The 10 best bets in the casino have such a low house advantage that they are almost even money wagers. If you like to make your money last as long as possible, these are the best bets for your money. Most of these good casino bets are even money wagers that have both a limited downside and a limited upside.
One thing I’ve noticed about the best casino bets is that they are usually found at casino games that are viewed as “complicated” by non-gamblers. The easiest games (such as slots) are often those with the highest house advantage. Casinos are smart in this way because they know that inexperienced casino players are more likely to overlook the house advantage.
This one probably isn’t a big surprise to most of you. Blackjack has enjoyed a reputation as a player-friendly game for a long time. If you know how to use proper blackjack strategy, you can keep the house advantage to less than 1%. This means that you will lose about $1 for every $100 you wager over the long run. That’s not too bad for a night of fun and the chance to win some money.
Blackjack strategy can be a bit complicated, but there’s good news. You can use blackjack strategy charts to help you make the mathematically correct decision every time. Most live casinos don’t mind if you use a strategy card and online casinos obviously have no say in the matter.
Where to play blackjack: Lucky Red Casino
2. Craps Pass Line Bet
The craps pass line bet comes with a house advantage of 1.41%, which makes it a great bet for the player. The only reason more people don’t play the pass line bet in craps is because craps looks like an intimidating game for casual players. Don’t let the game fool you though; craps is actually pretty easy.
How to Place the Pass Line Bet
You can place the pass line bet in craps by placing your chips in the “pass line” area on the table before a new shooter rolls the dice. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, your pass line bet is an instant winner. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12, your pass line bet is an instant loser. Any other number on the first roll establishes “the point.”
The point will be marked on the layout for you to remember. The shooter will continue rolling the dice until one of two things happens. If the shooter rolls the point again before he rolls a 7, you win. If the shooter rolls a 7 before he rolls the point again, you lose.
Where to play craps: Sun Palace Casino
3. Craps Odds Bet
This is the only bet in the casino that has zero house advantage. Interestingly, it’s also the only bet in craps that isn’t noted on the table. The only catch is that the odds bet can only be placed after placing a pass line or don’t pass line bet. When you place the odds bet in craps, it reduces the overall house advantage of the pass line bet to about 0.85%.
How to Place the Odds Bet
The odds bet can only be placed after you have placed a pass line bet. Once the point has been established, you can place the odds bet by placing additional chips on the layout beneath the pass line bet. Click on the picture below to see where the odds bet is placed.
The odds bet is basically an add-on to the original pass line bet. In other words, you are placing an additional wager that the current point will be rolled again before a seven is rolled. The size of the payout for this wager depends on the point that was originally established. The payouts vary because some numbers on dice are rolled more often than others.
The payouts for winning odds bets are set at “true odds.” This means the payouts reflect the odds of actually winning the bet. The house gains no house advantage in this bet. Here are the payouts for the craps odds bet:
- If the point was 4 or 10, the odds bet pays 2-1
- If the point was 5 or 9, the odds bet pays 3-2
- If the point was 6 or 8, the odds bet pays 6-5
Most casinos require your odds bet to be equal to exactly twice the size of your original pass line bet. So if you place a $10 pass line wager, you will then be allowed to wager $20 on your odds bet. This is called 2x odds. Some casinos will let you place even bigger bets (5x, 10x, 20x and 100x for example). The more money you are allowed to wager, the more it lowers the overall house advantage of both bets.
Where to play craps: Sun Palace Casino
4. Baccarat Banker Bet
There are three different bets that can be placed in baccarat: player, banker and tie. The banker bet is the best bet in baccarat with a house advantage of just 1.01% in single deck games. Bets on the player have a slightly higher house advantage of about 1.2%. The tie bet in baccarat has a house advantage of about 15%.
Long story short: the banker bet is the best bet in baccarat. The low house advantage of this wager makes it possible for a limited bankroll to last a long time. Some casinos only offer baccarat in the high roller’s area, but only casinos will let you play for as little as $1 per wager.
Where to play baccarat: Lucky Red Casino
5. Video Poker
Video poker is an awesome game for the player. If you use proper video poker strategy, you can reduce the house advantage to less than 0.5%. Some video poker machines will even give you a positive return if you play a smart game and take advantage of casino bonuses and other promotions.
The proper strategy for video poker varies from one machine to the next. You can find the optimal strategy for video poker by reading online or purchasing a video poker strategy book from your local bookstore. It takes a little practice to get fast at video poker, but you can practice online first and take as long as you want to look up each wager.
Where to play video poker: Bovada Casino
Multi-player poker is a great game for skilled players because this is the only game in which the casino has no house advantage. Instead, the house takes a small percentage out of each pot (the rake). If you learn how to use poker strategy to your advantage, you can make a lot of money with poker.
Poker is offered in a separate section at most live casinos and at some online casinos. Online poker sites offer a variety of poker games in which players can join and play against thousands of other players from around the world. The only thing you have to do is sign up for an account and learn a little poker strategy.
Where to play online poker:
- Carbon Poker
- Bet365 Poker (non-USA players only)
7. Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Poker has a house advantage of about 2.84% when played with the proper strategy. This is an easy game to learn and optimal strategy doesn’t require a whole lot of effort. The key to reducing the house advantage in Pai Gow Poker is to learn how to set your hands properly.
Some brick and mortar casinos allow you to act as the banker in Pai Gow Poker. This requires a large bankroll because you are responsible for paying out winning bets. The upside to being the banker is that you get to collect on all losing bets. When you act as the banker, the house advantage drops to nearly 0%. If you act as the banker half the time, the overall house advantage of Pai Gow Poker sits at about 1.27%.
Where to play Pai Gow Poker: Sun Palace Casino
8. European Roulette
European roulette has a house advantage of 2.7% for all bets. A house advantage this low is rare for games as simple as roulette. There are two ways you can approach roulette. If you want to go for big, infrequent wins, you can place wagers on a single number and hope for a 35 to 1 payout. If you would rather go for smaller, more frequent wins, you can place wagers on groups of numbers such as red/black and even/odd.
It is important that you avoid American roulette. American roulette wheels have an extra slot marked with “00.” This extra slot doubles the house advantage to 5.26%.
Where to play roulette: Lucky Red Casino
9. Red Dog
The house advantage of Red Dog is about 3% depending on the number of decks in play. Unlike most casino card games, the house advantage in Red Dog decreases as the number of decks increases. This gambling game can be found at most online casinos and at a few brick and mortar casinos.
The simple trick to minimizing the house advantage at Red Dog is to only raise on spreads of 7 or greater. Do that and you’ll be good to go.
Where to play Red Dog: Lucky Red Casino
10. Sports Betting
Sports betting is another rare gambling activity in which the player can win over the long run. Skilled sports bettors can earn a significant income by placing smart sports bets. It’s not easy to become a winning sports bettor, but it is possible. There are some people out there who make a living by doing nothing more than betting on sports.
One of the quickest ways to increase your return in sports betting is to compare online sportsbooks and look for the best odds for every bet. Each sportsbook takes a look at each game and comes up with its own odds. This gives you the opportunity to pick a bet and then see which sportsbook is offering the highest payouts for that bet.
Best online sportsbook: 5Dimes
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