When it comes to casino table games online we immediately think about the ‘Big Five’. They’ve graced the floors of online and land casinos for ages. To be honest they’re still top of the heap. Although the real money slots market still dominates the casino industry.
Online slot machines aren’t leaving the casinos anytime soon. Thing is, the younger demographic is not as interested in playing slots as the older generation. The new generation player prefers Caribbean Stud Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Pontoon 21, Casino War and Let It Ride. In other words, social table games with an element of skill. Moreover, they’re the oldest casino games and they’re still going strong.
In this piece, we give a short overview of each big 5 table game as well as its history.
The time of slots is not over, in fact, with the addition of new skill-based games, it’s just starting. The revenues of slots at casinos online are higher than ever before. Playing casino games is not all about slots, players love to play table games too.
Seasoned casino patrons call Caribbean Stud Poker the “granddaddy” of table casino games. It’s been around since the 1980s and it’s still going strong. It’s also the first table game to become a superstar. Players from all walks of life can play it and it’s easy. Danny Jones a casino gambler and James Suttle co-invented Caribbean Stud Poker. Some say the father of the game is David Sklansky who initially called it “Casino Poker”.
Caribbean Stud poker is a game where players play against the house and not against other players. The only problem with the game is that it carries a house edge of more than 5%. To be good at the table game you must know the optimal betting strategy. If the dealer deals you an A, K, 8, 3, or better, keep it. Anything less, fold. Dealers will always keep an A, K, therefore they’ll qualify for the hand 53 percent of the time.
Other popular strategies, if you raise the dealer he’ll only win 13.5% of the time and the player 16%. Moreover, the dealer is less likely to qualify for hands that you raise 23% of the time. We advise Caribbean Stud players not to raise on every hand as it increases the house edge by 16.5%.
Despite its daddy issues, Caribbean Stud Poker flourishes in casinos across the world.
A casino employee invented Pai Gow Poker in the 1990s. The table game has an interesting past because when he wanted to patent the game. A lawyer told him that he cannot patent game rules. In the meantime, the popularity of Pai Gai Poker soared.
So, he tried again to patent it. Yet again, they did not approve his patent application because he waited for more than a year. Needless to say, Pai Gow Poker became an instant success in casinos. We feel sorry for the poor bloke because he didn’t make a dime out of his invention.
The goal of Pai Gow Poker is to make two hands. One 5-card hand (behind) and one 2-card hand(bottom). Now, you’ll win if your two poker hands beat the dealer’s two hands. If only one hand wins it’s a push. When both your hand lose you’ll lose your bet. Pai Gow Poker carries a house advantage of 2.84%. The good news is that the player can low the house edge to 1.42% by playing the ‘Banker’.
What are the odds of getting a seven-card straight flush in pai gow poker? Your odds of hitting one is 676,066 and hitting 5 aces is 136,652.
Casino War is hands down the easiest table game to play. It works like this. You get a card, the dealer gets a card. Whoever has the highest card wins. In case it’s a tie, it’s W-A-R, flip! As a casino game Casino War has been around since the 1990s.
It’s also one of the most popular games in Las Vegas casinos. More importantly, high roller Chinese players love it. Usually, the Tie bet at online casinos pays 11 to 1. If you play the game with six decks it lowers the house edge to 11.25%. It’s still an atrocious wager but significantly better than the 18.65% house edge that pays 10 to 1.
Spanish 21 is the first blackjack variant that remains popular in both land and casinos online. The game has been around since1995. Furthermore, players play it with a modified deck of cards less the 10s of course. Keep in mind, the game still has Jacks, Queens, and Kings. Not only did it increase the edge to the house.
Spanish 21 has 48 Spanish card decks; casinos now use the French version with 52 decks of cards. They also remove the 4-10 spot cards. Casinos offer players all kinds of incentives such as doubling down on any number of cards. As well as, wins for 21 and players can surrender after they’ve doubled down. The cards have the same value as standard blackjack.
During the early 1990s, a chap by the name of John Breeding introduced the first single-deck Shuffle Master to casinos. At the time casinos, we already using 6 and 8 deck shoes. He had a small warehouse full of shuffle masters with no use. Instead, of licking his wounds, John Breeding invented one of the biggest casino games in history, Let It Ride!
The game is unique because the player does not compete against the dealer but against a paytable. To be good at the game all the average player needs is a pair of 10s or better. In hindsight, this incredible table game allowed players to let it ride, or risk their bets. Players can bet one betting position in increments of $5. To kick things off, players must make three wagers that are identical.
Live dealer USA casinos that offer Let It Ride made a few tweaks of their own to the game. They added a three-card bonus bet and a progressive jackpot. This makes the game more exciting to play.