Casinos are fun and exciting places. Online casinos and the many free resources afford novices an inexpensive way to learn and increase their knowledge on specific table games.
Online casino games generally break down into two categories: machines and table games.
The former includes machine-based games, such as slot machines and video poker. Table games embody their name, because they take place at tables.
Both table and machine-based games have their merits. However, you’ll typically find that the best odds lie with online table games.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of low house edges and using strategy to win, then you should continue reading this guide to online table games.
Playing table games at internet casinos is easier than at brick-and-mortar venues. After all, you don’t have to physically handle chips to buy into games at online casinos.
However, you should still know the process for playing at internet casinos ahead of time. You can get started with these games by following a few simple steps.
In most cases, you must have an account before playing at a particular casino. Online gambling sites require you to complete registration to become a member.
The registration process asks for simple information, such as your name, email, birthdate, phone number, etc. You might also need to provide a bonus code at this time if you want to qualify for a welcome bonus.
Once finished, you need to submit your account and wait for approval. Assuming everything checks out, the casino software should approve you right away.
Most casinos store their table games under a specific category in the games section. You should head to this area of the site and begin trying out games.
As a registered member, you can open each game and play for free. Casinos give you play-money chips to test out their table games.
Assuming you want to gamble real money, you’ll eventually need to place a deposit. Gaming sites provide various ways for you to fund your account.
You can use a credit card, debit card, e-wallet or prepaid card to deposit at many casinos. Depending upon the site and jurisdiction, you may also be able to fund your account with ACH (e-check), Apple Pay, Bitcoin or a wire transfer.
Each casino places limits on how much you can deposit at once. Therefore, you should check the minimum and maximum amounts beforehand.
With a funded account, you play enjoy real money gaming at online casinos. Generally, you only need to bet $1 per hand to play table games.
Some casinos let you enjoy table games for as little as $0.10 per hand. As for max wagers, you can usually bet up to $500 or $1,000 per round.
You can enjoy a large variety of table games at online casinos. Below, you’ll find the main table games and their general rules.
Craps revolves around the “shooter” rolling two dice to produce combinations. You always act as the shooter in online craps.
You place bets that revolve around which dice combinations will come up. These wagers can take place over the course of several rolls.
Craps offers many different wagers. You’ll be hard-pressed to get bored of this game thanks to all of the betting variety.
Watch the video on the right to see the perfect craps strategy for beginners, explained bet by bet. We’ve thrown in some simple etiquette tips for live craps play for good measure to ensure you’re not the one to break the spell at a hot craps table.
Three card poker pits you against the dealer. You need to place an “ante” bet to buy into a hand.
You and the dealer both receive three face-down cards. At this point, you can either make the “play” bet or fold your hand.
Assuming you place the play bet, then you and the dealer compare hands. The stronger hand wins according to three-card poker hand rankings.
This game offers an “ante bonus” if you hold a straight or higher. You can also place a side bet called Pair Plus that delivers payouts as high as 40:1 for a straight flush.
Let it ride is another poker variation. It calls on you to make three bets of equal size before each round begins.
After placing the bets, you’ll receive three hole cards. The dealer also receives three hole cards and deals two community cards, which you use to complete your five-card poker hand.
You have the opportunity to remove one or two of your bets during each hand. The first opportunity to remove one of your wagers comes when you look at your three hole cards.
The second opportunity happens after the first community card is dealt. Assuming you don’t decide to take any of your bets off the table, then you “let it ride.”
This game is similar to the popular Texas Hold ’em game played between gamblers. However, ultimate Texas Hold ’em sees you face off against the dealer.
You and the dealer receive two hole cards. After looking at your hole cards, you can choose to check or raise 3x-4x the ante.
Following this betting round, the dealer will deal three community cards (the “flop”). If you already raised pre-flop, then you don’t need to take any further action.
Assuming you haven’t raised, then you can raise 2x the ante at this point. After this betting round, the final two community cards will be dealt.
You and the dealer compare hands to see who has the best five-card hand. You can also win bonus payouts if you hold a flush or higher.
Pai gow poker sees you dealt seven cards to start a round. You must form both a “front” and “back” hand with the seven cards.
The back hand consists of five cards. It must be stronger than the front hand, which contains two cards.
The dealer also forms a front and back hand according to the “house way.” Once you’re both finished separating cards, you and the dealer show your front and back hands.
You win if both of your hands beat the dealer. You push if you win one and lose one hand. Your bet loses if you lose both hands.
Baccarat sees the banker compete against the player. You bet on whether the banker’s hand will win, player’s hand will win or both hands tie.
The score that’s closest to nine wins. Assuming a score reaches double digits, then the first digit is dropped (e.g. 19 becomes 9).
You don’t really need to know the scoring system to play baccarat. Instead, you simply must place one of the aforementioned three bets.
Based on Chinese dominoes, sic bo revolves around combinations produced by three dice. The dealer puts three dice into a cage and shakes them up to reveal winning combinations.
You bet on these combos by placing chips on one or more spaces on the board. If you wager on “Big,” for example, you want the dice to produce between an 11 and 17.
Sic bo is similar to craps in the sheer number of bets that it offers. Therefore, you can have fun trying many of these different wagers.
Roulette involves a spinning wheel and ball. You wager on which pocket or section of the wheel you think the spinning ball will land.
The roulette board features a variety of bets, including those in the “outside” and “inside” categories. Inside bets offer high payouts and long odds, while outside wagers feature low payouts and strong odds.
Roulette features two different wheels: American and European. The American wheel contains 38 pockets, including zero and double zero. The latter two pockets favor the house and lead to a 5.26% house edge (2/38).
A European wheel contains 37 pockets, including zero. The zero pocket favors the casino and creates a 2.7% house edge (1/37).
A live dealer casino offers standard table games. However, it streams action from a brick-and-mortar casino to your computer or smartphone.
This setup lets you enjoy land-based gambling at home or elsewhere. Furthermore, it allows you to chat with the dealer and fellow players (through a chat box).
You won’t always find open seats at live casinos during busy hours. Nevertheless, this style of gaming is worth the wait if you’re looking for a unique experience.
You may wonder whether you should start with free or real-money table games in the beginning. The following information presents the unique characteristics of each type of gaming:
Real money play
Free online table games
One of the biggest draws to table games is the low house edge. However, not every online table game gives you a great chance to win.
You need to play the right table games to boost your odds of winning. Here are the best internet table games with regard to house edge.
The blackjack house advantage varies based on the rules and your skill. Assuming you find a quality game and use expert strategy, then you can reduce the house edge to 0.5% or less.
The best online blackjack games feature a single deck, 3:2 natural blackjack payouts and the dealer standing on a soft 17.
Other rules have an effect on the house advantage, too. However, the three mentioned above typically exemplify a worthwhile game.
As for strategy, you want to find a chart that applies to the specific variation you’re playing. For example, you’ll want a “Vegas rules” chart if that’s the variant you’re gambling on.
Craps features several basic bets with low house edges. “Pass line” and “come” both feature a 1.41% house advantage. Meanwhile, “don’t pass line” and “don’t come” offer a 1.36% house edge.
You can lower the house advantage even further by backing any of these wagers with “odds.” The latter refers to a bet that pays at true odds and doesn’t carry a house edge.
The higher the odds available, the lower the overall house edge goes. If you put 5x odds behind a pass line bet, for instance, then you’ll only be facing a 0.326% house advantage.
Of course, you must risk more money to place higher odds. Therefore, you need to take your bankroll size into account before making these wagers.
As mentioned before, baccarat features three different bets. If you wager on the banker hand every time, then you’ll enjoy a low 1.06% house edge.
Casinos take a 5% commission out of winning banker-hand bets. The house advantage still only goes to 1.06% after this commission is taken out.
Meanwhile, the player and tie bets feature a 1.24% and 14.36% house edge, respectively. You definitely want to avoid the tie wager at all costs.
Unlike American roulette, the European version only features one house-friendly pocket (zero). Therefore, you enjoy a reasonable 2.70% house advantage.
This game is simply European roulette with the “la partage” rule added into the equation. La partage sees you receive half back on losing even-money bets when the ball lands on zero.
This rule doesn’t apply to anything beyond even-money wagers. Therefore, you must bet on red/black, high/low or odd/even to take advantage of la partage.
Each table game differs in terms of strategy. Some games feature extensive strategy while others only require you to place the right bets.
Blackjack is the most strategic table game. You must master knowing whether to hit or stand in a variety of scenarios.
Blackjack also gives you the option to double down and split hands in certain situations. Therefore, you have a lot to learn when it comes to basic blackjack strategy.
Luckily, you can use a strategy chart to quickly familiarize yourself with the correct decisions. Blackjack trainers are also helpful tools.
Other card games that require involved strategy include Caribbean stud and let it ride. You must understand how to handle multiple situations to use perfect strategy in these games.
Craps, roulette, sic bo and three-card poker are much easier. You can quickly study how to play these games optimally in a matter of seconds or minutes.
The online gaming world features a number of software providers. The latter develop games and license them to internet casinos.
In some cases, software developers provide a turnkey solution to casino owners. The latter can pay a fee and/or share revenue to use the software providers’ tools for account management, customer support, games and other services.
The software providers that you have access to depends upon your jurisdiction. For example, High5 Games, IGT and NetEnt are three of the most-notable providers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
You may become fond of the look and feel of a certain software developer’s games. That said, you should choose casinos that feature your favorite providers.
Live dealer gaming takes place at a land-based studio or even real brick-and-mortar casino. The action streams directly to your smartphone, tablet or PC.
This setup lets you feel as though you’re playing at a brick-and-mortar venue, even if you’re sitting at home. Compare this scenario to standard online casinos, where the dealer, table, cards and chips are merely software-generated graphics.
Hopefully, you live in a state that offers legal live dealer gaming. New Jersey, for example, features regulated online casinos.
You also need to choose an internet casino that features live games. After all, not every online casino boasts live gaming as well.
Once you settle these matters, you simply visit a live dealer casino and choose your desired game. You can then take a seat and begin playing.
Sometimes, you’ll run into situations where there are no open seats at a table. Assuming the “Bet Behind” option is available, you can at least wager on another player’s action.
Advantages of live casinos
Below, you can see the main benefits to playing at live dealer casinos:
Disadvantages of live casinos
Live dealer gaming features a few drawbacks, including the following:
You can enjoy legal online casino games in multiple states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. These same states also feature land-based gambling venues.
Therefore, you may be conflicted on whether to play in a land-based or online casino. Here are some differences between the two that’ll help you make this decision.
Land-based table games
Online casino table games
You can play internet table games quite cheaply. Many online casinos let you gamble for as little as $1 per hand. Brick-and-mortar casinos, meanwhile, feature minimum bets of between $5 and $10.
Gaming sites even let you play for free after completing registration. Free gaming offers you the chance to try various games and/or practice strategy.
Most internet casinos feature the same general package of table games. However, you may find separation from site to site.
For instance, one casino may offer ultimate Texas Hold ’em while the next doesn’t. Likewise, a gaming site might feature live dealer games while its competitor doesn’t.
You should also consider your favorite software providers before deciding who offers the best table games. If you like NetEnt blackjack, for example, then you’ll want to pick a site that runs NetEnt software.
Slot machines hold a higher percentage of your bets for a few reasons:
You can play many online slots for $0.25 or less per spin. Casinos need to counteract this lower minimum bet with a larger percentage hold to still make their profits.
Regarding the second point, most table gamblers don’t use optimal strategy. A blackjack player, for example, might surrender a 4% house edge rather than the lowest-possible 0.5% house advantage.
Lastly, many slots players realize that they’re going up against a losing proposition. They keep playing, though, in hopes of winning big.
Online casinos award you comp points based on your gambling action. For example, you might receive one comp point for every $1,000 wagered. You can cash these points in for various rewards, including cash back and free spins.
However, not all games qualify for comps. Some online casinos may not include blackjack, for example, due to its low house advantage.
Video poker generates comps quicker than table games. It features a faster play rate and also offers rewards in line with slot machines.
Slots offer the highest comp rates in the casino. Video poker usually qualifies for the same rate, despite offering a lower house edge.
You can still generate rewards through most table games. However, these rewards won’t come as fast as they will with video poker.
The odds that a casino game offers can vary depending upon rule discrepancies and strategy. Nevertheless, the following table games usually offer the best odds in online casinos:
The following table games feature the worst odds at online casinos: