The advent of online gambling introduced keen gamblers to betting without having to visit a casino, yet many players still yearn for the experience of playing real casino games while sitting at the table, watching the cards turn or the dice roll.
As technology has developed, so too has the simulation of these table casino games, offering online players a superior experience to being in a brick-and-mortar casino. For those who still wish to retain that link to real-world casinos, many online gambling operators offer games with real dealers broadcast directly to your screen, better known as live-dealer games.
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With the exception of roulette and craps, all other table casino games involve a dealer. Poker is almost unique among casino games, as players do not actually compete with the dealer but with each other – unlike blackjack or baccarat. However, there are some variations of poker where this is not the case, such as Caribbean Stud poker, where the dealer represents the house.
The person dishing out the cards is the face of the casino in both blackjack and baccarat. In baccarat, the dealer deals a player hand and a banker hand, with three possible outcomes: either the player wins, the banker wins, or the game is ruled a tie. Similarly, in blackjack, a draw results in a push, meaning that the player is given their bet back. However, certain casinos may insist that a draw rules in favour of the house, so if both the player and the dealer score the same, the house wins.
There are many variations of standard casino games, some of which may not be available in real-life casinos; fortunately, online there's a much wider variety. Listed are three of the most popular casino games and a break-down of their variants:
- Roulette |Roulette has three main sub-categories: American, European, and French. The American version favours the house as it adds an extra stop for the ball to be caught in – the double zero – while both the European and the French versions only have the one. The main difference between these two types is if the ball actually lands on the zero, European players are given half their wager back in surrender, whereas the French version continues the bet again on the next spin.
- Poker | In poker there are three types of game, each with their own set of variations. Draw poker is fairly common, with all cards hidden for only the individual player to see their own hand. Stud poker mixes this up by revealing some of a player’s cards face-up, the number of which is dependent on the type of stud being played. The last is where the table shares a set of face-up cards, and can use this community chest to improve their own hidden cards. The most famous variant of this type is Texas Hold’em poker.
- Blackjack | While blackjack would seem the most simple of all the games, there are over 50 different rules that can be included or excluded.
Betting limits are often utilised by casinos to suggest the skill level that a player has if choosing to sit at that particular table. For example, a novice poker table may have a low cap on its largest bet, while a professional poker play table or a high rollers game will feature a sky-high ceiling on the bet amount, if one exists at all, in which case it would be no-limits.
Most online games will have a certain limit, which is designed both to protect the player from irrationally betting too much, and also to protect the casino from a severe loss.
Odds of Beating the House
Each casino game carries vastly different odds, which are dependent on a number of factors: from the amount being gambled to the variations or specific rules being adhered to. All games have a house edge – the percentage by which the house is more likely to win.
Even in games of chance such as roulette, the odds in the European variant favour the house by 2.70%, because there is only one zero. But the American version features two, which doubles the house edge to 5.26%, explaining why many players seek out the former.
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