In life, there’s always an element of risk. You could get hit by a car when you cross a street. You could slip and fall in a bathroom. You could even get struck by lightning by just walking outside of your house.
But you can take steps to minimize these risks.
To avoid getting hit by a car, look both ways before crossing. Make sure that you install non-slip strips on the bathroom floor to avoid falling. You could watch the weather report and make sure that you don’t wear anything that will attract lightning before going outside.
The same is true in casino gambling. There’s risk. The entire concept of gambling is built on risk. You risk money in the hand to win more money the casino owns.
It’s been a terrible year for the entire world but the markets have had a good ride. Here are my seven best and worst stock picks of 2020. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G. Worst Casino Bets. Some bets in the casino have a very high house edge. Although some table games have a low house edge, there are some bets you should avoid. Some bets in the casino have a very high house edge. Slot machines are popular but they can have a house edge from 1-15 percent depending on the casino and/or l.
This is a five number bet when playing American Roulette and it covers numbers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. This bet has a massive house edge of 7.89% and it the worst possible bet that can be placed by any real money player. In fact, playing American Roulette overall offer slower odds, so try to avoid any bets these tables and head to European Roulette for better chances at winning. These are bets that are placed solely on a single number on the table.
But you can minimize the risks.
You can make sure that you know how to play the games. You can study odds. You can observe how opponents play in a game like poker. You can develop strategies for better play.
In lots of casino games, the risks can boil down to mathematics and odds. By studying these odds you get a better picture of which games or even bets within a game will be more profitable.
But no matter how you slice it, some wagers are just sucker bets and you should avoid them at all costs.
Casinos make a profit by paying off bets at lower odds than the odds of winning. For example, in roulette, the payoff for hitting a single number is 35 to 1.
But the odds of winning that bet are only 37 to 1.
This difference gives the house an edge over the player. On average, a player who plays long enough will lose more money than she’ll win.
The house edge is represented as a percentage of the money you bet. If you bet $5000 in a session of roulette, even if it’s 50 bets of $100 each, you’ll lose an average of 5.26% of that amount wagered. In this case, it’s $263.
Generally, the higher the house edge, the worse the game is for the player.
The Worst Bets
I’ve been researching odds and games for a long time. I’ve played a lot of games, I’ve won some money, and I’ve lost some money. There are bets that after learning the strategies that I will never make again. They are just too risky.
I’m all about minimizing my risks.
At first, baccarat can be an intimidating game. There are lots of rules to learn before you can get comfortable with it. For instance, there’s a banker, but the banker isn’t the house per se, it’s another player or can be you.
It’s played in a separate room, much like poker and is slow paced. (There’s a version of baccarat called mini-baccarat that’s played at a faster pace, but it doesn’t make any of the odds better or worse.)
Baccarat allows you to bet on the player or the banker or you can bet on the two getting a tie.
A quick look at the house edge lets you know what not to bet on:
- Player – 1.36% House Edge
- Banker – 1.17% House Edge
- Tie – 14.4% House Edge
As you can see, with the 14.4% house edge, a tie bet is among the worst bets you can make in a casino.
2 – Big 6 Wheel (a. k. a. Wheel of Fortune)
The big 6 wheel can be one of the more popular attractions in a casino. The wheel consists of slots marked with $1, $2, $5, $10, and $20 sections along with a joker and the casino logo.
The payouts on the wheel are:
- $1 – 1 to 1
- $2 – 2 to 1
- $5 – 5 to 1
- $10 – 10 to 1
- $20 – 20 to 1
- Joker – 45 to 1
- Logo – 45 to 1
This game heavily favors the house. The house edge for the $1 is over 11%. For the Joker or the logo, it’s just over 25%, making it one of the worse games in the casino to wager on.
3 – Sic bo (a. k. a. Tai Sai, Dai Siu, Big and Small, or Hi-Lo)
In the 1800s many Chinese immigrants sought fortune when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, California. While many did not find gold, these immigrants set up businesses and worked as laborers in industrial jobs or building railroads.
These immigrants would stick with other Chinese immigrants and share a little bit of their culture and traditions.
Among these were games. One game, in particular, became a popular casino game, Sic bo.
Sic bo (which is Chinese for “precious dice) is a game consisting of 3 dice. Players then bet on the results of the roll.
Some options for betting include:
- Big – Total will be 11 – 17 excluding a triple.
- Small – Total will be 4 to 10 excluding a triple
- Odd – Total will be an odd number excluding a triple
- Even – Total will be an even number excluding a triple
- Trips – All the dice will have the same number
- Specific Doubles – A specific number will appear on 2 of the 3 dice
Unlike craps, where there may be multiple rolls to determine a winner, Sic bo is won or lost with each roll.
While popular, betting on Sic bo isn’t a great way to win in a casino. The lowest house edge is 2.78% on bets like big or small and odd or even, but some of the more complex bets can have a house edge of over 45% depending on the casino. From top to bottom, Sic bo is a wager to avoid.
Keno is another popular game at casinos. Although there are some variations, players will usually choose 20 numbers from a total of 80. Winning numbers are determined by a ball machine or random number generator and are called out like bingo.
Each casino’s payouts are different, and the winnings vary according to how many numbers are matched.
The pace of the game is slow, and it’s a favorite among older players.
Much like the payouts, the house edge on the game will vary by casino, but it’s commonly above 25%, making it a bad choice to bet on if you want to win consistently.
5- Caribbean Stud Poker
Caribbean Stud Poker is based on 5-card stud, but in this game, you’re playing against the dealer instead of each other. There’s also a progressive jackpot element of the game, which is attractive because of the amounts you can win.
The difference in this game is that after all the players get their cards and bet, the dealer must have at least an ace, king, or a higher ranked hand to play.
Also, you have the option of placing a $1 bet to qualify for the progressive jackpot.
If the players beat the dealer’s cards, the player gets even money on the ante, and the following on his bet (with a maximum payout of $5,000 per hand on each bet):
- Royal flush – 100 to 1
- Straight flush – 50 to 1
- Four of a kind – 20 to 1
- Full house – 7 to 1
- Flush – 5 to 1
- Straight – 4 to 1
- Three of a kind – 3 to 1
- Two pair – 2 to 1
- One pair or less – 1 to 1
The progressive jackpot payouts are:
- Royal Flush – 100% of Progressive Meter
- Straight Flush – 10% of Progressive Meter
- Four-of-a-Kind – $500
- Full House – $100
- Flush – $50
The house edge on this game can range between just over 5% to over 16%. With the house edge this high, it’s best to avoid altogether, especially if you are a novice.
As kids, we all played the game war. One card is dealt to each player and then the dealer, highest card wins. If there’s a tie, the cards that tied are dealt 3 burn cards and the 4th card determines the tiebreaker.
The casino variation involves placing a bet before the cards are dealt and the high card takes the pot. If there’s a tie, special betting rules apply:
- You can surrender, in which case you lose half the bet.
- You can go to war, in which case you must double your stake.
- If your card is higher than the dealer’s, then you win the amount of your original wager only.
- If the dealer’s card is higher than yours, you lose your doubled wager.
- If you tie again, then you win the amount of the doubled wager.
- Also when a tie occurs, a side bet is offered which you can bet on ties. If you bet on the tie, and your card matches the dealer’s, then you win 10 to 1 on your original wager on the tie bet.
In this game, betting on the tie is a sucker bet. The house has an edge of 18.65%. It’s best to not chance it on a tie.
7 – Let it Ride: Side Bets
Let It Ride is a 5-card poker game where your hand is formed by your own 3 cards and 2 community cards.
This game gives you 2 opportunities to withdraw 1/3 of your initial wager. The first chance occurs after you look at your hand but before the first community card is shown. The second chance occurs after the first community card is shown, but before the second is shown. You can reduce your bet on either of these chances, on both, or neither.
The game gets its name from when you don’t reduce the wager because you are going to “let it ride”.
There’s a side bet element to Let It Ride. When the initial bet is placed, you can place an extra $1 bet on the 3 cards you are dealt. If they match the casino’s paytable, you win the bet. There’s no opportunity to withdraw the side bet during the game.
The main game of Let It Ride has a house edge of about 3.5%, which is high, but not excessive.
But the side bet has a whopping 25.6% house edge, so it’s not a great bet.
Penny and nickel slots typically have high house edges.
This makes sense from the casino’s standpoint, because they aren’t going to make a bundle of money on someone dropping pennies into a machine all day.
These type of machines have a house edge in the 10%-15% range.
Blackjack is a popular game. The goal is to get 21 without going over. Since it’s so popular, most people know the rules, so I won’t rehash all of them here. Suffice to say that you can make quite a few different types of bets when playing blackjack.
But there are a few bad choices to make when wagering on blackjack.
Blackjack is a game of strategy. You need to know when to hit, when to stand, when to double down, and when to split. In addition, you need to know when a dealer is required to hit.
Most of the time a new player will walk in blind to the strategies of blackjack and wind up losing big. I call this hunch play, because all of their movements are based on hunches or gut feelings.
Hunch play can give make the house edge upwards of 25%. Learn the game before you pony up to the table.
10 – Insurance
If the dealer has an ace showing, there’s a possibility that next card may be a 10, jack, queen, or king, which would give him a natural blackjack. Although the insurance bet pays 2 to 1, the dealer will have it less than 1/3rd of the time. The house edge on the insurance bet is 12.5%.
The roulette table gives players lots of betting options, and many of them can be confusing. When there’s confusion concerning how to bet, there’s the possibility for bad decisions.
Much like blackjack, most people understand the basics of roulette. You pick a number or a color, place your bet, and the ball is dropped on the wheel. The number and color the ball stops on is the winner.
Sounds straightforward, but the betting options make it more complicated. I won’t talk about all the options for betting, as that would be an entire subject on its own. Let’s just talk about the worst choices.
11- The 5-Number Wager
The 5-number wager in roulette is when you place a bet that the ball will land on the 00, 0, 1, 2, or 3. It sounds good because you have a 5 out of 38 chance of hitting a number. The house odds are 6 to 1 on this bet.
But it’s the worst bet on the table. The house has a 7.89% edge on this bet.
Other bets on a double zero wheel don’t have good odds, either. There’s a 5.26% house edge on any bet on the wheel other than the 5 number bet. If you stick to the European single zero roulette wheel, the chances are much better as the house edge is only 2.70%, almost half of the double zero.
Craps is the most exciting game in the casino.
Craps has so many different ways to bet and with these options come several that should be avoided. It has so many, in fact, that this section will round out the list of 20.
This is an attractive bet because there are 5 totals that you can make. But they have the lowest number of combinations.
Betting the whirl is a bet that the shooter will roll a 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12 in one roll. This bet has a house edge of 13.33%.
14 – The Horn
Only slightly better than the whirl is the horn. The horn is almost like the whirl except the 7. You are betting that the shooter will roll a 2, 3, 11, or 12 in one roll. This bet has a house edge of 12.5%.
This bet is simply betting that a 6 or an 8 will be rolled before a 7 is rolled by the shooter. The house edge on this bet is 9.1%.
16 – Any 7
This is a bet that the shooter will roll a 7. The house edge on any 7 is 16.1%
A hard 6 is 2 threes. A hard 8 is 2 fours. If you place a bet on either of these options, the house has an edge of 9.09%.
18 – 4 or 10 the Hard Way
A hard 4 is 2 twos. A hard 10 is 2 fives. A bet placed on either of these rolls has a house edge of 11.11%.
Betting on numbers that are contained in the Horn are also bad bets. In this case, a 3 or 11 has a house edge equal to that of a 4 or 10 the hard way, 11.11%.
20 – 2 and 12
Rounding out the top 20 is the 2 and 12 in craps. Either one of these will have a house edge of 13.9%.
Life involves minimizing risks. The best way to minimize risking your bankroll is to know what you are betting on. Learn the odds. Learn the house edges. Make sure that you aren’t playing a variant of a game that changes all the numbers.
Walking in blindly to play these games are the best way to walk out with lighter pockets. Along with learning the rules, odds, and house edges to any game, I’ll observe the games I play for a while. Sometimes I’ll just watch for an hour to get the rhythm of the gameplay and a feel for the people that I am about to play around.
With the exception of poker, I try not to play at tables with inexperienced players. They can be distracting. Distractions can lead to bad decisions when betting.
But you have to make your own choices.
Lots of the bets mentioned here have high house edges, but some of them have high payouts. It’s more than likely you won’t win the high payout, but there’s no reward without risk.
These 20 bets aren’t even worth the risk.
Worst Casino Bets
Some bets in the casino have a very high house edge. Although some table games have a low house edge, there are some bets you should avoid. Some bets in the casino have a very high house edge. Slot machines are popular but they can have a house edge from 1-15 percent depending on the casino and/or l
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