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Popular Casino Games

When you're playing at a casino for the first time, you might have a difficult time choosing which games to play. Looking across the floor of a huge casino can be a little bit daunting. Pulling up the games screen at an online casino can have the same effect. You might know a little bit about a few of the game, yet still lack full knowledge of what you are getting into.

If you want a quick rundown of the best options at a live or online casino, look no further. Here's a list of the most popular casino games going right now. This should give you an idea about which games are for you.


Poker is an All-American favorite. It is the game people think about when they hear the word gamble. Whether it's seven-card stud, five-card draw or Texas Holdem, people love to play a game of poker. The bluffing aspect of the game appeals to peoples' need to feel clever about themselves.

Once the World Series of Poker became a mainstream phenomenon on ESPN, amateur gamblers across America wanted to take a trip to the casino. Now we have a whole generation of Phil Hellmuth Jr. starter kits in the casino. Luckily, these people don't understand the game like Phil, so most of them are easy marks in a casino.

The same goes for online poker. If anything, the anonymity bestowed on users by the internet encourages people's natural "eccentricity".


Blackjack is another game most of us grew up playing. Unlike poker, the game does not pit the players against one another. It is you versus the dealer. If the dealer busts out, then several of the players around the table win at once.

Blackjack, often called 21 by novices, typically is for a quieter sort than poker. These players enjoy calculating odds. One thing expert blackjack players know is that their games has some of the best odds in the casino. Playing with a 1% house edge is not uncommon. And if you find a casino which uses a small number of decks, card counting might give you slightly positive odds. You just aren't going to find that at a craps table.


They say the craps table is the place to be in a casino. It has the most action of any game in the house. There's something about everything riding on the roll of the dice. It keeps players and spectators on the edge of their seats.

There is a special camaraderie around a craps table, too. Though players are allowed to be against the dice thrower, it is considered good form to bet along with the dice. That means most everyone at the table is together in the betting stakes. This game dynamic creates a bond between the gamblers.

Of course, those who bet against the table bring a certain "spirit" to the game. Craps is a game for those who like emotional highs and lows. So craps is always an interesting game to be around.


Roulette is an easy game to learn. It requires almost no strategy. This makes it a great start for people who are new to a casino.

There are a few elements of the game you must learn. The bets can confuse people sometimes, though they are quite simple once you go over them once or twice. Inside bets, outside bets, straight bets, split bets and so on are fairly self-explanatory. If you aren't interested in all of that, you can take the simple route and bet red/black or even/odd.

You also should know the different in American or European roulette. The American version adds an extra space on the roulette wheel: the double zero. If you see "00" on a space, that means you are playing American roulette. That also means there is one extra space for the ball to land on, which means your odds aren't as good. So play on European roulette wheels if at all possible.

If you don't understand what you are to do, ask questions of the croupier. The croupier is a fancy title for dealer. He is given a different title in roulette, because there are no cards dealt.

Slot Machines

Around 70% to 80% of all casino revenues come from slots. That's because there might be a thousand to fifteen-hundred slot machines in your average run-of-the-mill casino. At the same time, a casino might have only fifty table games going at once. Once you do the math, you realize that the slots are pulling in a lot of money.

The problem is, there are a dizzying number of different slot machine games. That's okay, because if you learn how to play one, you can learn to play them all. And once you learn to find the machines with the best bonus games and the highest progressive jackpots, you'll be playing like an old pro.

One of the advantages of the slot machines is the fact you don't have a whole lot of rules to learn. You choose a quiet corner of the casino and you spin several hundred times an hour. If you get tired of looking at one type of game, you move on to another. If you get the idea one machine isn't going to pay off, you find a machine which will.

It's the same with online slots. Internet casinos have every game variation you will find in a live casino. Start an account and try every game the casino has to offer. And the great thing about online play is that quiet little corner of the casino is right in front of your computer.

Video Poker Machines

At first glance, video poker machines look a lot like slot machines. Given a closer look, they reveal a poker style game going on. Video poker is just that; it's a game where you build poker hands on a computer screen.

Instead of playing against other players or a dealer, you play against a payout schedule in video poker. For instance, in Jacks or Better video poker, a player wins money only if that player can make a hand with a pair of Jacks or better. Jacks or Better is the most popular video poker game, because it has some of the best payback percentages.

There are other variations, though. Many of them use wildcards, giving players more winning options. Examples of these are Deuces Wild and Joker Wild.

Other Casino Games

There are several other standard casino games you'll find at a casino. Most of these are poker variants which are simple to learn. Examples are Caribbean stud poker, Three Card poker and Pai Gow poker.

Caribbean stud was introduced to the gaming public on Caribbean cruises during the 1990's. It became one of the most popular new games of the nineties, because it was simple to learn and encouraged camaraderie among the players at the table.

Three Card poker is great for beginners, because it is played relatively slowly. The dealer also is allowed to give tips to the players. The novelty of 3 Card Poker is that you start by placing three ante bets. Once you see your cards, though, you are allowed to pull back two of the three antes.

Pai Gow poker derives from the Chinese symbol game of Pai Gow. This is one of the rare games where each player has the option to be a banker for a turn. If that's too much of a burden for you, a player can pass on being the banker when it's his or her turn.

If you want to play on the Internet, check out the free online casino games at Casino Game HQ.

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