The Worst & Best Odds In Casino Games: A Full Review
As the old saying goes, "The House Always Wins". That's partially true, but by no means a guarantee. Many lucky players will hit a large jackpot or lottery win, or may even be one of the rare controlled gamblers whom take a nice score and know when to walk away. And when it comes to walking away up money, there's no greater strategic advantage to the player than playing games with the lowest house edge or the highest Return To Player (RTP).
Before we begin our full discussion of casino games, it will be most important to first separate our games into a few major categories of increasingly favorable situations for the players at hand since the way they are played are fundamentally different and may appeal to different demographics. The major categories will be as follows:
- Government Sanctioned Games (The Lottery, scratch tickets)
- Brick & Mortar casino games / online casino fiat games
- Bitcoin gambling or cryptocurrency games
It's important to separate these types of games into different categories because while the RTP may be much higher for certain types of games within any particular category, the overall experience will be dramatically different for the user. Therefore, some games may appeal to certain players for completely different reasons and it's important that they all get the appropriate level of discussion. So without further ado, let us begin:
Government Sanctioned Games (Worst RTP)
The government sanctioned games will, generally speaking, have by far the worst return for your investment. This will largely boil down to a few reasons which include:
- These games may help fund various government projects, such as education.
- Projects managed by government entities tend to have more bureaucratic waste.
- These game types are meant for the more casual gambler.
The lottery is great for the casual gambler but will come with extremely bad returns, generally speaking. The average RTP can be as bad as 20-50c making it one of the worst common choices for gambling in the world. This is often a game casually played by many around a country that will help support various programs including education while flaunting an exceedingly large jackpot. Of course, the chances to ultimately win the jackpot and make a return on your money will always be slim to none. But that doesn't stop many from trying as these types of programs have proven to be exceedingly popular around the world. All of that said, it is one of your single worst gambling options out there and should be reserved strictly for casual fun.
Scratchers have been a fun way for many users to gamble casually when they are at a gas station or other entity between trips. Many users across the United States of America spend several hundred dollars per year on these types of habits as a population wide average. Unfortunately, this type of gambling comes with exceedingly bad results as per usual with this government domain. A study republished by CBS news tracked some of this data down on an in-field experimental study. RTP data types are not published to the public, however, so the true numbers are often not known and will vary by state/jurisdiction. But scratch-off tickets have been estimated to have an RTP around 65c - still better than the state sanctioned lottery under most circumstances, unless the state lottery jackpot has ballooned in size.
Ultimately, these types of government games can be played relatively casually. They will often host gigantic jackpots for the very lucky few but come with very bad odds and RTP. So it will be up to the end user if these types of casual games are worth it to them or not.
Brick & Mortar / Online Fiat Games / Vegas Odds (Mid-Tier RTP)
For those users searching for better odds than the government sanctioned games and also enjoy the thrill of being in a live gambling environment, then this is the tier for you. The games offered at brick and mortar casinos are numerous and come with a dizzying amount of odds. We'll take a sampling of the most played casino games:
- Keno (Worst)
- Paigow Poker / Most Table Games
- Blackjack (Best)
Keno has by far the worst odds in the entire casino. As a lottery styled game, it is possible to win a huge sum of money for a small investment. But your chances of walking away up money are extremely small. On top of that, you'll frequently find these types of games to host a paltry 60-80c RTP to it's players. If you have made it all the way to a physical casino, you are almost certainly better off going to play any other game.
Slots vary heavily in how they pay out. They vary in both price point and if they have a progressive jackpot, how large the progressive jackpot has swelled up to. Unfortunately for many games, it's difficult to tell how much of an impact the progressive jackpot has on the overall RTP for it's players without some sort of inside knowledge. This is because most Vegas slots often are shrouded in secrecy both in how they operate on the backend but also how much they pay out.
All that said, the best strategy for slot machines is typically to bet as much as a machine will allow for. Larger bets on a machine will give substantially better odds than it's minimum bets. And as you move up in price point from penny machines to dollar machines, your odds will improve as well. It's generally widely accepted that most slot machines will pay back anywhere from 80c-97c in RTP. Strategically, if you want to maximize your chances of winning, you probably need to be playing fairly large games or else you may just be better off playing another game type listed below. Do keep in mind that most brick & mortar casinos depend on slot machines as their primary source of revenue, which obviously comes from it's unsuspecting players.
With roulette, there's one single most important piece of information to look out for - does the wheel contain a double 00 or not? This will reduce your RTP from roughly 97.5c to 95c. If you can play on a single 0 roulette wheel, your odds of winning will go up substantially. However, single 0 roulette wheels may be rather hard to find in Vegas casinos and often times will be limited to only high rollers but you may be able to find some single zero roulette wheels if you look hard enough. With online based fiat casinos, single 0 roulette wheels may be more common place but then you will also lack the real world casino experience, if that's important to you.
Paigow Poker & Other Table Games
Most table games or pit games as they can often be referred to will often give the user anywhere from a 95-97.5c RTP. Fairly similar to roulette. It should be noted that this can vary wildly based on the game type and the types of bets placed therein. Additionally, if there is some level of skill involved, such as for Paigow Poker, it is important that proper skill is used or else the RTP that you think you have can diminish rapidly.
If there are various table games that you wish to play in Vegas or at other Brick & Mortar establishments or even online for fiat, I would highly advise you to search the game of interest online and learn what the best odds or strategies are for any particular game. Even this very in depth Vegas odds / Casino odds guide can't say everything!
Craps has multiple betting pathways and is a rather complex game as table games come. But it is generally said to have an RTP in the 95-98.5c zone. Which, all else equal, isn't half bad compared to many of the alternatives that exist out there. Additionally, you get the live and social experience and the thrill of rolling some dice when you're the shooter. As we move up the list of power rankings, craps starts to become attractive, especially for those that take the better RTP betting lines for craps. Familiarize yourself with all the rules and odds to make sure you are equipped with as much knowledge as possible prior to making your moves. Information will always be power.
Baccarat is somewhat famous for being the game of choice for the high rollers at most casinos. Often seen played by the "rich Asian whales" or also often seen in casino segments in high production value Hollywood films. This game sports one of the lowest house edges available for a game of pure chance, giving an RTP between 98-99c. If you can find a table that spreads this game with limits that you are comfortable playing and prefer to be in the live environment, this will be one of your best chances at increasing your gambling bankroll. Of course, nothing is a sure thing, Baccarat will just simply be the most likely tool to get to your desired destination. But that is very far from a guarantee.
Blackjack is a casino game that kind of deserves to go in it's own category since it is an extremely complicated subject. At the very core, if you aren't doing anything against the house rules, such as counting cards, and if you also employ a perfect Blackjack strategy, you can get your RTP to 99c or even higher. However, notice how many caveats were just stated. You must use a perfect strategy for Blackjack. If you deviate from optimal strategy, your RTP will plummet quickly and many casinos are counting on players to make these types of mistakes. Don't let that be you.
Alternatively, some players may choose to try to cheat the casino by counting cards. This type of strategy can actually turn the game from a negative house edge game to a positive house edge game! However, while this type of strategy may have worked in years past, in today's casinos it is nearly impossible to get away with doing this. And if you do manage to play a little by using secretive strategies, it isn't likely to last for long. The good news is that you probably won't get in major trouble for doing this aside from potentially getting permanently banned from the casino properties.
In sum, certain Vegas gambling games are better than others, so if you would like the real life experience and thrill of gambling, make sure you gravitate towards the games or bets with a higher RTP to increase your chance of winning while enjoying the moment.
Online Bitcoin Gambling & Cryptocurrency Games (Best RTP for serious players)
Last, but certainly not least we have Bitcoin gambling which deserves it's own category. Bitcoin gambling is truly in a niche of it's own because of the services this decentralized currency has allowed casino operators to offer to it's clientele. Unlike brick & mortar casinos which are by definition extremely expensive to run because of building costs, having employees manage the games and everything else in that vein, Bitcoin gambling simply doesn't have that kind of overhead. You might be wondering, "Well, why not fiat-based online gambling, how is that different?" The problem with fiat-based gambling is there is an obscenely large amount of costs associated with running these types of online casinos from payment processing fees to fraud that Bitcoin casino operators simply don't have to deal with.
And if you are sitting back thinking that all of that sounds great for the Bitcoin casino operators but what about you, the player, I would almost argue that is completely the wrong way of thinking about it. That is because almost all of these savings don't actually make the Bitcoin casinos more money but are in fact used to ultimately give Bitcoin gamblers a better house edge due to serious competition in this niche casino space. In addition to the fact that the RTP goes sky-high in the Bitcoin gambling scene, operators also often compete on Provably Fair technology - a way of ensuring to it's customer's that it's games are in fact 100% fair on a mathematical basis, AKA not rigged. Something that no government sanctioned gambling nor brick and mortar based casino will ever offer it's players other than that you simply have to trust that they are providing you with a fair game.
Of course, none of the above mentions are guarantees and you must do your own due diligence. Many Bitcoin casino websites may not host provably fair technology or have a favorable RTP for it's players. Make sure you do your own research before playing.
As far as Bitcoin casino games are concerned on MintDice, for example, the RTP at the absolute lowest is 98c and goes to 99c or even higher once you factor in it's VIP rewards program.
Bitcoin Dice & Bitcoin Slots
Bitcoin Dice is the most popular and classic game in the Bitcoin gambling sphere. It is a pick your own odds game. It plays almost exactly like roulette but with much more flexibility and a substantially better house edge - by an order of over 2.5-5x in fact.
Meanwhile with Bitcoin slots, MintDice offers a 100% provably fair game that offers a crushing alternative to the Vegas slots game. On MintDice, there is effectively no minimum bet (as of writing, a minimum bet is as small as one tenth of one penny) and has a house edge of only 2%. It does not impose harshly high minimum betting limits as does Vegas and offers both better odds no matter what and also guarantees a fair game while offering payouts up to 10,000x! In virtually every respect for serious slot machine players, Bitcoin slot games simply offer more bang for your buck than traditional alternatives.
Bitcoin Games of Skill
When it comes to games of skill, Bitcoin websites will largely offer you the most value yet again. With lower overhead cost, a lot of the savings are passed down to players in the form of a higher RTP. And as most advantage players or skill-game players know, having the lowest house edge maximizes their personal gain. With games such as Bit.Rocket hosting only a 1% house edge or Pyramid with only a 3% house edge, the chance of taking home big money relative to government sanctioned events or Vegas casinos, the value proposition isn't even close. This also provides a unique value proposition to players who wish to make a living from gambling, and certain websites, such as MintDice.com, will make that dream a reality for some who choose to pursue that path.
Of course, Bitcoin gambling requires playing from the comfort of one's own home which may not be as alluring as other betting prospects. Other users may simply not want to go through the hassle of buying/owning Bitcoin. Meanwhile other users may not want to be exposed to the volatility in price by Bitcoin preferring their native fiat currency. So while Bitcoin casinos do offer many serious advantages to serious gamblers and players, it will clearly not be the choice of gambling for everyone. Ultimately, the seriousness of the gambler should dictate how far down this semi-exhaustive casino odds list they are willing to go. The more casual of a player that you are, the more you should veer towards government sanctioned games and the more serious of a gambler you are, the more you should steer towards Bitcoin gambling.
And with that, we wish you the best of luck, whichever path you may choose! Just make sure to keep as much math on your side as possible.