Casino Table Games Tips
Casino table games are the most played and popular forms of gambling found at online casinos. Players looking for casino table game tips have come to the right place. Learn the basic tips to improving your odds and gameplay that each table game has to offer. Learn all about the Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Let it Ride, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em tips to help you improve.
Make sure you’re aware of the house edge for each table game that you’re considering playing. Some are much more favorable to the player than others and if you want to do well, or as best as you possibly can in the hope of having a winning session, then you need to be aware of the house edge for every game that you plan on playing.
As a general rule, if there’s no decision making involved in the game that you’re playing then the odds won’t be great. The blind luck games have very bad odds for the player and really are 100% based on luck. You’ll need to get lucky on a particular day to have a winning session and you won’t have any chance of winning in the long run on these types of games.
Live Casino Tips
If you’re playing in a live casino, ask the dealer to color up your chips before leaving the table. No one wants to walk around with 20 or 30 red $5 chips in their pocket or hands, so get them to change these up for you to a higher denomination such as black $100 chips. This is also a good strategy when you’re playing well. You can color up part of your chips into a higher denomination and place that in your wallet or pocket as your profit or revenue for the session. That way when the cards, dice, or balls start to go against you there’ll be no temptation to keep playing once you run out of chips on the table.
Next time you head over to an online casino to play your favorite table game, consider playing with a live dealer. In these games, you’ll be connected to a dealer and real table on a casino floor by a video link. Real cards, dice, or balls will be used while you still make your bets via a digital overlay on the video link screen. This really is a great innovation for the player as it links real live casino gaming and the online world. This means you can still get that real casino experience from the comfort of your own home, or wherever else you may be.
Feel Comfortable with Yourself
You should never feel unwelcome at a table game, or feel as though you can’t take a seat if there’s an open square or position. Table games are offered for everyone to enjoy and if you want to play then take a seat and play. If anyone gives you grief for sitting down, then just ignore them or instruct them to speak with the pit boss to see if they can open a private table for them to play on. Similarly, if you’re playing in a casino where smoking is allowed you shouldn’t take a seat and smoke next to someone who isn’t already smoking. This is just common courtesy. Also be mindful of the dealer; they don’t deserve a face full of second-hand smoke while they work.
Looking for the Best Odds
If you’re all about the odds and are seeking the games which are most favorable to the player then focus your efforts on blackjack, baccarat, and craps. These games offer you the best odds and will allow you to push your bankroll for as long as possible. Baccarat is the simplest game with little to no strategy involved, while craps and blackjack will require a bit more thought when you’re playing. If you play well on these games and find favorable rules, you can limit the house edge to a low amount.
Strategy and Rules
If you’re new to a particular table game, consider purchasing a strategy card or having strategy information readily available if you’re playing online. These cards provide instructions on the best decisions to make at any point in a game. Usually, you’ll only have to make one decision at one point in a betting round so it won’t be too difficult. Most live casinos will have these available for purchase in the gift shop.
Finding the odds and rules for table games can be hard in a live casino. To make sure you’re well informed on everything, ask at the player’s club desk, or the pit boss or dealer for information on the rules. Usually, they’ll have a digital display or flyer somewhere that outlines the rules and odds for a given game. You can then use this to find out the best possible table to play at. If you’re playing online, then this information should be readily available in the casino library or via a button on the games’ user interface.
Buying Chips to Play With
When you’re buying chips at the table you need only place the money down on the table itself. Dealers can’t pass or receive chips or money from you hand to hand and everything must be placed on the table. This is to ensure that the money is counted correctly and also so the cameras can keep track of all transactions.
Tipping the Dealer
Depending on where you play, you may need to tip the dealer at the end of a session. In some countries, tipping isn’t the norm, so you don’t need to tip. In the United States, it’s customary to tip the dealer when you have a winning session. Or you can make a small tip for the dealer on each bet. If you have a losing session you don’t need to tip. The amount you tip is completely up to you.
Always find blackjack tables and games that offer 3 to 2 payouts on a natural blackjack. If they offer 6 to 5 payouts, then walk away or choose another table. It’s becoming harder and harder in live casinos to find the 3 to 2 tables, however, we must vote with our feet to ensure that casinos offer games that don’t have too high of a house edge. The 6 to 5 payout hurts you a great deal when it comes to the house edge, and sometimes it’s even worth going up in stakes to protect yourself.
Getting an Eleven
Whenever you’re dealt an 11 in blackjack with your first two cards you should always double down. It doesn’t matter what the dealer up card is, you always need to do this as it’s the best play to make as per basic strategy. If you don’t have the chips available, then drop down to a lower denomination so you can make these vital plays.
Never or Always Split …
You should never split 10’s in blackjack. When you have a total of 20, the dealer can only beat you with 21, which is statistically unlikely, although it does happen from time to time. So, therefore, standing on a 20 is always the best option in every single hand and every single situation.
If you have two 8’s, it’s almost always a good idea to split. The worst starting hand in blackjack is 16. If you split, you’ll hopefully win with one hand at least and thus break even overall. You may even get lucky and win both hands. This tip is debatable and some say that you shouldn’t split against an ace, but technically it’s still the right play.
When you’re dealt two 5’s you should consider doubling down and not split. Splitting could put you in a situation where you get 15, which isn’t a good place to be. Whereas when you double down you can improve significantly while still doubling that bet and prospective winnings. So in this situation, you should never split and consider doubling down. Most of the time you would double only if the dealer has a 9 or less, otherwise, a hit’s the normal play.
Don’t Hit On and After 17
If you get to 17, this is the point that you should never hit. No matter how many cards you have or what the dealer has, 17 is the standpoint. That’s why getting 16 is such a bad hand, because you’ll lose many more hands with 16, either by hitting and busting or losing if you stand than you will on 17 and standing.
Soft vs. Hard Hands
In blackjack, you can have soft hands and hard hands. This is because the ace is worth 11 and 1. When you hold a soft hand the ace is being valued as an 11; when you hold a hard hand the ace is being valued as 1 otherwise, you’d be over 21. Soft and hard hands are very important and the dealer will sometimes hit or sometimes stand depending on whether they are soft or hard 17. This is determined by the house and table rules.
Decreasing the House Edge
In blackjack, the main two ways you can decrease the house edge and try to have a winning session is by doubling down every time it’s appropriate to do so and finding a table that pays out at 3 to 2 for a natural blackjack. If you do and find these things, then you’ll be as close as possible to having the lowest house edge. You also need to be aware of which rules are best for you and which ones are best for the casino. You can learn more about these on our main blackjack rules page.
If you’re new to craps, never fear, the game is actually quite simple. All you need to do is make a bet on the pass line when the puck is turned to the off position. You’ll be hoping the shooter, the person rolling the dice, gets a 7 or 11 at this point which will result in an even pay out win. If they get a 2, 3, or 12 you’ll lose. If they get another number, that becomes the point. If a point is set you’ll be hoping they roll that again for an even money win. If they roll a 7 you’ll lose. If any other numbers are rolled it’s irrelevant to you at this point and the shooter rolls again. See, it’s just that simple!
Disc on Off Position
When you first go to a table and start playing, make sure the disc is turned to the off position. The dice will be in the middle of the table and a new round will start soon. This is the time you want to get chips and start to place your bets. If you’re playing online obviously this won’t apply to you. It’s against craps etiquette to change cash for chips once a roll has taken place unless you’re already a part of that roll and need more chips to place extra associated bets.
Proper Betting Etiquette
Once a roll has taken place don’t make any bets until the stickman has retrieved the dice and placed them in the middle of the table. At this point make all your bets and the stickmen will wait for everyone to do this before they pass the dice back up to the shooter.
When you’re playing live craps you can only make bets yourself on certain areas of the table. These are confined to the outside bets on the table layout and precise bets you can and cannot make will depend on the house rules. Usually, you can only bet on the pass line, don’t pass line, come, don’t come, field, and big 6 and 8. If you want bets placed elsewhere simply place your chips on the felt and ask one of the dealers to make the bet for you. This is done mostly because of the payout rates and ideal bet sizes for certain types of bets in the game, and also so too many hands and chips aren’t being placed across an already busy table.
In craps, the first roll is known as a come out roll. This means that no point number has been established. If a 7 or 11 are rolled on the come out, then players win on the pass line. If a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled then players lose on the pass. Some bet types aren’t in play on the come out roll and will only be won or lost once a point has been established.
Sometimes in craps, the odds will be displayed or verbalized as 10 for 1. This is the same as 9 to 1 odds. The only difference is they’re including the original wager in the odds listing.
In craps, you can remove bets from the layout when the shooter is going for the point. You can’t pick up the pass or come bets though as they need to be played out until they resolve. This is because you would’ve laid odds on them and as such, they need to go through to the end for it to be fair to the house.
Never Say “Seven”
When you’re playing craps never utter the word seven, either verbally or through the chat box online. It’s considered seriously bad luck to even say this word while you’re playing. Obviously, everyone loses when a seven is rolled after the point so no one wants one to come. Unless they’re playing the dark side of craps of course.
Odds Bet is the Best Bet
The odds bet is one of the best you can make in a casino as it carries no house edge. Casinos have started limiting how much you can bet on the odds, and more popular ones now only have three times odds bets. The more you can bet on the odds the better, so try to find tables with the highest possible odds bets. You’ll be able to find a sign or indication on or near the table both in live and online casinos.
Craps is quite a unique game because of the fact almost all players never make the best bets odds wise. This is because betting on the don’t pass and don’t come are effectively bets against the shooter. Everyone wants to come together and try to win together in craps so most players usually bet on the pass and come bets which carry a slightly higher house edge. You can still play the dark side but some players may look down on you when you’re doing it.
Quite often craps is a turn off for many players because the bets and amount of money in play can become huge very quickly. You’ll hear a lot of people say that they either win a lot quickly in craps or lose a lot quickly. Online craps will offer you much better bet sizes if you’re worried about having too much at stake. In live casinos, you can now also find automatic craps tables which also allow you to bet smaller amounts.
Throwing the Dice
When it’s your turn to be the shooter, make sure you try to throw the dice all the way to the back wall and have them bounce back. It’s also a good idea to try to avoid chips on the layout so you aren’t causing a mess every time you roll. You also can’t slide the dice or throw them too high, because the dealer will shout no roll if you do this and you’ll have to go again. This can be quite annoying for other players on the table.
Watch the Odds
Not all odds are created equal in craps. Depending on the casino you’re in and the country you’re playing from you’ll be able to find favorable odds on certain bets, and lousy odds on the same bets elsewhere. This is particularly true on the field bets. If you find a table online or in a live environment that offers a 3 to 1 payout on the 12 or a 2 to 1 on the 2, then go for it. If they offer 3 to 1 on the 2 and 12 then this has no house edge at all and you should hammer these bets.
Before you start playing roulette you should be aware of the fact that the game is purely based on luck. You won’t be able to implement any decision-making or skill while playing the game and if you think you can; chances are you’ve been hoodwinked by someone claiming to have some flawless betting method that results in wins. You need to get lucky in roulette to win and need to know the right time to walk away if you do get lucky.
Outside Bets are the Best Bet
If you want to play roulette the best bets to make are the outside bets. These have almost a 50 / 50 chance; slightly less because of the 0 or 00 on the table, and will see your money stretch as far as it possibly can in this game. From there the odds go up and the probabilities of those occurrences do also. This is basically at the same rate for the 50 / 50 bets; however, you’ll need to persevere longer before you hit a win.
Keeping Track of Your Chips
When you’re making bets in roulette you can exchange standard casino chips for individual colors. This will help you keep track of your active bets on the table and also allow the dealer to pay you out accordingly.
Look for the Single Zero Tables
A roulette table with a single zero is always a better option than one with a double zero. This is known as European roulette. When playing online always go for these tables as they’ll be readily available. In live casinos, you’ll have a harder time finding them and they may only be available at higher limits. If this is the case look for a rapid roulette game, which is one wheel surrounded by computer terminals where you place your bets, as they’ll usually have a single zero and lower minimum bet options. The double zero tables are known as American roulette and this should be avoided if possible.
Careful with Strategies and Bankroll
Although the martingale betting system may sound good to you, particularly for use at a roulette table, in the end, you’ll probably lose a big bet. Be careful implementing this as you need a huge bankroll for it to be successful and it could eat up your bankroll very quickly. Eventually using this system you’ll be risking huge sums of money for a very small reward. As we all know chasing losses is a bad idea, and the martingale system is based on this.
Try the Online Casino Versions
While playing roulette online, you’ll be able to automatically place the same bets as you did on the last spin. Some online casinos even automatically place the bets every spin until you choose to stop it. This way you can sit back and make the same bets consistently without even having to touch a button.
All you can really do in roulette is try to find the tables with the lowest house edge and hope for some luck. Seasoned gamblers won’t go near the roulette table. Roulette can still be a lot of fun and you can get lucky on occasion and have a nice win.
Before you take a seat at baccarat game, either online or in a live casino, make sure you check the odds. You’ll want to find a table that only charges 5% commission on the banker bet winnings, otherwise, the house edge will be increased far too much.
Generally speaking, the best bet to make in baccarat is on the banker. You’ll have to pay commission but if it’s only charged at 5% you’re still ahead of the player bet by about half a percent. So stick with this one when you’re starting out.
Tie Bet is a Sucker Bet
The tie bet is a sucker bet in baccarat. Even though it’s paid out at a large rate, the chances of it happening are far more than the payout odds you’ll get if it happens. The house edge on a tie bet is well over 10%, which is huge for casino table games. So try to avoid this bet at all costs.
Luck and House Edge
Like roulette, you won’t be using any strategy or skill in baccarat. It’s all luck, and the house edge is fixed in every single situation. You can find games that are more favorable though so this is what you should be aiming to do. As always your best bet will be online where you can consistently find baccarat with only 5% commission on banker bet winnings. You may even be able to find lower commissions than this.
No Real Strategies for Baccarat
You can’t implement any strategy in baccarat and past events have no impact on future ones. If you come across betting methods based on existing outcomes in the game, then just ignore them. If you have done enough research on gaming then you’ll know this but every single game, with the exception of blackjack, is like this.
Don’t ever pay money to purchase a book or online system from someone. These are scams and won’t get you anywhere. We once heard a great saying on these systems, and that is the only one who makes money from them is the person selling them.
Pai Gow Poker Tips
In some Pai Gow Poker games, you’ll be able to act as the banker or share the banker role with another player. This is a good thing as you’ll have the best odds on the table and can win a lot. Keep in mind though if you lose you’ll need to cover the bets of all the other players. So if you find a table with this option and plan on taking advantage of it, you need to ensure your bankroll can manage it.
Switch Between Bets
When you switch between the banker bet and the player bet you should alter your bet sizing accordingly. This allows you to bet larger and cash in with the better odds, and then bet smaller and risk not losing as much when the odds aren’t that great. If you can strike a happy ratio between your bet sizes, you’ll do better in the long run.
You’ll be able to find plenty of information on basic strategies in Pai Gow Poker. One of the main moves is splitting pairs. You need to do this based on strategy and according to the situation in the hand. You’ll be able to effectively lower the house edge by splitting pairs at the right time and in the right way. So make sure you have some basic strategy under your belt before playing.
Remember, in Pai Gow Poker you want to be winning both hands. Generally, you want two decent hands, not one strong hand and one weak hand. As such you should always focus on both the 5 card hand and the 2 card hand and try to make them both decent, instead of one being super strong.
Copy the House
One simple way of arranging your cards in Pai Gow Poker is to copy the house. This is known as the house way. The house way does vary from casino to casino so make sure you look into it where you’re playing first. The dealer will help you do this if you’re playing in a live casino and online most casinos will have an auto sort button that does this for you.
Best Front Hand
When you get three pairs across your seven cards, it’s always a good idea to play the best pair with your front hand. That is the two card hand. You want that hand to beat any pair that the dealer may have so it has to be as strong as possible. Most of the time any two pairs in your five card hand will win.
The house edge in Pai Gow Poker is 2.84% which is quite good. It’s not as low as craps, baccarat, or blackjack, and is comparable with single zero roulette. You’ll be implementing some decision making in Pai Gow Poker which always adds an extra element of fun to the game.
Most Pai Gow Poker tables have one or two side bets that are available for players. Most side bets carry a huge house edge and are considered sucker bets. In Pai Gow Poker this is no different. While you might be able to find a house bet as low as 3% this is still quite high and you should avoid them. Some side bets house edges can be as high as 15% which is absolutely crazy. You may be able to find a jackpot side bet which carries a house edge of only 2.2%, which is pretty good.
Let It Ride Tips
Let it Ride is a poker based game so you’ll need to have a basic understanding of poker hands to be able to play. The lowest qualifying hand for a win in let it ride is a pair of tens. In this game you aren’t battling it out against the dealer, simply trying to make a winning hand with at least this pair of tens.
The house edge in let it ride is about 3.5%. This isn’t great in regards to casino table games but you could do a lot worse. Make sure you check out the rules of the table as some will have a cap on the amount of money they’ll pay out to players in each hand. The higher the cap the better the table will be for you.
Letting it Ride
If you start out with a winning hand in let it ride you should always leave all bets in place and let it ride. This is a standard move as per basic strategy and of course is just common sense.
When you’re sick of battling against the dealer or other players let it ride is a great option. You’ll still be getting your poker fix and playing with other players in a social way, however, the game is purely played in a solo fashion in relation to how you win and lose. This can be great if you just need a change of pace and scenery in the casino.
Keep in mind that when you’re playing let it ride you’ll initially need to make three bets at the minimum bet rate for that table. You make the $ bet and then the 1 and 2 bets. So if the minimum bet is $10 for a table you’ll have to place $30 initially. This doesn’t mean you’ll be wagering that much every hand though and if you can’t create a decent hand you’ll only end up with $10 in play.
Bonus Bet Caution
If you come across the bonus bet in let it ride it may seem quite enticing. Usually only costing you $1 to participate, it can seem like a small risk for a huge reward. Be warned, though, the house edge on this bonus is just over 25%, which puts it at the very top of the list when it comes to the worst bets you could possibly make in a casino.
The game of let it ride was invented by the company that makes automatic shuffling devices. Just keep this in mind as it might give you some perspective on whether or not you should really be playing the game in the first place.
If you want some extra help in respect to whether to leave a bet and let it ride, or to take it back, consider playing online. Many online casinos allow you to set up auto action to take place according to basic strategy. This means you won’t make any mistakes and the software itself will help you in learning how to play the game properly. This is an especially good idea to try before you travel to a live casino where you’ll get little to no help.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em Tips
This is another game that was invented by the company that makes automatic shuffling devices. These were developed as pure money makers for casinos so you know that the house edge won’t be great and you can never win in the long run playing this game. It’s a lot of fun to play though and you can enjoy it if you go into it knowing this.
Ultimate Texas hold’em is quite a basic game where you make decisions on how much to bet at each point in the hand. To learn basic strategy, you can put together your own or search on the internet for a basic strategy chart. This will instruct you on what to do with every possible card combination pre-flop and then what action to take post flop based on the poker hand that you hold.
Huge House Edge
The trips bet in this game is not good for the player. It carries a huge house edge and is basically the same as putting your money into a slot machine. If you would never do that, then don’t do it on the table. If you do like slots and are aware of the odds, then, by all means, go for it for that extra little bit of excitement.
If you’re playing in Las Vegas, you might have access to a progressive jackpot side bet. This side bet is much better for the player and it improves with the more players at the table. The house edge on this particular bet is only around 3% which is quite good for a side bet.
When you’re in the mood for a game with a slow pace where you can stretch your money for as long as possible then go no further, this is your game. Each player’s decision-making process and the pace at which action travels across the table means hands can go for quite some time. This is good as it gives you a break from some of the other casino games which seem to go at breakneck speeds.
Live Casino as an Option
In a live casino, you’ll quite often get decent comps when you’re playing this game and show your players club card when you sit down. This is because the casinos know what you’re up against in the game and the odds are well in their favor. So you’ll get some nice freebies from this game. If you’re playing online, you should also be able to quickly accumulate comp points by playing this game, in comparison to some other table games which won’t give you as many.