If you ask 10 people what their favorite casino games are, then you will almost always get 10 different answers. The ten best casino games are always going to be subjective, because everyone has different ideas of what makes a good casino game. Some people like the randomness of a roulette wheel, and some people like the mindlessness of pulling on a slot machine.
Still, while the best casino games are subjective, there are some that are better than others just based on common sense. Some games are boring, others always give you a slim chance of winning, and still others are tailored to a certain gambling style that not everyone likes.
Along with all of that, there’s personal preference involved. You have your own likes and dislikes, and you might enjoy a certain casino game that everyone else dislikes. I’ve got my opinions on what makes a good casino game, but that’s not the only thing that matters. Your top ten list might be different from mine, and that’s fine.
Just remember that you should play your game based on your own enjoyment, and how much the house favors you while you play. Every single game favors the house, but I like playing games that give me at least some chance of winning.
Finally, if you are playing online in an online casino, make sure that you are using a safe and reputable online site. Check out our list of trustworthy online casinos because all of these games can be played online as well. It goes without saying that it is important to make sure your online casino is legitimate before throwing in money.
Take a look at my list of the best casino games to play, and my top ten choices are listed in no particular order.
Admittedly, one of the simpier casino games does have its downsides, even though it is on the list of the best games to play. First, if you are unable to find a place where no other people are playing, and you are a little on the introverted side, then you still need to interact with a human dealer. Unless you play Blackjack online, and even then their still might be some human interaction.
Additionally, if you are not a fan of card games, then Blackjack might not be for you. If you suck at math, and have trouble adding and subtracting all the various numbers to get to 21, Blackjack might not be good for you either.
The game is also less about making mindless movements and more about decisions and strategies, and you need to keep your mind and your focus on the game as you play. Also, other players at the table are watching you as well, trying to see what you can do.
If you don’t like pressure and aren’t a fan of interacting with people at the casino table, or want to play something that takes a little less thought, then this game might not be for you.
Still, all those cons are more about the person playing the game, and less about the game itself. There are a lot of pros to the game as well, and you need to take all of those into account. Blackjack has a very low house edge, which means that the house keeps less of your bet whenever you play.
You get to make and keep more money whenever you play Blackjack, which is already a massive benefit. In some cases, if you can find a blackjack game with good rules and know enough strategy to be good, then you can really make a killing at the table. The house edge is typically 0.3%, and that percentage is the lowest house edge for an in-house casino.
If you want to find a Blackjack table with good rules, you should focus on analyzing our blackjack survey. We carry it out annually, and record all the rules for every single table. We also make note of all of the special conditions, and give you access to all of that information. Then, you can use that information to find the best tables to play with.
Even if you are at one of the worst tables, you can still find a house edge of around 1%, which is still pretty respectable. You can negate that house edge with proper strategy, and here are some of my personal Blackjack tips.
First, let’s look at some basic strategy. Basic strategy has a correct decision for every single hand in the game. You just need to compare what is in your hand with the ‘up card’ of the dealer, and if you make that decision every single time you will stand a good chance of winning.
There’s another type of strategy called expected strategy, where you can see how much your decisions are worth over the long run mathematically. If you multiply the odds of winning by what you stand to win, and then take away the odds of losing by what you stand to lose, you’ll have the expected amount.
If all of this math is making your head hurt now, then you probably won’t be able to use it in the game. If you don’t have any idea of what your strategy is, you can find detailed guides for the basic strategy on our website or around the internet. Most dealers will even allow you to print out a table and bring it with you whenever you play.
It’s the best way to gain an idea of basic strategy, but even if you are playing without it, then you are only losing about 1.5% and 3.5% per hand. Just make sure you aren’t making stupid decisions, and you will be fine.
You can even learn to count cards to give yourself even more of an advantage, and if you learn the skills, or are talented and smart enough, you can further increase your chances of winning. Blackjack is a great game to play for beginners and experts, and there’s enough out there to allow you to take advantage of the various odds. Play with it, and you’ll learn that the game is much easier than you thought.
2. Video Poker
Video poker is not poker played online, but instead it resembles slot machines, although they do give players a much bigger chance of winning. Which every single player should want to take advantage of!
Here are some of the drawbacks of the game first. If you are a social gamer, then video poker doesn’t let you talk much to the other players or the dealer. Additionally, if you are a high or low roller, then video poker can be a little disappointing. The lowest end video poker games cost around $1.25 per hand to play, and you don’t get a lot for the higher end games as well.
Finally, Video Poker rewards skilled play, and if you are someone who hates having to think about what they are doing, you might not enjoy the game. However, if you keep your eyes on the game and stick to a strategy, then you can make some money winning.
One of the biggest pros of video poker is that the game is very transparent and the odds are better than normal. Additionally, even though the game is online, it also does it’s best to duplicate what will happen with a real deck of cards.
It has 4 aces in the deck, you can calculate the odds of getting an ace, and the random number generation duplicates the odds you get whenever you play with a real deck. These terms make it better than playing with a typical slot machine.
On the slots, you have no idea what the likelihood of getting a certain symbol on one of the reels is, making it very random. Additionally, the slots are programmed, so the cherry might only come up once every 100 spins, or once every 1000 spins. You don’t know, making it very hard to come up with any type of strategy.
Still, you can find the payback percentage for the video poker machine. Multiply the odds of achieving a certain hand by the payout, and that’s that. You won’t be able to calculate the payback percentage of the game as well. However, the best games offer a payback percentage of over 99% if you play with a good strategy. Most of the typical slot machines give you a payback percentage of less than 95% around 75% to 80%.
Even the worst odds at a video poker table are much better than the odds of the best slot machine. You just need some strategy, and as long as you have the temperament to learn a bit, you will be fine.
Plus, you will have to learn rules anyway before you get into the casino and start playing, so why not get started now?
Perhaps one of the best games, and one of the most common games to learn, is craps. Still, due to its popularity it can be a little intimidating. Everyone crowds around the craps table, and there’s a large crew of people needed to run each game. Additionally, everyone gets very excited at the craps table, and the bets all seem to have funny names. Despite its popularity, craps is a great game for both beginners and experts, and a lot of fun at the casino.
Here are some of the drawbacks to craps first, but don’t let it stop you. The game itself is complicated and can be very hard to follow. Even if you are attracted to the excitement, it can be very hard to follow along as a total beginner. Still, keep in mind that there’s a very simple goal to Craps.
Someone rolls dice and attempts to get certain numbers. That deceptively simple premise is harder whenever you see that the different rolls mean different things, and some of the bets of the table aren’t even labeled. Additionally, it can be very easy to win and lose money at the craps table in a matter of minutes. You could win and lose hundreds of dollars in an instant, and that’s a risk you need to take.
The game also has a large house edge, with some odds being over 10%, but you can pick some of the safer bets if you so wish.
Despite these disadvantages, Craps still remains a great casino game to play and here’s why. First, it’s easy to play once you learn it. You just use two dice, and need to roll a 7 or 11 on your roll. You also want to avoid rolling a 2, 3, or 12. If you roll any other number, you have set a point, and you want to roll that number before rolling a 7. Pretty simple right?
One of the easiest bets you can make on the person rolling (or the shooter) is that their point succeeds or fails. Depending on the actions of the shooter, you can make or lose money for your choice. This bet is simply a pass/no pass bet, and you can also make a very advantageous bet called an odds bet.
This bet gives you a 0 house edge, one of the only bets that does so. You can place an additional bet behind your pass or don’t pass bet, and is a multiple of your original bet. The more money you place on this bet, the greater your odds become. The money you can bet is only limited by the casino’s rules, and it certainly helps things get dramatic!
You can also stick with the simple bets and avoid the more complicated ones, giving you a house edge that is less than 1%, similar to blackjack. Still, there’s no strategy involved, except for avoiding the bets that have a high house bet and staying with the ones that have a low house bet.
Finally, if you are a social person and love to soak up the energy of the casino, this is the game for you. People are cheering, yelling, high-fiving, and laughing, and seeing a shooter on a streak is one of the most exciting experiences in the casino. Whenever you see the handsome rich man surrounded by a cheering crowd in a casino movie, they are almost always playing craps! Scenes like that can certainly happen in real life if you are lucky.
Finally, most physical casinos offer classes to help you play craps, and online classes are offered as well. You’ll learn the game quickly, without any trouble at all after taking one of these classes. Then you can walk up to any craps table and play like a pro.
I’m not the biggest fan of Baccarat, but everyone else seems to love it. Once again it has a very low house edge, and at its core it is a simple guessing game. The dealer and the players get a hand, and you add the card values together and then ignore the first digit. Aside from taking the cards out, you make no other decisions in the game.
You play with the dealer, and there are three outcomes: Win, lose, and tie. Like blackjack each of the cards have a point value, and the highest outcome wins. The most common form of Baccarat is the ‘Punto Baccarat’ where the cards that you draw as a player make your actions.
For example, if you draw your two cards and have a total of 0-5, then you draw a third card. If your total is 6 or 7, then you stand. If the player stands, then the banker follows the same rules. The rules for the banker change if you happened to draw a third card, depending on your total.
The stakes are available right from the start and that makes it better for high rollers. Additionally, it’s one of the slower paced games available, and has a certain amount of elegance. That makes it very popular with high rollers in the private areas of the casino, and depending on how you play you could either face a low house edge or a high one.
If you aren’t looking at fighting the house and focusing on a strategy, this is the best game for you. Plus, you can go on some fun winning streaks.
5. Slot Machines
Slot machines might seem a little crazy, but for the right type of gambler it can be a fun game. Still, you need to make sure that you are picking the correct slot machine game. Slot machines are good if people want to play without socializing at all, and who just want to work without making decisions at all. You simply pull the lever and see what happens, and that’s that.
It’s also a game that focuses totally on luck and not skill, which brings in a lot of people. The best slot machines that you can play with play on various denominations, and these games have the best payouts for you. However, people can sometimes play a bit above their pay grade and get into trouble.
In order to be comfortable with slot machines, you need to make sure that you are comfortable with the stakes of the game. You don’t want to get in over your head, because that can lose you money fast. Still, slot machines do have some math involved, and here’s what that looks like.
If you make 600 spins per hour on a $5 slot machine, then you have $3000 in action, and if you are losing 5% on average, you will lose around $150 per hour. If you play $25 per game, then you put up $15,000 per hour and then lose 4% on average, and you are losing around $600 per hour.
Even with the payout percentage dropping down to 3% then you are still losing $450 which is around 3x what you lose on the $5 game. So the payback percentage and the stakes are what make the real difference.
Also, you need to take the game’s complexity into account, as payback percentages are higher for simple games for complicated games. Plus, the different reels and jackpot types of a slot machine are also affecting the payout. The first slot machines were 5 reel, although this quickly proved too complicated and three reel machines became the standard. However, that meant that only 1,000 combinations could be done on three reels with 10 symbols on each.
This made the early three reel machines high risk, but also very boring. Eventually electronics were added that gave symbols a certain weight, making some combinations more or less likely to appear. Now with computers, the probability can be manipulated on the smallest level for each reel and symbol.
The addition of random number generators only adds to the different combinations as well, taking the timing into account and giving you a truly random game. Most people have tried to predict sets of numbers, but the slot manufacturers are always a few steps ahead of them.
Still, if you don’t want to make decisions and don’t want to talk to people, then you can get on the slots. As long as you stay on the budget and stick with the less complicated machines, then you can have some real fun!
6. European Roulette
The lack of skill and high house edge for roulette can really cause most gamblers to walk away from the game, but despite the disdain for it by sophisticated gamers, the game still has stuck around. Well, the high house edge can be mitigated by the fast pace of the game, and the house edge of 2.7% is smaller when compared to a 2.7% slot machine.
If you assume that a roulette table sees around 60 bets, and you bet $5 per spin of the wheel, you will put $300 to the action and have an hourly loss of $8.10 an hour. For the similar $5 slot machine, then you could do 600 spins per hour and put $3000 in action. Then the loss at the 2.7% house edge is $81 dollars every single hour.
Still, if you are a slower paced gamer, you can do pretty well and be pretty social as time goes on. This does go for European roulette, and American roulette is much different, so different that it makes my list of the worst ever casino games.
Some of the main differences include the numbers of packers. The American wheel has 38 pockets of black and red from numbers 1-36, and two green pockets for 0 and 00. The European wheel has 36 numbered pockets but only 1 green pocket for a 0. This is why the house edge is much higher in American Roulette.
The house edge is about twice as high as other casino games, and there’s no real advantage to playing the game to mitigate the worsening odds. If all you find is American Roulette, then you should ignore it and only focus on the European version.
7. Pai Gow Poker
I love Pai Gow Poker for its laid-back pace, as it is a game that is more like a leisure activity. It is a lot like roulette or baccarat, but despite this there’s a lot of pushes that will lower your expected hourly loss. However, it can be very hard for beginners to get into, so you need to make sure that you take a few classes.
Now, Pai Gow Poker is played with a 53 card deck and a Joker card. It is a casino poker game where you compete with a dealer’s hand, and not against the hands of other six players. Each player gets a 7 card hand that is split into a 2 card hand and a 5 card hand. The 5 card hand must be a greater rank than the 2 card hand, or it is called a foul.
The two card hands are either one pair or high cards, while five card hands use poker hand rankings. The joker is a card that either always plays as an ace in a two card hand, or can be a bug in a five card hand, completing a straight or a flush.
If you have six players the order of play is determined by seating positions and dice rolls, if less than 6 people are at the table, then the cards are still drawn for the vacant seats, but placed in a discard pile. In some casinos an extra vacant seat hand is called a ‘dragon hand’ and players are allowed to place an additional bet to play the dragon hand and allows the players to bring it into play.
The dealer draws their hand, although they do follow some rules that the players don’t have to. This is called the ‘house way’ so the dealer doesn’t need to use any strategy to defeat the players, while players can set their hand how they choose.
If the player’s two hands are better than the two hands of the dealer, you win the even money at a 5% commission. If the dealer’s hands are better, you lose your bet. Anything else causes a push, which is pretty common.
The game does require some strategy as you need to figure out what to put in the two card hand and what to put in the 5 card hand. These mental challenges can be interesting if you enjoy them, and the house edge for the game is only at about 1.5%.
Despite the higher house edge, you can still make some money thanks to the slow pace of play and all of the pushes.
8. Spanish 21
While most gamblers do consider Spanish 21 to be blackjack with some rule changes, they would only be half right. The rules changes still keep the game in the realm of blackjack, but they also can help it be listed as it’s own game. Here are some of those differences.
Spanish 21 uses a spanish deck that takes all the 10s out of a standard deck of cards, and all the face cards are still in the deck. You can also have late surrender and can always double after splitting in spanish 21. Aces can also be re-split, and all of these things are limited in traditional blackjack games.
Additionally, if you hit 21, you win… no matter what. No matter the total of the dealer, a 21 is a win, and you even win the ties. The different bands are also given bonuses as well. If you have a 5 card hand at 21, you pay off at 3 to 1. A 6 card hand is 2 to 1, and 7 cards or more is a 3 to 1 payment.
Additionally a 678 or 777 is given a bonus payout of 3 to 2, and if the cards are all suited, they have a 2 to 1 payout. If you get those suits in spades, then the payment goes to 3 to 1.
If you are willing to handle all the simple strategies, and learn all of the rules, you can reduce the house edge and that edge never goes over 1%. If you have a basic strategy, the house edge can even go to 0.4% under the best conditions.
Spanish 21 is a better game than blackjack, even with the rules changes and new skills you need to put into place. Still, you have the best bets available in any given casino, and it’s a fun game too.
9. 3 Card Poker
3 card poker doesn’t make the list due to its low house edge, but also the fact that the game is loads of fun. While the odds might be the worst of any game on the list, they are manageable and you can use different tactics to mitigate the house edge.
Three card poker was designed to be fast paced, and three cards are dealt to the player and dealer. The dealer’s hand needs to be Queen higher or larger to play, and if they can’t play all ante wagers are paid at a 1 to 1 ratio. Otherwise, if the player wins, the ante and play wagers are theirs, if they lose, then the wagers are lost.
You can also make other side bets as well, with different bonuses and the Pair Plus wager, which bets that a player’s hand will be a pair or better when it is revealed.
In this game you are focusing on beating the dealer, and not all the other players, and the house is handling all the action. This game only has three cards, which have different odds for getting different hands. It’s a lot easier to get hands such as straights and flushes, and here;s the probability for getting some of those odds.
For a flush, all three cards need to be the same suit, and it is a ‘and’ question for probability. Whenever you have an ‘and’ question, then you multiply all the separate probabilities together to get the overall probability.
Let’s say you have the 4 suits and the probability for drawing a card from each suit is ¼. ¼ x ¼ is 1/16. This is a reasonable approximation of getting a 3 card flush for poker. If you are playing a 5 card poker game, then here are the odds:
¼ x ¼ x ¼ x ¼ x ¼ = 1/256.
1/16 and 1/256 is a massive difference in scale, and that means that you have bigger hands to win, and you can beat the dealer’s hand. The house edge for the 3 card poker game is 3.3%, and it is still worse than European Roulette but better than American Roulette.
10. Caribbean Stud Poker
This is also another poker game that you play against the house, and it offers a progressive jackpot. Still, even though progressive jackpots offer worse odds for players, that doesn’t mean that Caribbean Stud Poker is a terrible option. It’s also a game where you can be social.
I like to be with other players as I gamble, even if I know others are not. Some like to be alone at the slots or the video poker machines, while others really enjoy the atmosphere of sitting around a table and gambling away. If you follow the old Shakespeare quote ‘To thine own self be true” then you will be fine.
The house edge in this game is about as high as roulette, and it’s admittedly the worst in the ‘best casino games list.’ However, there is a lot of fun factor that counts for something while playing in my book, so that is why it is here.
The game also has a very complicated strategy, which is its own pro and con! While I love cutting my teeth on a complicated grand strategy game, not everyone does. Plus, the high house edge has scared people off before. It’s 10x as high as the house edge for blackjack, and that can really cause people to scratch their heads. Why not just play blackjack instead?
Well, this game has a progressive jackpot, and it’s a great game if you want to have some fun and dream about making it big. The score is available, and if you play your cards right you can even get payouts at 100 to 1 or 50 to 1 as well, which isn’t available at the blackjack table.
The rules come from 5 card poker, and after placing an ‘ante’ the players and dealer will receive 5 cards. Then you can either fold or raise the ante, and can raise. Once that is done, the dealer shows four of his cards, and can only play if he holds an ace, king, or forms a high ranked pair. The players show their hands, and compare them to the dealer’s hand.
If the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify, then the ante bets are paid as even money, and the raise bets all push. It is much more fun than it sounds, and it’s very easy to get sucked into the game.
I’ll be honest and admit that having a ‘best in class’ casino game is a personal thing. My list is probably not the same as yours, and it is not the end all be all for casino games. Plus, some of these games might not be up your alley as a better, and that’s okay. You need to remember this whenever people start offering black and white generalizations over which game is better.
Most gamblers who pick the best games tend to focus on the only thing that matters to them ‘the house edge.’ It’s not a bad factor to look at because it does affect a lot, but it’s not the only thing you should consider whenever you pick a game to play.
Figure out if you are an introvert or extrovert, and pick a game that has an atmosphere that makes you comfortable. Do you want a slower paced game where you can relax and focus on strategy, or something faster paced and mindless? Do you need quick wins to keep you going, or do you want to stake it all on the big score?
All these factors need to be considered when picking a game, because there’s no use in choosing a game that is not fun for you. You want to have fun and be comfortable while playing, because even with the money on the line, it is still a game. A game you need to have fun at. While I tried to give pros and cons for every game on this list, these games are still my favorites. It’s my opinion and should be treated as such, and that’s the best part. You can make your own list and have it be just as valid.