This article is concerned with the theoretical payout, which is in essence a long term estimate – in an infinite number of hands – of how much money you’ll get to keep or how much of your money will the casino keep.
A perfect game would be a 100% payout and a 0% house edge, which would mean you can play the game infinitely without losing any money. If the game has a 99% payout and a 1% house edge, that means that if you play the game for a very long time you’d lose 1% of all the money you have staked (not 1% of your starting bank).
It would be a bad selection to play a game with a house edge of 5% or more, and there are plenty of these.
So let’s list the best ones and then you can make your pick. This is a full list of games that pay well.
While newcomers to the game may suppose that Red/Black and Odd/Even bets have a 50% opportunity because they’re two-sided bets and pay 1:1, the zero gives the house the edge.
In case of single zero roulette, the house edge for all bets is 2.70%, and therefore the return on investment you can expect in the long run is 97.30% of all the bets you’ve placed.
This makes roulette far from a fair game we usually think it is, and most slot machines are actually better than double zero roulette, and the only game you should ever play is single zero roulette.
#7 Pai Gow Poker
Strategies in Pai Gow Poker may differ, and some say it’s even possible to have an edge over the house, but most of the time you can anticipate the house to have between 2.50% and 2.70% edge over the player.
It’s a complex game in which rules may differ, tables may differ, and in theory it’s perhaps possible to play this game to have a mathematical advantage, but you’d have to know exactly what you’re doing.
Slots usually don’t fall into the category of best-paying casino games, but several do, if you know how to find them.
Slots are perhaps among the best-paying casino games – if you choose the right slot machine – as unlike the other games on this list, on slots you can win several hundred or thousand times your bet if you’re lucky.
Baccarat is a game in which you can place your bets on Banker, Player or Tie. It’s a well known fact that Banker wins a bit more often and is therefore a better bet, and indeed a bet on Banker has a lower house edge, 1.06%, compared to 1.24% for betting on Player. We could say that these two bets have roughly the same house edge and both will pay almost 99%, as the difference between the two is minimal and would be obvious only with an unbelievably large number of bets placed.
For those people who just want to flip a coin and get almost a fair payout, baccarat is the game.
#4 Pick’em Poker
Pick’em Poker is a simplified version of video poker in which you have to pick one of two choices. You’re given two cards, and then two separate additional cards are dealt, and you must pick which of these two cards will you add to the two cards you already have. Two more cards are then dealt. Of course, there’s an optimal strategy for this.
In theory it’s possible to find machines that pay almost 99.99%, although the best you can find online is the Playtech version of this game that pays 98.95%.
Blackjack can be considered a fair game, as the player may reduce the house edge to as little as 0.50% or even less than that by using the correct mathematical strategy.
There are almost 7000 different possible combinations of rules, according to the number of decks used, whether dealer hits or stands on soft 17, whether player can double after a split, and, of course, does blackjack pay 3:2 or 6:5.
Technically, the Pass bet, which is the fundamental bet in craps, has a house edge of 0.42% to 1.41%, making it a very tempting and almost fair bet,
Don’t Pass has an even lower house edge of 0.40% to 1.40%, and The Odds is a side bet that’s made after a point is thrown, and it has exactly 0.00% house edge, making it a totally fair bet.
#1 Video Poker
The one game in which the player can have the edge is video poker, but there are many video poker variants and the payouts differ greatly, so it’s vital to choose the right version of the game and then do your own calculation of the theoretical payout, according to the paytable you’re presented with.