Hi and welcome to our series of educational videos that are designed to make you a smarter gambler. My name is Steve Bourie and I’m the author of the American casino guide, which is the number one bestselling book in the US on the subject of casino gambling and travel and the only book that comes with more than one thousand dollars in casino coupons, including free Rooms, free food free shows, free gambling money and much more. If you want to know more about casino games, be sure to visit website https://www.casinoslots.co.nz/avalon, we’ll be hearing from nationally-syndicated gaming writer, John Grochowski will be giving us his list of the five best bets you can find in a casino. Besides his gaming column, john also has written five books about casino gambling, including the very popular slot machine answer.
Book john has appeared on three Travel Channel specials about casino gambling and he also writes monthly articles for several gaming related magazines, one of them https://www.casinoslots.co.nz/avalon. Now, before we start, I need to explain that john will only be talking about games that can be found on the main casino floor. That means he’s not including sports betting or race betting, where it’s possible for a good enough handicapper to get an edge and he’s also not including live poker where you can have an edge if you’re the best at the table. But your edge is dependent on the skill of the other players. So with that in mind, here’s john Grochowski, with his list of the five best bets you can find in a casino
Number Five on our list.
Best casino games is a game. I often called the best, no brainer bet the casino and that’s baccarat. Baccarat takes no skill to play whatsoever. It is a simple guessing game. You are betting, on which hand you think, will wind up closer to a total of nine the player hand or the banker hand, don’t be fooled by the name. So you don’t get your own hand.
There are just two hands that are dealt. One is designated player. One is designated banker. If you bet on banker and you win, you pay the house, a commission of 5 percent, which is where the house gets its edge on the banker. Bet Banker bet wins more ofthen than the player bet. If there was no commission, then you would have a edge and the casino’s not going to do that.
However, as it is, the house edge is very small on that bet. It’S only 1.06 percent for a bet that has no strategy. You don’t have to learn anything. The cards are dealt according to a formula that is a very, very good bet.
On the flip side. Of that, the player bet is also a very, very good bet. It is a 1.24 percent house edge Again a low house edge. It takes no skill whatsoever to make it this guessing.
Game is a good one for players. It is why this game is a very popular game with high rollers. If you look in the high limit rooms at many casinos, you’ll find a big baccarat player, and that is where a lot of the big money in casinos is actually wagered.
Number four: on our list of good casino games.
The best casino games on the main casino floor is video poker. Now, there’s a lot of variability in video poker. Video poker has some great games that are some the best games, the casino games on which it is possible for an expert player to get an edge, a good edge, deuces wild in its full pay version. But these days you see them in local places in Nevada and really not much of anywhere else. Full pay, deuces wild with expert play returns to the player 100.8 percent.
The player has an eight tenths of a percent edge on the game. It’S a great great bet. We have a game called 10/7/5 double bonus, poker and the 10 refers to a 10 for 1 payoff on a full house. The others refer to the payoffs on flushes and straights. That is a 100.17 percent game with expert play. If all video poker games were like that, if they all had theoretical percentages over a hundred percent, video poker would rank a lot higher on the list.
However, in many jurisdictions you don’t find the 100 percent games at all and even in Nevada they’re becoming increasingly rare, especially on the Las Vegas Strip. We just don’t see those games anymore, like we once did. It takes some study. It takes some work. Training.
Software is essential if you’re going to learn to play video poker at that level, but for an average player. One thing you do wan na watch out for are the payoffs on full houses and flushes Every unit that a full house or flush is taken down, because that’s where casinos change the pay tables in order to decrease the payback percentages. Each unit that those are taken down cost you about 1.1 percent, so we have a game, that’s called 9/6 jacks or better, and it doesn’t say that on the machine it just says jacks or better on a machine. You have to look at the pay table to see that full houses are paying 9 for one fulshes are for six for one. That’S why players call it 9/6, jacks or better, with expert play that pays players 99 and a half-percent If, as is fairly common, that 9/6 was taken down to 8/5 8 for 1 on full houses 5 for 1 on flushes we’re losing 2.2 percent of our payback 1.1 percent on each of those hands, which takes the overall payback percentage with expert play to 97.3 percent, so watch out for those games, look around the casino and choose the best version of the game.
That’S available in that casino. Now I mention that some video poker games can pay over 100 percent. If you play at an expert level, there are some that pay ninety-five percent ninety-four percent even lower. Even if you play at an expert level and with those games, the expert play is not to play them, but you do have to watch those pay tables making sure that you get the best version of the game is available to you.
Third, on our list of the five best casino bets are the good bets at craps.
Now craps has good bets and bad bets, and a lot in between you have to understand what you’re getting into when you make a craps bet. There are all kinds of different house edges on the different bets in craps.
Two of the good ones are pass and come and their opposites don’t pass and don’t come, which, if you leave them alone and just make those bets, the house edge is 1.41 percent on pass or come and 1.36 percent on don’t pass or don’t come Now. One of the big advantages in craps at making those pass and come bets are the ability to back the bets with what are called free odds. You can once a point is established once the shooter has established a point number. You can back your original pass bet with a free odds, wager and that wager is paid at true odds.
For example, if you have five dollars on the pass line, shooter rolls a 6 that becomes your point number now. You can back that with free odds. Let’S just use single odds as an example: now you back it with an amount, that’s equal to your wager and then, if the shooter then rolls another six before rolling a 7, you win both your pass bet and the free odds bet your pass bet your five-dollar Pass bet wins five dollars, your five-dollar free odds bet win six dollars because the odds of winning that wager are 6-5 against you.
So the combination has a lower house edge than the 1.41 percent. We talked about as a house edge on pass and come with single odds: betting that equal amount. It drops to 0.8 percent casinos that allow double odds. It drops to 0.6 percent and it keeps dropping.
We see some casinos today that offer 100 times odds. If you have a five dollar pass bet, you can back that with five hundred dollars in odds a hundred times the amount of your bet and that drops the house edge all the way down to two hundredths of a percent. Now some people will say: well, that’s a better bet than blackjack for a basic strategy player and it is if you’re sufficiently bankrolled, and you know how to use the odds and you can afford to bet five hundred and five dollars at once. Okay, there is that, however, for an average player, work were talking more of a house edge that gets under one percent, but not all the way down into the hundredths of a percent There’s another bet in craps that deserves to be on this list. We’Re kinda running a combination here.
This would be a little lower on the list if we took it by itself, but this is a place bet on six or a place bet on 8 House edge on this is 1.52 percent. So it’s a very good bet, not quite as good as the best bet in craps, but still one of the better bets in the casino One thing to watch out for with those place bets on six and 8 in craps. Is that you bet in multiples of six dollars, because that wager pays you at 7-6 odds? True odds are 6-5.
This gives you 7-6. That’S the 1.52 percent house edge. Is the difference these?
If you don’t bet in a multiple of six dollars, if you bet five dollars instead, the house is only going to give you five dollars. You don’t get that 7-6 payoff, so you want to be sure to bet in multiples of six dollars. One last thing to mention before we leave craps is that for the select few who practice a method of dice control, it is possible to get an edge on the game. I know people who do it.
The people who do it are not trying to hit number specific numbers and every time the main thing is to depress the number sevens it’s difficult. It is a physical skill that has to be practiced and practiced and practiced. We’Re not going to dwell on this. A great deal, but if everybody could do this, then this would be our number one bet, but it’s something that very few people can actually do.
Our number two game on our list of good casino bets is blackjack for a basic strategy player.
Basic strategy has been with us since the 1950s, when it was devised by an early computerized team, a team from the US army, mathematicians and blacjack basic strategy has been refined over the years. You can find charts anywhere nowadays that will tell you what your best play is. It will specify every possible combination of your cards and the dealers face-up card and tell you, for example, that if you have a 16 and the dealer has a 7 face up, your best play is to hit. Now, if you take all that into account memorize the chart practice, the game learn your basic strategy and play with that method.
You cut the house edge in a six deck game, with average rules down to about half a percent, or so That means in the long run. You expect to lose about 50 cents out of every hundred dollars. You wager Sometimes you’re going to win, sometimes you’re going to lose, but in the long run, you’re going to lose about 50 cents per hundred dollars. Wagered Blackjack has a mix and match set of rules, and not all games are created equal even for a basic strategy player, A single deck game, if all other rules are equal, is a better game for the player than a double deck game. In fact, in the when I first started coming to Las Vegas in the 1980s, we used to be able to get single deck games in which the dealer stood on all 17s, and it was a game that was an even game.
If you learned your basic strategy, it wasn’t a half percent house edge, it was an even game. We don’t really see that much anymore and certainly not on the Las Vegas Strip. Other games, if it’s eight decks, that increases the house edge a little bit. There are things like: does the dealer stand on all seventeens? Does the dealer hits soft 17 an ace and a six, for instance, or ace 2 4?
It is better for the player if the dealer stands on all 17s and that makes a difference of almost two tenths of a percent in the house edge. So there’s all these mix and match sets of rules that an informed player learns along with basic strategy. But we certainly can say that a player who learns basic strategy is much better off than an average player who doesn’t by quite a bit, and we talked about a half percent or so edge in a six deck game. An average player who does not know basic strategy faces a house edge of more like two to two and a half percent, so insteas of that fifty cents per hundred dollars, wagered they’re losing two to two and a half dollars per hundred dollars wagered, and that makes A difference, that’s why we have blackjack for basic strategy here on our top five list and we do not have blackjack for an average player And number one on our list of the best bets in the casino is blackjack for a card counter Now blackjack for a Card counter is a game where it’s possible for the player to get an edge on the house, it’s possible to make money at this game and the reason it works. The reason card counting works is because you are raising and lower your bets as the proportion of high cars to low cards from the deck changes.
When there’s a greater proportion of high cards remaining to be played in the deck. That means that there will be more blackjacks, more Blackjacks favor the player, because the player is getting paid three to two on his blackjacks. Unless he’s playing an awful 6-5 game that he shouldn’t be playing and the dealer does not get paid 3-2 on Blackjacks. Also, when there’s a greater proportion of high cards, your double downs will play truer. If you have about six and five for a total of eleven and there’s a greater proportion of high cards remaining to be played, you will get that 10 to complete your 21.
More often, so that’s why card counting works. You raise your bets when the proportion of high cards remaining in the deck is high and you lower your bets when the proportion of low cards remaining in the deck is high Low cards favor the dealer. If you want to know more about me, you can look on my website casinoanswerman.com. I write a weekly column that goes out to newspapers and web sites.
One place you can find that is called casino city times. I write for number of magazines, including casino player, Midwest Gaming and Travel casino journal, slot manager strictly slots and I’ve written six books on gaming, including the casino answer book, the slot machine answer book and the video poker answer book.