Welcome to our guide on how to play casino games. Gambling, particularly online gambling, comes in many different forms and sets of rules, so buckle up. We’ll cover them all.
Whether you wanted to learn how to play video poker, slots or classic casino games, this might be the perfect opportunity. By the end of this guide, you should have everything you need to start playing straight away.
Things You Need To Know Before You Start Gambling
First things first, some myths need to be busted before you dive into the world of gambling. As much as we’d love to tell you that you’ll win if you follow our guide, that would be a lie. Instead, we’re gonna tell it like it is.
House Advantage Cannot Be Disputed
Yes, the house ALWAYS wins. Even if you do manage to double or quadruple your deposit, the casino has probably already made more than enough revenue from other players. And players who do end up winning it big often waste double those winnings in the same casino, proving yet again that the house always wins.
Every single casino game has odds. The best example would be roulette. When you bet on colours you can bet on either red or black, right? Mathematically, your odds are 50%, correct? Wrong. Your odds are actually 48.6% on European Roulette and 47.4% on American Roulette. This is because of the 0 (and 00) spaces which belong to the house. So even if you have good odds of 48.6% the house still has an edge over you with 51.4% (not a lot, but still an edge nonetheless).
Gamble With What You Are Prepared To Lose
Going to an online casino is pretty much the same as going to a bowling alley. Don’t expect to come out with more money than I came in with. We believe this is a very healthy way to enjoy most online casinos.
Basically, never go to a casino expecting to win big money. Instead, think of online casinos as places where you pay for entertainment. The possibility of winning real money should only be an added bonus. Also, DO NOT spend your life savings on casino games expecting that you will somehow double it. The chances of that happening are minimal. Instead, pick an amount you would spend for an evening out with your friends.
Find A Casino That Suits YOUR Gambling Needs
If you are new to the world of online casino games, chances are you already stumbled upon a bunch of online casinos out there. Well, saying “a bunch” is a huge understatement. There are, in fact, so many online casinos that it seems that every single day a new one appears. There are way too many online casinos so it would be wise to check the online casino reviews for a second opinion.
Fortunately, this also means that there’s plenty of variety out there. Not all casinos are equal and many of them will cater to different things. It’s up to you to figure out what you like the most out of popular casino games and to stick with an online casino that will offer you exactly what you are looking for.
For example, if you are big on playing video poker, don’t settle for an online casino that offers nothing but slot games. If you enjoy playing table games, maybe you can find an online casino that offers plenty of bonuses for table games. If you like playing slot machines, pick the best bonus offered for online slots regardless of the casino. The bottom line is with so many online casinos available out there, you can almost certainly find one that fits your needs to a T.
Choose The Online Casino Games You Like
Now that the cat’s out of the bag and you realize how exactly casinos work, it’s time to talk about all the entertainment available. Just like any brick and mortar casino, an online casino will also offer you plenty of casino games. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular casino games that should be available in almost every online casino out there.
One of the oldest and most beloved casino games, this simple card game has managed to stay relevant since the day it was invented. While Blackjack is great when played from a land-based casino, playing online is just as fun. In blackjack, there are players and a single dealer. Each player receives two cards and using those cards tries to get a combined total of 21. Depending on the cards the player gets from the dealer, he/she can ask for more of them or stay at a number that’s lower than 21. If a player gets a card that exceeds the number 21, they automatically lose. There are many strategies that players can use to improve their odds but none of them can beat the house edge.
Poker is one of the oldest card games in existence. In traditional poker, each player receives 5 cards. Then a player chooses some or all of the cards he wishes to exchange for new cards. Finally, each player shows of their hand and the best combination wins the entire pot. During each turn, players can place bets into the giant pot. Players can also choose to raise or fold during their turn. One of the disadvantages of playing games online is that you can’t see your opponents facial expressions, and this prevents you from seeing when someone is bluffing or not.
Texas Hold’em is pretty much speedy-poker. In this game, each player gets 2 cards at the beginning of a game and the rest of the cards are placed at the centre of the table. These community cards are part of everyones’ deck and players combine them along with their own two cards in order to have the best hand. While there is less strategy involved, Texas Hold’em is often the more popular choice among the two main poker games.
The heart and soul of every gambling site with casino games. Playing casino games, especially online ones, just wouldn’t be the same without all the video slots. Playing slots is gambling at its purest form. They are almost entirely luck dependent, they are as simple to play as pressing a button and they are filled with great visuals, bright lights and everything else that’s incredibly easy on the eyes. Online casinos love their video slots and will sometimes dedicate all their bonuses to slots only.
Probably one of our favourite classic casino games. Roulette is a game where you let a ball spin in a spinning wheel and watch as it lands on one of 37(38) numbers. What makes roulette even more exciting is all the betting combinations you can place. People have developed several strategies that greatly improve your chance of winning, however, none of them has been able to beat the house edge.
A game that’s all about watching someone shoot dice while you bet on the outcome. Such a simple game shouldn’t be this fun but we’ll be darned if it isn’t one of the most fun experiences we’ve ever had. Unfortunately, shooting craps is never as fun in an online casino as it is in a land-based one.
How To Play Blackjack
Down below, we are going to give you the rundown on how to play blackjack. While we won’t cover every single rule in the game, we will give you the most basic instructions. By the time you finish reading this, you should have enough skill to sit at a Blackjack table and actually hold your own.
The goal of blackjack is to win against the dealer. To win against the dealer, you have to score 21 or a number that’s as close as it gets to 21 without exceeding it. Basically, you will start with a single card and will ask the dealer for more cards. When you ask for a card, you ask for a hit. When you are satisfied with your cards, you tell the dealer that you wish to stay.
After everyone has finished playing their turn, the dealer plays their turn the same as everyone. If the dealer’s hand is worse than that of the player(s), the dealer pays each player double their bet. Otherwise, the dealer wins and the players lose their bets. The real “knowledge” behind Blackjack is knowing when to risk and hit and when not to. This usually happens with numbers that are pretty high but not as high as 21. People have written entire books on when the right time to hit is as well as when to stay.
Hard Hit and Soft Hit
Number cards will give us the number that’s on the card while jacks, queens and kings are all worth 10. The Ace, however, is special. See the ace can either be worth an 11 or a 1. Getting an ace puts a player at a huge advantage because now they will have more opportunities to score the best number. Now whether or not you have an Ace determines whether your number is hard or soft.
An ace and a 6 is a soft 17, meaning you can take another hard without risking you will go over 21 because of the ability to turn that ace into a 1. On the other hand, if you get a King and an 8, that’s a hard 18. While this is still not a 21, risking a hit is not advisable, and players are generally advised to stay.
What are splits and double downs?
When you get dealt two cards of the same number (two eights, two kinds, two aces…) you may ask the dealer for a split. A split basically turns your one hand into two. You will keep one of the two cards in your original hand while the other card will go to the other where you will have to place an equal bet.
From there, the game will continue as if two players are playing instead of one. A double down, on the other hand, is a very fun and risky mechanic. Basically, when you are really confident in your first two cards and have a great feeling that the third one is going to seal the deal you can double down. This means doubling your bet. By doubling down, you will automatically stay as soon as the next card is dealt. It’s a great risk vs. reward strategy where only the best know exactly when to double down and when not to.
When to Double Down During a Single Deck Game?
Depending on the number of decks used in a blackjack game, there are different pieces of advice on when the best time to double down is. In this case, we are going to talk about a single deck blackjack game. Now, please keep in mind that these rules aren’t set in stone and a lot of circumstances may throw them out of the window, so don’t blame us if these don’t work all the time. Remember, the house always has the edge. During a single blackjack game follow these rules:
- Double down your bet on 11 against a dealer’s ace.
- Double down your bet on soft 19 against a dealer’s 6.
- Double down your bet on a soft 18 against a dealer’s 2.
- When to Double Down During a Double Deck Game?
- If you are playing against two decks here’s when the best times to double down are:
- Double down on soft 14 against a dealer’s 4.
- Double down on soft 18 against a dealer’s 2.
- Double down on soft 19 against a dealer’s 6.
- Again, none of this is set in stone. These are just general “house rules” that we always use when we play with two decks.
When to Double Down with 4, 6, or 8 Decks?
- When we get 4, 6 or 8 decks involved, that’s when things get really interesting.
- Double down on 11 against a dealer’s ace.
- Double down on a soft 17 against a dealer’s 2.
Remember, Blackjack is a luck-based game and everything we wrote above are only bits of advice that may turn out to be total flops.
Other Useful Tips
- You are a player, not a dealer. Do not try to play like the dealer.
- Don’t employ the Martingale strategy. This strategy involves players doubling their bet every time they lose a hand and when they finally win one, they win back all their money and a bit more and they start again from the lowest bet. While it may seem tempting, this strategy seems to only work when you want to run out of your funds as soon as possible.
- Take risks. There will be times when you will have to draw even when there’s a good chance of a bust. It really depends on the number of decks, the dealer, the cards remaining and your luck. Take some chances.
- Double deck game: when playing a game where surrendering is allowed, drop a hard 15 and hard 17 against a dealer’s ace.
- Four, Six or Eight decks: If surrendering is allowed, drop a hard 15, hard 17 or a pair of 8s against a dealer’s ace.
- Don’t play blackjack games with a 6:5 payout ratio. This gives the house a huge advantage. Play games with odds such as 3:2.
How To Play Poker
When we talk about casino gambling, poker is often the first game that comes to mind. Poker is a card game that requires a minimum of two players. Players are dealt 5 cards and they place bets depending on how confident they are in their card combinations. Once all the bets have been placed, players show their hands and the best hand wins the pot.
The Rules Of Poker
There are two types of poker: Stud and Draw. Stud poker only deals five cards to each player during a round while in draw poker, players get a chance to get rid of a few (or all) cards from their hand in order to improve their chances of winning. A big part of any poker game is bluffing. Bluffing obviously works best during real poker games simply because players get to see eye to eye. When you play online, you usually can’t’ see the players’ faces and therefore limit your chances of bluffing. However, players can still bluff by using the betting system where they can place large bets to fool the other players into thinking they have a better hand.
Some winning poker hands are so well known that even people who have never gambled know how much they are worth.
- Five of a Kind: Only available in games where two hands are used. This happens when a player has five cards of the same kind (or 4 cards and one joker). Naturally, the higher the card value, the better the hand.
- Royal Flush: You’ve probably heard about this one. This hand is made out of 5 cards of the same suit that mathematically go from lowest to highest. A legendary royal flush goes like this: 10, jack, queen, king and ace.
- Straight flush: Just like the royal flush without involving an ace. Usually, these consist of numbered cards such as 6,5,4,3,2,1.
- Four of a kind: As the name suggests this is the case when you have four of the same value. You’ve probably heard how four aces is the strongest hand you could create in a single deck poker game, this is not necessarily true.
- Full house: a full house is when you have one pair and three cards of a kind. For example a pair of Aces and three kings.
- Flush: a flush is when you have five cards of the same suit. The numbers on the card don’t matter, only the suit.
- Straight: a straight is when you have five cards that ascend from lowest to highest mathematically but they aren’t of the same suit. Basically, this is when you make cards such as 10, jack, queen, king and ace but they are all different colors.
- Three of a kind: Three cards of the same type. Nuff said. Aces are the strongest while twos are the weakest.
- Two pairs: this is when you have two different types of pairs such as a pair of 10 and a pair of kings (and one extra card that isn’t valuable in this case).
- One pair: The weakest combo in the game. When you have only one pair carefully consider how you are going to go through all the different bets.
- High card: a high card is when nobody has any combos so the player with the highest card wins. Don’t rely on winning with a high card. Ever.
Usually, the favourite part of any poker game is during the betting rounds: There are four options during each betting round.
- Raise – When a player raises the bet, he is basically doubling the wager for each player. This is usually done when players have strong hands or when they are bluffing. If you are very confident in your hand, go for a raise and see what happens.
- Call – Call is when a player is satisfied enough with their hand but not satisfied enough to go for a raise. A call is simply paying the current wager and continuing to the next player.
- Fold – When you have a really crappy hand and you don’t feel like bluffing, simply throw your hand into the pot and fold. Folding is the equivalent of giving up during a round. This is a very legitimate strategy and one nobody should be ashamed of. Sometimes the best thing to do is to fold (better than losing money).
- Check – The most neutral thing anyone can do during a betting phase is check. During a single betting round if no raises have been made, and the initial bets have been placed, a player can simply check, indicating to move on. Fun fact: during real-life poker players can signal a check by tapping or knocking on the table.
In poker, there are normally two betting rounds. One when the initial hands are dealt and the other when players receive new cards. During each of these, players go around the table placing bets, folding, calling and checking.
Counting and Reading
A little known fact: Poker is the only game in the entire world where you can have terrible luck all the time and yet still come out as the winner in the end. This is all thanks to bluffing. A player who is able to read the room and tell exactly what his/her opponent is thinking (holding) will be able to know the exact time when to fold and when to raise.
As for counting cards, it’s not forbidden (most of the time) but it’s looked down upon. Because of this, brick and mortar casinos will often serve players plenty of free drinks in hopes they get drunk and dull their senses.
How To Play Texas Hold’Em
Texas Hold’em plays very similarly to regular poker. However, because of a few small differences, this game plays faster, has more betting rounds and is, in our opinion, the more exciting game. Fun fact, sometimes we like to play a few rounds during our breaks and that would be much more difficult with regular poker games.
One of the biggest differences between regular poker and Texas hold’em are the community cards. Basically, in Texas hold’em, 5 cards are dealt at the centre of the table face up. These are the community cards and every player can use them in combination with their own hand to get the best possible combo. The community cards are dealt as follows: Three are dealt before the first betting phase, the fourth is dealt before the third betting phase and the fifth card is dealt before the final betting. This creates a lot of attention and excitement as the tides are able to turn easily after each card is dealt.
One reason why Texas Hold’em is often more exciting than regular poker is because of so many betting rounds. After each betting round, something happens and players get more opportunities to place bets and improve their odds to win money during a round.
Blind fate happens at the beginning of each round. Each player gets dealt two cards and they get to place bets. Now, the person sitting next to the dealer has to place the full bet into the pot. This is called the big blind. The person next to the big blind has to place half of the amount of the bet, which is called the small blind. The next player can either call, raise or fold their cards and this keeps going until the end of the circle. During each new round the dealer, big blind and small blind move clockwise to the next player.
This is why we like Texas hold’em so much because even before the community cards are dealt, some players may want to start off strong with a raise.
The flop is the second betting round where the first three community cards are dealt. Once the cards are on the table it starts again from the big blind and goes a full circle around the table. If you happen to have good cards that go together with the rest of the community cards, always keep in mind that two more cards will be coming and consider whether you can afford to lose if things go south.
The turn happens when the fourth community card is dealt. By this time, the round is almost over and players already have a good idea of what the outcome might be. It’s usually pretty safe to assume what the last card might be. In live dealer casinos, this betting round usually lasts a bit longer than other betting rounds.
The final betting round occurs after all the community cabobest have been placed, the remaining players show their cards and the better hand wins. In case of a tie, the pot is split between the two tied players.
How To Play Slots
Slots are the heart and soul of online gambling sites, especially new online casinos. The biggest factor when it comes to winning in slots is luck. Slots aren’t complicated games. In fact, they are probably the simplest games to play out of all the popular games that involve gambling.
In slots, you have either 3 or 5 reels that are filled with symbols. These can literally be anything from numbers to fruits, to even profile pictures of famous Hollywood actors. The whole point is to press one button, watch the reels spin and hope that when they stop, you get some sort of good combination. Each spin can award you with a small to a large win, free spins or even a bonus round. So many games that involve spinning the reels are really beautiful to look at and players often find themselves just staring at the visuals.
We hate to admit it, but we’ve also been there. Slots function using an RNG (random number generator) where the outcome is always randomly determined at random by an AI program. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that online casinos love to promote their slots. In fact, it’s very much to be expected that bonuses won’t work on other games except slots. There aren’t that many tactics that players can use in order to improve their chances of winning. A slot machine is simply a luck-based game and sometimes that’s all you need.
How To Play Roulette
The noble art of roulette has been around for centuries. The dealer waits for everyone to place their bets, spins the wheel and lets the ball land on a single spot. Depending on where the ball lands, you either win or lose your bet. One thing that always makes roulette exciting is that you can make every single bet as low risk or as risky as possible.
Choose The Right Type Of Roulette
There are two types of roulette tables: American and European. You may think that the two are very much different but in reality, there is only one main difference between the two. Simply put, in American Roulette the house has a bigger edge because there are 38 numbers as opposed to European roulette where there are only 37. American Roulette has a double zero “00” spot that nobody ever bets on along with a single “0”. Honestly, with the risk of sounding biased, we never ever play American roulette because of this rule. We’d rather have better odds with the European roulette.
Place Your Chips
At first, the roulette betting table may seem a bit daunting, but after only a bit of explanation, it will feel right at home. Simply put, players can place all sorts of bets. Players who like to risk can place entire bets on specific numbers while players who like low-risk bets can bet on the colour. Roulette strategy advice is something we hear on a daily basis. While we can explain some of the strategies to you, our best advice is to use one of them yourself and find the one that simply “works” for you. Just remember, no matter what kind of “master technique” you may be using, the house always has an edge.
How To Play Craps
Craps is such a magical game. Nothing beats the experience of being leaned on to craps tables waiting for the shooter to shoot, only to witness about a dozen people happily cheering because they’ve won their bets. Craps is played with two basic six-sided dice. During a round, one player will be the shooter and he/she will roll until their turn is over. There are so many bets you can place during each bet that we can’t possibly list them all in this article so we will just give you the gist of it.
Betting and Rolling
In general, you can bet for or against the shooter. If you bet against the shooter you are betting that he/she will mess up their shot in the worst possible way, if you bet on the shooter, you are hoping that they will roll a good number and continue shooting. Here are a few bets:
- Pass line bets – during the first phase of a shooter’s roll, the shooter is trying to “pass”. If you bet on the pass line, the shooter needs to roll either a 7 or an 11. If the roll is 2,3 or 12, then the shooter doesn’t pass the pass line and you lose this bet.
- Don’t pass line – the complete opposite of betting on the pass line. You are essentially betting on the shooter to lose by rolling a 2,3 or a 12.
- Point numbers – if a player rolls any of the numbers that aren’t part of the pass or the don’t pass line, those numbers become point numbers. The player needs to roll these numbers again in order for the point number bet to win.
- The come bet – this is essentially the same as the pass line bet but it comes in place after the first roll. Players essentially bet on either 7 or 11 to land.
- Don’t pass – same as the don’t pass line bets except for this time the players are betting for a 2 or 3. Now for 12. Things get interesting. If a player rolls a 12, it becomes a tie and you get to keep your wager.
- Point bets – simply bet on any number not part of any other bet (4,5,6,8,9 and 10) and hope that the total sum of both dice is that number.
How To Play Casino Games: Summary
Thank you for reading our casino guide. While we could spend here rambling about different types of gambling strategies and advanced rules, the best way to learn how to play a game is by playing it yourself. Use the knowledge that we have given you and go out there and make your mark.
If you don’t know where to start, try some of our recommended casinos and keep these things in mind:
- Responsible gambling > Reckless gambling
- Don’t expect to always win (expect to lose)
- The house always wins