With thirty or more games offered in online casinos, there are many choices of games to play. Which are the best online casino games to play to win real money?
You can play baccarat or the more familiar bingo. Blackjack is offered in both single and multi-deck varieties with a number of variations of rules for dealers and players. You can play Caribbean Stud. Or play the king of the casino table games, Craps.
Maybe you have enjoyed a few games of Keno in your favorite lounge in a land casino and would like to play this game online. Or how about Let it Ride. If you are a James Bond fan, perhaps roulette appeals to you. Does the lottery draw your interest? You can go for lotterylike jackpots by playing for jackpots in Internet slots machines. Do you follow sports?
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How to choose which game to learn? What are the best online casino games?
When I meet someone new and they hear that I’m dealing with gambling sites, the first or second question I get asked is which are the best online casino games. Mostly, I answer that I believe that the best online casino games are the ones that you love to play the most.
Of course, the new friend answers me, but if I want to win at the casino, which are the best online casino games where I can win real money?
The key to understanding gambling contests is understanding the expectation of winning each game. Let me propose a simple gambling contest. I will pay you $10 if you can pick an Ace out of a deck of 52 playing cards. I will only charge you a buck a try and after each draw, I will reshuffle the cards and let you try again.
Is this a fair contest for you? For a mere $1 wager I will offer you the chance to win $10. Come on, you wanna try it?
Let’s figure out just how fair this deal is for you. There are 52 cards in a deck (no Jokers in this game) and there are four Aces, so your chance or probability (probability is just the mathematician’s way of saying “chance”) of drawing an Ace is 4/52 or 1/13.
In gambling, we often express probability as the odds against something occurring. The odds against you picking an Ace are 48 to 4 or 12:1 against you picking an Ace with one draw out of a deck of 52 cards.
This obviously is not the best online casino games. How to find those best online casino games?
I am offering to pay you $10, or odds of 9:1 to pick an Ace. To be fair, I would have to pay you odds of 12:1. Since you will win only one time out of every 13 attempts, and it will cost you $1 for each bet, you will spend $13, on the average, to win $10.
My profit will average out to be $3 out of every 13 attempts or 23 percent. This is my edge in this particular game of chance. If I were a casino, my casino or house edge in this game would be 23%.
How long do you think you will last in a game like this? You might have a lucky streak and last quite a while, or you might bring a huge stack of dollar bills and continue to play for hours.
This is exactly how many persons gamble. But can you imagine how devastating it will be to your bankroll if the house wins 23 cents out of every dollar wagered?
In most casino games the house has an edge on every wager. The key to beating online casinos is to only play games with the lowest house edge. Which are the best online casino games with the lowest edge?
The table below gives you examples of some of your gambling options and what the house expects to keep from each dollar wagered. The amount the house keeps is often referred to by old-time gamblers as vig which is short for vigorish.
The house will take its vig on just about every wager you can make, yet it will win much more than the amount of the vig in a typical casino game.
I have shown the average house vig for blackjack as 1 percent. This is only an average.
Unskilled players relying heavily on hunches may give up as much as 10%, while players using correct basic playing strategy against single decks can play even with the house. So 1% is my compromise figure.
The vig you give to the house in blackjack may be greater or less than this amount depends on how well you play the game.
Since many casinos offer at least a $50 bonus when you make a deposit with them, the following table includes the bonus is showing the net return when you wager $1,000 in a given game.
The following table might help you to find out which are the best online casino games.
Expected Loss per $1,000 Wagered
Add $50 Bonus
Net Win $ (Loss + Bonus)
Let it Ride
While you are fighting the house vig of 3 percent, the house’s hold may run as high as 20 percent. Many gamblers confuse the casinos’ edge and the amount the casino is likely to win.
That is why so many gamblers are skeptical of house edges as low as two or three percent. They know that they have they lost much more than two or three percent of the money they risked in gambling; therefore, they assume that the house edge must either be understated or that the casinos are cheating them.
However, a casino with a house edge of 3 percent can easily have a hold rate of 20 percent or more. Most land-based casinos average hold rates of 20 percent or better at blackjack, even though some persons are skillful enough to beat the game.
The typical hold rate is always higher than the house edge because the gambler played the same money over and over until his loss rate becomes the hold rate percentage.
Assume you buy into a blackjack game for $200. If you only made exactly $200 in wagers and lost exactly 3 percent of them, losing a total of $6, the casino hold rate and house rate would be the same.
But do you play like this? Not likely. You convert your cash to chips and continue to play the same monies over and over. After an hour of play, you may have wagered a total of $1,000. If the casino won its average expectation of 3 percent, your loss would be $30.00, or 15% of your bankroll.
This multiplying effect is why the casino’s house edge is so critical. This is why we will only play the games with the lowest house edge in the online casinos.
Referring to the previous table, if we decide to only consider games with a vig of 3 percent or lower, we must limit our games to baccarat, blackjack, craps, European roulette or video poker.
While you are playing in a land-based casino, there are a number of reasons why you may prefer to play at a leisurely pace. You may enjoy the casino ambiance, the presence of other attractive patrons, the pleasure of slowly sipping a drink and absorbing all aspects of what can be a unique experience.
If you are playing on your home computer, I doubt if you will experience much ambiance. The online casinos like to make a great deal of their graphics and virtual experiences, but for me, the best experience of all is beating the casino as quickly as possible and then return to doing something else.
When you first play online, you may be somewhat enthralled with the online gaming experience, but after a few sessions, you will feel exactly like I do. You will want to put in your playing time, lock up a win and then go on to your next endeavor. That is why the speed with which online games can be played is so important.
Many online casinos offer you the chance to play with other persons in such games as blackjack and roulette. While you will never actually see the other players, you will see their wagers and their presence will slow the game down considerably. I never play with other players when I am playing for blood.
I don’t want any distractions from my prime purpose – relieving the Internet casino of some of its loot as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
Any of the games we have selected can be played quickly. However, if you choose blackjack as your game, you may be slowed down because the only way to play blackjack to win is to play basic strategy with no mistakes.
While you can easily refer to a strategy card while playing in your pajamas on your home PC, this will slow you down and may require more concentration until you have the basic playing strategy down cold.
For Internet play, I believe the best games to play are those offering wagers with approximately 50-50 odds of occurring. Games offering even-odds wagers are baccarat, craps, and roulette.
It is very important to only play against games with known expectations. The odds in Bingo can range from 0 to -25%; I used 10 percent in the table as an average. The house edge in Caribbean Stud ranges from 2.6% to 5.2%. Slot machines on the Internet are a great unknown.
The house edge can vary from -2% to as high as 25%. Sport wagering is dependent upon the skill of the player and the average bettor will face a house edge as great as 10%. The odds in video poker vary dependent on the version of the game played and the player’s skill level.
The only games with low enough house vig, where you can make evenmoney wagers with mathematically fixed expectations, are blackjack, baccarat, craps, and roulette.
Ease of learning a game is also an important criteria. With a game like online baccarat, you will only have two choices to make for each wager. You will either wager a predetermined amount on the Banker hand or the Player hand.
If you chose to play roulette, you chose to wager on either Red or Black. With online craps, your choices will be between betting Pass Line or Don’t Pass. Don’t worry if you don’t understand these bets right now. I will cover them thoroughly.
My point here is that in each of these cases you will be able to learn how to make the correct bets very easily as you will only have one set of choices facing you each time you make a wager.
It is critical that the games you chose to play on the Internet can be beaten without playing too long. Any time you are playing against a negative-expectation game you will reduce your risk when you reduce the number of wagers you will make.
Of course, by playing against online casinos offering bonuses, we will be playing in positive expectation games so long as we don’t overstay our welcome. I have developed excellent betting and money management systems for the even-money wagers in baccarat, craps and roulette.
In addition, we have developed some excellent online blackjack strategies. See Tushpetan for a list of proven online gambling strategies for these games.
By using these systems, you will be able to maximize your returns from Internet gaming while keeping the number of wagers required to do so to a minimum.
Another important factor to consider is variance. I won’t get into the statistical concept of variance, I just want to focus on the simple concept of how much your bankroll may vary up and down while playing a game.
In general, bets made exclusively on even-money wagers will cause less variance in your bankroll than bets made on wagers offering higher payoffs.
There is yet another potential problem with games offering many wagers with higher than even-money payoffs.
Consider video poker for instance. For so-called “full pay” Jacks or Better video poker, the house edge is only one-half of one percent with correct play. This looks like a great game until you analysis just where the payoffs are coming from to give the player an expectation of winning about 99.5% of the time.
The following table shows the payoff schedule for full pay Jacks or Better. Video poker experts usually refer to this version of Jacks or Better as 9-6 Jacks or Better, referring to the payoffs of 9 to 1 for a Full House and 6 to 1 for a Flush.
Look at the information given for a Royal Flush hand in the table. The payoff is 800 to 1 for each coin inserted. With Internet play, instead of coins, you would use virtual currency. If you made a $5 wager and hit a Royal Flush, your payback would be 800 x $5 = $4,000.
While this may sound tempting, look at the expected frequency of hitting a Royal Flush, shown in the third column. A Royal Flush hand will show, on the average, once every 40,390 hands.
The frequency of this hand is 0.00248%, yet this hand accounts for almost 2 percent of the total expectation (a value of 1.98 is shown in the table).
Payoff in Coins
4 of a Kind
Three of a Kind
Jacks or Better
Are Video Poker machines the best online casino games?
If we look at the top four hands, consisting of a Royal Flush, a Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, and a Full House, and add up their payback percentages, we see that these hands alone account for 18.80% of the total payback.
During a short session of play, it is very possible not to hit any of these hands. If we deduct 18.80% of the total expected payback of 99.56, we are left with a payback of only 80.76%.
It is very possible to play a short session and never hit any of these hands. The net result will be a reduction in your payback percentage of almost 19%.
We also note that a Royal Flush accounts for almost 2 percent of the total payback, yet occurs on the average of once every 40,390 hands. If we eliminate the possibility of receiving a Royal Flush, the house edge jumps to almost 2.5%. If the player makes any mistakes in his play, this percentage will easily drop below 3%.
You can see why I don’t recommend playing video poker on the Internet. Even taking one of the most favorable versions of video poker around, we can see that it is not possible to play this game with the expectation of consistent results.
Video poker has large variances in the paybacks and for this reason, is just not suitable for short-term play in the Online Casinos.
Even though video poker has low enough house vig, it suffers from distinct disadvantages for short-term consistent play in virtual casinos. In addition, video poker requires a high level of skill to achieve the theoretical payback levels.
Mistakes in play, which can occur very frequently, make these games poorer choices for Internet play.
Playing Video poker produces greater swings in our bankrolls because the bets and paybacks are more volatile. With video poker, a large amount of the payback is dependent on hitting several long-shot bets.
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