Not a lot of recreational gamblers enter the world of online gaming fully prepared, and a lot of important factors that can significantly improve your gaming score are picked up somewhere along the way, often by accident.
This is not really a tragedy, but if there is a chance to profit while having fun, why not take it? To avoid the limbo of the learning curve and get a head start, you must learn to read between the lines. In the online gambling universe, this means learning how to look past the visuals, the bonus features, special effects, and anything that would make you select the game based solely on the appearance.
Casino games are so much more than what meets the eye and to get the best out of your gambling session, you will need to learn how to assess the game’s value. This sounds much more complicated than it actually is; in reality, you will need to pay attention to two factors – the payout rate and the hit frequency.
The Return to the Player Percentage, House Edge and the Odds
The RTP (short for “return to the player”) is the average payout rate produced during a long-term gameplay session. The percentage value applies to the betting unit – if, for example, the game has a 95% RTP value, you can expect 95 cents back on a $1 bet, or a $95 on a $100 bet.
The higher the value of the RTP, the more favorable the game will be in the long run. Those with a limited gambling budget will often choose high RTP games by default, as they can clearly generate more money per session.
The RTP is actually a different way to express the house edge or the casino’s advantage, which is the value that adds up to full 100%. This means that a game with 95% has 5% house edge. Depending on the type of the game, the house edge/RTP value can fluctuate and change according to the probability of a certain outcome. This is a great indicator of how risky a betting option is. When odds are against you, the house edge will hit the roof, but so will the potential payout if you win the bet. This is precisely why most players tend to stick with the low house edge bets and games that have favorable odds; the payout rates may not be impressive, but they are definitely reliable.
Online Casino Games with the Best Odds
Most of the traditional casino games have a pretty decent RTP value and chances are you have been playing high RTP casino games without even knowing it. This is not so surprising, and a lot of players go for the low house edge bets or high RTP games by instinct, without even knowing the proper terminology.
In other words, it only takes common sense to understand that you will have better odds of winning should you decide to bet on red/black instead of going for the single number bet in the game in roulette. Occasionally, the odds are not as transparent, which is why the players should pay closer attention to the developer’s info sheet and find the RTP report. The games listed below are known for their high RTP value and great odds, which makes them quite popular with wider demographics.
Blackjack: 0.50% or Less
High RTP is not the only reason people enjoy blackjack – the strategic potential of this game is amazing, enabling the players to eliminate the house edge completely. This, however, is only applicable to live blackjack since certain strategies, such as card counting (which can give you an extra edge and increase the RTP), cannot be used on RNG (random number generator) version of blackjack. The cards are automatically shuffled after every round, making any tracking impossible.
The good news is that blackjack can be pretty lucrative even if you only use the basic strategy, which rests on the following principles:
• Hit on hard 8, soft 15 or lower hand value
• Stand on hard 17, soft 19 or higher hand value
• Double on 10 or 11 if the dealer’s up card has a lower value, otherwise hit
• Split 8s and Aces
• Double on 9 if the up card is 2 – 6 or higher
• Double on soft 16, 17, and 18 if the up card is 2 – 6 or up, and stand on hard 12 – 14 under the same circumstances
By using the strategic rules above, you will achieve the optimal RTP rate of 99.5%, which translates into a 0.5% house edge.
Be careful with the side bets though, as they increase the house edge. The general rule is that any bet with an abnormally high payout rate should be avoided as the winning chances are slim.
Craps: 1.36% – 16.9%
As you can see, the house edge in craps has a wide range, and the value will depend on the type of bet that you place:
• Pass Line – 1.41%
• Don’t Pass Line – 1.36%
• Odds – no house edge
• Come Bet – 1.41%
• Don’t Come – 1.40%
• Place 6/8 – 1.40%
Not all bets are this promising, and Any 7, Horn, or Craps should be practiced in moderation as the house edge goes over 9%.
Roulette: 2.7% – 5.26%
Most players are already familiar with the fact that American roulette has a higher edge than the European variant. The vigorish in American roulette is improved by the extra zero, which is why people are generally attracted to the single-zero version of the game. However, the choice of the bets will also affect the house edge, and experienced players rarely digress from the following:
• High 1-18
• Low 19-36
The payouts on these are only 1:1, but the risk of losing the bet is minimal.
Video Poker: 0.46%
Another high RTP game with over 99% RTP. In full-pay variants, it can even go over 100%.
The only thing you’ll need to know is how poker hands are ranked, which will help you decide which cards should be kept and which discarded.
Baccarat: 1.46% – 14.36%
As a game of chance, baccarat is fairly easy to master; for the best long-term results, the players should either keep betting on Banker bet (1.06%) or switch between the Banker and Player (1.24%).
The Tie bet has extremely high house edge – 14.36% – which makes it risky, earning it a nickname “sucker bet”.
Three Card Poker: 0.22% – 16.94%
Poker beginners usually prefer this version as it is easier to handle than Texas Hold’em or some other forms of the game.
Some of the combinations have a decent probability rate, as you can see from the list below – the percentages indicate the probability and not the house edge:
• Straight Flush: 0.22%
• Three of a Kind: 0.25%
• Straight: 3.26%
• Flush: 4.26%
• Pair: 16.94%Pai Gow Poker: 2.5% – 2.8%
A poker variant played with a standard 52-card deck and a joker, Pai Gow employs the standard ranking of the hands. The house edge is between 2.5% and 2.8%, which includes the 5% commission, paid if the player wins on both hands (the initial seven cards are divided into two hands and compared with the banker’s hands).
Casino Games with Low Odds
The following games can be a lot of fun, but only if you are ready to compromise and sacrifice a few RTP percentages.
Wheel of Fortune (11.2%): it is important to note that not all wheels have low RTP; the ones where all segments are different are not your best friends as opposed to the ones that have repetitive sections (for example, number 1 has 23 pockets, number 2 has 15 pockets, etc).
Slots (up to 25%): the low RTP is not a common feature to all the slots, and there are those with 2% or lower house edge. In most cases, slots vary from 3% to 6%, but you can just as easily bump into slots with the RTP rate under 90%.