What Table Games Have the Best (And Worst) Odds in Vegas?

You’ve made it to Las Vegas. You’re looking to have some casino fun – and there’s a bewildering choice of ways to do so.

So, wouldn’t it be handy to know which table games have the best odds?

First – Understand What “Best Odds” Means

There’s a reason why casino owners get rich. Why casino revenue for the state of Nevada is still running at about $1billion a month. And yes, we know that, in relative terms, Vegas casinos are facing a bit of a crisis with casino revenue going down 1.9% in the last 12 months.

The reason is that all the games you play in a casino are tilted in favor of the casino. The house always has an edge – and that edge varies from game to game.

So, the games where the house edge is lowest are the games where you have more chance of winning. The edge is expressed as a percentage. So, if the edge is 5%, that means that for every dollar staked, you should expect to lose five cents.

Obviously, that doesn’t work for a single bet; but over a steady betting session you should lose at that rate. Though we wouldn’t want to stop you dreaming about that life-changing win.

Games With the Best Odds in Vegas

1. Blackjack – House edge 1% – 2%.

Blackjack board
Image: ‘Blackjack board’ is licensed under Wikimedia Commons

Blackjack is a game of chance – for you and for the dealer. If you’re playing sensibly, you could make your dollars last a long time. The other beauty of Blackjack is that it’s such an easy game to pick up. You’re looking to get as close to 21 with your cards as possible without busting, and without the dealer having a higher total. That’s it. Of course, after you’ve picked up the basics you can start to get a feel of when to double down and how to use other strategies.

2. Craps – House edge 1.4% – 5%.

People playing craps
Image: ‘Craps’ by Flickr/ChrisMartin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In craps, you’re betting on the outcome of a roll of two dice by one of your fellow players, the “shooter”. The ways to win are slightly more complicated than Blackjack, but you’ll pick it up within a few rolls.

3. Roulette – House edge 2.8% for a table with a single zero, 5.2% for a table with a double zero too.

Roulette wheel
Image: GETTY

Again, the beauty of roulette is its simplicity. The ball rolls, it falls into a numbered slot on a wheel, either you picked the number – or group of numbers, or high and low, odd or even, red or black – or you didn’t.

Apart from wanting to look glamorous and cool because you’ve seen so many characters playing these games in movies, these three games are actually the best to play in a casino. That’s because you will win money back quite regularly and you will spend more time on them as a result.

In short, you won’t feel as if you have lost money at such a speed that it takes the enjoyment out of the experience.

Games With the Worst Odds in Vegas

1. Slots – House edge 3% – 20%.

Las Vegas slot machines
Image: licensed under Wikipedia.org

It’s not possible to know what the edge is on any slot machine, and it’s easy to spend your money very fast on them. Whether you’re playing a three-reel single-line game or a five-reel 25-line game, the outcome of every game is purely random. Every myth you’ve ever heard about slots – including that the staff nearby control the payouts – is just that. A myth.

2. Wheel of Fortune – House edge 11%.

Wheel of Fortune casino game
Image: pixabay

You bet on whether the wheel stops on $1, $5, $10, $20 or a joker. But even if you bet that the wheel will land on a $1 mark, the safest bet in the game, the house edge is 11%. Bet on a joker and the house advantage is as high as 24%.

3. Keno – House edge 20% – 40%.

Image: The Keno Lounge at Peppermill Reno – peppermillreno.com

It looks so simple. There are 80 numbers, the house picks 20 and you win according to how many of that 20 you selected. Just don’t start looking at the actual mathematical probabilities involved; they will make your eyes spin like one of those slots we just talked about. This is usually the game in casinos with the worst odds.

The Main Thing? Relax and Enjoy Yourself!

Look, you’re in Las Vegas to have fun. Maybe you’ve saved up for a trip of a lifetime and you know the money in your pocket won’t be there when it’s time to head for the airport.

But it’s definitely worth looking out for games when losing that money will be a less painful or surgical experience.

Enjoy. And remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…

Now you’re clued up on which games have the best odds, make sure you know how much your night out in Vegas will cost you!