5 casino games to avoid
Every time you visit a casino, you’re faced with dozens of options to choose from. If you count all the different types of slots and video poker variants, your choices start to approach a hundred.
With all the choices available, it’s easy to make a mistake and start playing a game that offers a big house edge.
I have compiled a list of five casino games that you should avoid at all costs. In each of these games you will lose your money faster than in the others. After you have read about each of the five games, you will find a section on which games you should choose.
What is the house edge
House edge is the term used to describe the mathematical advantage that a gambling game, and therefore an online casino, has over you in the long run. This advantage results in guaranteed profits for the casino and guaranteed losses for the player, with the results viewed in the long term.
1 – Keno
Keno has a 20 to 30% house edge in most casinos. This is the worst possible game you can play knowing the house advantage over you.
To get an idea of how bad each game on this list is, consider how much you will lose on average for every €100. To work this out, simply multiply €100 by the casino’s house edge percentage.
Let’s look at an example:
If the house edge at Keno is 20%, multiply €100 by 0.2 and you will find the expected loss for every €100 wagered – in this case €20.
If the percentage is less than 10%, the decimal point is set to zero. 5% becomes 0.05 and 3.5% becomes 0.035.
When you bet EUR 10 on a hand 10 times per hour, you are putting EUR 100 per hour on the line. In the long run you will lose between €20 and €30 per hour playing keno in this way.
2 – The Big Wheel of Fortune
The Big Wheel of Fortune is known by many names, but they all offer players terrible odds of winning. If you see a big wheel of fortune, usually near the main entrance of a casino, do not use it as it will be a bad choice.
When playing the big wheel of fortune, the Casino’s expected return will be between 11-24% depending on the house edge and the number you bet on.
You will not find profitable bets on this wheel.
For every €100 wagered, your expected loss will be between €11-24.
3 – Roulette with two zeros
This is commonly known as American Roulette. Roulette wheels that have both a double-zero and a single-zero house edge exceed 5.2%
You might think this is not bad compared to the Big Wheel of Fortune and Keno, but compare it to the European Roulette wheel and you will see why this is a game to avoid.
European roulette wheels have only one zero. This brings the house edge down to 2.7%, which is almost half that of American roulette.
You will lose €2.70 on €100 bets playing European roulette and €5.20 playing American roulette.
4 – Incomplete video poker machines
Most casinos are full of video poker machines of various types. In many establishments you will even find different versions of the same game.
You need to familiarise yourself with the best cash payout tables available for each type of machine, commonly referred to as ‘full pay’, and learn the best strategies.
The difference between playing a full-pay slot machine and other payout versions can be 5% or more.
Most video poker players specialise in Deuces Wild or Jacks or Better.
Although they are hard to find, if you can find a slot machine with a full-pay version of one of these games, you can reduce the house edge to almost half a percent (0.5%).
Playing with a house edge of 5%, you lose €5 for every €100 wagered, but with the above slots you can only lose 50 cents for every €100 wagered.
5 – Gaming machines
I’m sure many readers are surprised to find slots on the list of casino games to avoid, but the truth is that they offer some of the worst cashback percentages for casino players.
Given the fact that you can play hundreds of spins per hour with a high house edge, you should avoid slots.
The house edge of slot machines ranges from a few percent to over 15%, and it is usually impossible to know which machines are better than others.
Even if the slot machine’s house edge is only 6%, you will still lose €6 for every €100 wagered in the long run
Don’t forget that slots are usually played faster than any other casino game. If you play with a bet of €2 per spin, you can easily make bets of €500 or more per hour. EUR 500 per hour at 6% is an average of EUR 30 per hour.
Play these games
Now that you know which games to avoid, I wanted to share with you some suggestions on which games to play.
Blackjack, craps, baccarat, poker and fully paid video poker offer more options and situations for players and are less lucrative for casinos than the games mentioned above.
Do you know how to play Texas holdem, 7 Card Stud or Omaha? If you are a good player, you may be able to play with an edge over the casino, rather than playing knowing that you will lose in the long run (not surprisingly, casino revenues are growing every year!). You can play against other players and only give the casino a small percentage of each win. All you have to do is be a little better than your opponents.
If you want the best chance of winning and extending your gambling sessions, it is recommended that you avoid the 5 games listed above. Now that you know how big the house edge is on some games, you can look for games that offer fairer odds on every hand.