Whether you’re heading off to Vegas for the first time or the hundredth, there are always a handful of games that you simply shouldn’t miss. While newbies tend to stick to the slots, most don’t know that you will lose far more money to these shiny machines than you ever will to a dealer.
Table games have much better odds than slot machines, even if you aren’t quite sure of how to play or have yet to develop your winning strategy. Before you go to Vegas, study the rules of these six games and you stand an exponentially better chance of walking away with at least a few bucks in your pocket:
Blackjack is, in essence, a very simple game. To win your hand, you must get closer than the dealer to the number 21. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? What you need to know is that face cards are equal to ten, aces can count as one or ten and all other cards count as face value. If you have a knack for counting cards, this is the game for you. Because you must act first, the dealer always has a slight advantage. Until you get to know the game well, it’s to your advantage to err on the side of caution when making your decisions.
Craps is an exciting, fast-paced game in which the house edge is less than two percent. If you’re new to the game, stick to betting the pass line. If the shooter rolls a seven or 11, you win! If the shooter lands a two, three or 12, you lose. It’s just that simple! If a four, five, six, eight, nine, or ten is hit, you win if the shooter rolls that number a second time before rolling a seven.
There isn’t much to the game of roulette. There’s a large wheel at one end of the table which is covered with corresponding numbered red and black squares. Simple decide which number you think the ball will land in once the wheel stops spinning and, if you’ve chosen correctly, you win! To better your chances of winning, look for a wheel that has a single zero rather than one that has both a single and a double zero.
The game of Baccarat takes very little skill, especially for someone new to Vegas gaming. To play Baccarat, you simply place your bet and the dealer lays down cards. You have a choice of three bets: Tie, Banker or Player. Because Banker is always the best bet, bet on Banker each time and you’ll give up only a 1.06 percent edge to the house.
The best news for poker newbies is that you never play against the house. Poker is a game of player versus player and, as such, you stand a much better chance of winning. The house makes its money by taking a percentage of the pot. Poker is a game that takes some skill so be sure to practice before you hit the tables in Vegas. When you think you’re ready to play, look for tables with lower limits or buy-ins; you’ll stand a better chance of walking away with your shirt.
Don’t let your lack of gaming experience keep you out of Vegas. Everyone has to start somewhere! If you’re a newbie, that “somewhere” is one of these five games. Look for tables with low betting limits or minimum buy-ins until you have gained some necessary skill; you’ll have a great time even if you don’t win the jackpot!
Heather Arakaki is a freelance blogger and is writing on behalf of poker.org.uk.