Guide to Casino Odds
Whether you prefer the vibrant atmosphere of a sprawling super casino or love the convenience of playing on your mobile, it’s always worth knowing the odds. When you have a firm grasp of casino odds, you’ll know precisely which games to play and bets to place. Taking the time to learn the odds is the quickest and most effective way to improve your performance at the casino. Keep reading to discover how you can make the most of the odds wherever and whenever you play.
Getting to Know the Odds
In the world of gambling, the word odds has several related meanings. Odds can refer to the probability of an event taking place. For example, the odds of a roulette ball landing on one of the 37 numbers on a European roulette wheel is 1 in 37 or 2.70%, which is often called the true odds. Yet, you may also encounter the house odds or payoff odds, which tell you how much you’ll win for a given wager. In roulette, you’ll be paid 35 to 1 if you bet on the winning number.
You’ll also want to get familiar with the house edge, which is effectively the casino’s profit margin. When playing European roulette, the house edge is 2.70% since players are paid 35 to 1 rather than 36 to 1. Although your individual experiences will vary, the house edge tells you how much the casino profits for every $100 wagered on average. For European roulette the casino returns £97.30 for every £100 wager or a profit of £2.70.
Even though popular casino games have standard rules and payouts, you can find some variations. Roulette players can take their pick of European or American variations, although the US version has worse odds. You’ll also find several styles of blackjack with unique house advantages. It’s worth taking a few seconds to make sure you’re playing the right game that gives you the greatest chance of winning.
Whether you play live or online, casino odds are the basic building blocks of every winning strategy in both games of chance and skill.
Given that baccarat is immensely popular with skilled gamblers and well-to-do casino patrons, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the game offers excellent odds. When you play punto banco, which is the most common form of baccarat in the UK and online, the gameplay and odds are both simple to grasp. Although there are only three possible bets per hand, namely the banker, player, and tie, beginners should know that banker bets are subject to a 5% commission. Yet even after factoring in that fee, it’s wise to wager on the banker every time.
Here are the standard punto banco odds and house edge:
- Player bets pay 1:1 with a house edge of 1.24%.
- Banker bets pay 1:1 with a house edge of 1.06% including commission.
- Tie bets pays 8:1 with a house edge of 14.36%.
Did you know there are more than a dozen popular styles of blackjack? Although the basics are the same, the specific house rules can improve or reduce your odds. For example, when there are more decks in the shoe, the house advantage increases if everything else remains the same. It’s smart to review the rules before you bet so you’ll know the number of times you can split, when doubling is available, whether you can surrender, and when the dealer is required to hit or stand.
While you’ll typically be paid 1 to 1 when you win, 3 to 2 for blackjack, and 2 to 1 for insurance bets, you might encounter games that pay 6 to 5 for blackjack. See how the house edge stacks up when you play the most popular variations correctly.
- Classic Blackjack 0.13%
- Vegas Single Deck 0.35%
- Atlantic City Blackjack 0.36%
- Spanish Blackjack 0.38%
- Vegas Downtown Blackjack 0.39%
- European Blackjack 0.42%
- Big Five Blackjack 0.47%
- Double Exposure 0.69%
- Super Fun 21 0.94%
Don’t forget that because blackjack requires you to make in-game decisions, your odds fluctuate throughout the game. Since the dealer’s play is governed by a set of rules, it’s always wise to ignore your instincts and play using basic strategy. You can consult a basic strategy table, which will tell you know to make the most of your odds given whatever information you have available at the time.
Craps odds, like the game itself, can look complicated. That’s because there are so many different types of bets. If you’re a beginner, you can easily be overwhelmed by the table layout or number of betting areas alone. While you can learn about the odds and gameplay in greater details in our craps guide, we’ll run down the payouts and house advantage for the best bets below.
- Pass Line or Come pays 1 to 1 with a 1.41% house edge
- Don’t Pass or Don’t Come pays 1 to 1 with a 1.36% house edge
- Odds 4 or 10 pays 2 to 1 with no house edge
- Odds 5 or 9 pays 3 to 2 with no house edge
- Odds 6 or 8 pays 6 to 5 with no house edge
- Odds against 4 or 10 pays 1 to 2 with no house edge
- Odds against 5 or 9 pays 2 to 3 with no house edge
- Odds against 6 or 8 pays 5 to 6 with no house edge
- Place bet on 6 or 8 pays 7 to 6 with a 1.52% house edge
Although there is no house edge on the odds bets listed above, these so-called free bets do come with a cost. These are effectively side bets placed after a point is thrown. In order to place these bets, you’ll already have to have skin in the game. In addition, casinos set limits on these bets. Still, you should make odds bets a part of your game.
Although we brushed upon roulette earlier, this casino favourite is always worth a second look. If you’ve been paying attention, you know the European game has a reasonable house edge of 2.70%. Unfortunately, if you choose the American version, the casino’s advantage rises to a whopping 5.26% thanks to the addition of a 00 slot on the wheel. That’s precisely why you’ll want to avoid the inferior version of the game whenever possible.
While the house edge is the same no matter which European roulette bet you place, you’ll want to take the time to get familiar with the potential payouts.
- Straight up bet on any single number pays 35 to 1
- Split bets on two adjoining numbers pays 17 to 1
- Street bets on three horizontal numbers pays 11 to 1
- Corner bets on four numbers pay 8 to 1
- Six line bets that cover two rows pay 5 to 1
- Column or dozen bets pay 2 to 1
- Odd, Even, Red, Black, 1-18, or 19-36 pay 1 to 1
You can reduce the house advantage on even money bets even further by playing French roulette. This variation uses en prison or la partage rules, which act as an insurance policy when the ball lands on zero. You can learn more by visiting our roulette game and strategy guide.
Slot Machine Odds
When playing slots, the odds vary considerably from game to game. You’ll want to check out the payout table to learn how much you can win. Yet the most important piece of info is the payout percentage or RTP, which is an acronym for return to player. If you glance back to our roulette example, you’ll see that the European game has a house edge of 2.70% and a 97.3% RTP. Historically speaking, slots have offered poor payouts, especially when compared to the table games we’ve discussed above. Games with a 20% house edge or 80% RTP were once common. Fortunately, times have changed for the benefit of players. You can easily find games that return 95-98% to players.
Frequently Asked Questions About Casino Odds
What are the odds of blackjack?
Most popular versions of blackjack pay even money when you win, 3 to 2 for blackjack, and 2 to 1 for insurance bets. When you play correctly at blackjack tables with these payouts, you’ll have a 99.5% chance of winning.
What is the house edge?
The house edge is the mathematical advantage that the casino has over players in the long run. For example, a house edge of 1% means that for every $100 gambled, the casino will pay out $99 to players for a $1 profit. Players should note that although the house edge is built into the game, it’s only true over time. You should never expect these figures to reflect your individual experiences. It’s possible to gamble $100 and lose it all or win $200 on your first bet.
What casino games pay out the best?
Blackjack, craps, and baccarat offer the best odds when played correctly. Most styles of video poker also offer a low house edge.
What is the house advantage in roulette?
The house advantage in roulette depends on the version of the game you play. While American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%, the European version has a house edge of just 2.70%. Given the disparity, you should stick to the European game whenever possible.
What is the house advantage in blackjack?
Although there are multiple blackjack variations with unique house rules, the most common variety features a house edge of approximately 0.5%. To take advantage of this low house edge, you’ll need to correctly use basic strategy. You can refer to our blackjack guide for more information.
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