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5 Casino Games You Should Avoid


Walk into any casino on earth and you can easily be overwhelmed by the number of gaming choices. Every time you sit down at a casino game, you need to be sure you aren’t setting yourself up to blow your bankroll in record time.

These five casino games you should avoid tip the scales even further in the casino’s favor. Steer clear of them and you’ll have a much more pleasant casino trip.

1 – Three-Card Poker

Three-Card Poker is one of the non-traditional table games that have gained a tremendous amount of popularity.

This is mainly because of two key factors:

  • The casinos make a huge profit from the game. The betting structure’s nature ensures that the casino gets a net profit on a 50/50 game like this one. The casinos will fill the casino floor with tables offering the Stud poker variant because of this built-in edge. Tables stay busy with players passing to check out the game with a few hands.
  • Most players have little to no understanding of the pay scale or structure of winning bets. For example, the hands are ranked differently than in traditional poker games. This alone can lead to an uncomfortable level of confusion.

Even savvy casino veterans can get lost in the fast-paced action. The speed the game is moving at guarantees that the game’s ante bets keep filling the casino’s giant cash rooms.

To ever have a chance of winning a hand, you have to make a total of two wagers. And after you place both wagers, if the dealer doesn’t have queen high or better, you only get a single even money payout on your ante bet.

You can also make the pair plus bet. This wager excludes the dealer’s hand from your result altogether. You only need to flop any pair for the bet to pay. This doesn’t sound too terrible, but remember that you’ll be dealt three nonsequential cards from a deck of 52.

Skip the Three-Card Poker and head for the table games with friendlier odds.

2 – Casino War

Casino War is almost exactly as you’d imagine. The game holds a few subtle differences from the game you most likely played as a child.

In Casino War, you place your wager and are dealt a card. The dealer then deals the house card, and the two are compared.

If the player has a higher card, they win and get even money on their initial bet. If the dealer’s card is higher, the player loses.

Where the house gets its edge is on the tie of all things. In the event of a tie, you have two options on how to proceed. You may either surrender or go to war. If you decide to surrender the hand, you’ll get half of your initial wager back. Going to war is more costly, but you should never surrender.

To initiate a tie-breaking war, you must lay an additional bet equal to your original wager. After a player goes to war, the dealer will burn three cards in front of the player and themselves, then deal one card each face-up.

If the player’s card is higher, they win, but only on their second bet. The first bet is pushed. If the house wins, you lose both bets. Plain and simple. This system for breaking ties is precisely how the casino profits from what would otherwise be a 50/50 proposition. It’s also the number one reason you should steer clear of the childhood classic.

The second reason to avoid Casino War at all costs is the pace at which the gameplay moves. There’s no strategy involved whatsoever.

You are playing what equates to high card, and the hands move at lightning speed. Rapid action paired with such a blatant house edge will diminish your bankroll swiftly. Stick to games with a smaller house edge and slower game speed.

3 – Keno

Real money Keno should be avoided for several reasons, but the main reason is the house edge. It’s hard to find a casino game with a higher house advantage than keno.

The impressive house edge floats between 20% and 30%. If Las Vegas was built on the backs of losers, just about anyone that has ever purchased a keno ticket is responsible for its massive scale. Players are often drawn in by the huge jackpots offered by keno. Not unlike playing the lottery, the two games share many traits.

Luckily, the action is pretty slow between drawings. Otherwise, you’d burn through a giant heap of cash in only a few hours. Of course, the slow nature of keno is another reason it should be skipped altogether. The game’s drawn-out nature serves as your only ally in keno, but it also makes the game terribly boring.

Even players that love bingo or the lottery will quickly realize they aren’t getting much entertainment value for their gambling dollar and head elsewhere.

4 – Spanish 21

This cousin of blackjack is sneaky. You are probably familiar and proficient in blackjack, and this looks like blackjack. So, clearly, this could be a great game by that logic.

But not so fast! This game is a clever way to draw unsuspecting players into its cleverly camouflaged trap.

Spanish 21 is played nearly identical to traditional blackjack. So, what makes this game so dangerous? The plethora of side bets available to the player makes it a losing proposition. You can make bets on things like a five-card hand, six-card hand, three 7s, and 21 with the same suit, to name a few.

These bets payout at higher odds, but it’s where the casino makes big bucks. I’ve seen players sit down and play for $10 a hand, then proceed to lay another $10 on side bets. Over and over, they lose $20 a hand or win and lose only $10.

Needless to say, they are usually in “uh-oh” mode pretty quickly and are then forced to the penny slots. Or even worse, they decide to stomp over to the glowing light of the worst spot in the casino—the ATM.

It’s easy to avoid Spanish 21. You buy a basic strategy card for blackjack in the gift shop and play blackjack all night long without losing much money at all if any. Also, Spanish 21 is played with a shoe of up to eight decks of cards. Not that it really matters. Anybody that can truly count cards knows the value is on blackjack.

Make no mistakes about it. This game is popular because the casinos want it to be. Players think they’ve found an interesting twist on blackjack. Savvy casino goers know they’re in for a rude awakening.

5 – Any Game You’re Not Enjoying

This may sound basic, but I consider it the most important if you aren’t having a blast. It’s time to move on. It doesn’t matter whether you find another casino game to play, go for a walk, or go bowling with some strangers. It is inconsequential.

What’s of paramount importance is that you get away as soon as it becomes apparent. Gambling is meant to be a form of entertainment. If you aren’t being entertained, you’re treading on dangerous ground.

Most of the time, players say they hate to lose, and losing takes all of the fun out of gambling. If that describes you, I have some bad news.

I’m Afraid You May Not Be Cut Out for Casino Gambling

When you enter a casino, you’re trading money for entertainment, much like going to a concert or a sporting event. If your competitive streak prohibits you from enjoying the atmosphere, games, and the company of old friends and new friends, then you may want to skip the Vegas Vacation completely.

Players can become reckless when they aren’t having fun. This can be a result of losing, as I mentioned above, or out of pure boredom. Perhaps you have difficulty picking up on the games rules or little idiosyncrasies that can lead to a profit.

Regardless of why you should step away, casinos are full of games to keep you entertained. If you find a particular game that you’re not having fun at, you should avoid it like the plague.


Casino games come in every shape and size imaginable. You can play for hours on video poker games or at the blackjack table.

Unfortunately, some days things won’t go your way, and you’ll lose almost every hand. It’s called the way she goes. Steer clear of the five casino games you should avoid and you’ll have a much better gaming experience.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016. …

View all posts by Michael Stevens

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