Guide to Playing Real Money Casino Games

Playing casino games should always be a lot of fun. There are many games available for players to enjoy, such as: Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Craps, Live Roulette, Live Blackjack, Video Poker.

Having a general knowledge of how to play each game is important, as each game suits a different kind of personality. Plus, essential gaming lingo such as RNG (random number generator), progressive jackpot and RTP (return to player) should be learned if one is to spend any substantial amount of time in a casino.Here’s the lowdown on how to play each of the key games, plus their RTP explained, along with a helpful FAQ to further enhance your casino experience.

What is RTP?

It is no secret that games from best online casinos favor the house, i.e. that the house has an edge. This edge is demonstrated through the Return to Player (RTP), which is the percentage of every bet that gets returned to the player. The difference between the full 100% and the RTP is where the edge comes from.

So in other words, a game with a 90% RTP will, on average, return the player 90 cents for every dollar wagered. It is important to remember that this is on average – the game could swallow all your money, or you could win many times your original stake – depending on the game.

So if you want gaming sessions that will on average maintain your bankroll for a longer period, and possibly extend your chances and odds of hitting a big jackpot, then RTP is the figure you want to look out for. We have listed some of the best RTP slots for you, with up to 99.1%.

Online Slots

How To Play

There are no complicated rules or strategies you need to learn to play slots. Simply insert money or a ticket and start playing. Everything that happens next is down to luck, and these machines can pay huge if you happen to get lucky.

When you’re playing in a physical casino, all you have to do is insert coins into the slot, then push the button or pull the handle. Online casinos offer the virtual experience of simply pressing ‘spin’ and seeing what symbol combination comes up on the reel.

Slots RTP

Slots are by far the most popular of all casino games out there, and this is equally true for land-based and online casinos. What is also true is that slots can offer by far the worst RTP of all regular casino games.

If you are a novice player this may come as a shock to you, considering how many people enjoy playing slots.The average RTP on online slots is somewhere around 95%-96%, while land-based venues often offer even worse RTPs.Of course, there are some slots with very high RTPs, so the picture is a little more mixed. If you want to know which slots to pick for RTP alone, then have a look at our comprehensive guide.

Slots remain popular despite all this because they are fun to play and easy to get started with.Indeed, with progressive jackpots, slots are one of the biggest paying games out there, which is why playing based on RTP alone does not provide the full picture.

If you are unsure about putting real money in stake, you can play free slots and enjoy the online slot experience without having the risk of losing real money.

Slots FAQ

  • Do you have to use real money straight away with online slots? No – you can try the instant play option with many online casinos, which puts a slots game into practice mode so you can find out how to play. However, if you’re only trialling the game and come up with a winning combination, you won’t win anything!
  • What does ‘progressive jackpot’ mean? This is a jackpot that grows in value every time it’s played. It can either be part of a single game, or be connected to many slot machines in an online casino – so if you play on all of them, you could win one massive combined jackpot award.
  • Can online casinos change the payout for slot machines? Yes – so it’s important to review the online casino sites available and find one with a strong license, which will set a restriction on a permissible slots payout percentage. A higher quality site will be sure to display this information in an easy-to-find place.
  • What’s the secret to winning jackpots? The only secret is using your common sense and finding the best online casinos for your needs – which should include those offering the highest payout percentages, due to the chances of a jackpot win being factored into this figure. Other factors such as understanding if your wager will make you eligible for a jackpot win should also be considered if you’re aiming for big money.

Online Roulette

How To Play

It’s easy to get the hang of Roulette. There are two versions – European Roulette and American Roulette. Players focus their time on the spinning Roulette wheel, which is divided into numbered segments, with each one coloured red or black. The exception is 0 and 00, which are green. There is a betting area next to the wheel, which is a large grid. Additionally, some tables will have a second betting area known as the Racetrack.

To play, a ball is released into the wheel, and players will bet on which segment it will rest on once it stops spinning. There are more options besides just betting on an individual number. Punters can also bet on groups of numbers, such as those next to each other on the wheel, or specific types, such as all the red numbers, all the black numbers or odd/even numbers.

Roulette RTP

Roulette is another casino game where no strategy or amount of thinking will change the house edge in the slightest.Certain strategies can help players last longer and have more shots to get lucky, but the RTP of the game remains unchanged no matter what.

For European (single-zero) roulette, the house edge is 2.70%, which means the RTP is 97.3%. For American (double-zero) roulette, the RTP is much lower, at 94.7%. If you’ve ever wondered if there is any advantage to playing double-zero roulette, there isn’t – it just offers worse odds and no upside for the player.

Roulette FAQ

  • What are the best bets to make in roulette? Those who bet on a red/black, even/odd or large group of numbers next to each other on the spinning roulette wheel have the highest chances of winning. That being said, the house edge remains the same, so the way you bet doesn’t have a huge impact.
  • What betting limits are there in online roulette? Wagering limits vary hugely depending on which casino you go with, but those who play online as opposed to in-person will find they have a much wider betting range.
  • What’s the difference between live roulette and RNG roulette? RNG (random number generator) roulette doesn’t have a social or physical element to it, as the roulette wheel, ball, table etc are all computer-generated. Those wanting a social experience should take advantage of advancements in technology enabling them to participate in a real live roulette game with a croupier and physical wheel.
  • What are hot and cold roulette numbers? If a specific number comes up a lot in recent spins of the roulette wheel, it’s generally referred to as a hot number. On the other hand, if a number rarely comes up on the wheel, it’s called a cold number.

Online Blackjack

How To Play

There are many versions of blackjack for players to enjoy nowadays, but they’re all based on the same principle. Players need to generate a hand of cards that is as close to the value 21 as possible. If they exceed this number, they have ‘gone bust’.

The number cards (2 to 10) are worth the value shown, the Jack, Queen and King are worth 10, and the Aces are either worth 11 or 1, depending on what best suits your current hand.

Blackjack RTP

Blackjack is a game with a very low house edge of just around 0.5% on average.This can be a bit better or a bit worse, depending on the exact rules, but, on average, the RTP of blackjack is around 99.5%.

But there’s a catch. These returns are dependent on players playing the game optimally and fully applying what is commonly known as the basic blackjack strategy.

The strategy covers different types of scenarios, instructing players when to hit and when to stand depending on their own cards and the dealer’s up card, when to split, when to double, etc.

Having all of this information available to you will help you significantly reduce the house edge – so if it all seems double Dutch, then perhaps do a bit of research if you want that full RTP potential.Without applying the proper strategy and playing based on the ‘feel’ blackjack can be quite brutal and the house edge increases to a few percentages.

In fact, if you play blackjack without any plan whatsoever, the house edge could go as high as 10% or more. 

Blackjack FAQ

  • Which is better: tables with lots of people, or fewer people? It depends on your level of experience and bankroll. For many, it is better to play at a table with lots of people, as the game will be slower and your money will last longer. This kind of table is also good for new players, as they can learn from others. Tables with fewer players are useful for a quick game, or if players are using certain strategies.
  • Can you use card counting strategies in casinos? It is generally allowed to use card counting in land casinos. But that casino will have the right to disallow someone they believe is counting cards from continuing to play, as it could be seen as an unfair advantage over other players.
  • How many decks are used for blackjack in online casinos? This will vary depending on the type of game being played. If it isn’t a single deck game, most kinds of blackjack are played with six or more decks. It’s useful to check how many decks will be involved in a game, as this can help players to adjust their strategy accordingly.
  • Is there a highest bet limit in online blackjack? A lot of online casinos will limit bet amounts at the table, and although the figure can vary, it’s usually set at between $500 and $1000 per hand. Players will be able to bet more in a high roller game, with some hands being as high as $10,000.

Online Baccarat

How To Play

The rules of baccarat are pretty strict. There are three types – punto banco, chemin de fer and baccarat banque. Most land and online casinos will play punto banco, also known as North American baccarat.

The game is purely based on chance, with the outcome being decided by the cards as they are revealed. The three possible outcomes are a player win, a banker win or a tie. Players will bet on one of these outcomes, with cards 2-9 being set at face value, Jack, Queen and King valued at zero and an ace being valued at one. The dealer will deal out the cards face-up, and whichever hand is closest to nine wins. 

Baccarat RTP

This game is much more popular in live venues and among high rollers, and isn’t as exciting and flashy as online slot games, unless when played for huge amounts of money.

That said, online casinos also offer the live dealer option and baccarat is the perfect game for a bit of interaction with a croupier streamed live to your device.Talking about odds, however, this game can offer an RTP of around 99%.

Players can either bet on the banker or on the player. Banker bets have a house edge of 1.01%, while player bets give the casino an advantage of 1.29%.

Baccarat FAQ

  • What should I avoid doing in a game of baccarat? It isn’t generally advised to bet on a tie, as it’s so rare for both the banker and the player to have the same hand value. People tend to say that because of this, the game only really has two outcomes, not three.
  • Is there a strategy to win at baccarat? As baccarat is a game of chance, there isn’t a strategy that players can implement to heighten their chances of winning. However, if they always choose the bets with the lowest house edge, this will give them the best opportunity possible.
  • Why do players bend their cards in baccarat? It’s common to see a player sneaking a peek after being dealt their cards face down, bending them to see what they have before turning them over. This is essentially done for show and to make the game more interesting. That being said, some casinos will frown upon this practice.

Online Craps

How To Play

Some new players may be intimidated by craps due to the fact that the table is decorated with a complex grid. However, this grid simply outlines the various betting possibilities you can make.

To play, players will bet on the outcome of a round, then the ‘shooter’ rolls the dice. The shooter is a player, and responsibility will change for each round in a land casino. The first roll is the ‘come-out’ roll, which either ends the game right away due to bets being calculated based on a ‘pass’ or ‘don’t pass’ bet, or there will be a point set up which leads to more rounds. The next rounds rotate around the score rolled in the ‘come-out’, with each throw attempting to roll the same amount before rolling a 7.

Craps RTP

Due to the nature of the game, craps never really became popular online, although most casinos do offer it in their table game libraries.

Craps offers various types of bets and it would take too long to explain odds and house edges for each one of these bets. On average, however, the house edge in craps is rather small (around 1% – 1.5%), with some bets even offered at true odds.

Craps FAQ

  • Who are the various staff members at a craps table? At a land casino, there will usually be four or five people at a craps table. There are two active dealers, and sometimes there will be a relief dealer, a boxman and a stickman. The dealers will stand either end of the table to place bets, change money and collect or pay out winning bets.
  • What does the stickman do? The stickman is essentially the host, who will pass the dice to the shooter with a long stick to avoid any foul play contact with them. They will also announce the outcome of every roll, and remove the completed bets from the table with the guide stick for dealers to collect.
  • What does the boxman do? The boxman ensures no illegal play takes place. He or she will record the bets, manage the bankroll and keep an eye on the table and dice to prevent cheating. They will also settle any disputes at the table.
  • What does right or wrong mean in craps? Right or wrong within the context of craps relates to whether a bet has been placed for or against the shooter. The right bettor will bet that the shooter will win the terms of their roll, and a wrong bettor will bet that the shooter will lose. People will tend to be right bettors so they are morally supporting the shooter, because they are a fellow player.

Live Blackjack

How To Play

Live Blackjack is an immensely popular game. The opponent is the bank, and you’re aiming to get a hand closer to 21 than the bank’s hand. If you go over 21, you’ll go bust. There are 52 cards involved in a game of Live Blackjack, and the Jokers aren’t used. 

Live Blackjack RTP

Live Blackjack has one of the best RTPs out there – a standard game will have a RTP of 99.5%. Players should bear in mind that this figure relates to the percentage calculated over games played from over 100, 000 hands.

Live Blackjack FAQ

  • What’s the difference between a dedicated table and a general play table? Many online casinos will use a general play table. This means that the casino shares the table and dealer with other online casinos. As a result, you can’t chat to the other players, but you can chat to the dealer. Dedicated play tables are displayed in a separate area, and often contain full branding from the casino. Only players from the specific casino can play at this table, and on table promotions can be available for those participating.
  • What’s the insurance at a live blackjack table? The insurance bet, or Even Money option, takes place when the dealer has an ace. Players have the option to make this kind of bet in such a scenario, and the wager will win when the dealer has a natural blackjack, and loses on any other non-picture card. However, this is one of the worst actions you can take at a live blackjack table, as the house edge is usually set at around 8%.
  • How does the number of card decks affect the house edge? The fewer decks used, the lower the house edge, as there will subsequently be more chances of hitting a natural blackjack. While a lot of live blackjack games will use an 8-deck shoe, some online tables offer players the chance to progress with 6 decks.

Live Roulette

How To Play

Roulette fans should take a look at the world of live roulette if they want to vary their experience. It’s essentially the same as regular roulette, with the main difference being that the game takes place in real time, there’s a live dealer and other live players to contend with.

There will usually be at least three cameras at a live roulette game – one on the table area, one on the wheel and one providing an overview. You can play it on your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, TV or smartphone. 

Live Roulette RTP

This can vary from casino to casino, but as a general rule, many online casinos will often offer a RTP of 97.3%.This is often higher than you would encounter at a roulette game in a land-based casino. 

Live Roulette FAQ

  • Is it safe to play live roulette? A trustworthy casino is licensed, tried and tested by millions, including third parties who are obligated to provide an objective review of the services offered.Players should see if the casino they want to play at has a license from a known jurisdiction, and check for the certification of the fairness of its RNG software.
  • What’s the difference between Live Roulette and regular roulette? When engaging with Live Roulette, a player is offered the same immersive experience they would get at a land-based casino, from the comfort of their own home. There are real dealers, real cards and roulette wheels which are spun live on screen, instead of needing to use a random number generator.

Online Video Poker

How To Play

Video Poker is a good option for players who don’t want to get involved in table games, or risk losing too much money in high stakes decks.

It is different from online poker in that it functions much like a slot machine. Players are required to bet on the random outcome of the hand of cards, much like they would if betting on bingo reels. The player receives a hand of five cards, and the winning combinations needed are based on the winning hands in poker. 

Video Poker RTP

Of all the games found in the casino video poker actually offers the highest RTP. It isn’t uncommon for certain variations of the game such as Jacks or Better to offer a RTP in excess of 99%. When there is a progressive jackpot involved, once the jackpot exceeds a certain break-even limit, these games can even become statistically profitable, offering the RTP over 100%.

For video poker games to offer this kind of return it is necessary for players to understand some basic strategy of the game. This strategy isn’t overly complicated, but it is essential to know which cards to keep and which ones to discard. To achieve the best RTP, it is necessary to always make the best possible decisions.

And it is this ‘optimal play’ that is so hard to achieve. Sub-optimal play results in healthier returns for the casino.It can be popular in land-based casinos because if players factor in the high RTP, with possible freebie comps, like free drinks, meals and even accommodation – it can all add up to a pretty good value experience, even if they don’t make big bucks.

Video Poker FAQ

  • Do video poker machines get hold or cold? Many believe that video poker machines – and slot machines – will go through periods of being ‘hot’ or ‘cold’, where they are more or less likely to come up with certain combinations. However, this isn’t the case. The random number generator could provide no big wins for a long time, several in a go, or evenly spaced wins – it’s all based on chance.
  • Does a progressive jackpot affect the odds in video poker? Those who play the progressive jackpots in video poker are able to fuel the same jackpot as the player next to you, which means that it grows faster than you may be used to.As the payoff for the royal flush doesn’t have an upper limit, players could wait until the jackpot becomes high enough that they have an advantage over the casino.
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