Gambling isn’t the revenue driver for casinos that it used to be. However, it’s still a part of the Vegas experience for many visitors. People on vacation in Las Vegas tend to be recreational gamblers who just want to enjoy the ups and downs of the game with hopes of winning a few bucks while hanging out with friends.
The best way to enjoy gambling is to play longer. The possibility of hitting a hot streak and winning increases the more time your money lasts. That’s not always possible since casino games are designed to make a profit. A couple of years ago we gave you some of the best bets you can make in Las Vegas casinos. This information is still useful and these games should allow you to extend your budget.
Games like craps, Pai Gow Poker, and baccarat each have a low house edge and should help keep your bankroll in play longer. The other way to keep the money on your side is to avoid the worst games in the casino.
The games and bets with a large house edge over time will take your money quicker. The volatility of these games can provide large jackpots. Unfortunately, those big wins are often few and far between. The rush of winning one jackpot often turns into a long-term losing bet for games with a large house edge.
Here are some of the games and bets with the largest house edge for the casino that you might want to avoid.
There are two kinds of Keno games in casinos today. You’ll find video Keno games in video poker cabinets in every casino in Las Vegas. Live Keno lounges are mostly found in older casinos. A few lounges remain on the Vegas Strip but most are off the Vegas Strip. The live version of Keno has a whopping house edge of nearly 25%.
The potential to win a lottery-style game is what makes Keno popular with some gamblers. There’s no real skill beyond picking numbers. Winning prizes depend on the casino pay schedule and how many numbers are hit. The odds for video Keno aren’t much better. It’s probably best to avoid both versions of Keno.
Big 6 Wheel
The Big 6 Wheel is in just about Las Vegas casino. The carnival-style game is simple and, again, involves no skill to play. Much like a wheel game at a carnival, the dealer spins the wheel and you win a prize (money) if the wheel stops on the number or logo you bet. That’s it. This game might be a way to ease into gambling but it’s not a good bet and should probably be avoided.
The house edge for the Big 6 Wheel ranges from 11% on the $1 slot on the wheel to 24% on the logo or joker slot. I won $225 on the Big 6 Wheel the first time I visited a casino. I never won more than $20 at a time after that and haven’t played in years. The lack of skill, slow pace and large house edge makes this game boring and often a losing bet.
Not all slot machines have a humongous house edge. High limits slot machines can have a house edge of 4%-5%. While that’s not great for gamblers it’s not bad compared to penny slots. The low limits slot machines have a house edge around 15%.
Penny slots occupy the most space on the casino floor for a reason. These popular games often have popular themes and new technology to attract your eye. They make the casinos more money than any other game in Las Vegas.
Even though these games are called penny slots, the wagers aren’t necessarily small. I recently saw a “penny slot” with a maximum bet of $8.88 at Bellagio. The 15% house edge with these games may not seem like much when you’re playing an old nine line game for 18 cents a spin. However, that large house edge will whack you when each spin costs almost $9.