Casinos offer a wide variety of casino games to appeal to different tastes. They feature everything from card-based games to spinning wheels.
You’ll have no shortage of options when visiting an online casino or land-based casino. You should certainly try different games to find out what you like.
If you’re highly focused on winning, though, then there are certain games you should avoid trying—or at least limit playing. The following 7 games are among the worst regarding your chances of winning.
1 – Land-Based Slot Machines
Slot machines are certainly the most-popular games in casinos. You can walk into any brick-and-mortar casino and see endless rows of real money slots.
If you’re a new gambler, you’ll likely head to a slot machine first. After all, these games provide a stress-free and simple way to enjoy gambling.
However, you shouldn’t expect your money to last long with slots. They feature high house edges and promote fast gameplay.
The average land-based slot machine carries between a 5% and 10% house advantage. This aspect alone makes these games difficult to win with.
When you add the fast play rate into the equation, slot machines become an even more-expensive prospect. Here’s an example on the theoretical losses that you’ll face with a land-based slot:
- You play a game with an 8% house edge.
- You wager $1 per spin.
- You perform 600 spins per hour.
- 600 x 1 x 0.08 = $48 in theoretical losses per hour
Of course, the big benefit to slots is that you can win a huge jackpot in an instant. But you’re more likely to suffer big losses along the way.
The reason why I stress “land based” in this section is because online slots aren’t bad regarding the house edge. They usually carry between a 3% and 5% casino advantage.
Of course, online slots aren’t as expensive to run. This is why mobile casinos can afford to offer games with lower house edges.
2 – Caribbean Stud
Invented in the 1980’s, Caribbean stud has become one of the most-popular table games. It gives you a chance to win payouts through two means:
- Beating the dealer.
- Making a side bet and receiving qualifying hands.
In some cases, Caribbean stud can offer progressive jackpots worth six figures. The RealTime Gaming (RTG) Caribbean stud jackpot, for example, is worth nearly $200,000 at the time of this post.
However, this game presents another situation that’s similar to land-based slots. While Caribbean stud delivers jackpots in an instant, it also features a high house edge. Even when using perfect strategy, you’ll still be facing a 5.22% house advantage.
Notice how I mention “perfect strategy?” You have to develop skills just to whittle the house edge down to 5.22%.
At least with slot machines, you don’t need to use any in-depth strategy. Caribbean stud hits you on two fronts by both featuring a large house advantage and requiring strategy for optimal results.
3 – American Roulette
American roulette is the ugly duckling of roulette games. It carries a 5.26% house edge, which is the worst of all variations.
This game runs on an American wheel, which has 38 pockets. Two of these pockets, including zero and double zero, favor the house entirely. When dividing these pockets by the 38 total numbers (2/38), you arrive at a 5.26% house advantage.
The good news is that unlike with Caribbean stud, you don’t need to use any strategy to play optimally. Every bet except for the “basket” (7.89%) carries the same house advantage.
However, the downside is that you can’t do anything to improve your chances of winning. You’re going to face the same poor odds no matter what.
Luckily, other variations of roulette do exist. Here are three variations that provide a better chance to win than the American version:
- European roulette – Features 37 numbers, including a single zero. The house advantage is 2.70% (1/37).
- French roulette – Played on a European wheel with the added benefit of the la partage rule. The latter pays half back on losing even-money bets if the ball lands on zero. You’ll only face a 1.35% house edge when sticking with even-money wagers.
- Mini roulette – Played on a wheel with 13 numbers, including a single zero. The house advantage would normally be 7.69%, but the la partage rule pushes the house edge down to 3.85%.
4 – Big Six
Big Six is essentially the Wheel of Fortune of the casino gaming world. Its concept centers on a spinning wheel that has dozens of slices.
Each slice represents a different dollar/prize amount. If you bet on the winning slice, then you’ll receive the corresponding dollar amount. Assuming you put one dollar on a $10 space, for example, then you stand to win $10.
Big Six is a rather simple game to enjoy. It also offers plenty of thrills when considering that some of the payouts are worth up to 40x your bet.
The big drawback, though, is that certain Big Six wagers can carry up to a 24.1% house edge. Here are the different slices/bets and house advantages on the North American wheel:
- $1 – 11.11% house edge
- $2 – 16.67%
- $5 – 22.22%
- $10 – 18.52%
- $20 – 22.22%
- Logo – 24.07%
You can find wheels that offer a better chance to win than this. For instance, wheels in Macau casinos feature house address ranging from 7.69% to 11.54%.
Even in this case, though, you’re not getting a very good deal. The only truly reasonable Big Six variations are found online.
Gamesys, for example, features a 2.04% of house edge on all Big Six wagers. This is a similar situation to mobile versus land-based slots, where you get a much better deal by playing online.
5 – Keno
Keno is commonly known as the lottery of the casino. Unfortunately, it offers the low payout percentages that are common among lotteries too.
Some land-based versions of keno carry over a 30% house advantage. These odds are even worse than what’s seen with the least-favorable Big Six bets.
One way to boost your chances of winning with keno involves choosing fewer or more spots/numbers. For example, the house edge might be lower when picking one spot versus 10. You should definitely know which spots provide the most-favorable chance to win.
Additionally, you can also play video keno in land-based casinos or online keno. Both versions feature between a 5% and 10% house advantage.
No matter how you slice it, though, keno doesn’t provide the best odds. It’s similar to slot machines where it provides the chance to win big payouts—but at a cost.
6 – Let It Ride
Compared to the rest of the games on this list, Let It Ride doesn’t feature a terribly high casino edge. In fact, you can lower the house advantage to 3.51% with the right strategy.
The key problem, though, is that Let It Ride features complex strategy. You need to work just as hard as with blackjack just to achieve a 3.51% house edge.
Earlier, I mentioned how Caribbean stud has the same problem. It also requires you to be skillful just to reach the optimal 5.22% casino advantage.
However, the difference is that Caribbean stud strategy isn’t as involved. You don’t need to put as much work into playing this game optimally.
Of course, Let It Ride does have its charms. It features a unique gameplay model that offers an opportunity to take back your first two bets (out of three).
Assuming you truly enjoy Let It Ride, then you may find the complicated strategy worthwhile. Otherwise, it’s not worth mastering this game just to achieve a 3.51% house edge.
7 – Bonus Six
If you ever visit Colorado casinos, you may come across a game called Bonus Six. This poker variation sees you receive five cards and decide whether to raise, fold, or even take insurance.
The insurance option is what makes Bonus Six truly unique. It allows you to take a sixth card if necessary.
You can also look forward to large payouts with strong hands. The payouts top out at 1,000:1 for a royal flush.
Bonus Six is certainly a fun game if you’re looking for a new poker variation. However, it can be brutal on your bankroll.
Even when using optimal strategy, you’ll still face a 10.42% house advantage. Herein lies another case where a strategic game offers a poor long-term return.
You should certainly try new casino games from time to time. If you sample any of the options above, though, then I suggest keeping play to a minimum.
Some of these games feature awful house edges no matter how you slice it. Big Six, Bonus Six, and keno usually offer really low payout percentages.
Others, such as Let It Ride and Caribbean stud, provide an okay chance to win. But you might not care to play them when considering that strategy is involved.
Assuming your focus is on being successful, then baccarat (1.06% house edge), blackjack (approx. 1%), and French roulette (1.35%) are some of the best choices.
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 GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …