Whether strolling the length of the strip in Las Vegas or exploring the vast choice of games in cyberspace, most of us understand the basic rule of the casino: The House Always Wins. So it is, so it has always been, and any casino where that principle doesn’t hold true is one that will go bankrupt in the blink of an eye.
Of course, there is always the possibility of scoring a big win against the odds, and that’s all part of the attraction whether you are visiting a physical casino or playing on an online casino app. The latter option provides all the games you can play at a physical casino and often more – but with the flexibility to play whenever and wherever you wish – even if it is just for a quick game when you have a spare five minutes.
But unlike other types of online games, you are playing for real money, so the rewards can be significant. It is worth fully exploring the different options that are available in some detail. If you choose your platform wisely and find a site offering plenty of free spins, deposit bonuses and so on, you can shift the odds further in your favor.
That’s great as far as it goes, and will mean your bankroll will last longer, leading to more fun at the same outlay. But for all that, those who play casino games regularly do so first and foremost for enjoyment, not financial gain. Like any other type of entertainment, such as a nightclub or theatre, they understand that an evening playing casino games for a few hours in good company, whether in the real world or through a social gaming app, is going to cost some money.
House Edge and RTP
Just how much we mean by “some money” depends on both how and what you choose to play. Different casino games and apps will have a different house edge or Return to Player (RTP). The easiest way to get an idea of what these terms mean is by an example. Every slot machine is programmed such that it will, on average, pay out a set amount of money proportionate to how much is fed into it.
A machine that pays out an average of $95 for every $100 wagered has a house edge of five percent or an RTP of 95 percent. This value varies dramatically from one game to the next. So if you want to make your money last as long as possible, which games should you be choosing?
It’s consistently voted the most popular table game in the casino, by both players and croupiers. That’s not just because everyone knows the rules, although that certainly helps.
It is also a great choice from a statistical perspective. Blackjack has a house edge of just two percent, and with a little strategic knowledge, you can reduce that to one percent or even less. There’s no big mystery to blackjack strategy, it is all based on mathematical probabilities and comes down to knowing when to hit, stand, split or double down.
In fact, just following simple yes / no strategy on those three aspects can knock one percent off the house edge. Enhance it with some composition-dependent strategy (taking into account not just your overall score but the cards that make up the hand) and the odds improve further.
Add some basic card counting to your arsenal, and the house edge will almost evaporate. Take a look online to find some simple strategy cards and give it a try on your favorite blackjack app – as you become more comfortable with what you are doing, you can add additional complexity to your strategy.
After years of relative obscurity, craps is undergoing something of a renaissance in casinos. Almost certainly, this is due to people experimenting with the game online and learning that it is not as complicated as they thought!
The game looks complex, but it is simply a case of taking some time to learn about the many different areas of the table, and the bets you can place. Once you have mastered this and committed it to memory, it couldn’t be simpler.
The key to success in craps is keeping to the line bets, as the house edge here is only around one percent. Proposition bets seem tempting to new players as they offer rich rewards, but the RTP drops to less than 90 percent, meaning that in the long run, these are the bets that will do the most damage to your bankroll.
Unlike craps, roulette brings you the simplicity of knowing that however you bet, whether it is on a single number, a group of numbers or a color, the house edge is exactly the same. With a single zero wheel, that’s 2.7 percent, while for a double zero it is 5.6 percent.
For a new player, it’s a good idea to place your chips on one of the even money bets, red or black, high or low, odd or even. Statistically, it makes no difference, but it gives the feeling of an evenly matched battle between you and the wheel – and remember, fun and enjoyment need to be your strategic watchwords.
In years gone by, slots had a lower RTP, usually of around 90 percent. Yet they have always been a popular choice, as they can offer some truly life-changing jackpots, which is not the case when you are playing blackjack or roulette, where the potential for a million-to-one outside shot simply doesn’t exist.
Modern slot games that you play online typically have a far more favorable RTP than the physical machines, often as high as 96 percent, and they are more transparent about it than they used to be. It definitely pays to research the game by searching for reviews before you play in order to keep the odds as favorable as possible – Google your game of choice and you will find information on RTP as well as useful information relating to volatility.
The other way you can boost your chances of winning on a slots game is by choosing one that has a bonus game that involves a degree of skill. These are becoming increasingly common – a modern slot machine is about far more than just spinning the reels and hoping to get lucky.