QUESTION: I'm a sports gambler, very little experience with table games. I usually stick to roulette. How does that rank among good or bad bets? I’m also curious as to which game you would recommend? Baccarat or blackjack for a newer table game player?
Both seem simple enough I guess, just don't want to lose my shirt – ha ha.
ANSWER: If you're playing on an American double-zero wheel, roulette has one of the higher house edges among table games at 5.26 percent. That drops to 2.7 percent if you're on a European-style wheel with a single zero.
That edge is offset somewhat by roulette moving slower than other table games. You have less exposure to the house edge than at faster games. Still, my preference is to use it as a change of pace game, a place to relax and have a little fun while playing at table minimums. With extended play, the house edge is high enough to grind you down.
Blackjack and baccarat have house edges among the lowest in the casino. In baccarat, the edge is 1.06 percent if you bet on banker, or 1.24 percent on player. Note that the edge on the roulette game you’ve been playing is about five times as high as the edge on baccarat. In blackjack, an average player faces a house edge of roughly 2 percent provided you stick to tables where blackjacks pay 3-2. A game with 6-5 payoffs tacks 1.4 percent onto the edge. I don’t play at such tables. If you learn basic strategy, you can knock the house edge down to half a percent or so, a few tenths more or less depending on house rules.
Which to choose? It depends on what you want out of the game.
Baccarat is easier. Just choose to bet on banker or player, and you have no more decisions to make. You get a pretty low house edge, as long as you stay away from the tie bet.
Blackjack has more meat to the game. You have decisions to make, making the game more interactive and fun, in my opinion. The house edge can be lower than that on baccarat, but you have to work at the game to get there.
QUESTION: Where I play craps the casino allows me to keep my bets up on my winning numbers (just like place bets). These are numbers that are made by making a come bet and then the number is hit. Is it better to keep my bet on the number or should I take it down and make another come bet?
Here is an example in case my question is not clear:
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