The 5 Worst Bets in the Casino

The 5 Worst Bets in the Casino

January 15, 2011.

It’s a well-known fact that the casino always has the edge over the player, and it’s perfectly reasonable. Casinos simply provide entertainment and a chance to win large amounts of money to the player. The cost for this service is the house edge. However, just like other services, it’s best to shop around before deciding on what games to gamble. These five bets in the casino are undoubtedly the worst you can make, and should be avoided at all costs.

#5: The Top Line in American Roulette

American, or double-zero roulette, is a staple game at casinos. Popular for its suspenseful gameplay and incredibly simple rules, American roulette brings the casino in plenty of profit. Most bets on the table have an edge of 5.26%, which, when compared to many other bets in the casino, is mediocre in and of itself.

However, there is one special bet that earns the coveted place as #5 on the worst casino bets: the top line. Players can make the miserable top line wager by placing their chips on the corner between the double zero and 3. The bet pays 6:1 if 00, 0, 1, 2, or 3 is spun. The resulting house edge? A dismal 7.89%.

If you are a fan of American roulette, do yourself a favor and avoid the top line bet. You can have just as much fun on the other various bets with a lower house edge, giving you more gametime for your money.

#4: Big 6 and Big 8 in Craps

Craps is known for offering a plethora of bets on the table that can be confusing to new players. Casinos seem to know this, and take advantage of it by placing a big red 6 and a big red 8 on the corner of the board. The object of this bet is obvious: you win 1:1 if a 6 or 8 (whichever you select) is rolled before 7.

The catch? The same bet exists on another place on the table and pays much better odds! Just below the dotted line of the row of points is the section for place bets. Place 6 and place 8 have the same rules as big 6 and big 8, but pay a higher amount of 7:6. In fact, big 6 and big 8 are considered too predatory by the law in Atlantic City and are not even on craps tables in that jurisdiction.

Just how bad are big 6 and big 8? The house edge on these bets is a massive 9.09%. Ouch! There are plenty of other bets on the craps table that offer better odds: play those instead.

#3: King of the House Video Poker

Anyone who has seen any Travel Channel specials on gambling or visited any gambling enthusiast sites probably knows that video poker can offer some of the lowest house edges in the casino. Many of these sources neglect to mention that this requires shopping around for full-pay paytables and learning proper strategy, however. Not knowing how to play a video poker machine can be just as bad as not knowing how to play blackjack or pokers.

However, there is one video poker game that is a miserably bad bet even if you know how to play it perfectly. The name of this machine is King of the House, and, as you may guess, it offers a bonus for players who draw a full house. The game is based on the popular Jacks or Better variety, and only has two differences. Two pair pays only 5 credits instead of 10, and a full house pays 50 credits instead of 45.
The problem is that a full house is much less common than two pair. The effect of transferring these 5 credits from two pair to full house gives King of the House an edge of 12.15%, and that’s with perfect play. With video pokers that offer much better odds readily available, it’s a no-brainer never to play King of the House.

#2: 4 and 17 in Sic Bo

Sic bo is not very common in land-based casinos (aside from the gambling metropolis of Macau), but is easily found online. The game is quite simple. Three standard dice are kept in a shaker and mechanically rolled. Players make wagers on what they think the outcome of the dice will be. Unlike roulette, not all bets on the table have the same house edge.

The runner-up for worst bet in the casino is found on the spaces that say 4 and 17. These bets normally pay 60:1 if, as you would expect, the dice total 4 or 17, whichever you chose. The house edge for this bet is a massive 15.28%. If you’re going to play sic bo and you are not a fan of the casino quickly eating at your bankroll, choose from the many other, lower-edge bets on the table.

#1: Any Seven in Craps

To visit the grand daddy of abominable bets, we must once again return to the craps table. In the inner section of the table is a small rectangle that states “Any Seven 4 to 1”. The principle of this bet is an easy one to grasp: if, on the next roll, the shooter rolls a seven, you win 4:1 on your wager. Seeing that seven is the most commonly rolled number with two dice, it’s easy to understand why the bet is so popular.

While it’s true that seven is the most common, the shooter is much more likely not to roll a seven. It’s important to note that this bet is only on the table for one roll, as well. Seven is rolled exactly 1/6 of the time, so the edge on this bet is 16.67%, making it, in general, the worst bet in the casino.

The next time you visit your favorite online casino or head to a brick-and-mortar establishment, keep an eye out for these five worst bets. Avoid them like the plague, advise any of your friends to do the same, and then enjoy the many, many games at the casino that offer you a much better chance to strike it rich.