What are the odds? A look at the win rates for different casino games

Playing a few games of chance at a casino, either of the bricks and mortar variety or in cyberspace, is one of the most popular ways of spending a Friday or Saturday night. Pragmatically, we all know that every casino game has a house edge built into it so that the casino remains profitable. But the compelling thing about casino games is there is always that outside chance of beating the odds and enjoying the occasional win. Just how occasional is a question you might ask. It is one that is easier to answer for some casino games than for others, but let’s give it a try. 



Let’s dive in at the deep end. Poker is the most popular card game ever, and hundreds of millions of people play it online for real money. The topic of poker odds is one we could discuss for a week, as it covers so many aspects of real money poker play. The odds of certain cards being dealt can be calculated as mathematical probabilities. The odds of you winning, however, turn into a predictive exercise a little like sports betting. That’s not unreasonable as many people regularly bet on the likes of Daniel Negreanu or Justin Bonomo in WSOP events.



With poker, the skill aspect makes it impossible to give exact odds of you winning. There is no need for such vacillation with blackjack, however. In fact, it is the sort of question a statistics lecturer might set for a class of students. Their answer would be 43 percent to the nearest round number. That takes all possible hands into consideration, but it also assumes you use basic strategy – obviously if you hit on 19 every time, your win rate will drop considerably. It translates to a house edge a little below two percent, and you can make it even better by developing your strategy further. 



This game is even easier to calculate as there are finite outcomes and no player decisions to muddy the water. In fact, the biggest deciding factor is which form of the game you choose to play. European roulette has one single zero, American roulette has an additional double zero, and some casinos are introducing triple zero roulette as if it is the best invention anywhere. In fact, no zero roulette would be better. Taking a simple “50/50” bet like red. On a single zero wheel, 18 of the 37 beds are red, so the chance of you winning is 18/37 = 48.6 percent. With American roulette, it is 18/38 = 47.4 percent and the wonderful triple zero wheel is 18/39 = 46.2 percent – enough said.



Slot games are harder to talk about in terms of likelihood of winning because the rewards are so variable. Some game spit out small rewards known as micro wins, almost every spin, but these are less than the amount staked. Others can pay out jackpots in the millions. Slot games publish their RTP, but keep in mind that the number quoted is the maximum. If you can afford it, it is always better to play the maximum stake as this opens up access to the biggest rewards. 

Written by Monella