Is it ever possible to beat the house? In the short term, yes. The idea is to play the games with the lowest house edge, take advantage of any comps that are offered, and know to quit when you’re ahead. The first step is, of course, choosing the right games with decent odds. With that in mind, here are some good choices:
Video Poker – This is a game that will require you to do your homework. Each type of video poker has its own optimum strategy based on the rules and pay tables, and a simple web search will probably get you the strategy card you need for your game of choice. With perfect strategic play, some poker games will pay back over 99 percent–it’s hard to beat that in any casino.
Blackjack – Blackjack is the rare casino game that could theoretically actually offer a positive expectation, assuming you’re playing with just one or two decks of cards; the rules are favorable and you are able to accurately track which cards have already been played (counting cards). Even if you don’t count cards, playing with good, basic blackjack strategy can get the house edge under one percent, depending on the rules and the number of decks in play.
Baccarat – There’s a reason why so many high rollers play baccarat–they like to win. The house edge on Baccarat is a mere 1.06 percent if you bet on the banker and 1.24 percent if you bet on the player.
Craps – Craps offers some of the best and worst bets in the casino. To keep the house edge down, start by betting the pass line or don’t pass line, which gives the house an edge of 1.41 and 1.36 percent, respectively. After that, you can bet odds, which actually give you a zero percent house edge!
Slots – Most slots are not known for their favorable odds, although they do often offer the chance at a huge payout. Sometimes, however, you’ll find a slot that may offer payouts of 98 percent or more. These are almost always the simpler three reel games with no progressive bonus, but they are out there. When a casino offers a game like this, they will be sure to advertise the payout percentage to draw your attention, so just be on the lookout.