Casino Table Games FAQ

What are Table Games?

Casino table gamesCasino table games can be loosely described as any game in a casino that takes place on a table top. Most of these are covered in felt and have betting layouts on them where players place their chips in order to make a bet on a certain outcome in the game in question.

This loose definition covers most games although you’ll find a few others that aren’t actually played on a table, however, they’re still considered in the general category of table games. The recent rise to prominence of online casinos and mobile gaming has further diluted the definition of a table game. However, online casinos have mostly stayed true to the origin of the games and categorize casino table games the same way in their online casino libraries as they are in bricks and mortar casinos.

Playing with Others

Table games are great for players, as they’re usually sociable and playing with others always makes gaming more fun. If you play online, you’ll often have access to the chat box so you can possibly still join other players in some friendly banter while you play.

One step further online you can now even play with a live dealer. If you go with this option, you’ll be connected to a real dealer on a casino floor where all the action takes place as if you were sitting in an actual casino itself. You still make your bets and take action via your device over the internet. So no matter how you play the table game you still get that great social factor and interaction.

The Most Popular Casino Games

poker imageThe most popular casino table games are usually household names for most people. The most popular casino table game by far is online blackjack. Few people around the world won’t know how to play this game in one form or another. Players battle against the dealer trying to get as close to 21 as possible with their cards while not busting, or having the dealer bust.

After blackjack, poker games can be considered the most popular games. In the poker world, the most popular game is no limit Texas hold’em. However, many other poker games are popular including stud poker, five card draw poker, and Omaha. Poker is unique as it’s played between players and the casino takes a commission to run the game.

Roulette is another popular casino table game. The roulette wheel is synonymous with casinos and luck. You won’t find many simpler games than roulette, where numbers and colors on the wheel match that of the layout and you must try and pre-select what will happen on the next spin.

Craps is another hugely popular table game where a shooter throws the dice hoping to hit certain numbers at certain times in a round. If you’re hearing cheers, laughter, and seeing people high five around a large table then chances are it’s the craps table.

These four games are the most popular in casinos at the moment. You’ll be able to find a huge number of other tables games, though, including baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Let It Ride, sic bo, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, red dog, three card poker and more. Some people also consider bingo, keno, and big wheel to be tables games, mainly because they don’t really fall into another category. To see a complete list of games you’ll be able to see online, make sure to visit our  Online Casino Games page.

How Do I Play the Table Games?

Table games are generally extremely simple to play. If you’re playing in the United States in a live casino, then most dealers will be earning the majority of their income in tips from players.

This means they’ll be more than willing to assist you when it comes to the rules of a game and how to play. If you’re playing online, then all the games have an instructions section which outlines how to play and what the rules are. Additionally, when you’re playing online you’ll be able to find play money games that are free to play and will teach you the rules without having to risk any money.

Difficulty of the Games

In most situations, you need only sit down with some money, buy in for some chips, and make some bets in order to start playing. Casinos don’t want their games to be too difficult or it would turn people away, so all games are pretty easy to pick up and even the most confusing looking games like craps are simple once you learn just one or two rules.

Strategy and Decisions

poker imageWinning a game can be a completely different story. While technically you can’t play any table game that will allow you to be a winning player, in the long run, you can implement strategies to give yourself the best possible chance of winning.

Keep in mind though that in order to implement the proper strategy you have to make decisions as part of the process of playing. In roulette, keno, bingo, and baccarat you won’t have to make any decisions once you’ve placed your bet and therefore nothing can be done to swing the odds slightly in your favor. Usually, the easiest games to play are like this.

If you’re playing craps, Let It Ride, blackjack or Ultimate Texas Hold’em you’ll have to make decisions throughout the games and you can learn strategy with respect to this decision making to make the games as favorable as possible to you.

You won’t ever be able to beat a game, though unless you’re playing poker, which is against other players, or learn how to count cards playing blackjack. Technically even in poker, you’ll lose in the long run as a result of the commission that you’ll have to be consistently paying to the casino unless you’re much better than average. In poker, this commission is known as the rake.

Practice Online

Ultimately, casino table games are very easy to play. We suggest you learn first how to play in a risk-free environment online before you start wagering real cash in an online or live casino. That way you’ll be best prepared to do as well as possible and hopefully, you’ll have a winning session by getting lucky.

What is the House Edge and What Does It Mean?

House Edge iconIn the above question, we already touched on some of the better games to play. At the fundamental level, the mathematics behind casino table games mean that you can never win, even when you implement the perfect strategy.

Each casino game is designed so that the house running the game has a mathematical advantage over you. This advantage is known as the house edge. Usually, the edge will be represented in a percentage form, and this percentage indicates how much the casino will absorb from you in the long run in a particular casino game.

So if the house edge is 4% you would lose $4 out the $100 you risk on a long enough timeline. Of course in a short session, you’ll experience variance and will have winning and losing sessions that are much different from this 4%. However, if you tracked your play across 30 years and hundreds of sessions then your practical losses would match the theoretical losses as determined by the house edge.

The House Edge of Popular Games

In poker, you won’t find a house edge as you’re playing against other players. In poker, you should instead be thinking about making every move on the table a positive expectation move that will result in you winning more times than not in the long run.

Generally speaking, the easier the game is to play the higher the house edge is. The house edge in some games can fluctuate depending on the strategy that you’re implementing. For the purposes of outlining some of the more popular games and their associated house edges, we will assume that perfect strategy is being implemented. We’ve outlined below some popular casino table games and their house edge:

Casino Game House Edge
Blackjack with favorable rules 0.28%
Roulette with a single zero 2.7%
Roulette with a double zero 5.26%
Craps pass and come 1.41%
Craps don’t pass and don’t come 1.36%
Let It Ride 3.51%
Pai Gow Poker 1.46%
Ultimate Texas Hold’em 2.18%
Baccarat banker 1.06%
Baccarat player 1.24%
Keno 25%

As you can see, blackjack has the lowest house edge and you can implement a fair amount of strategy in this game. You’ll need to be wagering larger amounts per hand to find a table with this low house edge, though, particularly in a live casino. In keno, you can’t implement any strategy or change anything at all, and the house edge is huge at 25%.

Can I Use Strategy on Table Games?

video poker books iconAs we’ve touched on in the above questions, you can certainly implement strategies when playing some casino table games. In the games where no decision making takes place, you can’t implement the strategy. Also, you can’t change bet sizing according to previous results in order to win. This is simply not possible and if someone tries to convince you otherwise then walk away as it’s complete nonsense.

Thankfully, in most games, you’ll have to make decisions and you can implement a strategy to drive down the house edge as much as possible. In order to follow perfect strategy, you need to learn everything you can about a game and implement the right decision-making at the right time.

Use Simple Strategy Charts

Basic Blackjack Strategy table 3DAs this is all based on mathematics it can get quite complex. Luckily for you, most of the work has been done for you and is readily available online. You’ll be able to find strategies for just about every single casino table game in easy to follow list style or chart formats. This means you look at the list or chart and determine what situation you’re in for the game you’re playing. Then you’ll be provided with the best possible course of action to take that results in the most wins from that position in the long run.

It really is that simple for most games. Many online casinos will have basic strategy charts and lists available on the game interface itself so that you can just follow that next to the game itself while you play. If you’re playing in a live casino then you can use your mobile device, or find the gift shop which often sells many strategy cards, especially for blackjack.

It’s always a good idea to implement some strategy when you’re playing table games. Remember that these games are mathematically designed to beat you so you may as well try and limit this impact as much as possible so that the variance in the game goes your way in a session and you end up having a win from time to time. This way you’ll enjoy your gaming as much as you possibly can.

Each of our main game pages includes proper strategy so look around before venturing off to the casino. The Wizard of Odds site has in-depth strategies for most casino games as well.

Can I Play Casino Table Games Online?

online pokerYes, you can play casino table games online. Although they won’t actually occur on a table, online casinos and software providers have now developed excellent platforms for you to be able to play your favorite games online.

The graphics you’ll find, especially on Net Entertainment, Playtech, and Microgaming casino games are excellent and immersive. On top of this, many online casinos now have live dealer games where you’ll be connected to a real casino floor via video link with a digital overlay for you to be able to place your bets and take action just like you were sitting in a live casino. This is really bridging the gap between live and online casinos.

Advantages of Playing Online

Recent developments in mobile devices also mean you can now play on the go wherever you are provided you have a compatible device and an internet connection. This really is great and makes it so much easier for you to get your gaming fix anywhere anytime.

When you’re playing online you’ll quite often find more favorable rules for the player. Many of the house edge’s listed in our earlier question will be higher due to the new rules that live casinos are placing in games to further disadvantage players. Online you won’t find this as much due to the intense competition online and the relatively low overheads when compared to a live casino. This means your money will go much further online and you’ll have more of a chance of having a winning session.

When playing online on your mobile device you’ll also be able to take physical action with your hand or your device to take action in the game. This may involve shaking your device to roll the dice in craps, or swiping across the screen in order to hit in blackjack. This further makes online play more enjoyable.

Online Casino Game Bonuses

bonus iconIf you’re going to play online make sure you look into the bonuses and promotions that online casinos may be offering. Quite often you’ll get some seriously generous welcome bonuses at online casinos where your deposit will be matched with free cash that you can use to continue gaming once you’ve satisfied some certain conditions.

These bonuses and promotions will be much more generous than you will ever find at a live casino. On top of this, online casinos will often offer you better comp points and player clubs programs than live casinos. Once again this is due to the intense competition and also the low costs involved in running an online casino. Be warned, though, the terms and conditions for these bonuses will be tougher on casino table games than they are for slots players. If they are, then you know you’re playing a more favorable game.

Research Before Playing

As you can see you’ll have access to a myriad of benefits when you play online compared to a live casino. You need to keep in mind that some questionable occurrences have taken place online in the past and it’s much easier for dodgy businesses to run online, especially because you can’t open the front door and walk in to check out the place. So make sure you do a little bit of research before you start playing with an online casino to make sure they’re reputable, run on decent software and have good withdrawal processes so that you get your money quickly once you decide to withdraw it.

We’ve done much of the work for you by researching and only listing trusted online casinos. You can read more in our casino reviews section.

Should I Play Online or Live Table Games?

Ultimately this is up to you. It’s always good to have some variety so why not play a good mix of both? Your money will go much further online and you’ll be able to find more favorable playing conditions. However, you can never really match that feeling you’ll get playing with others in a live casino with all the atmosphere and fun that goes along with it, especially when playing casino table games. You can also try your luck by combining both experiences by playing Live Dealer Games.

This is why it’s ideal to have a good mix. Get your online play taken care of during the week, and head to your local casino, or even Las Vegas, on the weekend to take care of your social gaming. No matter how you play it’s important to have fun. This is why you should be playing casino table games, not to be making money. Unless you’re playing poker of course and are treating it like an absolute business. On any other table game, you’ll lose in the long run so it needs to be all about entertainment and fun.

If you have more questions, take a look at Ocean’s 11 Casino frequently asked questions for additional guidance.