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Craps, baccarat, blackjack: The best odds in the house

Jun 10, 2010
Blackjack Girl

Table games are intriguing and fun. Quite possibly if you play correctly, your knowledge can also be turned into winnings. Too may players, however, go into the games ignorant of the hard numbers involved in some of their favorite games, these players surely often go away surprised, wondering where things went wrong. Arm yourself with a little knowledge, as below run a few of the more favorable odds you can get in craps, baccarat and blackjack.

Though most of the time in craps the house has a massive advantage, but craps does in fact have the single best bet in the casino in terms of favorable odds: the “odds” bet. This carries payout odds of exactly 1/1, the only time you’ll get these odds at the casino outside of the “double up” option in some video poker games.

When you beat “odds” in craps, you are making an additional bet that the “point” is rolled before a seven comes up. The odds vary on what the point is, from 6/5 on a roll of 6 or 8 to 2/1 on 4 or 10. Though statistics say the 7 will be rolled most often, these higher payouts on the “odds” bet balances out the house advantage to exactly 50/50.

Unfortunately, most online gambling sites – like most real-life casinos – require you to make a “pass line” bet first. To get this back in addition to winning at the “odds” bet, well, that’s where luck comes in.
Baccarat is mostly a game of nerves in the European version and mostly entirely up to fate in the American version. Almost all strategy is taken for granted, e.g. the dealer always hits a 3 if the player’s third card is an 8, and the only possible bluffing in the European game happens when the player holds a 5.

Boring but true, then: With a payout of 1/1 on the player, this is your best bet, though ties are to statistically occur between 4% and 5% of the time, so please know the rules and payouts of the particular online casino you’re playing at.

Blackjack is said to have the smallest house advantage of all casino games, a margin of just 1% in favor of the dealer. This advantage is the result of the player busting on hands over 21 before the dealer must take cards. Whether the deals hits or stands on soft 17, regardless of split opportunities and insurance, the player is done just 1%.

Therefore, the best bet you can make in online blackjack are simply the bet you *don’t* make. In one word: Insurance. Buying insurance is the great majority of the time throwing away your money and this extra bet does nothing to swing any odds in your favor. Steadily buying insurance, even if you “win” the expected number of times, just decreases your bankroll.

While the house is believed to always win, this need not necessarily be the case. Simply play smart, always remember what the best bets are, and think about what you’re doing as you play at the casino. Some thought and preparation now means playing money later.

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