Introduction of casino games.

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This guide is for casino players who would like to learn about the most popular games available at online casinos that are listed here. It is an introductory guide that will explain how to play the 7 most common games and the bets available in addition to the margin taken by the casino for each. The book I will be releasing will go into more detail and clearly outline the strategies that will allow you to win at both online and land-based casinos. Without further ado, let's move on to the presentation of the 7 main games that are almost always present in online casinos, namely:

- Slot machines.

- Video poker machines.

- Blackjack.

- Roulette.

- Baccarat.

- Craps.

- Scratchcards. 

        Slot machines.

Slot machines are undoubtedly the best-known and most popular game in casinos. It is an easy game, quite entertaining, and requires very little effort unlike other games that will be mentioned later. There are several types of slot machines:

- 3-reel, 1-payline slots.

- 5-reel, 1-payline slot machines.

- Cluster slots (clusters replace paylines).

- Progressive slots.

- Multiplier slots.

- Buy a pays slots.

- Multi-payline slots.

 

Progressive slot machines are very interesting from a financial point of view compared to other machines thanks to the jackpot associated with them. This is because they have a progressive jackpot that grows every time someone plays and doesn't win it, making the game more and more interesting over time for the next players.

Multiplier slots are broken down into two types : Slots that are associated with a multiplier of 2 per unit and machines that are associated with a multiplier greater than 2 per unit on certain events only, usually the least likely for the highest possible denomination.

Let's take a numerical example: 

Here is an example of a paytable for a multiplier slot machine associated with a multiplier of 2 :

Bet
Symbol 1
Symbol 2
Symbol 3
Symbol 4
Symbol 5
3
6
18
60
150
3000
2
4
12
40
100
2000
1
2
6
20
50
1000

Here is an example of a paytable for a slot machine that would not always have a multiplier of 2 :  

Bet
Symbol 1
Symbol 2
Symbol 3
Symbol 4
Symbol 5
3
6
18
60
150
5000
2
4
12
40
100
2000
1
2
6
20
50
1000

There is a difference in the payout when you bet 3 units and the 5 symbol appears. On the * 2 multiplier slot the profit is 3000 times the stake, while on the other slot the profit is 5000 times the stake. The second machine is therefore preferable to the first in every case. Whether you should bet 3 units each time is still a matter of debate and depends on several factors. As with progressive slots, I will give a clear and detailed answer to this question in my forthcoming book. 

Buy a pays slots are machines where you can bet several extra units in order to unlock other symbols that usually pay better than the ones available at the start. Sometimes it is worth betting more to unlock them and sometimes not. Several examples will be highlighted in my book to address this issue.

Finally, multi-payline slots are quite popular today. On these machines, you have several winning lines which can take different forms such as straight lines, zigzag lines...

On this type of machine, you can choose the number of lines you want to bet on and the amount allocated to each line. This has an impact on the volatility of the game which increases as you increase the bets and reduce the number of lines played.      

These are the different types of slot machines found in online casinos today. Each of these machines is associated with an RTP which is the average amount returned to players as a percentage per unit and a volatility indicator which represents the risk. For example, an RTP of 96% means that for every 100€ played you will on average be able to get back 96% of 100€ or 96€ once the game is over. Volatility represents the fluctuations around this average, the higher the volatility the more likely you are to lose everything or hit the jackpot. It is possible to win playing slots, the key will be in my book. For players who have not yet figured it out, it is always better to play slots and hope to get lucky than to buy a good or service that cannot be resold in the future, which will cause you to lose all your money. As far as slot machines are concerned, even if you don't play in the best way, you still offer yourself the possibility of getting lucky and therefore winning money.     

     Video poker.

Unlike slot machines, video poker is a game that requires some skill. It is a game based on the rules of poker (5 card draw) where you are dealt a starting hand before being offered to either stay or exchange one or more cards to make the best possible hand. The better your hand, the more money you win. If your hand is not good enough, you lose your bet. All of this is shown in the paytable, which differs from game to game and also from game to game, as you will sometimes see different paytables on games with similar rules. Video poker is a game that requires you to memorize the perfect strategy every time if you want to maximize the RTP of the game. The perfect strategy also differs between rules and pay tables, so it takes time to be competitive on all the variants offered at the casinos. You can find all the paytable rules and their associated final RTP for each variant in my forthcoming book. Be aware that it is possible to find games with an RTP of over 100%, or to find games with an RTP of slightly under 100%, which will allow you to make a profit at the end if you combine these games with promotions. All of these elements make video poker one of the best choices when you walk into a casino if you know the perfect strategy for the machine you are playing on. If you prefer to play without a strategy, slot machines may be a better choice.    

      Blackjack.

Blackjack, a game considered by many to be the most interesting game after poker for players who wish to win money in casinos, is indeed, like video poker, a game associated with a fairly high RTP. When playing without counting cards, if you play the right way, you can expect a 99.5% RTP on blackjack tables that offer decent rules for the players. Players who have learned to count cards using a proven system can achieve an RTP of just over 100%, which ensures long-term winnings, however, casinos do not like this and have the right to prohibit you from entering their establishment. For those of you who are interested in card counting, I will be writing a book in the future that will give you the solution to this issue. Without mentioning this practice, to have an RTP that is as close to 100% as possible you need to know the basic strategies that may differ depending on the rules of the table you are playing at. These strategies are easy to find on the internet, but make sure you know the specific rules of the blackjack table you want to play at.

For people who don't know how to play, the rules are quite simple: 

- First you bet without knowing your hand, respecting the minimum and maximum limits imposed by the casino.

- You are then dealt two cards face up (cards numbered 1-10 are worth their face value, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 10 and Aces are worth 1 or 11 depending on what is in your favour).

- The dealer reveals a card face up that will make up his hand. If it is an ace, you will be offered an insurance bet that will win you twice your bet if the dealer has a blackjack in his hand (i.e. if he draws a 10, Jack, Queen or King in addition to his ace). However, this bet is not interesting if you don't count cards because it has a very low RTP. 

- Once the dealer's first card is revealed, you must make a choice. You can either not draw and hope that your hand is higher than the dealer's or hope that he goes over 21 which would make you win the hand, or draw an extra card, or split a pair into two hands (adding the same bet on the second hand), double down on your hand to draw one more card (in some casinos you can only double down on 9s, 10s and 11s, in other casinos you can double down on any card), or surrender (this rule is not available in all casinos).  

- Once you have finished, i.e. you no longer draw or have passed 21 (lost), it is the dealer's turn to play his hand. The dealer has only two options, either he stays or draws another card. Usually the dealer draws a 16 and stays on a 17. Sometimes you will see dealers draw on a soft 17 which is equivalent to a 17 containing an ace. If you have not gone over 21 and the dealer goes over 21 you win the equivalent of your bet (odds of 2 or 1 to 1), if you have gone over 21 before, you have lost your bet, if no one has gone over 21 you have to compare the hands : You lose your bet if you have less points than the dealer, you win and are paid on odds of 2 if you have more points than the dealer or you are refunded if you have the same number of points as the dealer

- Note that if you have blackjack at the beginning of a hand and the dealer does not have blackjack, you win and are paid at 3-to-2, 6-to-5 or 1-to-1 depending on the rules of the casino (usually you will find and have to play at tables that offer 3-to-2 paid blackjack). If the dealer also has a blackjack you get your money back. These are the general rules for blackjack, you should also pay attention to the rules of the casino you are playing at, some are advantageous and some are not. Here is the list :  

Rule
Effect
Blackjack pays 1 to 1
-2.27%
Blackjack pays 6 to 5
-1.39%
Blackjack pays 7 to 5
-0.45%
Dealer hits on soft 17
-0.22%
Player may double on 10-11 only
-0.18%
Player may not double after splitting
-0.14%
European no hole card
-0.11%
Split to only 2 hands
-0.10%
Player may double on 9-11 only
-0.09%
Split to only 3 hands
-0.01%
Six deck
0.02%
Five decks
0.03%
Four decks
0.06%
Late surrender
0.08%
Player may resplit aces
0.08%
Six-card Charlie
0.16%
Player may draw to split aces
0.19%
Double deck
0.19%
Double down allowed on any cards
0.23%
Early surrender against ten
0.24%
Single deck
0.48%

To conclude, blackjack is a very interesting game for players who prefer to play from a strategy rather than from pure luck. Like video poker the RTP offered can be quite high on certain occasions. More details will be given in my book when it will be published. 

  Roulette.

Roulette is an extremely popular game of luck found in most land-based and online casinos. There are several types of roulette, the two main ones being American roulette which has a '00' bet in addition to the 37 numbers (0 to 36) and outside bets which will be explained later, and European roulette which is the equivalent of American roulette without the '00' bet which does not exist in this version. The house edge is 5.26% on American roulette and 2.7% on European roulette which makes this version more interesting. The rules are very simple, you have the opportunity to bet on a number of events upfront. Then the dealer spins the roulette wheel to determine the outcome and pay out winning bets and collect losing bets. The flow of the game is always the same and this process is repeated each time. Let's take a look at the bets available on these two types of roulette, as well as the probability of occurrence of each, the payout table, and the house edge on each bet.  

Here is an American Roulette table :

American-Roulette 11111.png

You can already notice the "00" bet which is present on this version but which is not present on a European roulette table. Therefore an extra bet is added and represented by the black circle. By placing a chip in the same spot you are betting on "0", "00", "1", "2", and "3" at the same time. All other bets can be made on both European and American roulette. You can either bet on a single number (yellow circle), two numbers at the same time (e.g. 5 and 8 by placing a chip in the grey circle), three numbers at the same time (e.g. 10, 11 and 12 by placing a chip in the brown circle), four numbers at the same time (e.g. 19, 20, 22, and 23 by placing a chip in the pink circle), 6 numbers at the same time (e.g. 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36 by putting a chip in place of the blue circle), one third of the cylinder ( so called " 1st 12 ", " 2nd 12 ", " 3rd 12 "), one column (one of the three " 2-1 " spaces), the first eighteen numbers (so called "1-18"), the numbers from 19 to 36 (so called "19-36"), the even numbers (so called "even"), the odd numbers (so called "odd"), the red numbers (so called "red") or the black numbers (so called "black"). Here is a table showing for each of these bets, the paytable, the probability of occurrence, the house edge and the volatility in the case of American roulette :  

Bet
Probability of winning
Payout
House edge
Standard deviation
1 number
2.63%
35 to 1
5.26%
5.76
2 numbers
5.26%
17 to 1
5.26%
4.02
3 numbers
7.89%
11 to 1
5.26%
3.24
4 numbers
10.53%
8 to 1
5.26%
2.76
5 numbers
13.16%
6 to 1
7.89%
2.37
6 numbers
15.79%
5 to 1
5.26%
2.19
Column
31.58%
2 to 1
5.26%
1.39
25 to 36
31.58%
2 to 1
5.26%
1.39
13 to 24
31.58%
2 to 1
5.26%
1.39
1 to 12
31.58%
2 to 1
5.26%
1.39
19 to 36
47.37%
1 to 1
5.26%
1
1 to 18
47.37%
1 to 1
5.26%
1
Even
47.37%
1 to 1
5.26%
1
Odd
47.37%
1 to 1
5.26%
1
Black
47.37%
1 to 1
5.26%
1
Red
47.37%
1 to 1
5.26%
1

It can be seen that all bets are equal except for the bet on the first 5 numbers which is the least interesting from a financial point of view. Here is a European roulette table, a more interesting game in terms of RTP : 

1200px-European_roulette.svg.png

The only difference with American roulette is the absence of the "00" bet, which ultimately reduces the house edge. Let's present the table of an American roulette :  

Bet
Probability of winning
Payout
House edge
Standard deviation
1 number
2.7%
35 to 1
2.7%
5.84
2 numbers
5.41%
17 to 1
2.7%
4.07
3 numbers
8.11%
11 to 1
2.7%
3.28
4 numbers
10.81%
8 to 1
2.7%
2.79
6 numbers
16.22%
5 to 1
2.7%
2.21
Column
32.43%
2 to 1
2.7%
1.4
25 to 36
32.43%
2 to 1
2.7%
1.4
13 to 24
32.43%
2 to 1
2.7%
1.4
1 to 12
32.43%
2 to 1
2.7%
1.4
19 to 36
48.65%
1 to 1
2.7%
1
1 to 18
48.65%
1 to 1
2.7%
1
Even
48.65%
1 to 1
2.7%
1
Odd
48.65%
1 to 1
2.7%
1
Black
48.65%
1 to 1
2.7%
1
Red
48.65%
1 to 1
2.7%
1

It is important to note here that all bets are associated with an equivalent RTP which means that you can bet on any event without seeing any difference in the long run. You will only see a higher volatility if you play the single numbers rather than the 1 to 1 paid bets for example. 

   Baccarat.

Baccarat is one of the most popular games for beginner players because of the simplicity of the rules and the relatively good RPT compared to other casino games. The rules are simple, you have to bet up front on one of the three bets offered by the game namely "player", "banker", or "tie" (sometimes there are other bets but generally you will only see these last three). The dealer then constructs two hands (Banker and Player) according to the current draw rules (two cards each before a possible third card) and comparable through the following scoring system : Cards numbered 2 to 9 have a value corresponding to their number, aces are worth 1 and cards 10, jacks, queens and kings are worth 0. The cards of the same hand are added together and only the number of units is used, i.e. if a hand is made up of an 8 and a 7 for a total of 15, the hand is worth 5 in reality. If you bet on the "Player" hand and the number of points associated with the "Player" hand is higher than the number of points associated with the "Banker" hand, you win your bet (refunded if the two hands are equal and lose if the "Banker" total is higher). Conversely, if you bet on the "Banker" hand and the number of points associated with the "Banker" hand is higher than the number of points associated with the "Player" hand, you win (you are refunded if the two hands are tied and lose if the "Player" total is higher). For the "tie" bet you win if the two hands are equal and lose if they are not. You don't need to know the drawing rules because the casino takes care of them. However, if you still want to know them, here they are : 

- First and foremost, if either hand is associated with a score of 8 or 9, no further draws are made and the better hand wins.

- If this is not the case the player hand stays on a total of 6 or 7 and draws a third card if the total is 5 or less.

- If the player stays on a 6 or 7, the banker stays on a total of 6 or 7 and draws a third card with a total of 5 or less.

- If the player draws a third card, the table below shows whether the banker draws or stays based on the player's third card on the x-axis and the banker's total on the y-axis. "D' means to draw, and 'S' means to stay.   

Banker's total
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
0
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
1
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
2
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
3
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
S
D
4
S
S
D
D
D
D
D
D
S
S
5
S
S
S
S
D
D
D
D
S
S
6
S
S
S
S
S
S
D
D
S
S
7
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S

Here is a table showing the three main baccarat bets in terms of probability of occurrence, payout, RTP and volatility for 8 decks : 

Bet
Probability of winning
Payout
House edge
Standard deviation
Banker
0.046
0.95
1.06
0.93
Player
0.045
1
1.24
0.95
Tie
0.09
8
14.36
2.64

Here is the table for 6 decks :

Bet
Probability of winning
Payout
House edge
Standard deviation
Banker
0.46
0.95
1.06
0.93
Player
0.45
1
1.24
0.95
Tie
0.09
8
14.44
2.64

Here is the table for 1 deck :

Bet
Probability of winning
Payout
House edge
Standard deviation
Banker
0.46
0.95
1.01
0.93
Player
0.45
1
1.29
0.95
Tie
0.09
8
15.75
2.62

It can be seen that the banker's bet is slightly more interesting, therefore it is better to bet on this outcome in order to maximise your results in the long run.

Craps.

Craps is one of the most complicated casino games and have a lot of bets available to the players. It is a game played with two dice that are rolled in turn by the players at the table. The shooter wins on the first roll if a 7 or 11 comes up, and loses if a 2, 3, or 12 comes up. If another number comes up, that number becomes the point and the player wins if that number comes up before the number 7. From this point on, there are different bets :

- Pass bet: You win if the shooter wins.

- Don't pass bet: You lose if the shooter wins.

- The come bet: This bet is the same as the pass bet except that it can only be placed once a point has been established. 

- Don't come bet: This is the equivalent of the come bet but for the don't pass bet. 

- Place bets: You bet on a number on the table and win if it appears before 7. You can bet on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10.

- Don't place bets: This is the opposite of place bets, you win your bet if a 7 comes up before the chosen number (4,5,6,8,9 and 10).

- Buy bets: This bet is the same as place bets except that you are paid with the real odds. To compensate, the casino charges a 5% commission on the winning bets or on the total bet according to the rules in force.

- Lay bets: Same logic as buy bets for don't place bets.

- Field bet: You bet on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12 according to the paytable offered by the casino (see my table below). You win your bet if one of these numbers comes up and lose if it does not.

- Big 6 and Big 8: These bets are the equivalent of a place bet on 6 or 8 but pay less. This bet should be avoided if you are playing for an optimal strategy.

- Bet 7: You bet on the appearance of a 7.

- Hard 4, hard 6, hard 8 and hard 10: You bet on the appearance of one of these hard numbers before a 7 or the same number in an easy way. For example, a hard 10 equals two dice of 5, and an easy 10 equals dice of 6 and 4 or 4 and 6 respectively.

- 2, 3, 11, or 12 Bet: You bet on the appearance of one of these numbers on the next roll.

- Any Craps Bet: Bet on the appearance of a 2, 3 or 12 on the next roll.

- Free Odds Bets: These bets are the equivalent of a buy bet or lay bet but without the commissions, which makes them the most interesting bets when offered at a craps table.         

Let's analyze all these bets in terms of odds, payout, RTP and volatility. : 

Bet
Probability of winning
Payout
House edge
Standard deviation
Laying free odds 4 and 10
66.67%
0.5
0
0.71
Laying free odds 5 and 9
60%
0.667
0
0.82
Laying free odds 6 and 8
54.55%
0.83
0
0.913
Taking free odds 4 and 10
33.33%
2
0
1.41
Taking free odds 5 and 9
40%
1.5
0
1.22
Taking free odds 6 and 8
45.45%
1.2
0
1.095
Any craps
11.11%
7
11.11%
2.51
12
2.78%
30
13.89%
5.09
2
2.78%
30
13.89%
5.09
3
5.56%
15
11.11%
3.66
11
5.56%
15
11.11%
3.66
Hard 10
11.11%
7
6.33%
2.51
Hard 8
9.1%
9
9.1%
2.87
Hard 6
9.1%
9
9.1%
2.87
Hard 4
11.11%
7
6.33%
2.51
7
16.67%
4
16.67%
1.86
Big 8
45.45%
1
9.09%
0.996
Big 6
45.45%
1
9.09%
0.996
Field bet 2 and 3 to 1
44.44%
3 for the 12, 2 for the 2, 1 otherwise
2.78%
1.14
Field bet 2 to 1
44.44%
2 for the 2 or the 12, 1 otherwise
5.56%
1.079
Lay 4 and 10 com on bets
66.67%
0.463
2.44%
0.69
Lay 4 and 10 com on wins
66.67%
0.475
1.67%
0.695
Lay 5 and 9 com on bets
60%
0.61
3.23%
0.79
Lay 5 and 9 com on wins
60%
0.63
2%
0.8
Lay 6 and 8 com on bets
54.55%
0.76
4%
0.88
Lay 6 and 8 com on wins
54.55%
0.79
2.27%
0.89
Buy 4 and 10 com on bets
33.33%
1.86
4.76%
1.35
Buy 4 and 10 com on wins
33.33%
1.95
1.67%
1.39
Buy 5 and 9 com on bets
40%
1.38
4.76%
1.16
Buy 5 and 9 com on wins
40%
1.45
2%
1.2
Buy 6 and 8 com on bets
45.45%
1.095
4.76%
1.04
Buy 6 and 8 com on wins
45.45%
1.15
2.27%
1.07
Don't place 4 and 10
66.67%
0.4545
3.03%
0.686
Don't place 5 and 9
60%
0.625
2.5%
0.796
Don't place 6 and 8
54.55%
0.8
1.82%
0.896
Place 4 and 10
33.33%
1.8
6.67%
1.32
Place 5 and 9
40%
1.4
4%
1.176
Place 6 and 8
45.45%
1.17
1.52%
1.079
Don't come
47.93%
1
1.36%
0.986
Come
49.29%
1
1.41%
1
Don't pass
47.93%
1
1.36%
0.986
Pass
49.29%
1
1.41%
1

The most interesting bets are free odds bets, pass bets, come bets and don't come bets. From a financial point of view it is better to use them as often as possible. If you like to play riskier bets for fun, there are other options available on a craps table.   

    Scratchcards.

Scratchcards are less common than slot machines but work very much the same way. You bet the amount you want and then check whether you have won or not. Just like slot machines you can evaluate the profitability of the card through the RTP. This RTP can sometimes be proportional to the bets. It is then necessary to evaluate both the RTP and the enjoyment of the game to determine whether you want to play or not. Scratchcards can be financially attractive if combined with attractive deposit bonuses.  

Conclusion.

To sum up, it is possible to win at online casinos and at land-based casinos. It is important to choose the right games and bets. This is an introductory guide, more information will be revealed in my book which will be released soon. On the other hand, playing at a casino is still interesting in any case, you can have fun while offering yourself the possibility of winning by luck even with a bad strategy which is not possible if you buy a service or a non resaleable good. The most serious online casinos are rated on my site here through several relevant criteria. I advise you to have a look before you sign up in order to choose the right establishment for you. A sign up button is available to facilitate the access to the casino.