Casino games with the best odds offer the highest chance of keeping more of your money. Every online casino game has a house edge (the advantage the casino has over the play), which means no casino game offers a 50/50 chance. But certain games, particularly online blackjack, are incredibly close to giving players a 50% chance of winning every game.
Below are each of the most winnable casino games, ranked in order of player friendliness. The lower the house edge, the better the odds, and we do you one better by offering some tips and strategies to help further tip the odds in your favor. As long as you play at legit, legally-licensed online casinos in the US, the casino games with the best odds are guaranteed to provide the greatest likelihood of walking away in the black.
1. Single-Deck Blackjack (0.18% House Edge)
When one thinks of best odds casino games, this is usually the first game to come to mind, and for good reason. No game in the casino generally offers a better value to players than single-deck blackjack. Here’s how to play blackjack with basic strategy to maximize your win potential.
Players who don’t often play single-deck blackjack likely overemphasize the smaller blackjack payout in comparison to six-deck (6-to-5 rather than 3-to-2), as well as restrictive rules around doubling and splitting. These opinions gloss over the fact that, if played “by the book,” single-deck offers more favorable odds than any game in the house under common rules (in Vegas, this means no doubling after a split and the dealer hitting on soft 17).
That’s in part because, with only a single 52-card deck, you don’t need to be a card counter of any capacity to maintain a decent sense of what’s come out of the deck and what remains – particularly on the second, third, or (in rare cases) fourth hand dealt from a single shuffle.
One nice thing about single-deck is that some casinos will relax these restrictions to the extent that the advantage actually tilts in the player’s favor. Once upon a time in Vegas, one casino’s house rules dictated that the dealer must stand on soft 17. The result? A player edge of 0.01%. Elsewhere, by allowing doubles after a split (but with the dealer hitting soft 17s), the house edge was trimmed to 0.04%. That’s unheard of now, but single-deck still offers an amazing deal.
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2. Six-Deck Blackjack, Liberal Vegas Rules (0.41% House Edge)
Talk to the average player about blackjack and it will be assumed you’re talking about six-deck. While it doesn’t take the top spot for casino games with best odds, it comes very close. The game itself is blackjack as we all know it, only now with 312 cards (six 52-card decks, with 24 aces and 80 total 10/J/Q/Ks), all shuffled together and dealt from a single large shoe. Play six-deck blackjack with a Live Dealer with the Caesars Online Casino promo code.
The rules and optimal “by the book” strategy are sufficiently different to more than double the house advantage compared to single-deck. However, assuming “Liberal Vegas” rules (dealer stands on soft 17, players can double on any two cards, double after splitting, and re-split aces), six-deck still offers some of the most player-friendly odds in the house. At an online casino, that includes both digital blackjack and Live Dealer blackjack. Contributing to this, of course, are the more permissive rules, an over-27% bust rate for the dealer, and an improved payout on blackjack (3-to-2 vs. 6-to-5).
As an added bonus, of all the casino games with the best odds, this one is the easiest to find and play.
There’s another often overlooked loss-mitigation tool that’s incredibly handy in six-deck that we didn’t mention during our single-deck discussion (because it’s been largely extinct in that particular game): the opportunity to “surrender.” So, what’s “surrendering” in blackjack?
Assume that you’ve just bet $20 on a hand of six-deck blackjack. You receive your cards and are disappointed to see a hard 15. Looking over at the dealer’s up card, you see a 10. By surrendering, rather than trying to defy the odds while hoping the dealer doesn’t simply flip over another ten, you can simply surrender (in essence, fold) your hand and get back half of your wager. Better yet, if the table allows “late surrenders,” you’re allowed to see if the dealer’s second card completes a natural blackjack before making your decision. If it does, you lose as you would have otherwise.
3. Spanish 21 (between 0.40% and 0.76%)
Spanish 21 is a variation of blackjack that, depending on certain rules, offers odds on par with those of six-deck blackjack. The biggest difference between Spanish 21 and traditional blackjack is in the cards themselves. Spanish 21 uses six or eight Spanish decks, which consist of 48 cards: everything from a regular 52-card deck, except for the tens. Use the BetMGM Casino bonus code to play Spanish 21 free with a no deposit bonus.
Anyone familiar with such things will tell you that removing 10-point cards from blackjack deck(s) favors the dealer. However, Spanish 21 offers players enough perks and permissive rules to place it alongside its better-known cousin on the player-friendly spectrum:
- Late surrender, doubling after a split and re-splitting aces are allowed
- Players may double on any number of cards
- Hitting and doubling down after splitting aces is allowed
- A 21 for the player always wins
- The player’s blackjack beats a dealer’s blackjack
- The player may surrender after doubling down (a “double down rescue”), salvaging the sum of the original bet
- Bonus payouts for 21’s made (without doubling) using five cards (3-to-2), six cards 2-to-1) and seven or more cards (3-to-1).
- A mixed-suit hand (again, no doubling) of 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 pays 3-to-2. If the three cards are hearts, diamonds or clubs, the payout rises to 2-to-1. If they are spades, the hands pay 3-to-1.
- Finally, suited 7-7-7 (no splits or doubles) when the dealer has a seven face up pays a bonus of $1000 (on bets of $5-$24) or $5000 (on bets of $25+), with all other players receiving a $50 “envy bonus.”
As in other cases, the main determinant of house odds is whether re-doubling (doubling a double down bet) is allowed, and what the dealer must do with a soft 17:
- If the dealer hits on soft 17 and re-doubling is not allowed, the house edge is 0.76%
- If the dealer hits on soft 17, but re-doubling is allowed, the house edge falls to 0.42%
- Finally, if the dealer stands on soft 17, the house edge is just 0.40% (I’m not aware of any locations that give players both of these perks)
It’s not often that Spanish 21 comes up in conversations about the best odds casino games, but with the aforementioned perks in mind, it 100% deserves its spot near the top.
4. Super Fun 21 (0.94%)
Here we have another of blackjack’s numerous kin, further cementing blackjack and its variations as some of the casino games with best odds. This variation is played using either one, two, or six decks. A fascinating thing about Super Fun 21 (aside from the super-cool name), is that, in most cases, blackjack only pays out even money. Where, then, does the player-friendly reputation come from? Well, let’s just say a few rules have been tweaked and bonuses injected into this to make up for it:
- Dealers typically hit soft 17s.
- Players are allowed to double after a split
- Players are allowed to re-split up to four hands (including aces)
- Players are allowed to hit and double down to split aces
- Players are allowed to double on any number of cards
- Players are allowed to late surrender on any number of cards
- Players are allowed to surrender half of the total bet after doubling (the aforementioned “double down rescue” from Spanish 21)
- A player’s hand with at least six cards totaling 20 or less (no doubling) automatically wins
- A player whose hand has at least five cards and totals 21 (no doubling) is instantly paid 2-to-1
- A player blackjack always wins
- While blackjacks of hearts, clubs, spades, and mixed suits pay even money, a blackjack in diamonds pays 2-to-1
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5. Baccarat (house edge: for the banker, 1.06%; for the player, 1.24%)
For most people, Baccarat is associated with luxury, wealth, James Bond, or some combination of the three. It’s a game of which tales are told, of six- or even seven-figure per-hand bets, in the most exclusive rooms, in the finest casinos in all the world. By all accounts, those tales are not inaccurate, as explained in this simple baccarat guide, which includes a free demo of the game.
Where the common Baccarat misconception lies is in the level of strategy or sophistication required to play the game. Baccarat is a simple and straightforward game that’s as close to pure gambling as any on the casino floor.
The game itself is fairly similar to blackjack, with the objective being to make not 21, but 9. As in blackjack, both Dealer and Player are dealt two cards apiece from a standard 52-card deck. Aces are worth one, with twos through nines worth the value on the card. Tens and face cards are worth zero.
An ideal baccarat is a “natural nine” (4-5, 6-3, 7-2, ace-8, or a nine and face card), which, if not matched by the other player, automatically wins. In the absence of a natural nine, a natural eight (so 6-2, 5-3, 4-4, ace-7, or an eight with a face card) is also an automatic winner, assuming, again, it’s not matched by the opposing hand.
Provided neither the player nor the dealer has one of these automatic winners, the cards are flipped over, and each player has the option of either standing pat or drawing one more card. In the event that a player draws past the number nine (someone holding a 3-4 drawing an 8, for instance), the count restarts at zero after nine (so that player would have gone from a four to a two).
The dealer’s advantage in baccarat comes not from any preset rule or tiebreaker, but rather from knowing the final value of the player’s hand prior to making a draw-stand decision. In our previous example, the dealer, after seeing that our player had drawn to a two, could simply stand on a mediocre hand. As a result, it’s estimated that the banker wins 45.8% of baccarat hands, while the player wins 44.6%, with 9.6% of hands ending in a tie.
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6. Pai Gow Poker (2.84% as player; 1.46% alternating player/banker)
We recently updated our Pai Gow strategy guide and free demo, as it’s one of the most underrated casino games in the US.
Pai Gow is played with a 53-card deck: the standard 52, plus a joker that can be used to complete a straight or a flush, or otherwise defaults to an ace. To play Pai Gow, a player must understand the spectrum of basic poker hands as each hand is, basically, the construction of two poker hands.
To start each hand, seven cards are dealt to seven spots on the table (the dealer, plus six players’ spots, regardless of whether or not there is anyone playing), and the final four cards are “burned,” or discarded. At this point, each player separates their cards into two poker hands – one of five cards (the “high hand”), and another of two cards (the “low hand”). In a physical casino, once a player has separated the two hands, the cards are placed face down on the corresponding places on the table. The only irrefutable rule of Pai Gow Poker is that the five-card hand must be stronger than the two-card hand.
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For instance, if a hand contains a single pair (two 10’s, let’s say), with no straight or flush, that pair goes into the high hand, and the low hand is made up of the two next-highest cards in the hand. Once all players have set their hands, the dealer’s cards are opened up and similarly separated. In order to win the hand, a player’s high hand must beat the dealer’s high hand and the player’s low hand must beat the dealer’s low hand.
If a player wins both, they are returned their original wager plus winnings of 95% of that wager, with the house taking a 5% commission. For example, if a player wagers $20 and wins, they will have $39 – the original $20 stake, plus $19 in winnings. If the player beats the dealer on one hand (high or low, doesn’t matter which) but loses the other, the result is a push. Finally, if the dealer beats the player on both the high and low hand, the dealer wins, and the player’s original wager is lost.
It’s worth noting that ties go to the dealer, meaning that, for instance, if both player and dealer have a low hand of ace-king, the dealer wins. A fascinating twist in Pai Gow is that a player may opt, as often as every other hand, to play as the banker. This means the player will receive the banker’s cards in the banker’s place in the dealing order, as well as all of the tie-breaking privileges that come along with the “dealer’s button.” One general stipulation for any player looking to bank at a table at which other, non-dealer players are playing, is that the player must have enough cash or chips on the table to cover all wagers, as the player is temporarily operating as “the house.”
The player who does this on every other hand and plays each hand “house way” (a slightly conservative approach devised to minimize losses against a table full of opposition), drops the Pai Gow house edge against themselves to just 1.46%.