Different games of chance have different odds associated with them, depending on what the chances are that the player will win over other players or over the house. Modern casino games all give an edge to the house, so that they can make a profit and survive. Some games have relatively low gambling odds for the house, ranging from less than 1% in their favor for games like blackjack, to more than 20% for games like big six or keno.
Craps and blackjack have some of the best gambling odds for the player in casinos. Craps has different odds depending on how it’s played, but at its best, it can be almost an even game with the house. Playing it wildly, by playing propositions on 2 or 12, or playing it for any craps gives a house edge of between 11.11% and 13.89%, while playing for a proposition 7 gives the house an edge of 16.67%.
On the other hand, when played conservatively, as a strictly pass game, the odds become much more favorable to the player. At 1X odds, craps played pass gives a house edge of only 0.85%. Most houses allow at least a 2X odds play, meaning that the gambler can place an odds bet that is double his pass line bet. If played at 2X odds, the house edge decreases to 0.61%, and with houses that allow even larger odds increases, it gets even lower, down to 0.32% at 5X, 0.18% at 10X, and all the way down to 0.02% at 100X, making it almost an even game.
Blackjack also has a fairly low house edge, if played by a seasoned player who can watch the cards fairly accurately. The odds for blackjack change dramatically as the amount of decks played with increases, so that the best player odds occur when playing a straight, single deck game. With one deck, the house edge is only 0.20%, increasing to 0.35% with two decks, and all the way up to 0.63% for a full eight deck play. These gambling odds are based on a basic play of blackjack, assuming the player knows when to stand, hit, split, and double. Blackjack played while counting cards can give the player an edge of anywhere between 1% and 2%, but while it is not illegal, most casinos are on the lookout for card counters and will expel them.
While these two games traditionally have the best odds in casinos, some others can offer relatively strong player odds with decent wins. One such set of games are those where players can choose to act as banker, such as baccarat or pai gao poker. As banker, the player pays out a certain percentage of their take, usually about 5%, to the house, but gets to keep the rest. This can offer a good opportunity for the player to increase his odds such that the house is taking only between 1% and 2%.