Table Games With the Best Odds for Players

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When putting money on the line in Las Vegas, we obviously want to give ourselves the best chance to win. Luckily for us, casinos must report their win rates for table games (and slot machines) to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, giving us a window into where the house is taking more of our money and where the player has a fighting chance to score a payout.

A quick housekeeping note: The casino win percentage on table games refers to the percentage of the player’s buy in that was eventually won by the house. For instance, if a player bought into a blackjack game for $40, played for an hour and cashed out for $20 the house win rate would be 50% because they took half of the buy in.

We will be looking at the data from all statewide non-restricted casinos (essentially the big casinos).

We’ll start with the ugly. What table games took the largest percentage of player money 2018? Referencing the chart below, you can see that 3-Card Poker beat up its fair share of bankrolls as the house tallied a healthy 31.62% win rate. Let it Ride (25.84%), Pai Gow Poker (20.76%) and Ultimate Texas Hold’em (25.13%) were also unfriendly to players.

All Statewide Non-Restricted Locations 1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018

Now onto the good stuff. Table games that gave gamblers the best chance of winning some money (or losing less) in 2018. In the chart below, you can see that Mini Baccarat (11.83%), Baccarat (12.35%), Craps (14.86%)  and Blackjack (13.70%) are games players found the most success playing based on the percentage of customer money the house held as profit.

All Statewide Non-Restricted Locations – 1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018

You can increase your odds on table games by staying away from side bets that generally feature a bloated house edge. When playing craps, focus your efforts on the free odds behind the pass line and shy away from playing the more exotic bets in the middle of the table.

Casinos, primarily on the Strip and downtown, have been adding variations of classic games that offer an increased house edge – Stay away! Add games like Crapless Craps, 6/5 BlackJack and Triple Zero Roulette to your “do not play list” if keeping your cash is a priority.

Now, we’ll shift our focus away from the slots and take a peek at sports betting. Football, basketball and baseball all gave the house a small win rate of between 4%-7% of handle (total dollars wagered). The book capitalizes on parlay cards however, where they kept a whopping 24.08% of wagers over the past year as profit.

All Statewide Non-Restricted Locations – 1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018

Make sure you also take a peek at where the loosest slots in Las Vegas were over the past year so that you can plan your attack in 2019!

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8 thoughts on “Table Games With the Best Odds for Players”

  1. Wow! Thanks for posting Alan, your response helped me better understand table games and the rate as which casinos make profits.

  2. Hey Alan! Thanks for the response, however, you misinterpreted the stats. For instance the 13.70% win rate for BlackJack is NOT the house edge (that is likely closer to .5%). Instead, the 13.70% is the percentage of drop, or total player BUY INs that the house held as profit. For instance, if I bought into a blackjack game for $100, I could expect to leave the table with 13.70% less than that or $86.30. The house is not winning 13.70% of each hand.

    While you are right that some games move faster/slower, that is accounted for in the house win rates. The games with a lower win rate will allow your cash to last longer even in a faster paced game like blackjack as there is a lower house edge per hand than some of the circus games like 3-Card Poker/Let it Ride.

    The % don’t represent the house edge per hand, instead, it looks at the % of total buy ins the house kept per game.

    1. That is the beauty of the win % stats. It tells you what percentage of your buy in you could expect to lose at each game.

      Granted, there are variants of games that will be more/less player friendly (like crapless craps/blackjack with some longshot side bet) that will not reflect the average but its pretty close.

  3. Hey Alan! Thanks for the response, however, you misinterpreted the stats. For instance the 13.70% win rate for BlackJack is NOT the house edge the house could expect to win per hand (that is likely closer to .5%). Instead, the 13.70% is the percentage of drop, or total player BUY INs that the house held as profit. For instance, if I bought into a blackjack game for $100, I could expect to leave the table with 13.70% less than that or $86.30. The house is not winning 13.70% of each hand.

    While you are right that some games move faster/slower, that is accounted for in the house win rates. The games with a lower win rate will allow your cash to last longer even in a faster paced game like blackjack as there is a lower house edge per hand than some of the circus games like 3-Card Poker/Let it Ride.

    The % don’t represent the house edge per hand, instead, it looks at the % of total buy ins the house kept per game.

    1. That is the beauty of the house win % stat by game. It can give you a rough estimate of what % of buy in dollars get lost giving us a VERY clear picture of where the house is smoking the players and where gamblers have a fighting chance.

  4. I am assuming that in the source materials, “card games” is poker, correct? Poker isn’t listed anywhere else. If so, where is the third poker location listed in the report for Downtown? Binion and Gold Nugget I know, but the report says there are three locations.

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