Monday, December 18, 2006

Top 10 Best Casino Bets

My first experience with "gambling" was with a malfunctioning change machine on the main campus of Penn State University at the student union building. The machine was one of the first of its kind way back in 1970, and would provide "juke box money" only - four quarters back for a paper dollar. This is known as an even or 1:1 return of investment!

One day the machine malfunctioned and dispenced zero quarters for the first dollar and eight quarters for the second dollar(and back to zero for the third, then eight quarters for the fourth, etc.). I watched people put in their dollar, bang on the machine, and walk away frustrated when the machine refused to pay. Then I watched some of the more affluent and adventurous students take a "second chance" by putting in their second dollar to get all their money back. If someone walked away empty handed without putting their second dollar in, I sometimes made their second "bet" for them and always won! I was hooked. Somebody scratched out the hook in the G to make it a C and the machine was redubbed "C H A N C E" ( from "C H A N G E" ). The malfuction lasted exactly one day, and they shut the machine down. I was up $27 and hooked. This is the only time as a starving student that I played "the house." (Please do not use this story as an example in an ethics course!)

This is from the About Gambling site:

The best casino games to play are the ones with the lowest house edge or ones where the player has an advantage. Some bets are better than others. Here are the 10 best bets and games to play in the casino.

1) Casino Poker

Poker is a game of skill which is a big factor in determining the winner. The players are competing against each other and not against the house. There is no house edge except for a small amount that the casino takes out of each pot. Leaning how to play the game properly will give you a big advantage over less knowledgeable players.

2) Blackjack Card Counting

Learning to count cards can give the player a 1-2 percent edge over the casino. Card counting is a skill that takes practice to master.
It is not illegal but counters must disguise there skills or they can be barred from playing. In New Jersey you can’t be barred but they can force you to flat bet or shuffle up on you if you are caught.

3) Video Poker

Video poker is another game of skill that has a small house edge if you make the correct playing decisions. Some video poker games offer over 100 percent payback to players utilizing perfect mathematical strategy. Many machines have a small house of less than ½ of a percent. The house edge is determined by the pay table and a player can determine the payback of the machine by reading the schedule.

4) Blackjack Basic Strategy

Playing Blackjack basic strategy will lower the house edge to less than one percent. The house edge is based on the number of decks used and the rules of the game. A player can determine the house edge from this information. With basic strategy you are basing your decisions to hit split or stand on set rules based the math of the game.

5) Craps Don’t Pass/Don’t Come

The Don’t Pass and Don’t come in the game of craps is just slightly better than the pass line bet. The house edge is 1.14 percent. You can lower this to .59 percent by laying double odds. Most players however like to bet with the shooter on the passline.

6) Craps Passline/Come

The Passline and Come bets in the game of craps offer a low house edge of 1.41 percent. You can lower it to less than one percent (.61) if you take double odds on your bet.

7) Pai Gow Banker

When playing Pai Gow a player may choose to act as the Banker during the game. When you bank the game you pay a five percent commission to the house. You win the bet of any player you beat. Pai Gow requires skill in setting of the hands but a skilled player can gain the advantage over a less knowledgeable player.

8) Baccarat Banker

The banker bet in Baccarat has a smaller house edge than the player bet but it requires you to pay a commission when you win. The house edge is 1.06 percent for the Banker bet.

9) Baccarat Player

The player bet is also a good bet with a house edge of only 1.24 percent. The Baccarat bet a player wants to avoid is the tie bet which is one of the worst bets you can make.

10) Craps Place 6 and 8

Placing the six and eight at the craps table is one of the best bets in the game. The house edge is only 1.52 percent. The 6 and 8 are rolled more frequently than any number other than the 7.


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