Every casino has slot machines. In fact, slot machines take up most of the space in the average casino. There’s also almost always a selection of video poker machines in among those slots. Plus, every casino has table games. A few might offer unique versions of the games, or something new every once in a while. However, the classics like Blackjack and Roulette are always there. You’ll usually find a Craps game, and often see Baccarat as well. The more gambling expands across the United States, the more it stays the same.
Your favorite casino may feature a bingo parlor, keno lounge, or a poker room that makes it slightly different from all the rest. But no matter what casino you frequent the most, whether it’s online or off, it likely has a lot more similarities to its competitors, than it does differences.
Slot machines, also known as slots, pokies, or even one-armed bandits, have been around casinos practically since casinos have been around.
Modern versions of the machines are basically computers using random number generators to determine the outcome of every wager. Most only require the push of a button to spin the reels. However, some still have the arms on the side like the old analog machines. That’s where the name one-armed bandit comes from. The old school slot machines required a pull on the arm to get the revolving mechanical reels spinning.
Video, electronic, or mechanical, the idea has always been the same with slot machines: Spin the reels and hope you’re lucky enough that the game’s highest-paying symbols line up.
These days, there are massive progressive slots linking machines across the country. There are also video slots with bonus games all based on pop culture icons from the world of TV, movies, and music. There’s even a few classic machines in the mix at most casinos, for players with a taste for nostalgia.
But whether a casino is online or land-based, there’s a very good chance that slot machines make up a lot of its offering. The games are easy to learn to play, offering the opportunity for some huge paydays. Perhaps that is why they quickly became the most popular games in the casino. In fact, slot machines make up for 70 percent of the average casino’s revenue.
Slot machines are programmed to pay out a percentage of the money wagered as winnings. It is usually anywhere from 80 to 98 percent and is often mandated by gaming laws.
Even at online casinos, players are likely to find more slots than just about anything else.
Blackjack, often called 21, is a game as old as gambling itself. In fact, it remains one of the most enduring and popular table games on the planet.
Ultimately, Blackjack is a game where players take on the dealer in an attempt to get 21, or as close to it, without going over. Players are dealt two cards. They can choose to draw one more at a time as long as they remain under 21. Going over 21 means forfeiting the bet. All face cards are worth ten and aces can be used as one or eleven.
Once a player hits 21, goes over, or stands, the dealer draws based on a set formula for when they should hit or stand. While other players can play at the same time, they all go up against the dealer individually.
There are several varieties of the game played at US casinos. These games vary based on various rules or payout differences. If a player hits Blackjack, or 21, on his or her first two cards, there is often a bonus payment.
The game is often dealt from a shoe of multiple decks. However, many casinos now offer electronic versions of the game, similar to that played online. These Blackjack games use a random number generator to determine the outcome of each card dealt.
The game remains one of the most popular in casinos around the world because it represents one of the smallest house edges among table games, and therefore, the best chance to beat the house.
Players often employ card-counting techniques to reduce that edge even further. Card counting is frowned upon by casinos, but difficult to track.
Stakes differ from table to table in most casinos, but most casino table game pits do feature the game quite prominently.
Roulette is a casino game that dates back to 18th century France. The name Roulette literally means little wheel in French. Of course, the game is played with a small numbered spinning wheel and a ball. Players place bets on a number, range of numbers, red or black, or high or low numbers.
The wheel contains 37 (French/European) or 38 (American) numbered pockets with varying red and black colors and a single green zero (French/European) or a green zero and green double zero (American). After the dealer spins the wheel, a small ball is sent into the wheel in the opposite direction and ultimately lands in one of the pockets. Where the ball lands determines the outcome of the spin and the various wagers.
At online casinos, this all happens with a graphic interface which mimics the wheel spin while a random number generator determines the outcome.
There are numerous versions of roulette that usually differ based on the numbers offered or wagers available. Whether a wheel has a single or a double zero can change the odds dramatically.
The game’s popularity is mostly due to how fun it can be, rather than a players ability to beat the house. Lucky roulette players do find huge payouts. That probably attributes to the games success as much as anything else.
It’s hard to find a casino in the Unites States that does not offer some version of the game. The same holds true for most online casinos as well. The game may be even more popular online because of the speed at which it can be played compared to land-based casinos.
In and among the slot machines at land-based and online casinos, gamblers will often find a variety of video poker games. In fact, many of the video poker games offered at online casinos are the same ones found inside land-based casinos.
These machines, online or off, use random number generators to determine the value of cards in a variety of different draw poker games.
Most casinos offer traditional video poker titles, including Jacks Or Better, Double Bonus Poker, and Deuces Wild. In recent years, three- and five-play versions of video poker games are growing more popular. The appeal is that these games give players the chance to play multiple hands at the same time.
Payout rates are often high on video poker machines, helping add to the game’s popularity. These payout rates are often published and easy to find. The games also feature simple rules, requiring little more than a basic understanding of poker hand rankings.
Large payouts for hitting a royal flush also keep players interested. In fact, video poker can be fun and one of the best available ways to continue playing on your initial investment while you hunt a big win at a casino, online or off.
Other popular table games
Online and land-based casinos often spread a number of other popular table games. There is probably one of these for every 100 slots, or five blackjack tables in the average casino, but they are certainly there.
Other popular table games include:
- Craps – A dice game where players wager on the outcome of each roll of a pair of dice, and whether a player can repeat the initial roll
- Sic Bo – A dice game where player bet on the outcome of a roll of a three dice, and whether that number will be high or low
- Pai Gow Poker – A card game where players set two poker-style hands and try to beat the dealer
- Baccarat – A card game of chance where players try to pick which of two hands will be close tom a score of eight
- Three Card Poker – A table game based on poker where players play three-card hands against the dealer and for bonuses
- Texas Hold’em Bonus – A table game based on Texas hold’em poker where players play hands against the dealer