Pros and Cons of Popular Gambling Games

Not sure which casino games are right for you? Check out the pros and cons of some classic casino games.


This is a casino game played between player and dealer. The hand that has a higher score not exceeding 21 wins. It is the most popular card game in the world.

Pros: Very easy to play. Though many variations exist, the rules are simple to follow. Blackjack is also prone to manipulation and advantage playing, making it a favorite target of advantage gamblers (card counting, shuffle tracking, basic strategy).

Cons: Blackjack cannot be played between players, so this isn’t for people who enjoy competition. If played online, blackjack cannot be manipulated by advantage gamblers.


Baccarat is also known as Lucky 9. The hand with the highest score wins; the highest possible score is 9 since scores of 10 or higher have the second digit dropped (so 10 is 0, 11 is 1 and so on).

Pros: Baccarat moves are all fixed by the rules. No need to know the rules at all. The dealer takes care of everything and you only wager on either player or banker or a tie between the two. Low house edge.

Cons: Lacks excitement found in other casino games. Has a reputation for being a rich man’s game.


There dozens of poker variants around, but all involve winning with a “poker hand” which is a combination of cards that form some theme, e.g. four of a kind entails a hand with four cards of the same rank.

Pros: Poker has no house edge. It is played by gambler versus gambler so the best player can win. The house only takes a rake from the wagered money or “pot.”

Cons: Tense game requiring great skill to win. If you are only out to have fun in the casino, poker may be too serious for you.


Slots outshine all other games in terms of popularity. A coin is inserted and the slot machine spins its reels. If a winning combination hits, the player gets paid.

Pros: An idiot-proof game, it is good for people who feel too nervous to play table games. Slots are good for loners as well as people who just want to pass the time. Slots also offer huge jackpots and lots of comps (freebies).

Cons: Monotonous, repetitive game won’t please those who are looking for a bigger challenge. Slots also have a big house edge. You will always lose more money than you earn in the long term unless you hit the jackpot and it covers your losses.


Here a tiny metallic ball is cast into a rotating wheel that has numbers of alternating colors in it. Players wager on where the ball is going to settle on.

Pros: Elegant, relaxing game. Roulette plays slowly so it takes less money from you despite the high house edge. A roulette table is quieter than others.

Cons: Roulette has a high house advantage. Not without reason is it said to be the game you can’t beat.


Craps is the king of dice games. Players wager on the result of dice rolls.

Pros: Loud, action-packed game. Craps players can win if the shooting player wins so it is possible to root for one another. Some craps bets also have a very small house edge.

Cons: Craps tables are often so full and noisy so it is hard to concentrate. The game also has a whole unique vocabulary of its own plus a wide array of bets that intimidate new players.