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Mar

04

2010

The Best Game is the One You Like to Play

 The Best Game is the One You Like to Play

A couple of friends of mine were having a friendly disagreement — not heated enough to call an argument, but they asked me to referee.

“Which is the best casino game? It’s blackjack, right?” asked the first.

The second piped in, “Tell him it’s craps.”

By “best,” they meant the game with the lowest house advantage. There are too many factors at work just to pick one. Skill and knowledge of the player matter. The house edge in blackjack is around 2 to 2.5 percent against an average player, but a player who learns basic strategy can get that down to half a percent or so, a few tenths more or less depending on house rules.

Craps, on the other hand, has a wide variety of available wagers, some very good bets and some not so well. If you bet pass or come, the house edge is only 1.41 percent, and you can get that below one percent if you back the bets with free odds — and I’ll explain more about that in a future blog. On the other hand, if you bet the one-roll propositions such as any “7,” any craps or the field, you’ll face house advantages that range up to 16.67 percent. Any “7” is the worst of those — the house keeps an average of $16.67 of every $100 wagered.

But when I think of the “best” game, the house edge isn’t the only factor. Your enjoyment of the game has to weigh in. If Caribbean Stud or Three Card Poker or slot machines are the games you like to play, you’re not likely to have a better time playing a “better” game. Focus on learning to get the most out of the games you like to play.

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