Of all the ways to lose money in life, gambling is probably the most enjoyable (at least up to a certain point).
When you walk through the doors of a casino, you do so knowing your net worth is probably going to be lower by the time you emerge back into the blinding sunlight, but at least you can get a few free drinks for your troubles.
However, if you want to maximize the number of watered down adult beverages you receive while gambling, it’s important to know which games to play in order to ensure you don’t burn through your funds any quicker than necessary.
In order to do that, you need the answer to one simple question: Which casino games have the best odds?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Games of Chance vs. Games of Skill
Casino games are a lot like cryptocurrencies: you have plenty of options when it comes to taking a risk with your money but there are certain ways to gain an edge if you actually know what you’re doing.
If you don’t want to rely on a computer algorithm, a rolling ball, or a random person tumbling dice, there are a few other places where you might feel right at home.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to assume you aren’t Rain Man or someone who enjoys the adrenaline rush that comes with knowing you could be hauled into a backroom at any minute if you get caught counting cards.
If either of those labels apply to you, then I doubt you need much advice in the first place.
Which Games Have The Worst Odds?
Before we address the best casino games to win money we should also examine the ones that rip you off the most.
Odds can vary from casino to casino and many of them actually have guides that can tell you which games will give you the best return on your investment. However, they’re a bit less likely to advertise which games are designed to screw you over more than others.
I’m more than happy to take on that burden.
I know it can be tough to resist the urge of the flashing lights and the alluring gaze of Carrie Bradshaw radiating from The Sex and the City slot machine but you’re doing yourself a severe disservice if you don’t have the self-control required to not sit down.
Slot machines are great because you can sit there for hours on end while establishing a camaraderie with the person bringing you drinks, which the casino is more than happy to provide you with because you’re basically printing money for them.
Odds vary from machine to machine, but one analysis says the house edge can be upwards of 15%. That number will shrink as you play machines with larger betting amounts, but if you’re a penny slots diehard, you might want to rethink your fandom.
2. The Wheel Of Fortune
There’s a pretty small chance you’re ever going to find yourself standing next to Pat Sajak on a set in Los Angeles, so for most people, this game is the closest they’ll ever get to actually playing Wheel of Fortune.
However, unlike actual Wheel of Fortune contestants, you don’t get to walk away with a food dehydrator or a new set of flatware if you lose— and there’s a very good chance you’re going to.
If you’re brave enough to bet on higher amounts, you should do so knowing the casino has up to a 25% house edge. You’ll honestly probably have better luck if you just audition for the show.
I’m not sure why anyone would play Keno at a casino when you can just go to a sketchy bar or a bowling alley— not to mention that it’s just an objectively boring (and entirely random) game.
You can spice things up a bit if you want to play glorified bingo surrounded by AARP members instead of staring at a screen but you’re not doing yourself any favors either way. Opting for the former comes with a house advantage of up to 16% but that number can balloon to 30% when it comes to the virtual version.
Thankfully, there are more than a few other games you can hit up for the best odds in the casino.
Which Casino Games Have The Best Odds?
When you consider roulette gives players the chance to basically bet on a coin flip, you’d think it would be one of the best games on the casino floor.
However, the inclusion of the green 0 and 00 actually gives the house a bigger advantage than you’d think. Unlike some other games, the odds never change, which means a casino will statistically have a 5.26% house edge.
There are a variety of different betting strategies that can theoretically increase your odds but there’s still a very good chance you’ll end up losing money in the long run even if you use them.
There are a million different ways to bet on craps but if you’re new to the game you’re probably just going to want to bet on the Pass Line and yell “Seven!” a lot.
If you choose to adopt that strategy then the casino is looking at a house edge of 1.41%. Sadly, there’s no solid data on whether or not blowing on the dice before a roll impacts that number.
You may not have perfected the art of card counting at MIT but blackjack is still one of the best bets you can make at a casino.
Even if you’ve never played a single game of blackjack in your life you still have a pretty good chance of coming away with a winning hand as long as you know how to do simple addition.
If you did, in fact, go to elementary school, the house only has a .5% edge whenever the cards are dealt.
1. Video Poker
Sure, video poker might not be as exciting as facing off against a guy rocking sunglasses inside with a pair of Beats over a pulled-up hoodie, but at least you don’t have to deal with the blow to your psyche if you end up losing to him.
If you can track down a Jacks or Better machine, you’re in a position to rake in more money than anywhere else in the casino.
Technically speaking, an inexperienced video poker player has the same shot at winning as a blackjack player does but there are a number of proven strategies that (if applied correctly) result in the house only having an advantage of .46%.
However, an expert at Deuces or Wild can theoretically gain a .7% edge on the casino, so if you happen to have some time on your hands, you might want to start studying up.