Q & A : Slots Vs Other Casino Games

Published : 26th of August 2006

Slots Q & A

In this installment of a Q and A series we take a look at whether slot machine are the worst bet in the casino compared to other games. While many players believe this to be the case it is actually not true - there are quite a few casino games that have a higher house edge and lower pay offs.

To give us a starting point we have to look at the average house advantage on a slot machine. The edge on machines can range from 2% to anywhere up to 15%. Looking at online pay out reports and those from the Nevada Gaming Commission we have found the average house edge to be close to 8%.

So from a purely mathematical stand point ignoring player error lets take a look at some of the other bets in a casino that offer a worse edge.

  • Baccarat (Tie Bet) : 14%
  • Casino War (Tie Bet) : 18%
  • Craps (Any Craps) : 11%
  • Sic Bo (Depending on Bet) : Up to 33%
  • Big Six : 11% to 24%
  • Keno : 25% to 30%

The house edges listed above are just some examples of bets with a natural advantage to the casino higher than a slot machine. Next we have to consider playing properly. Many games offer a low house edge only if played perfectly. If you do not know how to play you can easily give the casinos a much bigger edge than a player who is a game expert.

Slot machines on the other hand are easy to play so chances are you will not make any errors that will give the casinos more of an edge (Hint : Playing maximum bet is ALWAYS a good idea).

Now lets have a look at the bet to win ratios. There are only a few games in the casino that can offer a bet to win ratio higher or equal to slots. It is very rare to hear of a player who turned $10 into a $100,000 on the blackjack tables. While you will definitely not win every time you play slots you do always have the chance of winning a lot of money for a comparatively small bet.

How about entertainment value? The main purpose of gambling is to have fun and get value for your money. With penny slots becoming popular you can now get hours of entertainment even from the smallest bankroll. The new bonus video slots also have interactive bonus games and all sorts of features that keep you on the edge of your seat.

So are slots the worst game to play in the casino? No, there are games with a higher house advantage, there are games that require skill to win at and there are few games where you can play for bets as low as pennies. From a purely entertainment perspective slots offer a high level of excitement with the chance to win many times your bet on every spin.

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