Different players are looking for different things in casinos.
We all want to win, of course, but we don’t all have the same dedication to finding the games with the lowest house advantage and then studying to cut that edge to the bone. Some players just want to have fun and let the wins come when they may.
What brings this to mind is an exchange I recently had with a player whose main game is poker, but will dabble in blackjack and craps when he takes his mother to a casino that has no live poker.
“I seek to win or reduce the casino edge to the tiniest sliver,” he said.
That’s a perfectly valid goal. It’s a philosophy I share in principle, though in practice I play many games to stay current for professional reasons. And, of course, I’ll play slots for fun when out with my wife.
After the exchange, I emailed a few regular readers who had written to me before to ask what they’re seeking when they choose their games. Will they change games if another gives them a better shot to win, are they playing for fun, or is there something else in play?
BOB: I’m a blackjack player, through and through. I look for the best games in my area, and I won’t play games with 6-5 payoffs.
Even if the blackjack rules give the house a little more edge than I could find at the local craps table, I’m going to play blackjack. I’ve drilled myself on strategy time and again, I put work into blackjack at home, and I know how to play.
Blackjack is what I like, and that’s that.
KAYLIE: I just want to have fun, and the slots do it for me.
I’ve heard and read often enough that other games give you a better chance to win, but I have fun on the slots and don’t really want to spend time learning to play other games.
Jackpots add spice. I’ve won several of more than $1,000 while playing pennies. I know I spend money more than I win, but as long as I get bonus rounds and get to do the fun things in the games, I have a good time.
AL: I’m a craps player from way back. I learned in the service, and so that’s what I play in the casinos. I tried blackjack, but it doesn’t have that same excitement for me.
If you had the world’s best blackjack game and told me the I had a better shot to win than my method at craps, I’d still play craps.
Nov. 21 marked the fourth anniversary of online gaming in New Jersey. The state currently has 23 authorized Internet gaming websites.
CARLA: Oh, I’m game agnostic. I have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing on blackjack, craps, video poker, Three Card Poker and roulette, and anyone can play slots.
I pay attention to the house edge in sort of a general sense. I’m aware of what they are, but I don’t go out of my way to seek out the lowest edge if it’s not the game I feel like playing. I want to know the strategy for the game I’m playing, but a difference of tenths of a percent isn’t going to send me running for a different game.
EDDIE: I’m with the guy who wants to cut the house edge to a sliver. I don’t play poker, but I do play blackjack, craps and video poker, have practiced and play mistake free.
Which one has the lowest edge depends on the rules and pay table in each casino. Whichever has the lowest, that’s where I spend my time and my dime.
Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).