Have you ever wondered what casino games have the best odds of winning? Do you want to avoid a killer house edge where the casino has all the advantage?
With the PennStakes.com guide, you can learn about the Pennsylvania casino games with the best odds. We’ll show you why house edge makes a difference and tell you which bets to avoid. You can come out the other side knowing where to risk your bankroll.
Top 10 casino games with the best winning odds:
- Casino War
- European Roulette
- Pai Gow Poker
- French Roulette
- Super Fun Blackjack
- Spanish 21 Blackjack
- Jacks or Better video poker
- Classic Blackjack
Breaking Down the House Edge
You can play dozens of different games at land-based and online casinos in Pennsylvania. Choose from a range of video slots, video poker and exciting table games like American Roulette.
But casino games should come with a health warning: the house edge. The house edge is the statistical advantage the casino has over players. The odds are skewed so much in the casino’s favor, that over the long term the player will always lose.
For example, European Roulette has a house edge of 2.7% and an average payout of 97.3%. That means for every $100 wagered, the casino keeps on average $2.70. That might not seem a lot, but over millions of spins it adds up to a healthy cut.
While all casino games have a house edge, some are bigger than others. And many games have a range of bets, each with its own house edge. As a casino player, you need to know which bets to choose and which to avoid.
Casino Games with the Best Odds
What casino games have the best chance of winning? And which bets should you avoid? We’re counting down our top 10 casino games with the best odds, and we’ll also round up some of the worst games to play in your local casino or online.
Here are the best casino games with he lowest house edge and bets to look out for.
House Edge: 2.8% (go to war on ties); 3.7% (surrender ties)
Casino War is a simple card game played between you and the dealer. You both receive one card. You win if your card is higher than the dealer’s. You lose if it’s lower.
But if the cards are the same, you have two tie bet options. You can either surrender your card or go to war.
If you surrender, you lose half your original stake. You place an additional bet equal to your ante if you want to go to war. You now both receive a second card. You win if your second card either matches or beats the dealer’s.
Because a tie results in another round of betting, the chances of winning are just under 47%. But your chances of winning increase if you take another bet when you go to war. The house edge is reduced when you go to war, so it’s the smart move.
House Edge: 2.7%
European Roulette isn’t widely available in brick ‘n mortar casinos in Pennsylvania, but you can enjoy real money roulette games online of this variety.
The main difference between European Roulette and American Roulette is that there is only one green pocket compared to two in American Roulette. This drastically reduces the house edge from 5.26% in American Roulette to 2.7% in European Roulette.
If you’re wondering which casino game has the best odds for a payout, European Roulette comes pretty high. The chances of winning are 48.65% for the even-money bets like red/black and odd/even. Avoid the straight-up bets (single numbers), which only have a 2.7% chance of hitting.
Pai Gow Poker
House Edge: 1.5%-2.5%
Pai Gow Poker is a low-risk game that you can also find at some online casinos. The aim of this table game is to make the best 5-card poker hand and 2-card hand from 7 available cards. The player wins even-money (minus a 5% commission) if they beat both the dealer’s hands. If you win one and lose one, the bet is a push and is refunded.
Pai Gow Poker has some element of skill, in that you need to know how to form your hands.
You’ll need to follow easy tips to help reduce the overall house edge. For example, you should put your highest pair in the 2-card hand, and split pairs into two available hands.
House Edge: 1.36% (Don’t Pass/Don’t Come); 1.41% (Pass/Come)
Craps is the all-action casino dice game that features dozens of wild bet variations.
In craps, you place bets on the outcome of two dice. But first, a ‘point’ number is set by the shooter in a ‘come out’ roll. You then place bets on the next rolls thrown compared to the point.
The best odds in craps are for the Pass/Come and Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets. These are all even-money bets. The Pass bet wins if a 7 or 11 are rolled. You lose if 2, 3, or 12 are rolled but all other numbers become the “point.” The Pass bet stays in place until a 7, 11, 2, 3 or 12 are rolled.
The Don’t Pass bet is the opposite of the Pass bet. You win if a 7 is rolled before the point number is determined.
The Come bet is placed after the come out. You win if the next roll is 7 or 11. A 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 will become the ‘Come Point’ and the bet moves to a special box. You win if the Come Point is rolled before a 7.
House Edge: 1.35%
French Roulette is a neat variant of European Roulette that features one or two interesting bets.
The wheel resembles the one in European Roulette, with one green zero pocket. However, if the zero appears when you make an even-money bet on red/black or odd/even, your wager is split in half under the ‘La Partage’ rule. Half is kept by the house and half is returned to you as a refund.
In some land-based French Roulette games, the ‘En Prison’ rule is in play. Your even-money stake is placed ‘in prison’ and will be returned if your bet wins on the next spin.
Because of the insurance bet, the house edge in French Roulette is half that of European Roulette. You are more likely to find this game at an online casino.
House Edge: Banker 1.06%; Player 1.24%
Baccarat is a simple table game played between a ‘player’ and a ‘banker.’ Two two-card hands are dealt, and you must place bets on which hand wins. The aim is to get as close to 9 as possible (picture cards are worth zero).
With two equal hands, why is the Banker a safer bet? Well, the Banker sometimes draws a third card based on the Player’s hand. The Banker, for instance, draws a third card on 5 or less if the Player has 6 or 7.
The payout for baccarat is 1/1 on the Player, and 19/20 on the Banker (1/1 minus 5% commission). While the payout is less on the Banker, it’s still the smarter bet.
Super Fun 21 Blackjack
House Edge: 0.94%
Super Fun 21 is a cool blackjack variant found in some US casinos and online. It’s played with 1-6 decks, and you can surrender half or all of your bet after doubling down.
In Super Fun 21, the player’s blackjack always wins, giving the player a huge advantage in the game. You can also pick up a nice side bet like 2/1 on a diamond blackjack.
Spanish 21 Blackjack
House Edge: 0.40%-0.76%
Spanish 21 is a variant of blackjack that can be found at some online casinos. It’s also known as Pontoon in some jurisdictions.
In Spanish 21, there are no 10s but players can enjoy lots of special rules like re-splitting aces. A player blackjack always beats the dealer’s, and you can earn 3/2 on a 5-card 21. You can also win a Super Bonus for making a 21 with three suited 7s.
Jacks or Better Video Poker
House Edge: 0.46%
Video poker is one of the oldest electronic casino games in the US. You can also play for real money at top PA casinos online. Video poker is also one of the casino games with better odds than most. But it’s important to choose the right variant.
Jacks or Better has one of the lowest house edges of all video poker games.
House Edge: 0.28-0.67%
You can play classic blackjack at every good online casino in PA. The house edge can vary, but variants from NetEnt and IGT will be around 0.41%-0.60%.
You can reduce the house edge even further with liberal blackjack rules. Liberal blackjack rules can include:
- Surrender: Forfeit 50% of your stake if the dealer is able to make blackjack.
- Double down on any two: Some variants let you double on ANY total, not just 9, 10, or 11.
- Double down after a split: Some variants let you double after splitting a pair.
- Single deck: You can find single-deck blackjack games at some online casinos.
Blackjack lends itself well to optimal strategy. When playing optimal strategy, blackjack becomes one of the casino games with the best odds.
You can print out a ‘cheat sheet’ showing the best moves depending on your cards and the dealer’s. Avoid the insurance bet, and don’t hit if a stand is a better statistical move.
Casino Games with Lower Odds
We’ve answered the question: What casino games have the best odds? Now let’s look at some games with terrible odds.
You will find most of these games online or in your nearest casino. And you’ll notice that some games, like craps, appear in both lists. Remember to keep to the correct bets to improve your long-term chances.
House Edge: 5.26%-7.89%
American Roulette features a wheel containing 38 numbered pockets: 1 through 36, plus a 0 and 00. The presence of the second green pocket increases the house edge to 5.26%.
In addition, the chances of winning are reduced too. The odds of winning on red/black, or odd/even are 47.37%. For a single number, it’s even lower – just 2.63%.
The 5-line bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, 3 offers the worst house edge in roulette: 7.89%.
House Edge: 2.78-47%
Sic Bo is an easy casino game played with dice. Place bets on the outcome of three dice and get paid if you’re right.
Payouts can vary hugely in Sic Bo: Guessing one die correctly pays 1/1, two dice 2/1, and three dice 3/1. Three ones, twos or threes pays 150/1. You can also win 999/1 if your dice total exactly 4.
As in blackjack, you can improve your odds by choosing the right bets. The ‘Small’ is a bet on the total being 4-10. The ‘Big’ is a bet on totals of 11-17. Both bets pay 1/1 and have a house edge of 2.78%.
By picking more specific totals, you increase the house edge. A total of 4 can have a house edge of 29%, while a Total 5 bet has a house edge of 47%. The probability if hitting an exact total of 5 is just 2.78%.
Craps (Any Craps)
House Edge: 11.11%
Craps has some of the lowest house edges in the casino. However, some craps bets also offer poor returns for players.
The ‘Any Craps’ bet is also known as the ‘Three Way.’ You are betting that a 2, 3 or 12 will be rolled. The probability of them appearing is 8/1 but the bet guarantees a poor payout of just 7/1. Stick to bets with the lowest house edge.
Craps (On the Hop)
House Edge: 13.89%
The On the Hop bet is an even worse bet for craps players. This is a wager on a specific combination of dice, e.g. 2 and 3. You can also bet ‘on the hop’ on doubles, like 3 & 3. This is harder to achieve as there is only combination of a double. The house edge of 13.89% reflects that.
House Edge: 14.36%
In baccarat, you bet whether the Player’s or Banker’s hand will be nearest a total of 9. You can also bet on the hands ending in a tie, which pays 8/1.
However, because of the Third Card Rule, a tie is pretty rare in baccarat. A tie has a 0.09% probability, and that just isn’t reflected in the payouts.
Casino War (tie bet)
House Edge: 18.65%-35%
Casino War has one of the best house edges when you go to war on a tie. But the game also has one of the worst, the 18.65% for a tie bet.
The tie bet pays 10/1, and you place the wager before the hands are dealt. But the probability of a tied hand is 0.07% in a multi-deck game, and even lower in a single-deck game.
House Edge: 20%-40%
Keno is a casino game where you choose 1-20 numbers from 80 available. The more correct numbers you choose, the more you win.
Keno has one of the worst house edges in the casino. The true odds of hitting multiple numbers is thousands of millions to one. However, those odds are not reflected in the payouts.
For example, hitting 10 correct balls is over 253,000/1, but the average payout is just 150/1.
Casino Games with Odds That are Tough to Calculate
What casino games have the best odds? Some video slots have a house edge as low as 1%, and if you play optimal strategy, blackjack can be pretty profitable too. Other slots, meanwhile, have a house edge as high as 12%.
Some games require a little skill when playing. It’s hard to work out the house edge because you have so many moves to make. Let’s look a little closer at casino poker games and video slots.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em
House Edge: 0.73%-2.19%
Ultimate Texas Hold’em is a popular online card game by Shuffle Master that is played against the house. You can win a top payout worth $50,000, and the house edge is low. But the player’s edge is only low if you make optimal plays.
You and the dealer receive two cards. You place an Ante bet on the strength of your cards, then combine your cards with five community cards to form the best 5-card poker hand.
You can ‘check’ and see three community cards for free. If you checked your hand, you can only make a Play bet worth 2x Ante. You then get to see the final two community cards and you can choose to fold your hand or make a Play of 1x Ante.
If you like your hand, you can make a ‘Play Bet’ worth 3x or 4x the size of your ante. All five community cards are then dealt out.
The aim in Ultimate Texas Hold’em is to beat the dealer’s hand, but the risk is greater if you commit to your hand early on. You win 1/1 on a straight, 3/2 on the flush and 3/1 on a full house. A royal flush pays 500/1.
The skill in Ultimate Texas Hold’em comes in knowing what move to make. Playing optimal strategy is playing the large 4x raise when you have A-K down to A-2. You should also raise 4x when you hold K-Q down to K-5.
Playing optimal strategy can improve your long-term results and help reduce the house edge to around 0.73%.
Let it Ride
House Edge: 3.51%
Let it Ride is a casino poker game played with five cards. You receive three cards, and must decide whether to “let it ride” and continue betting. You must make a winning poker hand with your three cards and two community cards to win a payout.
In Let it Ride, you win 1/1 on a pair of 10s or better, 2/1 on two pair, and 3/1 on three of a kind. You’ll win 1000/1 on a royal flush. The game also features a range of side bonus bets like 5/1 for three-of-a-kind, 25/1 for a straight and 20,000/1 for a royal flush.
In Let it Ride, the vast majority of hands in the game will be losing ones. However, you may pull your first bet back if you don’t like the look of your first three cards.
House Edge: 5.22%
Caribbean Stud Poker is a simple game to play, but a difficult one to master. Optimal strategy is possible if you are experienced, and it can reduce the house edge by half.
In the game, you and the dealer receive five cards each. You must fold your hand or raise depending on the strength of your hand and the one up-card shown by the dealer. The dealer then turns over their remaining cards and the hands are compared.
The payouts are so low in Caribbean Stud that they don’t reflect the true odds. A winning two-pair hand only pays 2/1, while three of a kind pays 3/1. A straight pays out 4/1 and a flush 5/1. Fair payouts would be many times these numbers.
To minimize the house edge, you can employ sensible moves like raising if the dealer’s up card matches yours.
House Edge: 1%-12%
Payouts in video slots can vary wildly. Some games have payouts of 99% while some land-based machines may only pay out 88%.
The RTP (Return to Player percentage) varies from developer to developer, casino to casino and slot game to slot game. Some online games will display the RTP in their paytables. So, a slot machine with an RTP of 95% will have a house edge of 5%. That’s a huge cut for the casino on every dollar bet.
If you were wondering what casino games have the best chance of winning, we hope we’ve answered your concerns.
All casino games have a disadvantage to the player, so it’s vital you find the games and wagers that are right for you.
You can legally play dozens of exciting table games and slots in Pennsylvania. Try out games for free online and discover the best bets for you. You can sign up with one of our top-rated PA online casinos today!