Your expected loss over time is $5.26 for every $100 wagered. on a single number.

Craps

Type of bet Edge

Pass Line 1.4%

Place 6, 8 1.5%

Any Seven (one roll wager) 14.36%

Baccarat

Bet Bank. 1.06%

Bet Player 1.24%

Bet Tie 14.38%

Basic Blackjack

By far the best table game as long as the player uses correct basic strategy and the house offers favorable rules such as:

Blackjack pays 3 to 2

Dealer stands on soft seventeen

Double after splitting pairs

Double on any 2 cards

Re-split pairs

Surrender allowed

Look for these rules and you’ll enjoy a house edge of about 0.5%.

It’s worth noting that many casinos have switched to hitting soft 17. This increases the edge to 0.7% but it’s still a good game. Be aware of games that pay only 6 to 5 for a player blackjack instead of the customary 3 to 2. Simply put, a 3/2 game nets a player $15 for a $10 bet, whereas a 6/5 game only pays $12. That’s a -$3 loss for every blackjack! Not good. Unfortunately, the Vegas strip is converting to 6/5 games.

Blackjack Variants

Two low edge blackjack variants are:

Spanish 21. 0.7%

Blackjack Switch 0.6%

Carnival Games

Remember the infamous words of the carnival showman P.T. Barnum? ” There’s a sucker born every minute”. A number of games are dubbed carnival games because of a higher house edge than the traditional offerings of blackjack and baccarat. They are:

Texas Holdem Bonus 2.0%

Three Card Poker 2.3%

Ultimate Texas Holdem 2.5%

Four Card Poker 2.8%

Casino War 2.9%

Crazy 4 Poker 3.4%

Let it Ride 3.5%

Mississippi Stud Poker 4.9%

Caribbean Stud Poker 5.2%

Also, be mindful of the optional bonus or side bets at the tables. Most games have them, including those with a low edge.The winning payout amounts look very attractive and players can win even if the original wager is lost to the house. However the house edge jumps to double digits on most of these wagers.

Sports Gambling

When betting on sports games, the house takes a “vig”, slang for vigorish, when bettors make an even money wager. For example, a $10 bet on the Buffalo Bills, vs. the Miami Dolphins will cost $11. Player wins $10, the house keeps $1.

Slot Machines

It seems the everybody loves the penny slots these days. Multi-coin, multi-line with striking themes, graphics and bonus features. Players can wager as little as fifteen cents up to three or four dollars per spin. the edge on the pennies ranges between 10 & 15%! The hold on dollar and higher machines is much lower, ranging from 2 to 5%. If you’re going to bet max on the pennies, you’re better off playing the bucks.

If you like machines study up on video poker. Learn how to read the pay tables that are posted on each machine. There is a skill element to video poker. Choosing the right game can drop the house edge to less than 1%. Good Luck!

How to Play Badugi

How to play Badugi? What it is this Budagi you speak of and where did it come from? If these are questions you have asked in puzzlement then this article is for you.

The game of Badugi is a very fun and addictive game that has recently over the last few months become available on the biggest pokersite online, PokerStars.

Until approximately 2006, Badugi was a form of poker unknown outside of the likes of China and Korea. Today, this fascinating and fun poker variant is growing more and more popular each day; online as well as offline. Badugi is today played worldwide and many pokers enthusiasts love the combination of exciting poker elements and psychology.

It has previously been spread by a few online poker operators such as Doyles Room, Royal Card Room, Paddy Power and VC Poker, as well some live poker rooms in California and Las Vegas. I have heard that during the WSOP of 2008, Budagi was offered on Sunday nights at the Imperial Palace – Las Vegas, and also the Venetian will spread Badugi on demand.

There was a badugi article written online, where the writer heard former WSOP main event winner Greg Raymer make reference to playing $400-$800 BOT (Badugi, Omaha 8, Triple Draw), so the game is very much the rage and in demand in the high stakes mixed games in Vegas. But it is not a game that is just reserved for the live nosebleed stakes.

You could play as low as $0.05/$0.10 limit and as high as $100/$200 blinds in the online casinos mentioned above, but the game will very soon become much more widely available with the number one pokersite in the world, Pokerstars offering Budagi.

Badugi is a triple draw four card games where the low-hand wins. Don’t panic if you are not familiar with triple draw as badugi strategy is very straight forward and easy to learn. You can play Badugi as limit poker, pot limit poker or half pot limit poker. It is said that Pokerstars will be offering both limit and half-limit Budagi games initially.

So, to get back to the 1st sentance in this article, how to play badugi?

Some basic badugi poker strategy to begin with  – An A-2-3-4 rainbow is the best hand possible in badugi. Played with a button, a small blind, and a big blind, each player is dealt four down cards to start. There are four betting rounds, one after the deal, and one after each of the three draws. Like deuce-to-seven triple draw, badugi is a naturally shorthanded game due to all the discards- only six players maximum can be dealt in at any time.

I believe Budagi could be a very good game to get into as not a lot of people play it well. After Hold’em became a bit stale and the games got tougher after UEIGA and the Online Poker Regulations in the USA, all the mid-stakes grinders jumped on the Omaha bandwaggon and looked to make their money where the fish where still a plenty and the tables weren’t full of 4 or 5 regs. However, even Omaha is getting tougher now as people are getting more and more in tune with the fact that they can’t play Omaha like they do Hold’em!

Most players experimenting at low limit badugi frankly have no clue what they are doing, and this game can be a great money-maker for even reasonably skilled players with some good poker instincts. If you’re a fan of razz or triple draw, badugi is the logical next step for you. Keep your tilt-meter in check and give the games on Pokerstars a whirl.

About Casino Gambling – Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Slots & Craps

Casinos… Think of Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, bright lights, ritz, glamour, people winning money, but mostly people losing money! You may be intrigued by the idea of going to a casino but don’t really know too much about them – please read on to learn more about the fun of a night out to a casino…

According to Princeton University’s ‘Wordnet’, a casino is ‘a public building for gambling and entertainment’. Don’t be overawed if you do go, relax and enjoy. You will most likely have the chance to play slot machines or one-armed bandits as they are commonly known and perhaps other games of chance and some skill. One major thing that you do need to be aware of, is the way that a casino will look to tilt the odds in its favour, which is more commonly known as the casino’s “edge”. However, some games such as poker are played with players versus players and in this case, the casino cannot get an advantage as it is not effectively playing. In these circumstances, the casino will take a “rake” on the bets that players make against each other.

If you have ever been to Las Vegas and gone to one of the casinos there, the first thing that you will notice is the fact that they more often or not have the slot machines (otherwise known as ‘one-armed-bandits’ or ‘fruit machines’) right as you go in. This is because they really don’t require too much understanding to play and it’s not uncommon to see people playing these machines for hours on end. The slot machine will typically involve a lever on the side (the one arm!) and three reels with patterns of symbols on, located in the centre of the machine. The reels revolve as you pull the lever and the idea is to generate rows of matching symbols to win, having paid your required stake via the slot usually on the front of the machine.

There may be times when you will play on a machine which will have extra options available for you to use, often giving the illusion that you will have more control over the reels and a better chance of winning. This may be the case over the short-term, but always remember that playing in casinos is fun, but the house always has the long-term advantage. To give you a quick example…if you were to play a game where you had to bet on what number would lie face up after the roll of a die, then you would expect to see the casino pay six times the amount bet for a win, but in fact the casino would pay five times to maintain its advantage.

This system is often found in famous casino gambling games like Poker, Craps, Roulette or Blackjack.

Blackjack has always been played in casinos because players will play their chips against the House dealer with the successful gambler being paid against pre-determined odds (ie by getting a true ‘Blackjack’ which in other words is a two card combination adding up to 21, the House will pay you 3:2, or 1-1/2 times your initial wager). If you play fair, the chances are that you may end up with a profit, but more often than not, the casino will win, unless you count the cards. Card counting is a black art as far as casinos are concerned and if you are caught, you will be blacklisted worldwide! Effectively, because the playing cards are only used once and then discarded, anyone with a good memory and a highly analytical mind can determine their own odds that a certain card will or will not appear again, tilting the odds in his favour.

Poker is one of the most played games in the world. Its popularity has grown massively over the past couple of years and many casinos would not offer a poker game due to the fact that they were limited to taking a rake (as discussed previously). You may be aware that poker is essentially a playing card game were players are dealt poker cards face down, and then take it in turns to place bets (represented by poker chips with a specific value) based on the strength of the cards that they hold, combined with other community cards placed face up in the middle of the poker table. The player with the strongest combination should win what’s known as the pot (the combined bets of all the players for that hand), however one of the reasons that poker is so popular is the element of ‘bluffing’ where a player may actually have a poor hand, but believes that he can make his opponents believe that he has the strongest combination by means of subtle psychology! This can be as subtle as staring one’s opponent into ‘folding’ his cards, or by moving his entire stack of poker chips into the middle of the table – what’s known as ‘going all in’.

Roulette is a classic casino game, whereby a croupier gently spins a perfectly balanced, wooden roulette wheel with either 37 or 38 recessed ‘pockets’ along the bottom edge of the roulette wheel. As the wheel begins to spin, the croupier will roll a small white ball the opposite way with the intention being for the ball to bounce of raised points on the wall and to finally come to rest in one of the numbered pockets. In European casinos, the wheel’s layout features pockets numbered 1 – 36 and alternate between red and black with the number one, coloured red and zero being coloured green. However in American casinos, you are more likely to see a second double-zero 00 pocket also coloured green.

Again the House pays out against set odds displayed on the cloth covering the roulette table. Typically this will offer 35:1 for single number bets where you bet on one number to win, 2:1 for any column of numbers, and evens for any red, any black, odds or evens.

Craps can be the most fun to play and certainly watch. It’s also the fastest game in the casino with often more than 60 bets per hour. Players will wager bets against the casino on the result of a roll of a die, or the series of rolls of two dice. The great thing about craps is that you don’t have to be rolling the dice to bet, you can bet on how lucky you (hope) the guy rolling is going to be, which is why it can be so entertaining. Essentially, the guy with the dice is called the ‘shooter’ and the basic bet in craps is called the ‘Pass Line’ bet, and by rolling a 7 or 11, the shooter will roll a pass line winner, and can play again. If he rolls 2, 3 or 12, these are known as craps and this is a pass line loss. Any other number becomes the shooter’s point and he continues. It really is a fascinating game with many more rules and options.

At the end of the day, a night out to a casino can be wonderfully entertaining, but casinos have learnt over hundreds of years how to make their games very, very addictive. They are quite happy to let you win a little here and there, but they know that in the long run, it’s you that’s going to be making them happy – do take care!

The Basics of Video Poker

Video poker has become one of the most popular games in the real casinos in Las Vegas and other cities around the world as well as the online casinos that populate the Internet. Everyone is playing some form of video poker because it is more interesting than the many slot machines that are also available online as well. There are several different online video poker games and you are able to play for free as well as for real money in most denominations.

Some of the best casino poker online video poker games are deuces wild, jacks are better, bonus poker, jokers wild, double bonus video poker and many other variations. Depending on the online casino you are playing on, they may call the games by different names, however most of them are essentially the same as the ones above.

When you play these poker games online, there are a couple things that you should watch for to ensure that you have the best return for you money and enjoy the online games. These same factors apply to the video poker games you would play in a live casino as well.

Every video poker game has different payouts for various combinations of cards. For example, jacks or better will pay your bet back for a pair of jacks, while in deuces wild or jokers wild, you typically need to have three of a kind before you will win any money.

The best video poker machines will pay 9 credits for a one credit bet when you catch a full house, however many video poker games will only pay 6 credits for the same full house. Obviously you will want to play video poker games that pay 9 credits for a full house if you can find them.

The casino payouts for video poker depend on how much you will bet, however many games will allow up to 5 credits to be wagered. There are some games that will allow as many as 100 credits to be wagered on one hand for those people who are more daring. Playing casino poker is fun and can be an enjoyable past time, whether you are playing online casino video poker or in one of the real casinos. They all have a good selection of poker games to play and you can switch from one to another just by selecting the menu and choosing the video poker game you prefer.