How to find your best odds in the casino
Many casinos offer various odds on the same games throughout the gaming floor, making it extremely important to pay attention to these details when searching for games to play.
For example, Blackjack tables near the entrance may pay 6:5 on Blackjack, while tables deeper inside the casino pay 3:2. Walking through the pit to sit at the preferable table can make a huge difference in your expected RTP.
Similarly, video poker machines may offer less-than-optimal payouts for Royal Flushes, flushes or straights.
Slot machines may offer additional wagers that lower your odds, too. Be sure to know the RTP on side bets when researching the machines you’re interested in playing. These bets can increase your volatility and risk, and you’ll want to know this beforehand to gamble responsibly.
Table games often have side bets in a similar fashion. Three Card Poker has a house edge of 3.37%, but it nearly doubles to 7.28% if you play the Pairplus bet. Lastly, never surrender or take insurance bets in games like Blackjack and Casino War.
Importance of game selection to help your chances at Michigan casinos
You will need to consider a variety of factors to maximize your enjoyment at Michigan casinos, such as your goals, bankroll, and betting limits.
The minimum bets allowed at different games also play a role. If you have a limited bankroll, say $100, and want to play as long as possible, you should look to play games with a lower house edge and risk of ruin.
Take Blackjack, for example. With a $100 bankroll and a $5 table minimum, you begin with 20 betting units. Over a four-hour session, you have a 34.1% risk of ruin or chance of going broke. That number increases to 64.9% if the minimum bet rises to $10, and it skyrockets to 87% at a $25 table.
Your expected loss remains 1.38 units in each scenario, but the unit’s dollar value increases as minimum betting limits go up. The more betting units you start with, the more you can absorb Blackjack’s short-term variance and realize your expectations.
Baccarat has a similar volatility with a higher expected loss (3.56 units) over a four-hour session.
- 20 betting units: 29.4% risk of ruin
- 10 betting units: 63.1% risk of ruin
- 4 betting units: 87.1% risk of ruin
Double Zero Roulette (7.36 units expected loss)
- 20 betting units: 24.8% risk of ruin
- 10 betting units: 64.9% risk of ruin
- 4 betting units: 90.1% risk of ruin
Ultimate Texas Hold’em (2.63 units expected loss)
- 20 betting units: 73.1% risk of ruin
- 10 betting units: 86.8% risk of ruin
- 4 betting units: 95.2% risk of ruin
In the case of slots, you should also look for games with higher RTP percentages. In the long run, these games return more to the player than lower RTP slots and table games with higher house edges.
Some of the best Michigan RTP slots include the following.
- Blood Suckers (98% RTP)
- Starmania (97.9% RTP)
- White Rabbit Megaways (97.7% RTP)
- Medusa Megaways (97.6% RTP)
- Texas Tea (97.3% RTP)
- Secrets of Atlantis, Halloween Fortune, Steam Tower, Gorilla Go Wilder and Guns N’ Roses ( 97% RTP)
You can find these titles and more on apps such as BetMGM Casino MI, FanDuel Casino MI and Caesars Palace Casino MI. Of course, they are only a few titles from an entire catalog. Always research a game and ensure you understand the associated risks before playing.
On the other hand, if you are looking for some higher-risk plays with the potential for higher returns, you may want to consider lower RTP slots like jackpot or progressive jackpot slots. In 2022, Bison Fury paid out multiple seven-figure jackpots to Michigan casino players. However, its RTP is 93.41%, significantly lower than many other titles.
For table players looking for higher variance bets with more considerable payout potential, many table games offer side bets or progressive jackpots with long odds but greater payouts when they hit. Keep an eye out for these bets next time you sit down at the tables.
To play or not to play blackjack side bets
Most Blackjack tables offer side bets that award enticing jackpot prizes, sometimes as high as 5,000:1. These bets also have a significantly higher house edge, sometimes as high as 10%. Remember, the house edge in Blackjack is between 0.43%-2% without making these bets.
Side bets present a high-risk, high-reward proposition. Dozens of possibilities exist, and you can always research the side bets offered at your casino before playing. A few common side bets include:
- 21+3: Pays bonuses for a pair + flush or better based on your first two cards and the dealer’s up card.
- Blazing 7s: Pays bonuses for the number of sevens on your first three cards (or, in some cases, your first two cards and the dealer’s up card).
- Lucky Ladies: Different variants award bonuses for 20-point hands, increasingly so if a player has one or two queens.
So, do you play the side bets or not? The odds of winning are certainly longer, but side bets can exponentially increase your total winnings.
Of course, side bets have higher variance, thus increasing your risk of ruin. Never wager anything you can’t afford to lose. If you’re going to play the side bets, make sure to do so with a smaller percentage of your bankroll than your primary wagers. These bets increase the house’s win rate in the long run, not yours.
Tips to give yourself the best chance of winning casino games in Michigan
At its core, gambling is an activity to treat as entertainment. Responsible gambling (RG) is paramount to setting yourself up for success. If you gamble responsibly and have a mindset geared toward fun, you’re already a winner.
In other words, your gambling experiences will be more enjoyable if you keep it responsible. You’ll also have a better chance of staying in the game, staying within your limits, etc., if you adhere to the principles of responsible gambling in Michigan.
Remember these tips to give yourself the best chance of minimizing your losses or even walking away with winnings.
Set limits and follow strict RG guidelines
You should always know your limits before setting foot in a casino or logging into a gambling app. Limits include money and time.
Make sure to stick to these limits. For example, if you allow yourself four hours of play, you should set a timer and leave when it goes off.
If you hit your stop loss, end your session early. Bring enough cash to gamble with, and never go to an onsite ATM. Do not chase losses.
Also, set upper limits: give yourself a win ceiling that will trigger an early session. Sticking to an upper limit will allow you to take winnings home and give you a better chance to sustain your bankroll in games where the house has an edge.
It’s important not to be fooled by variance. Short-term success can lead to believing that winning is sustainable when it is not. In the long run, variance evens out, and the house wins. This applies during losing streaks, too, which is why having the right mindset and practicing RG principles is the only true way to set yourself up for success.
Knowledge is power. You’ve already lost if you play games without understanding the associated risks. This includes understanding the basic strategy of the games you want to play and knowing the odds of those games, especially with regard to side bets.
You also should only gamble at licensed, regulated casinos. Offshore and underground casinos operate without legal oversight, meaning game odds may be illegitimate, or your personal and financial information may be unsafe.
Lastly, understand the difference between RG behaviors and those associated with problem gambling. The Michigan Gaming Control Board provides a list of problem gambling resources to utilize if you or a loved one exhibits problem gambling behaviors.
Disciplined game selection
Staying disciplined with game selection can make or break your long-term results and enjoyment while gambling.
Part of responsible gambling is abstaining from playing when the situation calls for it. If your preferred machines are taken, you can always wait until a seat frees up rather than play a less desirable machine.
The same goes for table games. If your desired game is full or unavailable, return another time.
If your desired games post worse odds than they “should,” don’t play unless you want to accept a lower RTP. Some players will still choose to play, especially if their perceived entertainment value outweighs the lost edge. Either way, the decision is always yours.