If you were to visit an online casino, the most important choice you’ll have to make is deciding on which game to play. Indeed, that decision – for reasons we will set out below – is arguably more important than any strategy that you employ in the game.
The very nature of casino games means that there is no guarantee to win, of course, but some games will have better odds than others. And, if you recognise that, you can adapt your strategy.
First of all, however, you must appreciate that there are many different games at an online casino; hundreds, in fact. These can range from the simple, like a game of rock paper scissors online, to the sophisticated, such as multi-wheel roulette. But can we analyse all types of games to determine if a particular game has the best odds?
Let’s start with the casino game judged to be the most equitable – blackjack. The house edge in the game – and remember that virtual blackjack mimics probability in real games – is estimated to be around 0.5%.
It can vary due to the rules with different variations of the game, but it’s usually less than 1% for most classic versions of the game. This is based on the proviso that the game is played at best strategy, however.
Blackjack has relatively low payouts
The problem with blackjack, though, is that the prizes aren’t very large in comparison to other casino games. A winning hand will pay double your wager, or 1.5 times your wager if you get blackjack (10, J, Q or K + Ace). While doubling your money might seem like a worthy goal, it pales in comparison to other games.
For example, at the other end of the scale comes slots. Normally, the “house edge” for slots is somewhere around the 5% mark, although, it depends on the game.
The upshot for that is that you can win 1000s of times your stake. In fact, you can potentially win millions of times your stake with progressive jackpot games.
But whereas the probability of winning a blackjack hand is 49.75% (approximately), we do not know the chances of winning a massive cash prize on a slot in a spin – but we can be sure that they are much, much lower than that. So, it boils down to risk versus reward.
In blackjack, the risk is smaller, but the rewards are less substantial. With slots, the opposite is true. Moreover, as a general rule, the simplest games will have the best odds.
Reading all the details is important
And yet, we aren’t talking about anything surprising here; even non-gamblers will be aware of these facts. So, is there anything else that we can learn? One of the most important things to realise is that games that look similar can have surprising differences when it comes to odds.
One such example is the difference between American and European roulette. The latter has better odds than the former, and the house edge moves a few percentage points in your favour. There is no discernible benefit to playing American roulette, regardless if you are playing online or in a real casino.
One final point is to reiterate that you should read the rules before playing any game. Regulators oblige casinos to publish payout and probability information, and this is often found under the game rules.
Yes, we often neglect to read the terms and conditions of anything online, but a quick scan of these rules can tell you if one casino game is programmed to pay back more than another.
The differences might be slight, but, as you will be well aware, you want to have every advantage on your side before playing a casino game.
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