Best Online Table Games
While video slots continue to dominate online casinos in 2024, online table games are still increasingly popular. The fact that you can play these games for free at gambling sites means seasoned players and novices alike can afford to increase their knowledge, refine their skills, and learn how to play specific variations of a game without any risk to their bankroll.
However, every gambler’s goal is to win money, and that’s primarily why online casinos aim to encourage players to play for the real deal. Whether they do this by providing comprehensive guides and learning material for how to play the games, or by offering a lucrative bonus that matches their deposit amount – when players are willing to invest their hard-earned bucks into playing for real money, table games can be the most rewarding of them all.
If you’re looking to discover what table games casinos can offer you, continue reading to get tips on how to play, how to understand the house's edge, and how to maximize your winning chances.
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How to Play at Casinos with Table Games
It may or may not come as a surprise to know that playing table games online is much easier than playing at land-based casino venues. For one thing, you don’t have to handle real chips to opt in to play, nor do you need to wait in long lines at Cashier desks to cash out your winnings.
That being said, it’s important to know how to get started. Here are the three easy steps below for playing table games at online casinos:
Step 1: Register an account - If you’re not already registered with an online casino, the first step is to find a reputable site offering the table games you want to play, then sign up. The registration process only takes a few minutes, and you’ll be required to enter some personal information such as name, d.o.b, address, as well as your preferred banking method.
Step 2: Make a deposit - Once you’ve registered an account, you’ll need to head over to the Cashier tab at your chosen online casino to make a deposit. At this point, you should have been offered a welcome bonus which you can also redeem at the Cashier. Just be sure to run through the terms for using the bonus before you claim the offer.
Step 3: Choose a game and play - As soon as you’ve made your deposit and had your bonus credited to your bankroll, simply navigate the game you want to play in the casino game lobby, place your bet, and start playing for real money!
The Most Popular Table Games
Online casinos offer players a wide variety of table games to enjoy in a myriad of different variants. We’ve listed the most popular table games in casinos and the general rules for playing each one below.
Baccarat is a popular table game that sees the player compete with the dealer. There are three betting options: the banker, the player, or the tie bet. You need to decide which party you think will win or whether both hands will draw.
The objective is to have a hand as close to 9 as possible, and whoever gets nine or is closest to that figure wins. If the player or the banker has a hand over this amount, the first digit is dropped from the total, e.g. 16 becomes 6.
Craps is another popular, fast-paced game of chance that involves the “shooter”, aka the player, rolling a pair of dice to produce a winning outcome based on the type of bet placed. The game offers more than ten different wagers, and players can choose to bet against the banker or other players.
Roulette is a centuries-old game that comes in a few different variations. The most popular ones are the American and the European variants, which work with the same rules but have a slightly different house edge and layout on the wheel: the American roulette wheel features 38 spaces instead of the traditional 37 thanks to the double zero pocket.
To play, you place your bet on a color (red/black), a number, or a group of numbers on the table, reflecting the options on the spinning wheel. The croupier then drops the ball into the wheel, and if the ball lands on your chosen bet, you win.
There are various bets available to choose from on the roulette table. There is the outside section of the wheel and the inside, which both offer different winning probabilities. The inside provides slim odds with high payouts, while the outside offers strong odds with low payouts.
3 Card Poker
Three-card poker sees the player go up against the dealer. To buy in, an “ante” bet needs to be placed.
The game begins with both the dealer and the player receiving three cards face down. The player can then choose to either fold their hand or play the bet.
If you (the player) do decide to play the bet, you will compare your hand with the dealers. Whoever has the strongest hand wins according to the hand rankings.
If you win and have a straight or above, you’ll get what’s known as an “ante bonus”. You can also place side bets in this game, one of them being a Pair Plus. If this bet pulls through and you have a straight flush, you can expect a payout as high as 40:1.
Let It Ride
Let It Ride is another popular one in poker table games that asks players to make three equal-size bets before the start of each round.
Once you’ve placed all three bets, you and the dealer will both be dealt three hole cards. The dealer will also deal two “community cards” which the player uses to make up a 5-card hand. After placing the bets, you’ll receive three hole cards.
For every hand, you can decide to remove one bet once you’ve looked at your first three cards. You can also remove an additional wager once you’ve been dealt your first community card. If you decide not to remove any wagers, this is known as “Let it Ride”.
Texas Hold ’em
Any avid poker player will have heard about Texas Hold’em. It’s a game that sees you go against the dealer, and it works in a similar way to 3-card poker.
To begin the game, the player and the dealer are both dealt two hole cards. Once you’ve looked at your cards, you can choose to raise, blind, or fold.
After you’ve decided, three community cards will be dealt by the dealer, aka the “flop”, and if you’ve already raised on the “pre-flop”, no action is needed.
If you have raised, you next have the option to increase the ante by 2x. Once this round is over, the last two community cards are dealt, and the player and dealer both compare cards to determine who has the best 5-card hand. The strongest hand wins the round.
Pai Gow Poker
Pai gow poker is also played between the player and the dealer and works with seven cards instead of five. The seven cards must form a “front” (consisting of two cards) and a “back” (consisting of five cards).
The back hand must always be stronger than the front, and once both parties have finished organizing their hands, they show each other the front and the back. If both parts of your hand beat the dealer’s, you win the game.
Based on the ancient Chinese version of dominoes, Sic Bo involves rolling three dice to produce combinations. You bet on the potential outcomes by placing chips on various spaces on the game board. The dealer then puts three dice into a cage and shakes it to reveal the results.
In terms of the number of betting possibilities, Sic Bo is very similar to craps, which means you can have a lot of fun by trying out different wagers.
Live Dealer Games
Live versions of table games have also grown immensely sought-after in recent years. These games work exactly the same way as traditional online table games; only a real person handles your bets, shuffles the cards, spins the roulette wheel, etc.
Thanks to the setup, you can enjoy these games from anywhere and only need to be logged into your computer or mobile device to play. There’s no need to download or install any software either; you can just load up and play any live dealer games using your web browser.
If you enjoy the social aspect of land-based casinos, there is even more reason for you to try out this type of gaming, as live dealer games also let you interact with other players (and the dealer) via a chatbox.
The House Edge in Table Games
Naturally, the house edge in tables games is different for each one. Some have terrible odds for the player, while others give you a reasonably high chance of winning based on what types of bets you opt for. Let’s look at some casino games with the best house edges below.
1. Blackjack – less than 0.5%
Blackjack may be a strategy-based game, but it’s one with fantastic odds for the player. Depending on your skills, and of course, the rules in the version you want to play, the house advantage can be as low as 0.5% at a blackjack table casino.
2. Craps – as low as 1.36%
Craps can also have a seriously low house edge depending on what bets you go for. Both the “ Don’t Come” bet and the “ Don’t Pass Line” has a measly 1.36% house edge, while the “Come” and the “Pass Line” only feature a 1.41% house edge.
3. Baccarat – as low as 1.06%
As already mentioned, there are three betting options in baccarat. The banker bet has the lowest house edge of only 1.06%, which is why it’s considered the safest. The player bet doesn’t fall far behind, however, and wagering on this every time will put you up against a house edge of 1.24%. The tie bet comes in at a whopping 14.36% house edge, making it one of the worst bets in gambling. This is because casinos always deduct a 5% commission from this bet.
4. Roulette – as low as 2.70%
Roulette also has a low house edge – if you play the European version. Unlike American roulette, which has an extra zero pocket, the European version only has one. This brings the house advantage down to 2.7% instead of the latter’s brutal 5.25%.
Utilizing Strategies in Table Games
While many table games are based on pure luck, a few are best played with a strategy if you want the best chance at winning. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that while one strategy will work for one table game, it won’t be the case for another – some require you to make certain strategic moves, and others rely on how smart you are with your bets. There is still never any guarantee that you’ll win with a strategy, but it’s always much better to play table games with one than without one.
One casino game where a strategy comes in handy the most is blackjack. This game has many variations, and each one has its own strategy. You can find all kinds of online advice for playing each type of game, but your best bet overall is to refer to a blackjack strategy chart. This gives you all of the different possible scenarios you could face playing these games, and a blackjack chart helps you determine whether to hit, stand, split, or double down based on the cards dealt.
Another way to refine your strategy in blackjack is to use an online blackjack simulator. These are essentially mock games that give you pointers on what moves to make throughout the game. For example, if you are dealt an 11, the simulator may advise you to double down, or if the dealer shows a 10, it may tell you to hit on 12.
Other casino card table games that are played best with a strategy are Let it Ride and Caribbean Stud. To execute a perfect strategy in these games, you need to understand how to manage and prepare for multiple situations. This may sound a bit daunting, but knowing what moves to make becomes a lot easier once you are familiar with all of the possible outcomes.