A trip to any casino comes with lots of thrills. You can play the slots or hit the tables with high hopes of winning a lot of money. But your chances of actually winning are greatly defined by the mathematical probabilities of the games you play, and the wagers you place. Hence knowing the casino odds can be crucial to your profit potential.
Different casino odds are available on each type of game. Slot machines are the hardest to predict, as the casino is able to set the odds anywhere from the minimum amount required by law (generally 80%-87.5%, depending on the jurisdiction), to as high as 95%. Since the casino won’t actually tell you the payout percentages of each slot machine, we’re going to move on to more predictable games.
We’ll be discussing the casino odds for popular games of blackjack, craps and roulette (both American and European editions). I’m not going to go into deep strategies here, because they tend to suck the fun out of the game. By simply having a basic understanding of the probabilities for each wager, you’ll be able to make smart decisions, and still have a great time.
Casino Odds for Blackjack
In blackjack, your job is to beat the dealer’s total without busting (going over 21). It’s important to note that, if you don’t bust, and the dealer does, you win. With this in mind, the most important odds you need to know are how likely your hand is to bust when hitting a total of 12 – 16, because generally speaking, you will always hit 2-11, and stand on 17+.
||Odds of Busting
There are other factors that should be taken into consideration, though; particularly what to do when the dealer is showing a 6. In this case, if we assume he has a 10 underneath, the dealer will be forced to take a hit, and will be more likely to bust (62% chance).
Even if you have a total of 12, and your chances of busting are relatively low, it’s best to stand on 12 when the dealer is showing a 6.
Casino Odds for Craps
There are many ways to place bets in craps, but if you’re new to the game, it’s generally best to stick to the basics, such as the Pass Line/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come bets.
The Pass Line and Don’t Pass bets pay even money, and can only be placed on the shooter’s first (come out) roll. Pass Line bets win if a 7 or 11 is rolled, and lose if a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled. If anything else is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), that number becomes the Point, and the bet turns into a Come Bet that the point will roll again before a 7.
Don’t Pass bets are just the opposite, paying for a 2, 3 or 11, losing on a 7 or 11, and establishing a Don’t Come bet that a 7 will be rolled before the point.
If the shooter has already established a point, players can simply wager on Come or Don’t Come, according to the same rules above.
So the question is, what are the casino odds that a specific point will roll again before a 7? The odds vary by number because some come with more possible dice combinations than others. For example, there are three ways to roll a 6, 7 or 8, and only two ways to roll a 4, 5, 9 or 10.
||Odds of Coming Again
Casino Odds for Roulette
Like craps, Roulette offers an abundance of wagering options, although it is a notably less confusing game for beginners. Essentially, the player is betting on a single number, or groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12 or 18 numbers. The more numbers in a group, the higher the casino odds of winning the bet.
The bets with the highest odds of winning (paying even money) are:
Low/High (1-18 / 19-36)
It is incredibly important to note the difference between American and European roulette. The American edition has a Single Zero (0) and Double Zero (00) on opposite ends of the wheel, whereas European Roulette has only the Single Zero (0).
Any time it’s an option, European roulette should be played, as the removal of the (00) makes a notable difference in the odds of winning any even-money wager.
||Odds of WinningEven-MoneyBet
||1 in 2.111 (18 in 38), or47.37%
||1 in 2.055 (18 in 37), or48.65%