Whether you are living life large on The Strip in Sin City or simply killing some time using an online phone app, there are basic similarities that hold true in every casino. The most obvious is that the games fall into two broad categories.
Table games are ideal for the more traditional, and less technology-oriented. Games like blackjack, roulette and craps all centre on the spin of a wheel, the roll of dice, or the turn of a card. Then there are the slots.
In a physical casino, slot games take up most of the floor, and similarly, when you visit an online platform, there might be hundreds of slot games compared with tens of table games. Slots are not a modern innovation – they have been around for decades, and have their own history and evolution. Some countries refer to them as fruit machines, while in Australia, the people at the AustralianCasinoSites call them “pokies” (visit their website to find out more).
Table games – the strategic choice
Success in any casino game involves a blend of skill and luck. Some argue that there is more skill involved in table games, so you have more control over the outcome. That’s certainly true with card games like poker or blackjack, where your strategy on whether to hit or stand, and which cards to hold or discard will affect your win rate. But then again, roulette is the polar opposite – you’re guessing where the ball will land, and success or failure is entirely down to luck.
It’s not just about winning or losing, however. Casino gaming should be first and foremost about fun, and there’s definitely something special about being at the craps table or the roulette wheel. Most would agree that it’s more entertaining than pressing buttons on a slots game.
Slots for the win
Having said that, we all dream of a big win at the casino, however improbable it might be. When you play blackjack or baccarat, you are mostly dealing with even money bets.
Lay down a pound and you’ll either lose it or you’ll win a pound, and the win/lose ratio will be close to 50/50. It means your bankroll lasts longer and after a couple of hours, you might have spent out or you might be a few pounds up.
Slots provide that tantalising possibility of the big win. Yes, if you feed AU$20 (about £10.50) into the Lucky Lady or Book of Ra slot, it will often be gone within 20 minutes. But sometimes you’ll hit the right combination and convert it into AU$200 (around £105) just as quickly. Occasionally, someone hits the jackpot and the reward can be life-changing.
Which will you choose?
Clearly there is no right or wrong answer. The majority of casino regulars spend most of their time at the table games. If they have a good evening and end up a few pounds up, that’s the ideal moment to try their luck with a few spins on the slots. Sure, most of the time, the old axiom that the house always wins will hold true – but there’s always that outside chance of cheating the odds.
Remember to gamble wisely too. Treat it as a form of entertainment, and not as a source of income, and only gamble what you can afford to lose. For this and more tips on how to gamble safely, visit the Be Gamble Aware website.
Main image, top, of a blackjack dealer’s hands in a casino, image @ vershinin89 / freepik