Casino Games Explained

Casino Games Explained

By Alex J. Coyne © 2017 Great Bridge Links

Making your first trip to the casino? Here’s your guide to the games of the casino and our basic list of rules to make sure you have the best experience possible.

Casino 101

Budget your spending, especially for a first trip to the casino. Decide how much money you are taking along and how much you are willing to spend; know how far you are willing to stretch it beyond that, and know when to walk away from the game with your winnings.

Choose your game wisely; pick the ones you feel most comfortable playing and ideally have the most experience with. Build experience away from the casino floor first by playing your chosen game online, with clubs or casually with friends.

Table etiquette is essential. Respect the other players at the table, respect the casino and respect the dealer; the same, respect the rules of the game and the casino’s overall rules. Find out if there’s a particular dress code for the floor.

Loyalty programs are great for newcomers who would like to return to the casino at a later stage and can offer great loyalty rewards including free drinks, free spins and even free hotel stays. For more information on Loyalty Programs click here

The Machines

In early days, casinos featured four types of machines:

Slot Machines come in every possible shape, size and theme; some have low-payouts and some have high-payouts.

Video Poker is simple and down to picking a winning hand from the cards selected by the computerized dealer.

Video Blackjack is much the same, with the goal the same as real-life table blackjack: Get to twenty-one.

Coin Dozer variations are sometimes seen in casino’s, and they’re great for recapturing that old-school arcade feel.

Nowadays, with the rapid advent of technology, any given casino might have many more machines including:

Roulette Machines: Electronic versions of the classic roulette game, where players bet on where a ball will land on a spinning wheel.

Bingo Machines: Electronic bingo games where players match numbers on their card with those that are called out, aiming for a specific pattern.

Keno Machines: A casino game similar to bingo, where players select numbers and hope they match the randomly drawn numbers to win.

Multi-Game Machines: Machines that offer a variety of games, including video poker, video slots, and sometimes even video blackjack, all in one terminal.

Progressive Slot Machines: Slots that are linked together across a network to accumulate a large jackpot. Each bet placed contributes to the overall jackpot, which can be won in any of the linked machines.

Skill-Based Slots: A newer category where the payout is determined both by chance and the player’s ability to play a game. These might include arcade-style shooting games or puzzles.

Electronic Table Games (ETG): Automated versions of traditional table games such as baccarat, craps, or roulette, where the action is led by a virtual dealer on a screen.

Touchscreen Multi-Player Gaming Consoles: These are often found in bars within the casino and allow multiple players to engage in games simultaneously on a shared touchscreen device. 

The Tables

Roulette is French for little wheel, and has a table on which bets are placed, a wheel that’s spun and a ball which lands on a subsequent number with corresponding color. At its simplest, that’s what you need to know about Roulette – there are more nuances and more options but simple even, odd, red or black; play with these combinations as you learn.

Craps is a game played with dice – okay, die, if we have to be correct about it. Bets are placed on where and how they will end up. Yes, you can almost compare it to roulette with a pair of dice.

Poker is all about the player with the winning hand and you’ll see various forms of it on the casino floor, including Texas Hold ‘Em, Seven Card Stud or Five Card Draw among many others.

Baccarat can almost be called one of the simplest card games out there with only three possible bets: Player (Punto), Banker (Banco) or Tie.

Blackjack gives players the option to split, double, hit or stand; simply, the goal is to reach 21 or beat the dealer’s hand – anything over 21 and you (or the dealer) goes bust.

Bridge is a trick-taking card game for partnered players. You won’t find bridge at any online casino, and it’s very rare at bricks and mortar casinos as well.

Also found, but perhaps less common, are:

Sic Bo: An ancient Chinese game played with three dice. Players bet on various outcomes and combinations of the dice roll.

Pai Gow Poker: An Americanized version of Pai Gow, which is played with cards instead of Chinese dominoes. The goal is to create two poker hands (one 5-card hand and one 2-card hand) that beat both of the dealer’s hands.

Let It Ride: A poker-based game where players make bets on a five-card poker hand formed by their own three cards and two community cards.

Three Card Poker: A fast-paced poker game played against the dealer with just three cards. Players can win with straight bets, or by competing against the dealer’s hand.

Caribbean Stud Poker: Similar to traditional five-card stud poker, but played against the house rather than other players. It also offers a progressive jackpot for certain high-ranking hands.

Casino War: One of the simplest casino games, based on the game of war. The player and dealer each draw a card, and the higher card wins. Ties can lead to a “war” for additional bets.

Four Card Poker: Similar to Three Card Poker but with four cards, and players decide how much to raise or fold after seeing their hand.

Spanish 21: A variation of blackjack that uses six or eight Spanish decks (each deck consisting of 48 cards, with the 10s removed). Offers players many liberal rules and bonus wins.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em: A casino game version of the popular Texas Hold’em poker game, where players compete against the dealer and can make a play bet at any point during the rounds of play.

Mini-Baccarat: A smaller, faster version of baccarat, often with lower stakes. It follows the same rules as traditional baccarat but is dealt from a six-deck shoe and typically has lower betting limits.

Casino Guides

On the Great Bridge Links home page, you will find links to Casino Guides. These are websites that review and link to the various online casinos on the internet today. On our home page, you will find At The Casino which is our most comprehensive listing.

In our Magazine you’ll also find the Casino Library with many articles on casino play as well as reviews of casinos and their offerings.

Before getting started with an online casino, be sure to read our article titled Rogue Casinos in order to avoid blacklisted gambling sites.