Casino Games and Expected Return

Posted: 2009-06-05 22:25 By: admin

It should be remembered that in the long run practically no casino game can be beaten in the long run. Any game has an in-built edge that guarantees a profit for the casino. However, Online Blackjack and Online Video Poker are often cited as games that under the correct conditions (number of decks / paytable) offer the player almost a 100% return. Indeed, some variants of Video Poker actually have a slight advantage for the player.

In both Blackjack and Video Poker strategy is very important and can make the difference between almost breaking even and losing large amounts of money. Similarly, it is important to choose a game that offers an optimal playing situation for the player. For Blackjack this means playing a game with as small a deck as possible and for Video Poker means selecting a game with a good pay table.

Regardless of the game, money management is also an important player consideration. This looks at the size of bet in relation to bank roll. Blackjack may offer an almost 50/50 bet. However, if a player chooses to bet their entire bankroll on one hand it is effectively an all or nothing bet - it should be remembered this question is examining long run expectations.

Variance is also a factor to consider when choosing a game. Video Poker, for example, offers the player the best bet in terms of long-term expectation. However, this statement only holds true when factoring in the Royal Flush which is rarely dealt. As such, even though Video Poker is perhaps a better long-term game in terms of return when compared to Blackjack, it is also true that a player's bank roll will see much bigger fluctuations when playing Video Poker in comparison to Blackjack.

Of course, some players like to risk small amounts of money for the chance to win big. For these players slot machines and particularly progressive jackpot machines can be attractive. However, it should be remembered that the vast majority of people will never hit a jackpot and these types of games offer players a relatively poor return in terms of long-term expectation.