Poll

12 votes (26.08%)
4 votes (8.69%)
5 votes (10.86%)
4 votes (8.69%)
5 votes (10.86%)
4 votes (8.69%)
5 votes (10.86%)
6 votes (13.04%)
17 votes (36.95%)
22 votes (47.82%)

46 members have voted

Wizard
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Wizard
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April 13th, 2020 at 8:22:19 PM permalink
I've been to doing some projects I have been putting off during this time of self confinement. One of them is cleaning out my Email in box. When the Nevada casinos closed, I had about 400 in there. There are now 52, although many of them are not easy to clear off.

One project I've been putting off is making a 10 Best Casino Games video. I know top and bottom ten videos and articles do well, but I think I can speak for most writers that they hate them. However, duty calls.

A major problem in such a list with casino games is what rules, strategy, and conditions does assume? Personally, I'm going by most of the MGM properties and assume the gambler is comfortable with high-limit tables. I'll of course comment on this in the video.

I prefer to use the element of risk when comparing one game to another.

That said, here is my tentative list.

Game Rules House edge Element of Risk
Blackjack 2d, S17, DAS 0.26% 0.23%
Craps 345x 0.27% 0.27%
Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Ante 2.19% 0.53%
Video poker 9-6 Jacks 0.54% 0.54%
Spanish 21 Dealer hits soft 17 0.76% 0.68%
Pai gow Banking half 1.03% 1.03%
Baccarat Banker 1.06% 1.06%
Crazy 4 Poker Base game 3.42% 1.09%
Roulette French rules, even money bets 1.35% 1.35%
Mississippi Stud Base game 4.91% 1.37%


I'm posting this to give the forum a chance to challenge it.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
DeMango
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April 13th, 2020 at 8:40:44 PM permalink
I would substitute High Card Flush for Mississippi Stud. House edge much lower. How many people actually bank Pai Gow? Does Spanish 21 have enough "installs" to qualify?
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gordonm888
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April 13th, 2020 at 9:45:52 PM permalink
Ultimate Texas Hold'em is too high. Its low element of risk means that you must wager more money to chase a promising hand, resulting in high variance. I get weary of watching the dealer get great hand after great hand and scooping the pot.

Indeed, I think you should factor in variance when developing your list.

And I agree, High Card Flush is a better game than several on your list.
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charliepatrick
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April 14th, 2020 at 2:14:35 AM permalink
It's a very interesting idea and not easy to define a measure.

I know there's a difference of opinion about Element of Risk and House Edge. While I prefer how much it costs on average to play a game at (say) a $100 table, some games need you to stump up either multiple initial bets or additional bets to complete the game, so the average wager can vastly exceed $100. Also some games take a while to resolve the bet: Craps many rolls, Punto Banco has Stand Offs on egalitie. Personally the question is to help decide, for example, whether they should play at the $100 single-zero Roulette or $100 Crazy-4 Poker: Roulette is the cheaper cost per game.

btw
(i) 1.10% : Trente et Quarante has a House Edge of 1.10% although it's probably not found in Vegas!
(ii) 1.40% : Craps has a base House Edge of about 1.41%-1.36% ( based on the outcome/bet made, since your Pass line bet is a contract and can't be removed ).
(iii) 0.42% : Sydney Pontoon has a House Edge of 0.42% ( https://wizardofodds.com/games/pontoon/australian/ )
(iv) 0:5% Is it worth adding average Blackjack or a range usually found....
(v) 0.40% (I thought Spanish 21 was better in most places, whereas that isn't obvious from your list as you've given the worst option from https://wizardofodds.com/games/spanish-21/ ).
(vi) 0.62% Double-Up Blackjack ( https://www.ukcasinotablegames.info/blackjackdoubleup.html )
(vii) 1.01% Free-Bet Blackjack ( https://www.ukcasinotablegames.info/blackjackfreebet.html )
Zcore13
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April 14th, 2020 at 4:24:29 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I've been to doing some projects I have been putting off during this time of self confinement. One of them is cleaning out my Email in box. When the Nevada casinos closed, I had about 400 in there. There are now 52, although many of them are not easy to clear off.

One project I've been putting off is making a 10 Best Casino Games video. I know top and bottom ten videos and articles do well, but I think I can speak for most writers that they hate them. However, duty calls.

A major problem in such a list with casino games is what rules, strategy, and conditions does assume? Personally, I'm going by most of the MGM properties and assume the gambler is comfortable with high-limit tables. I'll of course comment on this in the video.

I prefer to use the element of risk when comparing one game to another.

That said, here is my tentative list.

Game Rules House edge Element of Risk
Blackjack 2d, S17, DAS 0.26% 0.23%
Craps 345x 0.27% 0.27%
Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Ante 2.19% 0.53%
Video poker 9-6 Jacks 0.54% 0.54%
Spanish 21 Dealer hits soft 17 0.76% 0.68%
Pai gow Banking half 1.03% 1.03%
Baccarat Banker 1.06% 1.06%
Crazy 4 Poker Base game 3.42% 1.09%
Roulette French rules, even money bets 1.35% 1.35%
Mississippi Stud Base game 4.91% 1.37%


I'm posting this to give the forum a chance to challenge it.



99.9 % of people play the basic side bets of a poker variant. Unless you are going to specifically and emphatically say do not play side bets, you almost have to include them in your analysis. I do when figuring out theoretic win.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
bobbartop
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April 14th, 2020 at 5:00:45 AM permalink
The majority of Spanish 21 games in California, if not all of them, are H17 as you list above, but they also are re-double. So lower than .76%.
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Wizard
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April 14th, 2020 at 5:50:23 AM permalink
Quote: DeMango

I would substitute High Card Flush for Mississippi Stud. House edge much lower. How many people actually bank Pai Gow? Does Spanish 21 have enough "installs" to qualify?



Good points. I struggled with myself about putting pai gow on the list, because of the low number of tables and you have to bank every other hand to get that low edge. Spanish 21 I will defend as it has a lot of installs in California and Washington. If we do drop pai gow, then High Card Flush would be next.

Game Rules House edge Element of Risk
Blackjack 2d, S17, DAS 0.26% 0.23%
Craps 345x 0.27% 0.27%
Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Ante 2.19% 0.53%
Video poker 9-6 Jacks 0.54% 0.54%
Spanish 21 H17 0.76% 0.68%
Baccarat Banker 1.06% 1.06%
Crazy 4 Poker Base game 3.42% 1.09%
Roulette French rule 1.35% 1.35%
Mississippi Stud Base game 4.91% 1.37%
High Card Flush Base game 2.64% 1.54%
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Wizard
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April 14th, 2020 at 5:55:39 AM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

Ultimate Texas Hold'em is too high. Its low element of risk means that you must wager more money to chase a promising hand, resulting in high variance. I get weary of watching the dealer get great hand after great hand and scooping the pot.

Indeed, I think you should factor in variance when developing your list.



Many recreational players LIKE variance. I submit that is why side bets are so popular. This video will be targeted towards recreational players.

However, I have thought about introducing a statistic that factors in variance. Maybe house edge * standard deviation, but that is another topic. For this video, I will bring up variance tangentially, but it won't affect the ranking.


Quote:

And I agree, High Card Flush is a better game than several on your list.



High Card Flush has an element of risk of 1.544%. Which game is it better than, using that as the metric?
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Wizard
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April 14th, 2020 at 6:04:23 AM permalink
Quote: bobbartop

The majority of Spanish 21 games in California, if not all of them, are H17 as you list above, but they also are re-double. So lower than .76%.



That is a good point! I checked an old Current Blackjack Newsletter and it had about half the games in California allowing DDD. However, that is enough. Here is my new ranking factoring that in.

Game Rules House edge Element of Risk
Blackjack 2d, S17, DAS 0.26% 0.23%
Craps 345x 0.27% 0.27%
Spanish 21 H17, DDD 0.42% 0.37%
Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Ante 2.19% 0.53%
Video poker 9-6 Jacks 0.54% 0.54%
Baccarat Banker 1.06% 1.06%
Crazy 4 Poker Base game 3.42% 1.09%
Roulette French rule 1.35% 1.35%
Mississippi Stud Base game 4.91% 1.37%
High Card Flush Base game 2.64% 1.54%
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
TigerWu
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April 14th, 2020 at 8:38:05 AM permalink
I realize I'm in the minority, but I challenge the omission of Pai Gow. I bank all the time when I play. Even if you never bank it's still one of the best games oddswise, no?
dcschwar77
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April 14th, 2020 at 8:59:45 AM permalink
You may also want to factor in the prevalence of Face Up Pai Gow, which has a lower edge (1.60%) but does not allow for banking. At least in LV, most of the games at low limits are Face Up, and you see less and less of the standard game all the time.
gordonm888
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April 14th, 2020 at 10:10:39 AM permalink
Well, I have posted in previous months about why I think that Element of Risk is a misleading metric. You and I just have a professional difference of opinion on this- (no problem -I have enormous respect for you) - and I realize now that you are ordering your list by Element of Risk. So, you might expect me to respectfully have some problems with the list.

I confess - I love Pai Gow Poker. Pai Gow Poker has the unusual quality of being a slower game that results in lower average losses per hour of play. Games like UTH and Miss Stud require a large bankroll to play for an extended period of time.

Look at it this way. A player walks into the casino with, say, a bankroll of 20 X or 40X the ante of a table game. Taking into account differences in hands per hour between games, what is the median time to ruin? OR, what is the chance of playing for 3 hours without losing your 20X or 40X bankroll?. When judged by this metric, I imagine that games like PGP and High Card Flush are significantly better than Miss Stud, UTH and Crazy 4 - and quite a bit better than most VP.

Of course, your title "Ten Best Casino Games" over-reaches -it promises more than it delivers. PaigowDan would have reminded you that some games have a fun factor and that people are paying to have fun. And your "Ten Best" ranking doesn't seem to include that in its definition of "Best." Most of us would agree that 3CP is a dull game. I found Spanish 21 to be a bit more fun than BJ, which many players describe as a "grind." "Making decisions" and "variety of play" and "variety of outcomes" seem to be factors that game designers consider when they try to develop a game that is fun.

I know retirees that go into a casino 3-5 times a week and play PGP for 4 or more hours as a pasttime - they enjoy the pace and the social environment, together with the mental challenge and the slower loss rate of money. It seems some people (not me personally) play craps or roulette the same way. Even High Card Flush. However, I imagine that very few retirees go into a casino multiple times a week, every week, to play UTH or Miss Stud for extended periods. Those are high drama games that are better suited for the occasional gambler with deep pockets.

Here's a (different) metric - by observation, at midnight or 2 a.m. in a casino, what games tend to have very crowded tables? What games do you have to wait to play? (My experience: PGP, UTH, High Card Flush and to a lesser degree MissStud, and Crazy 4 poker. YMMV. Seats at low minimum BJ games are also hard to find. Not sure about VP, craps, roulette or baccarat.) Using this metric, Wild 5 Poker (with only a very few placements) may be the Best Casino game.

These kind of judgments may not be your cup of tea. You have a right to be proud of the metric you created - Element of Risk -and perhaps this video has the underlying purpose of advertising your EOR metric. But you did ask for comments and I have tried to think about your list and fairly state some ideas with the hope that you consider moving out of your comfort zone on this or a future project. Or at least make a brief disclaimer in your video about what you are not considering when you say "Ten Best Casino Games."
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DJTeddyBear
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IndyJeffrey
April 14th, 2020 at 10:53:00 AM permalink
These two comments are contradictory.

Quote: Wizard

... and assume the gambler is comfortable with high-limit tables.

Quote: Wizard

This video will be targeted towards recreational players.

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Dobrij
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April 14th, 2020 at 2:17:45 PM permalink
Hello!
I apologize if I again say stupidity if the question is only to the US market; These are the games that have the least advantage over casinos in Europe, by optimal gambler house edge:


~0,5% Russian/Lunar Poker (Complete rules; 1 Box):
~0,6% 6 Card Poker (5+1)+1 (1 Box):
~1,2% Online slot Thrones Of Persia (Version 98,83% RTP):
~1,9% Baseland ~2000-2007year's production IGT slots (Where <98% RTP):
Last edited by: Dobrij on Apr 14, 2020
Dalmatian
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April 14th, 2020 at 11:22:52 PM permalink
Is Russian Lunar poker beatable?
Wizard
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YoyomamaTigerWu
April 15th, 2020 at 4:06:23 AM permalink
Quote: TigerWu

I realize I'm in the minority, but I challenge the omission of Pai Gow. I bank all the time when I play. Even if you never bank it's still one of the best games oddswise, no?



Using my basic strategy, the house edge is 1.98% not banking. That doesn't get it into the top 10 or 12. If we factored in hands per hour I'm sure it would be a top ten game in terms of expected loss per hour. But I'm not doing it that way.
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Wizard
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April 15th, 2020 at 4:08:59 AM permalink
Quote: dcschwar77

You may also want to factor in the prevalence of Face Up Pai Gow, which has a lower edge (1.60%) but does not allow for banking. At least in LV, most of the games at low limits are Face Up, and you see less and less of the standard game all the time.



I get a house edge of 1.81%.
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Wizard
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April 15th, 2020 at 4:13:00 AM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

Well, I have posted in previous months about why I think that Element of Risk is a misleading metric...



Those are all very good points. I'm sure you know what I would say in response to them.

I can at least retitle the article/video the Ten Best BETS in the casino. I'll explain up front how I measure that.

As I mentioned before, some gamblers like volatility. I will at least address as I go which games tend to be good at bankroll longevity, whether by low hands per hour or low variance.
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Wizard
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Yoyomama
April 15th, 2020 at 4:13:57 AM permalink
I am also making an article about this. In doing so, I realized that if I have Spanish 21 in there, I should also include Free Bet and BJ Switch. Adding those, we now have a top 12 list:

Rank Game Rules House edge Element of Risk
1 Blackjack 2d, S17, DAS 0.26% 0.00%
2 Craps 345x 0.27% 0.27%
3 Spanish 21 H17, DDD 0.42% 0.00%
4 Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Ante 2.19% 0.53%
5 Video poker 9-6 Jacks 0.54% 0.54%
6 Blackjack Switch H17, 6d 0.58% 0.00%
7 Free Bet Blackjack 1.04% 0.00%
8 Baccarat Banker 1.06% 1.06%
9 Crazy 4 Poker 3.42% 1.09%
10 Roulette French rule 1.35% 1.35%
11 Mississippi Stud 4.91% 1.37%
12 High Card Flush 2.64% 1.54%
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
DeMango
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April 15th, 2020 at 6:51:24 AM permalink
I hope the final result will reflect what games are available nationwide including the Northeast, Midwest and South. I've already questioned the placements of Spanish 21. Blackjack Switch seems to have disappeared in Biloxi and Free Bet BJ hasn't appeared yet. Guess I'm up to 4 cents now.
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odiousgambit
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April 15th, 2020 at 6:54:06 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Many recreational players LIKE variance. I submit that is why side bets are so popular. This video will be targeted towards recreational players.

However, I have thought about introducing a statistic that factors in variance. Maybe house edge * standard deviation, but that is another topic. For this video, I will bring up variance tangentially, but it won't affect the ranking.

you anticipated what I would want factored

you may be proving there can't be just one list, but different lists 'depending'
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Mosca
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April 15th, 2020 at 7:39:54 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Many recreational players LIKE variance. I submit that is why side bets are so popular. This video will be targeted towards recreational players.

However, I have thought about introducing a statistic that factors in variance. Maybe house edge * standard deviation, but that is another topic. For this video, I will bring up variance tangentially, but it won't affect the ranking.



Variance IS recreational! For a casual player, the worst thing a game can be is boring. I知 willing to pay more for the faster heartbeat.
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paolalopez118
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April 15th, 2020 at 7:41:44 AM permalink
I play a lot of Blackjack and Video poker, I find this published table very interesting.
Joeman
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April 15th, 2020 at 7:54:16 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I am also making an article about this. In doing so, I realized that if I have Spanish 21 in there, I should also include Free Bet and BJ Switch. Adding those, we now have a top 12 list:

Rank Game Rules House edge Element of Risk
1 Blackjack 2d, S17, DAS 0.26% 0.00%
2 Craps 345x 0.27% 0.27%
3 Spanish 21 H17, DDD 0.42% 0.00%
4 Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Ante 2.19% 0.53%
5 Video poker 9-6 Jacks 0.54% 0.54%
6 Blackjack Switch H17, 6d 0.58% 0.00%
7 Free Bet Blackjack 1.04% 0.00%
8 Baccarat Banker 1.06% 1.06%
9 Crazy 4 Poker 3.42% 1.09%
10 Roulette French rule 1.35% 1.35%
11 Mississippi Stud 4.91% 1.37%
12 High Card Flush 2.64% 1.54%


Wiz, it looks like you lost the EoR for a few of these.

ETA -- If your article is geared towards the recreational gambler, you may want to mention the differences of the difficulty in applying basic strategy to the games on your list. Anyone can plop down at the bac table and bet 'banker' or 'black' on an en prison roulette game and get the minimum house edge/EoR without knowing anything about strategy. However, if you have never played VP before and don't know proper strategies, you won't get near its minimum house edge.

Maybe you could add a 'strategy rank' column. If you don't want to supply a subjective rank, you could show the number of 'rules' you have to follow for proper basic strategy. E.g. baccarat would get a 1 since the only BS rule is "bet on banker." VP (JoB) would get a 36.
Last edited by: Joeman on Apr 15, 2020
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gordonm888
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April 15th, 2020 at 9:51:16 AM permalink
It is hard to know which games to choose as eligible for the list.

Texas Holdem Bonus has an HE of 2.037% with a low EOR of 0.543%. But the strategy rules for betting on the Turn and River that produce those levels of edge and risk are unknown - or at least not published on WOO.

The perfect strategy rules for some bets on some games have never been published - like the turn bet on UTH.
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dcschwar77
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April 15th, 2020 at 10:13:18 AM permalink
They sell the game as being at 1.60. Either way it is lower than regular PGP, but banking allows it to lower the edge for the standard game.
Mosca
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April 15th, 2020 at 10:25:53 AM permalink
Quote: Joeman


ETA -- If your article is geared towards the recreational gambler, you may want to mention the differences of the difficulty in applying basic strategy to the games on your list. Anyone can plop down at the bac table and bet 'banker' or 'black' on an en prison roulette game and get the minimum house edge/EoR without knowing anything about strategy. However, if you have never played VP before and don't know proper strategies, you won't get near its minimum house edge.

Maybe you could add a 'strategy rank' column. If you don't want to supply a subjective rank, you could show the number of 'rules' you have to follow for proper basic strategy. E.g. baccarat would get a 1 since the only BS rule is "bet on banker." VP (JoB) would get a 36.



Good point. I play games where it痴 easy to get to the second decision point. I work hard enough at my job, if I wanted to make money I壇 go to work instead. So anything that is simple and close to fair will do. I知 not going to memorize a decision table for a percent or two of HE/EoR.

Keep in mind, too, that casual gamblers are only in the casino a few times a year. I ran into this learning Pai Gow tiles. I bought a set, learned to play, and had a blast. The next time I played it was over a year later, and I remembered very little.
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April 15th, 2020 at 12:31:15 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Variance IS recreational! For a casual player, the worst thing a game can be is boring. I知 willing to pay more for the faster heartbeat.



Players play for different motives. Some like just a little volatility, to keep it interesting, but are really there just for the casino ambiance. I suspect pai gow poker players, especially face up, are like that.
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Wizard
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April 15th, 2020 at 12:33:22 PM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

Texas Holdem Bonus has an HE of 2.037% with a low EOR of 0.543%.



Dang there is another one I forgot. That currently has 11 placements in Vegas.
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Wizard
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April 15th, 2020 at 12:36:16 PM permalink
Quote: DeMango

I hope the final result will reflect what games are available nationwide including the Northeast, Midwest and South. I've already questioned the placements of Spanish 21. Blackjack Switch seems to have disappeared in Biloxi and Free Bet BJ hasn't appeared yet. Guess I'm up to 4 cents now.



To be perfectly honest with you, I haven't been to a casino in the mid-west or south in about 15 years.

This combined with other points are making me think of splitting this into two lists:

1. Classic games
2. New games

I'm not sure where to draw the line. I tough one is Spanish 21, which has been around for about 25 years, but still doesn't feel "classic" to me.
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Wizard
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April 15th, 2020 at 1:02:28 PM permalink
Adding in Texas Hold 'Em Bonus, this is now a top-13 list.

Rank Game Rules Standard deviation House edge Element of Risk
1 Blackjack 2d, S17, DAS 1.14 0.26%
2 Craps 345x 4.91 1.41% 0.27%
3 Spanish 21 H17, DDD 0.42%
4 Video poker 9-6 Jacks 4.42 0.46% 0.46%
5 Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Ante 4.94 2.19% 0.53%
6 Texas Hold 'em Bonus Ante 3.51 2.04% 0.53%
7 Blackjack Switch H17, 6d 0.58%
8 Free Bet Blackjack 1.04%
9 Baccarat Banker 0.93 1.06% 1.06%
10 Crazy 4 Poker 3.13 3.42% 1.09%
11 Roulette French rule 1.35% 1.35%
12 Mississippi Stud 9.84 4.91% 1.37%
13 High Card Flush 1.63 2.64% 1.54%


I do think I'm going to make two lists between old and new games.

Classic Games

Rank Game Rules House edge Element of Risk
1 Blackjack 2d, S17, DAS 0.26% 0.00%
2 Craps 345x 1.41% 0.27%
3 Video poker 9-6 Jacks 0.46% 0.46%
4 Baccarat Banker 1.06% 1.06%
5 Roulette French rule 1.35% 1.35%



New Games

Rank Game Rules House edge Element of Risk
1 Spanish 21 H17, DDD 0.42%
2 Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Ante 2.19% 0.53%
3 Texas Hold 'em Bonus Ante 2.04% 0.53%
4 Blackjack Switch H17, 6d 0.58%
5 Free Bet Blackjack 1.04%
6 Crazy 4 Poker 3.42% 1.09%
7 Mississippi Stud 4.91% 1.37%
8 High Card Flush 2.64% 1.54%


What is your opinion on whether Spanish 21 should be an old or a classic game? I know I was playing it a lot in Atlantic City in the late 90's.
Last edited by: Wizard on Apr 15, 2020
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Ace2
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April 15th, 2020 at 1:16:52 PM permalink
Though technically not a casino game, aren稚 NFL & MLB underdog bets slightly positive EV?
It痴 all about making that GTA
SkittleCar1
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April 15th, 2020 at 6:09:18 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard



What is your opinion on whether Spanish 21 should be an old or a classic game? I know I was playing it a lot in Atlantic City in the late 90's.



I don't know if "classic" is the correct word. How about "traditional?" Either way, I believe you have it split correctly. But I could see Video Poker going either way.
Wizard
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April 15th, 2020 at 7:23:08 PM permalink
Quote: Ace2

Though technically not a casino game, aren稚 NFL & MLB underdog bets slightly positive EV?



I was very strongly thinking of adding them to the list. It depends on the sample size you have, but in general I would say there is a small house edge, around 1%.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Wizard
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April 16th, 2020 at 2:26:18 PM permalink
I decided to keep the list together after all. That said, here is my unpublished article Top 13 Best Bets in the Casino. I consider this in the proofreading stage. That said, please have a look. I welcome all comments.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Wizard
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April 16th, 2020 at 2:52:42 PM permalink
In my article, I have the following basic strategy quiz. It is based on the following rules: six decks, dealer stands on soft 17, double after split allowed, surrender allowed, re-splitting allowed.

  1. Ace-7 against a 9?
  2. Ace-2 against a 5?
  3. 4-4 against a 6?
  4. Total of 16 against a 10?
  5. Total of 12 against a 2?
  6. 9-9 against a 9?
  7. 8-8 against a 10?
  8. Total of 9 against a 3?
  9. 6-6 against a 4?
  10. Do you accept "even money" with a blackjack against a dealer ace?


Click the button below for the answers.


  1. Hit
  2. Double
  3. Split
  4. Surrender (with two cards)
  5. Hit
  6. Split
  7. Split
  8. Double
  9. Split
  10. No

  11. Full basic strategy:


Last edited by: Wizard on Apr 16, 2020
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
EdCollins
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April 16th, 2020 at 2:53:03 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

...That said, please have a look. I welcome all comments.

You double with 6-6 against a 4? That can't be right. I suspect you split, not double.

If so, I only got one wrong out of the ten questions. :)

Edit: Ha. This e-mail was composed before I saw your last post. Confirmed... according to your chart, it does appear it's a split, not a double.
Ace2
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April 16th, 2020 at 3:01:24 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

In my article, I have the following basic strategy quiz. It is based on the following rules: six decks, dealer stands on soft 17, double after split allowed, surrender allowed, re-splitting allowed.

Does blackjack pay 3:2, 6:5 or 1:1 ?
It痴 all about making that GTA
Wizard
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April 16th, 2020 at 5:41:26 PM permalink
Quote: EdCollins

You double with 6-6 against a 4? That can't be right. I suspect you split, not double.



Ooops.
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sodawater
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April 16th, 2020 at 6:19:10 PM permalink
Pai gow tiles should absolutely be included in the list.

The 1 percent house edge when banking every other hand is the *worst-case* scenario.

First of all, many of the classier casinos don't have quarters in the rack so they round down commission. So you should always bet a round number + $5.

More important: Many times if not most times, other players will eventually bet against you on your bank if you establish socially that you don't mind it, which lowers the house edge substantially and even introduces the possibility of an overall player advantage if enough is bet against you.

The net commission rule also applies when players are betting on your bank.

I would be interested to know the multiple of bets against you compared to your bet against the house needed to turn PG tiles into a 0.00% game.
Wizard
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April 16th, 2020 at 8:31:59 PM permalink
Quote: sodawater

I would be interested to know the multiple of bets against you compared to your bet against the house needed to turn PG tiles into a 0.00% game.



Those were all good points. However, it isn't going to be practical for most people to book the action against black-chip-betting Asian players.

Also, it can never go positive. Even when banking, the EV is still -0.08%.
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sodawater
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April 17th, 2020 at 12:31:39 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Those were all good points. However, it isn't going to be practical for most people to book the action against black-chip-betting Asian players.

Also, it can never go positive. Even when banking, the EV is still -0.08%.



Given that the optimal strategy while banking (which no one knows) is +0.20%, and given that I set my hands way more skillfully than almost all of the players who bet against me, I'll assume I've got at least an even game while banking and at least two other people are betting against me.

One more thing I forgot to mention are dealer errors in the players' favor in both paying and adjudicating PG tiles hands, which happen more frequently (in my opinion) here than in any other game on your list.
Wizard
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Thanks for this post from:
sodawater
April 17th, 2020 at 6:50:07 AM permalink
Quote: sodawater

Given that the optimal strategy while banking (which no one knows) is +0.20%,



I think our own JB is very close. Once he bet me that he could get 100 out of 100 hands right on his demo game and he won the bet.

There are just too many conditions on tiles to get the house edge in top 13 range. You might argue nobody knows Texas Hold 'Em Bonus strategy either. At the end of the day, pai gow falls in a grey area and I have to made a judgement call. You make a very good argument, but I'm still leaving it off the list. You can see it gets an honorable mention, which I think is fair.
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Mosca
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April 17th, 2020 at 3:10:38 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I decided to keep the list together after all. That said, here is my unpublished article Top 13 Best Bets in the Casino. I consider this in the proofreading stage. That said, please have a look. I welcome all comments.



I like that you titled it 釘est Bets. That fits perfectly, and leads the reader in exactly the direction you intend.
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Wizard
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April 17th, 2020 at 3:57:32 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

I like that you titled it 釘est Bets. That fits perfectly, and leads the reader in exactly the direction you intend.



Thank you!
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IndyJeffrey
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April 18th, 2020 at 9:38:40 AM permalink
Wiz: Thanks for the article. As the resident recreational player, this enlightened me to a few games I need to try next time. And I need to brush up on basic strategy, as I only got 8 of ten correct. I am ashamed of myself.
Lovecomps
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April 18th, 2020 at 12:55:21 PM permalink
There's also games that I like to goof with to kill a little time despite a high EV....Caribbean Stud Poker in my case at the minimum bet. I don't play for the jackpot at $1 a hand.

I'd have put the sports book on the list...3 hours per bet vs. 60+ rolls per hour on the craps table.
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Wizard
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Zuga
July 7th, 2020 at 12:46:26 PM permalink
Here is what I'll call version 1.0 of my video on the Ten Best Bets in the Casino. It is still in private mode, so I can fix any blatant editing errors. The raw footage is what it is. This is by far my longest video. I'm also learning new editing software.

Please keep in mind I'm not making a Ken Burns documentary here, so be gentle with your criticism.


Direct: https://youtu.be/_F8gkDxYn00
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rdw4potus
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July 7th, 2020 at 1:37:45 PM permalink
That's a great video! 2 things:
1. there's a hanging text comment at about 33:48, right after the craps section. It's about resplitting aces, so I don't think it goes there.
2. don't forget to post the links to all the WOO pages when you make the video public!
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Commish
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July 7th, 2020 at 2:43:02 PM permalink
I have played a tremendous amount of UTH over the last 11 years. I have gotten 78 straight flushes over that time. This may be on the borderline but I do not think a dealer can deal this game for 8 hours without making payout errors. This makes the game odds even better. Does anyone else agree with this and does this happen in other games? I can pretty much say it does not happen in BJ but I do not know about other games.

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