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Most Popular Casino Games

Posted by Cashbackadmin on December 1st, 2014 at 12:01 am

slot machine top popular casino game


In this post we are going to review the Most Popular Casino Games including the casino house edge along with other pros and cons encountered during our analysis. Slot machines are the most popular gaming attraction at any casino, and perhaps this is not surprising, given the volume of machines across the country. The American Gaming Association polls casino visitors every year, with one of the standard survey questions focusing on which games people enjoy most, and the slots always come out on top. Within this post we are going to discuss the most popular casino games and the house edge against those casino games.

Slots are tops

In the latest AGA survey, slot machines were favorite amongst 48 percent of visitors, with video poker, which is often lumped in with the slots, being favorite amongst just 4 percent when broken out individually.

Amongst the table games, blackjack was listed top by 16 percent of casino goers, while poker came in at 6 percent. Roulette was rated favorite by 5 percent, craps by 4 percent, and baccarat by 1 percent.

Easy to play

The main attraction of the slots of course is that they are so easy to use, and although no skill is required to play them they pay out enough to make the player feel the next win could be a big one.

The slots too have progressed beyond the simple fruit machine style and now many of them are themed along the lines of big-selling movies such as Lord of the Rings and Iron Man, or TV shows like Sons of Anarchy and CSI. Interestingly, many of the shows of yesteryear, such as the Beverly Hillbillies and The Twilight Zone live on in the slot machine themes. The variety of course is driven by software, and the seemingly insatiable appetite of the general public for digital games of all kinds.

House edge

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 23.18.51Popular the slots may be, but the house edge – the ratio of the average loss to the initial bet – can be high. The Wizard of Odds, a website that calculates gaming odds and strategies, puts the house edge for slots at between 2 and 15 percent; the wide disparity reflecting the enormous number of machines, games and venues across the nation.

It is house edge factor that points towards the popularity of blackjack. Under the Liberal Vegas rules, the Wizard of Odds calculates the house edge for blackjack at just 0.28 percent, and at Atlantic City rules at 0.43 percent. Learning a little basic strategy for hitting, standing, doubling down, and splitting pairs will at least make a player’s money go further, and overturning the house edge is feasible.

Video poker

Is video poker a good bet against the house? The Wizard calculates the house edge at just 0.46 percent under Jacks or Better rules, although it should be noted that the variety of video poker games available means that the house edge can be as high as 5 percent. Even so, video poker offers some of the best odds in the casino and is a good alternative to slot machines, offering a better chance of hitting the jackpot: about five times better. This is why many slot players graduate to video poker.

Variations and preferences in poker

There are many variations of poker but the most popular is Texas Hold’em. There are variations of this game too, but a typical house edge would be just over 2 percent. Poker has its own glamor, and there is a great deal of skill involved. Reading the cards is only one part of the skill – just as important is making the other players think you have a better hand than you are actually holding.

7-Card Stud used to be the most popular poker game, before Texas Hold’em came along in the 1970s, but now it has sunk to probably third place behind Omaha poker.


Roulette is probably the game that comes into the mind for most people when the word casino is mentioned. An easy game that requires luck rather than strategy, it never fails to generate excitement amongst both players and spectators. Yet the house edge is very high, calculated at 2.70 percent for single zero roulette, and 5.26 percent for double zero.


One of the great attractions of roulette is its very simplicity. The outcome of the game is entirely random. The wheel has no memory, and although even seasoned players can be enticed into believing that a color or number is “due” to come up if it hasn’t done so for a while, there is no reason why it should. Another attraction is of course the glamor, the image of James Bond, aristocracy or moneyed high rollers never far from the mind, even when playing in a small-town casino.

Dice rolling

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 23.24.34

Dice games generate their own air of excitement, especially craps, where each player takes it in turns to roll the dice. Craps is also one of the best bets in the casino, with a house edge of 1.41 percent, which is more than three times better than roulette and many times better than the slot machines.

So why is baccarat the least popular of all the main casino games? The house edge for this card game is just 1.06 percent, making it another good bet against the casino.

Asian popularity

The fact is that although it is rated at only 1 percent in America, it is still a very popular game worldwide, especially in Asia: in Macau it is the dominant game. It also attracts the high rollers, especially Big Table baccarat, which is played in a roped-off area to separate it from other casino games, and carries the image of being a serious and elegant game.

Baccarat is however one of the simplest games around. It is rather like roulette, in that you choose what you want to bet on, the cards are dealt, and you have either won or lost. There is no strategy that can be learned, and no pattern to the way in which the cards are dealt.

Other interesting facts about the land based casinos

The American casino industry has been growing strongly for several years, generating tax revenues and employment opportunities, and providing entertainment for visitors beyond those who enjoy gaming – the AGA survey reveals that about a quarter of casino visitors never or rarely gamble during their trips. Fine dining, shopping, live entertainment and recreational facilities like spas and pools are all part of the popular casino experience.


Data and metrics:

Images courtesy of:
Stratosphere Hotel & Casino at Flickr
Simon McGarr at Flickr
Dave Gough at Flickr

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  • Brayden Perez

    I think slot machines are the most popular because of a few reasons:

    – they are all over the place and it’s hard to enter a casino and not try your luck at one
    – they are addictive and once you get seated in front of one you won’t want to leave soon
    – you always feel like if you walk away now someone else will win instead of you so you end up leaving all your money there :)
    – you don’t have to interact with dealers and other people and some people just love this aspect so they stick to their slot machines.

  • Carter

    It’s quite weird that so many people are playing the slot machine when it is clear that the house has a great edge (I think it’s closer to 15% than it is to 2%). I don’t understand why people love wasting their money on the slots when they could easily learn to play blackjack and actually win some money for a change. Blackjack is not harder than playing the slots, it just takes a bit to get to know the game and learn a few strategies that will get you some profit.

  • Steve

    I like video poker better than the slot machines, but I do get the hype slots are getting. People will always be attracted to shiny things that make nice sounds :)
    and that’s why they always have to play a game or two at their favorite slots.

    If you add the fact that some slots are themed with people’s most favorite TV
    series or movie, it’s understandable why so many like to play. It’s also very
    easy to play the slots – even a child will learn after 2-3 games.

  • Ian

    Yeah, I like to play the roulette from time to time but I do understand that the house has a huge edge and I will most likely never get my money back. I guess I just play for the fun of it, not really thinking I will win, but secretly hoping I do. It’s simple and brainless to play so it does attract people that don’t like to think too hard about it. You either have a lucky day (which happens once in a full moon and even then you can lose everything at the next turn) or you lose some money and go home.

  • Lucas Scott

    I don’t know about others but whenever I’m in a casino I have to play some craps and spin the roulette a few times. I know the roulette is a luck based game and I probably lost a lot of money there, but I still love playing just for the rush you get in those few seconds when fate is deciding whether you go home with a empty pocket or in a blaze of glory.

    Craps are much more rewarding for me and currently I am on the plus side with this.

  • Nicole

    I love this game

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