Casino Games – Keno

Casino Games - Keno The word ‘keno’ is an Americanism, in fact, a corruption of the French word ‘quine’, meaning ‘group of five’, but the game originated, as ‘ baige piao’, or ‘white pigeon ticket’, in China at least 2,000 years ago. Essentially, like bingo, or lotto, keno is a lottery played as a game and, as such, offers a house edge of 20% or 30% in many cases.

Keno is played with a ticket – either a physical, paper ticket or a virtual, electronic version on a video touchscreen – bearing the numbers 1 to 80, arranged in an 8 x10 grid pattern. In traditional keno, a.k.a. ‘spot keno’, players choose between 1 and 20 numbers, or ‘spots’, typically between 1 and 15, and are paid according to the numbers of spots they ‘catch’. ‘Catching a spot’ simply means matching one of their numbers to one of the 20 winning numbers drawn, at random, in each single game of keno. Historically, for legislative purposes, keno was known as ‘race horse keno’ and each single game is still known as a ‘race’. Keno payout odds vary from casino to casino but, in Las Vegas, if a player marks, say, 15 spots, they can expect to receive $10 for catching seven, $30 for catching eight, $100 for catching nine, and so on, all the way up to $50,000 for catching all 15, for a $1 bet.

Casino Games – Baccarat

Casino Games - Baccarat Baccarat is a simple casino card game in which players attempt to predict which, if either, of two hands, known as ‘Player’ and ‘Banker’, will reach a total of nine, or as close as possible, in two or three cards. All betting must be completed before any cards are dealt. A winning bet on the ‘Player’ hand or the ‘Banker’ hand pays 1/1 although, in the latter case, winning bets are subject to 5% commission, threby reducing the overall odds to 19/20. A winning bet on the tie pays 8/1, or 9/1, depending on the house rules. In terms of the mathematical advantage in favour of the casino, a.k.a. the ‘house edge’, the ‘Banker’ bet offers 1.06%, the ‘Player’ bet offers 1.24%, but the tie bet offers a much less competitive 14.36%.

The total of each hand is calculated by adding together the value of each card; tens and court cards count as zero, aces count as one and all other cards count as face value. However, the maximum total for either hand is nine, so if the individual cards total above nine the first digit is dropped, thereby leaving a single-digit total.

The ‘Player’ hand is completed first; if the first two cards dealt add up to eight or nine, no further cards are drawn and the ‘Player’ hand, known as a ‘natural’, wins automatically, unless the ‘Banker’ hand has an equal, or higher, natural, in which case the hand is tied, or the ‘Banker’ hand wins automatically. If the first two cards dealt add up to five or less, the ‘Player’ hand draws a third card, but stands pat if the first two cards add up to six or seven. If the ‘Player’ hand stands pat, the ‘Banker’ hand also draws a third card on five or less and stands pat on six or seven but, otherwise, the decision to draw a third card depends on the ‘Banker’ hand total, the third card drawn by the ‘Player’ hand and the strict rules of the game.

Casino Games – Big Six Wheel

Casino Games - Big Six Wheel Big Six Wheel, also known as ‘Money Wheel’ or ‘Wheel of Fortune’, is a straightforward game of chance, which requires no specialist knowledge, skill or strategy. In common with similar casino games, such as keno and slots, the house edge is significantly higher than games that involve at least an element of strategy.

The game is played with a large, vertically mounted wheel, typically 6′ or more in diamter, which is divided into 54 equal compartments, each of which is marked with one of seven insignia, separated by pegs. The insignia usually include the monetary values $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20, plus a joker and a USA flag, or two casino logos. The dealer spins the wheel such that it completes several complete rotations and, when it comes to rest, an arrow, needle or leather strip, known as a ‘clapper’, at the top of the wheel indicates the winning monetary value or symbol. Fairly obviously, the object of the game is to predict where the wheel will stop.

The payout odds for each insignia depend on the frequency with which it appears on the wheel and, typically, the higher the payout odds the higher the house edge. Under Las Vegas rules, the payout odds for the $1 insignia, of which there are 24 on the wheel, are at least 1/1, corresponding to a house edge of 11.11%. At the other end of the scale, the payout odds for the joker insignia, of which there is just one on the wheel, are at least 40/1, corresponding to a house edge of 24.07%.

Casino Games – Slot Machines

Casino Games - Slot Machines Traditionally, the term ‘slot machine’ was used to describe a gambling machine that was operated by inserting coins, or tokens, into a slot and pulling a handle, or pressing a button, to set in motion three or more, originally mechanical, reels. The final position of the reels or, in other words, how many winning symbols lined up on the payline, or paylines, determined the payout, which was released, again in coins, or tokens, into a receptacle at the bottom of the machine.

The principle of the modern slot machine remains the same but, in casinos in the United States and elsewhere, coins and tokens have been almost universally replaced by a system known as ‘Ticket-In/Ticket Out’, or TITO for short. TITO slot machines neither accept nor pay out in coins or tokens, but instead print barcoded tickets that can be transferred from one machine to another, or redeemed for cash at a cashier station or automated kiosk.

Similarly, in the modern incarnation of the slot machine, physical, mechanical reels have been with a graphical simulation on a video screen, which simply display the outcome of each spin, as determined by a microprocessor, known as a random number generator. In addition, while traditional slot machines had just a single payline, modern slot machines with two, three, five or more paylines have become commonplace. Nevertheless, for all their ‘bells and whistles’, in terms of complexity and features, modern slot machines typically offer a house edge between 5% and 10%.