Popular Casino Table Games
The following is a list of table games and a short description of how to play.
Blackjack was originated in France and is one the most popular casino games in the world. The main objective is to get as close to 21 without going over while still beating the dealer’s hand. This is done by counting up the value of the cards in your hand. There is a 6-deck shoe in our Blackjack game. All cards numbered 2 through 10 are at face value. All face cards are valued at 10 while an ace is valued at either 1 or 11 at the player’s discretion. Hands containing an ace valued at 11 are considered to be “soft” hands (i.e. A, 6 is a soft 17), while hands containing an ace valued at 1 are considered “hard” hands (i.e. A, 6, Q is a hard 17). A Black Jack hand is an ace and card valued at 10 (10, J, Q, K). A two-card Blackjack always beats three or more cards, which equal 21.
Before receiving any cards the player must place a wager. Once the wager is made the player is dealt 2 cards face up. The dealer is also dealt two cards; one face up and the other face down. The dealer’s “hole” card remains face down until the players have completed their hands. At this point, the dealer turns over his hole card. If his hand totals a hard 17 through 21 he must stand. If his hand is 16 or under, the dealer must continue to take cards until either his hand is over 16 or “bust” (which means over 21). The dealer must hit on a soft 16.
TIP: If you have a twelve, hit it against a dealer’s two or three. Keep hitting until you have seventeen, against a ten. Hit a soft eighteen against a ten. Never split four, five, or tens. Stand on twelve and higher only if the dealer has a six. Never take insurance. See our blackjack guide for more detailed information and strategy for playing blackjack.
The object of Baccarat is to hold 2 or 3 cards, which count 9, or as nearly 9 as possible. The values of the cards are: face cards and tens are 0; aces are 1; any other card is worth its face value. Unit of 10 points is disregarded so that 9+7 count as 6, not 16.
The dealer will deal out cards to both the player and dealer. Depending on the value of the initial 2-card hands, a third card may be dealt to either one of the hands. Ultimately the winning hand will be the one closest to 9.
You have the choice of betting on either the player’s hand or the dealer’s hand. To place a bet you have to either click on the word “player” or on the word “dealer” and your bet will be placed on the table automatically.
TIP: Baccarat is pretty much a game of chance, and all you really have to do is decide which hand you think will win, and bet accordingly. However, knowing the basic rules will certainly help you follow what is going on, making the game a lot more enjoyable.
See our baccarat guide for more detailed information on how to properly play baccarat and strategy for beating baccarat games.
Casino War is similar to the children’s card game of War. One card will be dealt to the player face up and then one card will be dealt to the dealer. Whoever has the higher card wins. This will continue unless there is a tie between the dealer and the player. At this point, the player will be prompted to surrender or continue. If the player chooses to surrender, he loses his bet and a new hand is dealt. If the player decides to battle he doubles his bet and cards are dealt out one by one to the player and then to the dealer. If the dealer wins, the house gets the player’s entire wager, while if the player wins he only receives his initial wager. If there is a second tie within the battle, then the player will get paid out at 7 to 1.
See our casino war guide for more detailed information on how to properly play war and strategy for beating casino war games.
Caribbean Stud Poker
This table game is played with one deck. The player has two ways of making money from this stud game. The first is similar to other table games. The player places an ante on the space provided on the table. The dealer will deal a hand of five cards to the player and a hand of five cards to himself. The final card dealt to the dealer is dealt face up so that the player can see the value of the card. At this point, the player can see all five of their cards and one of the dealers. Now the player can make the decision to fold or bet. If the player chooses to fold, the hand and ante are surrendered to the dealer and a new hand begins. If the player chooses to bet and therefore compares their hand to the dealer’s hand, the player has to place the bet on the table. The bet has to be twice the value of the ante, no more, no less.
The dealer will then show the player his cards. The dealer qualifies for play if his hand is ranked with an Ace, King or higher. If the dealer doesn’t have a qualifying hand and the player has bet, then the dealer pushes the player’s bet and ante back plus the amount of the ante, as winnings. If the dealer has a qualifying hand and the player beats the dealer, the player wins an equal value to his ante and the bet is paid out at odds to the value of the player’s hand.
The Progressive (a five-card hand that is a flush or better)
The second game that is going on inside the regular one is the progressive game. This game is an optional side game added the regular table game. This game is implemented and resolved every hand. The player makes the decision to play the progressive at the beginning of each hand. Then the benefits for getting a progressive hand are only valid if the player paid for the progressive at the beginning of that hand. The payout rates for progressive hands are fixed for the most part; when the player gets a straight flush, the progressive payout is 10% of the pot. If the player gets a royal flush, the payout is 100% of the pot.
See our Caribbean stud poker guide for more detailed information on how to properly play Caribbean stud and strategy for beating Caribbean stud games.
To many people, Craps is their favorite casino game. It is fast, exciting and wild. It appears to be complicated at first but in actuality is it very simple. On the first roll (the come out role), the shooter is trying to establish a point with one of the following numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 the wager is paid off at even money. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or12 then the wager is lost. If the shooter rolls a point number, then it progresses to the next stage where the shooter has to roll the same number again before it hits 7.
To place a chip on the table, move the mouse pointer to that part of the table where you want to put the chip and press the left mouse button. This will put a chip on the table at your chosen position.
TIP: The best way to play craps is to stick to the “pass/don’t pass” and “come/don’t come” bets. You should definitely make odd bets on both types of wagers. Placing bets on 6 or 8 gives you relatively favorable odds. Most other bets tend to give the house a big advantage, so you should stay away from them.
See our craps guide for more detailed information on how to properly play craps and strategy for beating craps games.
Let It Ride
The object of Let It Ride is to get a pair of 10’s or higher. There is an ante to start the game ranging from $5-$100. You are dealt 5 cards, 3 will be face up and 2 will be face down. With the 3 that are face up, you will have the option of doubling your wager. You can select “BET” or “PASS”. If you select “BET,” you will double the wager and if you select “PASS,” you won’t. The dealer will then flip one of the cards. You, again, will have the option to “BET” or “PASS,” either, just keeping your ante, doubling, or tripling your wager.
The Progressive (a five-card hand that is a flush or better)
The second game that is going on inside the regular one is the progressive game. This game is an optional side game added the regular table game. This game is implemented and resolved every hand. The player makes the decision to play the progressive at the beginning of each hand. Then the benefits for getting a progressive hand are only valid if the player paid for the progressive at the beginning of that hand. The payout rates for progressive hands are fixed for the most part; when the player gets a straight flush the progressive payout is 10% of the pot. If the player gets a royal flush, the payout is 100% of the pot.
See our Let It Ride poker guide for more detailed information on how to properly play Let It Ride and strategy for beating Let It Ride games.
Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Poker is a game that has its roots in the ancient Chinese game, Pai Gow. However, it combined with American Poker and has evolved into the modern game of Pai Gow Poker. The interesting thing about Pai Gow Poker is that you can play the game for a long time without losing substantial amounts of money, that is if you keep your wits about you.
Pai Gow is played with a 53-card deck consisting of a standard 52-card deck with 1 wild card. The object of the game is to split your hand into a five-card hand and a two-card hand with both hands beating the dealer’s two hands to win. The wild card is not a true wild card and has specific rules. The card only acts as an Ace or the fifth card in either a flush or a straight. It cannot be used to make a pair of 10’s or Queens
After you receive your seven cards you must split them into two hands, a five-card hand and a two-card hand. The five-card hand must always rank higher than the two-card hand. To do this move the mouse pointer over the cards you want to make your two-card hand. Click on the two cards one at a time and they will split out of the deck. Notice that once you have chosen an eligible two-card hand (not better than your five-card hand) the split button becomes available. If you are happy with your choice click on this split button and you will have your two playing hands. If you are not satisfied with your choices click on the card or cards that you want to change and they will go back into your seven-card hand. Now choose the new cards you wish to play with. You may do this until you press the split button at which point your hands are locked-in. The dealer will then split his hand and the game will play itself out. Each five-card hand is ranked according to the standard poker hand hierarchy. Remember that because of the wild card, you have the potential to have five Aces, which beats a royal flush. Your two-card hand can either be a pair or no pair; therefore, your highest possible two-card hand would be a pair of Aces. The wildcard can function in several ways. It can act as an Ace in any hand or the fifth card in a straight, a flush, a straight flush, or a royal flush.
Red Dog is a game played with a 52-card deck and uses only 3 cards at a time. The object of the game is to bet on what the third card is going to be. The dealer will deal out 2 cards, one on the left and one on the right. In order for the player to win, the third card’s rank must come between the other two cards’ rank. So if the two cards were a 5 and a Jack, a winning hand would consist of a card between a 6 and a 10. The closer the two cards are in rank the higher the payout. Before the player sees the third card, he has the option of doubling his bet by clicking on the raise button. A push happens when the first two cards dealt are either consecutive or are a pair. If the third card dealt makes three of a kind then the player is paid out at 11 to 1.
Roulette consists of a wheel with 38 numbers, these include the numbers 1-36, 0, and 00. After all the bets have been established the wheel is spun and a ball is placed on the outer edge of the wheel. The ball will then drop into one of the numbered pockets once the wheel slows down. The numbers on the wheel alternate pairs of odd numbers with pairs of even numbers and alternate between black and red. The two zeros are green in color and are placed at opposite ends of the wheel. The object of the game is to determine which number or color the ball with ultimately land on.
The table layout is arranged so that the 36 numbers are arranged in 3 columns of 12 numbers each. The numbers are in sequence and can be either red or black, depending on the number. There are two types of roulette bets: inside bets and outside bets. The 6 inside bets: straight bet, split bet, street bet, corner bet, five number bet, and a line bet. There are three basic outside bets: even-money, column, and dozen bets. You can place as many different types of bets at any time. There are no limits to the number of wagers placed on each spin.
There is a winning number display at the top right of your screen to help you find the last winning numbers. The common perception is that if a number has not been shown as winning in a long time, it could be time to put a stake on that number!
TIP: Don’t spread your bets all over the layout. 0 and 00 slots will wipe out all outside bets, so be careful. Only play on the single zero wheels.
See our roulette guide for more detailed information on how to properly play roulette and strategy for beating roulette games.
Sic Bo is a game somewhat like roulette in that there are many places on the table to place bets. 3 dice are used to determine the outcome of the betting. Once you have finished placing your bets click on the roll button.
Best Casino Games to Play
Casinos offer a variety of games and the casino’s edge or advantage is different for each game. The higher the casino advantage, the less your chance of winning.
The casino advantage has 2 components. The first and easiest to understand is when you lose. When you lose a bet, it is lost, period.
The second is when you win. But how can you lose when you win? Well, instead of receiving a fair payout for a winning bet, you are paid less. For example, a fair payout for a $1 wager on roulette is $37. However, the casino pays you only $35. It keeps the $2 like a tax. As a result, the $2 disappears in the coffers of the casino, without you even knowing or realizing it! The irony of this is that you are happy you have “won” even though you have just been short-changed by the casino.
What you need to know is how much is this hidden tax and what you can do to reduce it. Because the lower you reduce this tax or casino advantage, the greater your chances will be of winning more or at least minimizing your losses.
The following table summarizes the casino’s advantage for different casino games. A positive casino advantage means the casino has the edge. A negative casino advantage implies the player has the better of it. Most casino games have several different types of wagers, which is why you see a range of casino advantage for most games.
|Blackjack (without basic strategy)||+5.0% to +10%|
|Blackjack (with basic strategy)||0% to +0.5%|
|Blackjack (with basic strategy and card counting)||-0.2% to -1.05% (Player advantage)|
|Craps||+0.2% to +17%|
|Pai Gow Poker||-0.2% to +2.5%|
|Baccarat||+0.1% to +14.1%|
|Roulette||+2.6% to +7.9%|
|Big Six Wheel||+11.1% to +22.2%|
|Video Poker||-0.1% to +5.0%|
|Sic Bo||+2.8% to +47.5%|
|Poker||Depends on skill level|
|Slots||+0.5% to +10% or more|
|Keno||+20% to +50%|
|Let It Ride||+3.5%|
|Caribbean Stud Poker||+5.2%|
The best casino games – the ones with the lowest potential casino advantage – are the following games:
- Blackjack (with at least basic playing strategy)
- Craps (but only specific bets)
- Video Poker (full pay machines with expert strategy)
- Pai Gow Poker
- Table Poker (but very dependent upon the skill level of fellow players)
These are the casino games, which offer you the highest potential of maximizing your winnings or minimizing your losses, and should be a part of every player’s game plan.
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