Understanding and Winning at Online Casino Games of Chance
Many of you will understand already that games of chance such as those that you will play at both online and offline casinos are games that cannot be affected by skill. Roulette, Blackjack, baccarat, craps and the many thousands of different slot machines will all require luck to win which cannot be controlled by the player.
As well as it being complete chance as to whether you win or not, you will also be up against it in terms of odds. All of these games will give the casino (or house) an edge over you in terms of the odds that you have to win. If you have heard the phrase “the house always wins”, this is exactly what it means as in the long run, the house will always come out in profit – which is why casinos are there. If online casinos were not guaranteed to make profits, they simply would not be there in the first place.
The edge that the house has over you will depend on the specific game and the rules attached to it but you can be sure that over an ‘X’ amount of games that are played at a casino, sometimes even many hundreds of them, that the casinos will always be confident that any payouts they give to players will be exceeded by the money lost by players.
Despite the fact that across the long-term the casinos will have that edge over players, it is still totally possible to play a game at the casino and walk away the winner. This is mainly because one night at a casino is not always enough for those odds to turn in the casino’s favour if a player is smart enough to take their winnings and leave.
Understanding Chance and Payout Ratio
Each and every game of chance that you will find at a casino will have a payout ration associated with them. This is also called RTP (return-to-player) and is basically the long-term rate of how much money will be paid out to players divided by how much has been staked.
An RTP could be anything but is usually upwards of 90% for most casino games. The percentage left is considered the house edge, so if a game had an RTP of 90%, 10% would be the house edge that this particular game would have in the long run.
So as an example, if $10,000 was staked on a game by a selection of players over a long period of time, the casino would expect to pay out $9,000 of that and keep $1,000.
- Payout (RTP) of Roulette
The payout percentage of Roulette would depend on the variations of the game being played. American roulette has a lower RTP of 94.74% compared to the RTP of European Roulette of 97.30%. This is because the former variation has a ‘double zero’ on the wheel – an additional place for the ball to land. This means that the house edge for American Roulette is 5.26% and it is 2.70% for European Roulette.
- Payout (RTP) of Blackjack
Go to any land-based casino and you will see that the blackjack tables are easily among the most populated. This is simply because this game usually offers the lowest house edge. This, of course, will vary depending on the rules and the strategies used but a Blackjack game using standard rules and strategy will give an RTP of 99.54% or a house edge of 1.46%.
- Payout (RTP) of Baccarat
As for Baccarat, this might not be as popular as some of the other casino table games although it is very popular in Asia, but it actually has a very impressive RTP of 98.99%. This means the house only has an edge of 1.01% over players over a longterm period. What this means is that players actually have a very decent chance of being able to walk away a winner when playing this game at the casino.
- Payout (RTP) of Craps
Craps is another game of chance that you will find at some casinos and this dice game offers up a longterm RTP of 98.64%. This does not quite measure up with the payout ratios of Blackjack and Baccarat but you are still statistically more likely to be a winner in the long term than when playing European Roulette.
- Payout (RTP) of 3-Card Poker
Another table game you will find at casinos is 3-card poker and here you are pitting your wits against a dealer rather than other players like you would in other forms of poker. The RTP for this game is a decent 98.24% if you are using a decent strategy.
- Payout (RTP) of Slot Machines
Slot machines can be found in abundance at both online and offline casinos and these will offer up a wide variety of RTP’s. Generally, this will range between 85% and 99% depending on the games that you play with those offering the potential of big jackpots such as progressive jackpot slots being among those with the lowest RTPs. This is to make up for those life-changing amounts of money that can be won.
An example of some of the RTP’s can be found on popular titles such as Guns n Roses (96.98%), Jurassic Park (96.67%) and Mega Moolah (88.12%). The latter of these is a progressive jackpot slot while the others are standard video slots. I would not recommend playing at any online slots that has a RTP below 95%. You can see all the best paying online slots here
- Payout (RTP) of Video Poker Games
Video poker machines are another favourite at the online casinos and the RTP will differ depending on the particular game that you are playing. Examples would include ‘Jacks or Better’ which has an RTP of 99.54% and ‘Aces or Faces’ which has an RTP of 99.26%. Both of these are excellent RTPs which will give players a more than welcome chance of potentially walking away a winner after a long session.
The Best RTP For Video Poker Games
I have listed below here some of the online Video poker games with the highest RTP
- Jacks or Better – Is the game most play when playing online video poker it has a 99.54% RTP and a low variance. I can be played at VegasParadise.com
- Deuces Wild – Microgaming’s video poker Deuces Wild has a 99.37% RTP and can be played at Leo Vegas
- Double Bonus Poker – RTP is on most online casinos 98,04% to 99,11% , can be played at Guts Casino
You should now have a decent understanding of payout percentages and the specific RTPs of the games that you might play at the casinos. However, these RTPs are calculated over long periods of use at these games. During shorter sessions, players will be able to experience a lot more variance, a term that is used to describe the random nature of any outcomes that can occur throughout that expected average over a long term.
This variance is what makes it both worth and appealing for players to play casino games. Due to this variance, you could win $10k from a single spin worth $1 on a slot machine but at the same time could have five turns on a roulette game betting $20 each time and win nothing.
Variance is measured by how often wins can come against the average size of those wins. This means that games such as progressive slots, or games with long odds (or low RTP) of winning bigger payouts are usually classed as high variance games. On the other hand, games that have high RTPs but regular but much smaller payouts are considered low variance.
Many players simply choose a game depending on their RTP but this can be the wrong path to take as in fact, it is financially more preferable to play high variance games despite the lower RTP. Take Blackjack vs European Roulette as an example. Blackjack has a much higher RTP but Roulette offers the chance of winning payouts as high as 36:1.
Simply put, you have more chance of winning an amount you would deem acceptable in a single spin with high variance games. A low variance game may have a higher RTP but you are going to have to play a lot of spins and rely on a lot of consistent luck to win a similar amount.
Strategies and Tips to Win At Games of Chance
With you now having a better understanding of payout ratios and variance, the only thing standing in your way of a better chance of winning is the strategies and tips that you can make use of when playing the many different casino games.
When playing roulette you are simply going against chance but how you fair will depend heavily on the betting strategy that you employ. Roulette offers you various different bets that you can place which will bring their own rewards but using a betting strategy will allow you to minimize your losses while also slightly improving your chances of bringing in a profit in the long term.
There are a number of these about but the most popular is the D’Alembert Strategy and the Martingale Strategy. For inexperienced players, these can be a little confusing but you will be able to find plenty of information on these strategies on the internet that will take you through them in detail.
As for Blackjack, this is a game where it is important to know when the best time to twist and the best time to stand. You will have to understand the odds of you hitting your required cards and the likeliness of going bust on each hand. Another factor of importance is of knowing when the right time to either cut your losses or to walk away when winning.
There are numerous strategies out there that you can use but some of the more common basic strategies include the Surrender Strategy, Pair Splitting Strategy, Hit and Stand Strategy and the Doubling Down Strategy.
Baccarat like all other table games is a game of chance and all you can do is make bets that give you a better chance of winning if you want to succeed. It is common knowledge that players should never make the ‘tie’ bet as this offers the biggest house edge of 14.4% compared to the ‘Banker’ and ‘Player’ which have house edges of 1.06% and 1.24% respectively.
As you can see above, the ‘Banker’ bet is clearly the best of them as it will win just over 50% of the time. To compensate for that rate, casinos will slap on a 5% commission on any wins from that bet but even with that, this is still the bet you should be playing more often than not. In fact, many players will continuously bet on the banker until it loses.
Craps is similar in a way to Roulette in that it has so many different bets that can be placed with each having their own odds of winning. Again, there are many betting strategies that can be employed when playing this game but most players will simply follow a few ‘rules of thumb’ about the game to give them a better chance of winning.
On the Come Out Roll, easily the best bet is the Pass Line Bet which offers a house edge of just 1.41%. Once a point is established you should also be placing the Odds Bet on every occasion as this bet actually has a zero edge for the house.
As for bets to avoid, easily the worst of them are Proposition Bets due to it having the largest house edge. Other bets to avoid are the Hard 4, Hard 10, Big 6 and Big 8 as this pays out just 1:1 and have a significant house edge of 9%.
- Slot Machines
Slot machines both online and land-based are among the most entertaining games to play at the casinos but there are some considerations you should make before choosing one to play. Go for high variance slots with as high an RTP as possible (see them here) and always bet on all paylines to maximise your chances.
You should also know the slot and its bonus features very well so it is worth playing the free version of the games first (if playing online). Many slots will give you an increased chance of wins the more you bet per spin – so keep this in mind too.
- Video Poker
There are quite a few different types of video poker games so each will offer something a little different. However, there are some general tips that players can use to improve their chances across each of them.
One such tip is to always play using the maximum coins as these will give you the maximum value in terms of odds. The Royal House, for example, will give you around 800:1 should you land it with maximum coins compared to around 250:1 for using fewer coins.
Another tip is to make sure you understand the rules and the paytable for the video poker game you are playing. You could play the games for free beforehand to make sure that you understand them before moving on to play for some real cash.
General Tips When Playing Games of Chance
While each game will have their own strategies and tips associated with them, games of chance, in general, will all be able to adopt the following tips as well.
- Play Smart
No matter what online casino game you are playing it is very important to play as smart as possible to minimize any losses or maximise any wins that may come your way. Always try your best to not get carried away and do not let any emotions get in the way of your decisions. Stick to your budget rigidly and treat gambling as a source of fun and not a source of earnings.
- Know the Game You Are Playing
Whenever you are thinking about playing a game of chance for money, you need to understand the game and its rules before you start. If you have no idea about Roulette, Blackjack or any game when you start playing, there is a very high chance that you are going to come out on the losing side. Read up on the rules of any game you are thinking of playing and get to grips with all the odds and bet types.
- Maximise Your Returns
Whenever you go to a casino or play at a online casino, you will want to make sure that you give yourself the very best chance of maximizing your returns from any game. This can be done by ensuring you are playing the games with the highest RTP (or lowest house edge). Doing so will give you a better chance of winning throughout your session. However, RTP should not be your only consideration, as you should also look at the variance of the games as well. A high variance progressive jackpot slot with an RTP of 92% is certainly a better bet than a low variance slot with an RTP of 99%.
You can even further maximise your returns by taking advantage of welcome bonuses, free spins, loyalty schemes and other promotions that the casinos might run as each of the above will be able to help you further improve your bottom line.
- Play in the Right Frame of Mind
You have to be sure that you are not full of emotion, are not too tired or not too drunk before playing a game of chance. The last thing you want to be doing is making the wrong decisions when playing and if you are not clear of mind, these are more likely to occur.
If you are bemoaning your luck or are angry at the results, it would be better to stop playing rather than making things worse by chasing your losses. Full concentration with no emotion is required if you want to have the best chance of winning.
- Only Bet What You Can Afford to Lose
Gambling should never be seen as a profession and as a way to make ends meet and the casino always wins in the end. Treat it like a hobby, a form of entertainment that has the potential to bring some financial rewards and nothing else. Only bet with money that you have set apart each month and is money that is not needed in other areas of your life such as paying bills. Once that money has been lost, wait until a fresh month instead of using money you shouldn’t be.