Casino Games Guide for Beginners
The best thing about online casinos is the sheer variety of gambling options that are made available to you. Any decent online casino will have well over one hundred different games for you to try, and the very best ones with have at least three hundred. Here is a quick rundown of all the popular games that you should easily be able to find at any reputable online casino.
Slots are by far and away the most popular activity at an online casino. The house edge is pretty poor compared to table games, but no other game gives you the chance of a massive jackpot for very little outlay if you strike lucky. Slots have evolved from the three-reel, one pay line slot machine you’ll probably be familiar with. Most modern online slots have five reels, multiple pay lines, bonus games and special features, making them immense fun to play.
Devised from the French word for ‘little wheel’, this ancient gambling game is the most popular non-card table game available at online casinos. French or European roulette uses a wheel subdivided into the numbers one to thirty-six, as well as a zero. The American version – where the house has a better edge – adds an extra ‘double zero’. A small ball is sent whirling around the spinning wheel, and players bet on where the ball will end up. There are lots of different bets you can make, from betting on single numbers to red/black, odd/even and high/low.
Blackjack is the world’s most popular casino card game, and the second most popular card game all round behind Texas Hold’em Poker. In the casino version of blackjack it’s you versus the dealer. You are dealt two cards and can take further cards until choose to ‘stay’. The basic object of the game is to beat the dealer’s total while not totalling over twenty-one yourself – if you do, you ‘bust’ and lose your bet. The dealer must takes cards until they have bust or have scored at least seventeen, at which point they cannot take any more.
This is the favoured casino game of James Bond. In this game all cards are worth their face value aside from tens and face cards which are worth zero. The value of your hand is simply the right-most digit of the total, i.e. if you have a seven and a six your total is three. Just like blackjack, it’s you against the dealer and you are dealt two cards each. There are some fairly complicated rules as to whether either the player or the banker can draw a third card. The winner is the hand with the highest total. The American version of baccarat is called ‘Punto Banco’.
There are many versions of casino poker, but the most popular versions are based on Texas Hold’em poker. It’s another case of player v dealer. After making a qualifying bet, both player and dealer are dealt two cards, and a ‘flop’ is dealt into the middle of the table. The player can either fold or call at double the qualifying bet. Two cards are added to the community cards, and then the player and dealer’s hand compared to see who has the better hand. The dealer must have at least a pair of fours to qualify.
Video Poker has been popular in Vegas and in casinos all over the world since the 1980s. Play takes place on a video screen. A player is dealt five cards, and there is one draw in which a player can switch as many cards as they desire. After the draw the player’s hand is evaluated and if it is a good enough poker hand (usually at least a pair of Jacks) then they are a winner. Usually, wins can be gambled via a ‘higher or lower’ bonus game.
Online scratch cards work in exactly the same way as the kind of scratch cards purchased at petrol/gas stations or convenience stores. Typically, you either have to scratch off a number of panels to see if you can reveal three of the same symbol, or you scratch off a ‘symbol’ panel and see if you can match the symbol on the prize-winning panels you also scratch off.
Craps is the casino world’s most popular dice game. It’s also unique in that one of players betting on the action gets to throw the dice, although of course this cannot happen in the online version. Players bet on the outcome of the roll of two dice. Rolls totalling two, three or twelve always lose, while rolls of seven or eleven win. With any other total, the dice are re-rolled, and if that total appears again before a seven is rolled, the bet wins. There are a number of other bets that can be made.
Sic Bo is a dice gambling game that’s very popular in Asia. The game is almost identical to roulette, except that three dice are thrown instead of a ball being spun around a wheel. Players can make any number of bets, such as betting on a specific total, doubles or all three dice ending up with the same number.
Keno is another Asian favourite, and brings together what Westerners would recognise as lottery and bingo. A keno machine contains eighty numbered balls. Players can gamble on the number of balls they choose as being drawn from the machine. Obviously the more the players choose to pick, and the more they match, the higher the prize they will win. Once all the bets are in, twenty balls are drawn from the machine, and players find out how well they have performed.
Other casino games
The ten games listed above are the most popular games usually available to play at an online casino. Some other, more obscure games you might find include pachinko, casino war, let it ride, pai gow poker, red dog, pontoon, three card poker and rummy. You’re bound to find your favourite at an online casino somewhere, and you’ll probably have a lot of fun finding out with of the many casino activities floats your particular gambling boat!