Quick Overview of Popular Vegas Gambling Games
Planning a trip to Las Vegas? Or maybe you’re just eager to check out your local casino.
Either way you’ll probably want to learn a few gambling games so that you can have a go on the tables. Even if you want to go simply to drink and spectate, it’s handy to know what’s going on.
Here are a few popular examples of casino games that you can try your hand at. Play your cards right and you could become a master:
Also known as ‘21’ or ‘pontoon’, this popular card game statistically has some of the best odds.
Players are initially dealt two cards and then must get as close to 21 as possible, by adding up the value of each card. You can choose to ‘stick’ or be dealt be extra cards.
The game has many variations, with features such as ‘double’ and ‘split’ used in some casinos, but the fundamentals remain the same. It’s a very easy game to learn – grab some playing cards and something to bet over and you’re away.
When To Hit
Use the following rules to determine when to Hit, according to your hand and the dealer’s face up card.
-If the dealer’s face up card is 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace, and your hand totals 8 or 12 through 16, Hit.
-If the dealer’s face up card is Ace, and your hand totals 11, do not Double, Hit.
-If the dealer’s face up card is 10, and your hand totals 10, do not Double, Hit.
-If the dealer’s face up card is 7, 8 or 9, and your hand totals 9, do not Double, Hit.
Blackjack Tips #2: When To Stand
Use the following rules to determine when to Stand, according to your hand and the dealer’s face up card.
-When your hand totals 17 or above, no matter what, Stand. (Some strategies will tell you to hit 17 if the dealer has an Ace.)
-If the dealer’s face up card is 6 or below, and your hand totals 13 or above, Stand.
-If you have a splitable pair of 10s or Face Cards, do not Split them, Stand.
Blackjack Tips #3: When To Split
Use the following rules to determine when to Split your hand, according to value of your pair and the dealer’s face up card.
-Only Split 2s and 3s if the dealer’s card is 4-7
-Never Split 5s; either Double Down, or Hit if the dealer is showing a 10 or Ace.
-Split 6s and 7s if the dealers card is 6 or below.
-Always split 8s, no matter what.
-Always Split Aces if allowed.
Blackjack Tips #4: When To Double
Doubling is a strategy often used when the player’s hand equal 9, 10 or 11, giving the player a good chance of hitting 19-20 with a 10 or Face card. Use the following rules to determine when to Double your hand, according to your total and the dealer’s face up card.
-Always double a total of 10 unless the dealer has 10 or Ace.
-Always double an 11 unless the dealer has an Ace.
-9 should only be doubled when the dealer has 3, 4, 5 or 6 showing.
Perhaps the most famous card game, poker relies wholly on your ability to bet and sometimes to be able to bluff. Your objective is to get the best possible five-card combination.
The order of hands is high card, pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush and royal flush. Each player is dealt two cards, with five cards slowly revealed on the table.
Between each card being revealed on the table, players are allowed to place bets or fold, relying on the hope that the cards yet to be revealed on the table are decent cards.
A very common mistake that amateur players make is not being selective enough with their starting hands. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that ‘any hand can win’.
Although this is true, some hands are more likely to win than others and will help you win more money, whilst others will help you in losing more money.
So be selective about which hands you play.
Another common misconception about poker is that you need to bluff to win. You may see spectacular bluffs on the WSOP shows, but these are edited to show the highlights of the tournaments and so give the wrong impression of the frequency that top players bluff. Bluffing in poker is not as essential as you think it is.
If you are a beginner online poker player, it is better to play your cards well rather than trying to bluff your opponents out of hands. It is good to try occasional bluffs here and there, but the real art of knowing when to bluff comes from knowledge and practice.
It is vitally important in poker to think about the strength of your opponent’s hand, and not just your own. It is nice to have a big hand, but if you think that your opponent has a better hand than you, you should prepare to fold. For example a straight is a decent hand, but if there are four cards of the same suit on the board and your opponent pushes all in, do you still think you have the best hand?
Find out more about thinking on higher levels in the article on multiple level thinking in poker. It’s a bit of an advanced concept, but it is very interesting nonetheless.
A dice game – this relies on a similar tactic of bluffing to poker. Each player has a cup and five dice and must shake them up and put them on the table with the cup still over them.
You then take it turns to claim how many dice of a certain value are on the table (e.g. three sixes). Someone can call bluff at any time, at which point everyone reveals their dice, and if the value is incorrect, that player must lose a dice. If the value is true, the person who called out bluff must lose a dice.
Of all the casino games, roulette is the most luck-based, with few techniques and no bluffing. The game uses a roulette table with number 0 to 36 on it.
You must guess the number slot that you think the ball is going to land in. The dealer then spins the roulette table and the ball is thrown in and if it lands in your slot, you win.
Different bets can have different odds and winnings, for example you could bet that it’s going to land on an even number, which would have less odds than if you thought it was going to land on 36.
Just knowing how the game proceeds is a good place to start with roulette.
New players can join the table at anytime, but the number of players that the table can accommodate at any casino party is limited to the available Roulette Chips.
Roulette chips are different than regular casino chips in that they are a solid color and without any markings to indicate denomination. Each player is assigned a color and this is how the dealer can keep track of the bets and who places them. It also gives you the flexibility to assign different values to the chips based on the player’s bankroll.
It is common to one player to be playing $25 per chip, another playing $100 per chip, and yet another playing $1000. Place a regular casino chip with the appropriate face value BEHIND the players color stack in ‘The Well’ in order to keep track of this.
Betting begins when the dealer announces, ‘Place your bets’. At the same time, the dealer spins the wheel in one direction and then spins the ball around the outer edge of the wheel IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.
Players that can not physically reach where they want to bet may ask for dealer assistance in placing their bets, otherwise this is the time that you need to use to organize the chips in The Well. When the ball loses velocity and is about THREE ROTATIONS from falling onto the wheel, the dealer waves his/her hand over the layout and announces “No More Bets”.
When the ball lands in a slot on the wheel, THE MARKER is placed on the layout over the number the ball landed on. If there are player chips on that number, the marker is placed on top of the chips.
Losing chips are then raked off of the layout starting from the outside bets taking care that you are not removing any winning bets. Winning bets are then payed off according the to proper odds shown below.
Make sure that players do not place any new bets for the next spin until you announce ‘Place your Bets’.