OT- I want to learn a new casino table game

Submitted by Wolverine In Exile on November 10th, 2009 at 8:36 PM

I'm headed to Omaha for a work trip in a couple weeks and the only hotel available to me at my rate is the Harrah's Casino on the river. I figure what the hell-- I need a better way to piss away my per diem.

Question is, I'm a lifer blackjack player on the tables, but I'm thinking about trying out a new game. Texas hold em never really appealed to me, but the casino I'm going to has Let Em Ride Poker, Baccarat, and Roulette. MGoGamblers, opinions? Criteria is I want a game that won't suck away my money fast, has some dependence on choice(s) of the player, and I can pick up strategy fast (like reading on the internet the next two weeks at work).



November 10th, 2009 at 8:40 PM ^

Are those the only table games offered? Because the game that fits your criteria perfectly is Pai Gow Poker. It's a great way to spend a lot of time at a table without losing too much money (although you won't win a ton either).


November 10th, 2009 at 8:46 PM ^

The best would be craps if that have that but that also has a lot of advanced strategy that is hard to learn I think. As said above Pai Gow might be the best option as you can pretty much play it forever.

I'm a huge NL Texas Hold'em player though and only play that when I go to the Casino.


November 10th, 2009 at 10:23 PM ^

Craps is also easy to learn if you initially concentrate on the pass line bet with odds. After you master that you can move on to other bets. It can be a little intimidating when you first play so try to stand next to a dealer. Normally they are more than willing to help you out.


November 10th, 2009 at 8:49 PM ^

Lots of fun, esp. with a good dealer and others at the table. Easy game to learn, plus most dealers will help you play your hand. Great in Vegas if you just want to play cards and drink for free.


November 10th, 2009 at 8:52 PM ^

I've been addicted to Roulette when it's fake money on the internet. In real life, I've never really made money from it and worse, I get bored. You may only get a spin once every few minutes. There really isn't a strategy, pure chance only. I'd suggest against it.

For those unfamiliar with gambling (via fastodds):

Game House Edge
Craps (double odds) .6%
Blackjack .8%
Baccarat (banker) 1.17%
Baccarat (player) 1.63%
Pai Gow Poker 2.5%
Roulette (single zero) 2.7%
3-Card Poker 3.4%
Let It Ride 3.5%
Sportsbook Betting 4.5%
Caribbean Stud Poker 5.26%
Roulette (double zero) 5.6%
Big 6 Wheel 11.1%-24%
Keno 25%


November 10th, 2009 at 9:02 PM ^

Pai Gow isn't a gambler's game. It's a drinker's game. Pai gow is best played with a few friends yucking it up, having a few free drinks, making tons of inappropriate remarks about possible working girls lurking around, and hitting on the asian pit boss that stares daggers at you (okay maybe that last one is just me.)

If you're just killing time alone it will probably get boring. The downside to roulette/craps is that even played optimally both games swing horribly (ESPECIALLY craps.) Considering you'll probably be alone I guess roulette would be the best way to socially blow your per diem at a slower rate (even though the odds are probably the worst in the casino.)


November 10th, 2009 at 9:13 PM ^

Lurk around the craps table until the old man who looks like death warmed over is the shooter. Bet the pass line.
Thank the elderly gentleman kindly when he craps out 20 minutes later and you walk away with a mad stack of chips.
It's also fun to bet on 12, because you can call it "boxcars" or "midnight".


November 10th, 2009 at 9:16 PM ^

Rules in a nutshell:

You place a bet/ante. You get five cards face down. Dealer gets four cards face down and one face up. You look at your cards and can either fold and forfeit your ante or you can call, where you will have to bet two times your ante. Dealer MUST have A/K or better to qualify. If he doesn't qualify, the call bets are pushed back and the dealer pays the ante of those who stayed in. If dealer qualifies and your hand beats the dealer, the amount you win varies depending on your hand.

As with many casino games, it is not without a major kick in the nuts. If you get 4 of a kind, or some other monster hand and the dealer doesn't qualify, you will only win your ante and not the multiplier for having a good hand.

Found this if you want to check it out:



November 10th, 2009 at 9:39 PM ^

If you're on the road for work and want to kill time your best bet is Pai Gow. I've played it for hours in Vegas and in smaller casinos around the Midwest and you can play for a while without risking too much money (but knowing you won't win a lot). The dealers will always help you and you end up pushing most of the time. If the casino offer the casino offers the bonus bet (pays out straight or better) I'd suggest don't play it. Odds aren't good you'll get a straight flush. Whatever you do don't play the Texas Hold 'Em (against the dealer) or Caribbean Stud, I've always tried the gimmick games but every dealer I've talked to in Vegas swears that those two are terrible games in terms of odds for the players. I believe them because most of the dealers at the casinos on the strip take their money and gamble at the local joints and they know the odds.


November 10th, 2009 at 10:29 PM ^

Columns pays 2 to 1 so you can cover 2/3 of the board and still make out. Ok - it is technically 24/38, but it has done me well in the past.

Hopefully you win enough to quit work forever


November 10th, 2009 at 11:01 PM ^

let it ride is a no-brainer game, boring and just play your cards

roulette is all about chance, i love it but there is no skill

4 card poker is where it is at, get 5 card and try and make your best 4 card poker hand [3,4,5,6 : 4 hearts] or whatever
sucks your money fast but you can win big


November 10th, 2009 at 11:15 PM ^

is the best. If you have a little time to read up, you can pick up a basic strategy pretty well. If not, then you can play the pass line (like everyone else). Find the lowest minimum bet table and be sure to play odds. It's a blast. Fast paced. Great fun.

Watts Club Moz…

November 10th, 2009 at 11:15 PM ^

Let It Ride, 3 Card Poker and Caribbean Stud can all be pretty brutal. Craps is great, the pass line bets are simple and you can usually pick up a few things just by watching everyone else and asking a few questions. You can usually make your money last at roulette if you stick to the outside bets. Stay the hell away from the No Limit Hold 'Em table game, that thing is Satan.


November 10th, 2009 at 11:18 PM ^

One, Carribean stud is a blast but I have found a lot of casinos are getting rid of it....

The ultimate game though is straight up Texas Hold em poker. Definitely practice before going to a casino though. What makes it so great is that the casino takes a certain percent of the pot total and you play against other gamblers, not the casino. That is how you know you have the best chance. There is a lot to it, but I have found that it is the most rewarding game.

Blackjack is always an option but every casino plays the shoe and it's annoying that I'm paying the same price and the casino gets an added advantage.

Tha Stunna

November 11th, 2009 at 1:52 AM ^

Unfortunately, Blackjack is as good as it gets as far as skill-based gambling games that you play against the house, with something like a .5% house edge. Assuming that you don't abruptly become a good poker player (which you won't without effort), the next best choices would be craps or Video Poker (on a machine).

Craps is easy to pick up (bet minimum on pass line, take the odds for as much as you feel like) and has a pretty low house edge overall. However, the skill factor is low and mainly works around avoiding the suckier bets. One thing to avoid is repeatedly betting on the pass line before your previous pass line bet is resolved; you tend to get lots of little wins and a few bigger losses, which I assume is horribly addictive.

Video poker takes some effort to pick up, but has a lot of skill and often has a low house edge. You'll want to know a strategy, which you can find online. It's probably the best game to jump to if you like thinking but don't mind trying to beat the house edge. A great site to go to for video poker info is:


Let Em Ride Poker has a pretty big house edge even with perfect play, but there may be a fair bit of skill there. Roulette has no skill, huge house edge (>5%) and is an incredibly stupid game for people who are stupid about gambling... no offense to any roulette players reading this.


November 11th, 2009 at 2:02 AM ^

Craps is great. So much action. Just learn what the sucker bets are and stay away from them. Don't play the field, and make sure you know the correct odds on the numbers. But if you can get a hot shooter its the best game in the world. I once rolled for 45 minutes in San Juan, Puerto Rico and everyone was chanting "Willy" before everyone of my rolls because they thought that was my name. I didn't care and just went with it the whole night. The next day when I was with the people I went to san juan with, some people from the table yelled to me and said "nice shooting willy." and my friends were like did they just call you willy?

Ahh memories. Craps is expensive though. Money can go real fast.