Want to know how casino games really work?
You’re in the right place.
You might know some casino basics: players buy chips or credits, place their bets, and the dealer—or machine—pays out any winnings. But how does it all work?
Object of the Game
What most casino games share is they offer players a chance for a random win against the casino’s “house edge”— the built-in mathematical advantage the casino has in each game. Despite the casino’s advantage, every bet at any time has the chance to win, and some bets win big.
Here’s a breakdown of the main types of Casino games on OLG.
Two ways to play:
Cost of Play
Casino games range in price, from 5 cent slot machines to table games played with a minimum bet of $10 -$25 per hand. Some “high-roller” tables in Ontario casinos play for much more per hand.
Playing table games?
Check the minimum bet before your first hand.
No matter how you play, set a budget. Gambling is entertainment, like buying tickets to a show.
TIP: You can set custom play budgets online with My PlaySmart Tools
Table Games have a posted minimum and maximum wager at each table. Wagers are binding once you place it on the table and the dealer has closed the betting round.
The “Max Bet” is the most expensive bet on a slot machine, putting all paylines and multipliers into effect. Some top prizes can only be won by playing the Max Bet.
Casino Odds and the House Edge
When it comes to Casino odds, it’s important to know the difference between true odds and payout odds:
True odds: the likelihood of an event happening
Payout odds: the rate that a casino will pay out if an event happens
Let’s look at an example of how these two interact to create the house edge, using roulette:
In standard American roulette, a ball is spun around a wheel with 38 numbered pockets, landing randomly in one of them. The true odds of the ball landing on any one number are 38 to 1. The payout odds of a winning bet on a single number (a.k.a., a “Straight Up Bet”) are 35 to 1.
So, imagine if 38 players each placed a $1 bet on a different roulette number. The casino would take in $38, but since it will only need to pay out $35 to one winning number, it earns a profit of $3.
That $3 dollars is an example of the house edge. In real life, the house edge is much more complex, calculated across all the different bets possible. What’s important to remember is that the difference between the true odds and payout odds help the casino earn a profit while still letting some players hit large payouts.
Keeping it Random
All Ontario casinos are regulated to ensure that card and dice games, and slot machines provide a random outcome. It keeps each game fair, fun and unpredictable.
Card Shuffling Machine
A machine automatically shuffles the cards to ensure every deal is random.
Random Number Generator
A computer cycles through thousands of numbers per second until one is randomly selected.
All dice provide a random outcome and are replaced at regular at frequent intervals.