I was recently contacted by David Wright from Newsmax magazine and www.Newsmax.com about an article he was doing about the best gambling bets in a casino and the worst bets in a casino. David wanted to provide his readers with the best and worst casino bets and I was glad to help him out. He also knew that my feature book Gamblers Fight Back was due to release and that much of the information I provided could be found in the book. The article is set to release in the April edition of Newsmax magazine, but here is a preview of the three best gambling bets that can be made in a casino.
- Blackjack Using Basic Strategy- I’ve talked about it many times, but the easiest way to lower the house edge (casino advantage) is to play blackjack and use a basic strategy chart. You do not have to memorize the information. They will not throw you out of the casino. Simply bring a small basic strategy chart and when you are unsure of the decision, look at the chart. Depending on the rules of the game, you can lower the house edge to as low as .25%. In comparison many slot machines have a 10%+ edge. That’s the difference between the casino taking $10 of every $100 on the slot and 25 cents of every $100 on the blackjack table. Now, just because you play blackjack doesn’t mean you are playing with a low house edge, you must use flawless strategy. This is the most common mistake. Many players will hear blackjack has the best odds and assume just because they are playing blackjack they have a great chance of winning. If you are making horrific plays, the casino may have just as large an advantage over you as a slot player.
- Craps- Many people have heard that Craps offers some of the best odds in the casino, but they have no idea what to bet. There are many bets on the Craps table that are terrible, but there are a few that are very good. The most basic bet in Craps is called the pass line bet. You can either bet with the “shooter” (the person throwing the dice and my dog’s name) or against him/her. Either bet is a good bet but the don’t pass line bet (against) is a little bit better at a house edge of 1.36% (Pass line bet 1.41% house edge). We are over a 1% disadvantage but still a pretty good bet. However, there is a way to lower the house advantage and that is to make a side bet called “taking the odds.” After the shooter has established a point, take full odds. This is one of only two bets in the casino where there is no built-in house advantage (50/50 bet). This in-turn lowers the overall house edge to less than 1% depending on how big a bet is made on taking the odds.
- 9/6 Jacks or Better Video Poker- This is another game I’ve talked often about, but there still seems to be a lot of ambiguity among people regarding video poker. First, let me say that just like blackjack simply playing the game is not enough. You must learn what I call “perfect play.” There is a mathematically correct play you need to make for every hand that you are dealt. If you make the incorrect play or are playing a machine with a poor pay table, you may be playing with a disadvantage similar to a slot player. A 9/6 Jacks or Better machine can be played with a payback of 99.54%. That means if you make the correct moves the house edge is .46%, once again under 1%. In order to find a 9/6 machine, you must look at the pay table on the screen or machine itself. It must pay 9 coins for every coin bet when you receive a full house and six coins for every coin bet for a flush. That is known as a 9/6 machine, but make sure the game is Jacks or Better. If it is a different game like Bonus Poker or Deuces Wild that changes everything.