Blackjack vs Other Casino Games: Which Is Best?

By Gareth Jacobson.

When it comes to casino games, gamblers today are spoiled for choice, as each game offers a unique entertainment factor and an exciting way to win big.  Blackjack—both online and in physical casinos—is one of the most popular of these games. With simple gameplay and the thrill of going bust on the next card, the game is fun for new players and seasoned vets alike. But is it better than other casino games?

The best hand in Baccarat

Read on as we dive into the most popular casino offerings that compete against blackjack for players’ attention. Looking at the odds they offer and their complexity, we’ll see which games players should try out over others.

Blackjack

Widely known as the game with the best odds of any casino game, blackjack offers a house edge of typically between 0.5% and 1%. This means that casinos gain less from players placing wagers, and the chances of losing high amounts when playing are less.

Aside from these great odds of winning, blackjack is also one of the easiest games to understand and play. In fact, it is recommended to new gamblers purely because of its ease of play. It is also widely available in physical casinos and in online form.

Pitting his or her luck against only the dealer, all a player needs to do to win is to beat the dealer by getting closer to 21 than the dealer (without going over 21) or by letting the dealer bust his hand. If the dealer gets closer to the magic number, they win. If not, the player wins his bet.   

Baccarat

With a rich history in China and Europe, baccarat (also known as punto banco) is now an incredibly popular game featured in most online and brick-and-mortar casinos. The game is simpler than blackjack and features favorable odds to players.

Featuring an average house edge of between 1.01% and 1.29% (depending on number of decks used), players must select between placing a bet on the banker or the player. Once the bets are placed, the cards are drawn. Whichever player gets closer to the number nine is declared the winner. Where a total amount is dealt in the double digits, the first number is dropped to determine if the second is close to nine.

With its incredible simplicity, baccarat is a favorite among new players. The one downside to the game is that many casinos offer predominantly high-stakes games. This means the wagers needed to be placed could be outside casual gamblers’ budgets. 

Craps

Craps is easily the most popular dice game in casinos worldwide with a low house edge that is commonly between 1.36% and 1.41% depending on whether you bet the pass or don’t-pass line.

Playing the game is also relatively simple unless side bets are involved. There are two primary types of bets for basic play: pass-line and don’t-pass. Betting on each of these will depict what the dice need to land on to make the bet either a winner or loser.

Playing with side bets, such as the field bet or individual numbers or combinations, increases the house edge but can offer more thrills to the player. However, playing with these bets makes things significantly more complex and can also make the game less enjoyable—especially for newcomers. Either way, craps offers excellent possibilities to make decent wins relatively quickly.

Roulette

Roulette is one of the easiest games to play in the casino.  However, it can have a high house edge from 2.63% to over 5.26% depending on where you play.  The game is easy to play, with players only needing to place a bet on where they think the ball will land. However, understanding the various types of bets they can place would be undoubtedly beneficial.

While outer bets are the simplest to place, they offer lower winnings than inner bets. Inner bets, however, are less likely to be accurate as often and require a degree of understanding of the number groups. To compensate for this, they commonly offer greater rewards if a wager is correct.

Slots

One of the most popular ways to gamble is the humble slot machine. With developers like IGT, NetEnt, and Pragmatic Play constantly releasing incredible new gaming options, slots are widely played despite not offering the best odds.

Online slots are by far preferable—offering an average return to player (RTP) rate of 96%. By contrast, physical casino slots offer an average RTP of 80% to 90% in many cases. This is because physical casinos have more overhead to cover.

Despite the RTP, slots are the most uncomplicated games to play and benefit from incredible themes, graphics, and audio effects. These games can be enjoyed by novice or experienced players and can offer great jackpots, particularly in the case of progressive jackpot games.  

Which Game is Best?

With all the games above being common in casinos, picking the “best” game may be difficult. That said, games like blackjack and slots are the best options for new players due to their simplicity. For players seeking more of a challenge, roulette or craps side bets offer a better-balanced experience.

When it comes to the odds of winning large amounts, however, blackjack, craps, and baccarat are the clear winners. These games offer meager house edge rates and, depending on the amount wagered, can offer fantastic rates of return to players.

Games such as keno, which can be found in many land-based casino restaurants, are simple games of luck with high house edges (over 20%) and are considered the worst bets you can make.

Games like poker and the many variations of the game are also available and often offer an enjoyable gambling experience, but they can be complicated for new players. Poker is a game best entered into by an experienced player with a degree of skill rather than someone looking to rely on pure luck to cash in on their bets.

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