Not all U.S. Casinos have table games and the smaller ones that do offer table games generally have a limited selection. It is advisable to check out the casinos that you are interested in visiting online before you leave home or at least before you go out to one.
Table games involve a dealer or croupier who has control of the game and is there to enforce the rules as well as play the house’s hand. In this guide we are placing the Poker games at the end because there are more of those than any other category.
In general, the goal of the game is to get as close to a combined total of all card values to “21” without going over it while simultaneously beating the dealer’s hand.
Standard Blackjack – each player places a bet in front of his seat after which the dealer gives 2 cards to each person at the table. The player decides whether to take another card or stand pat on the hand that he has at each consecutive round. If the player beats the dealer’s hand without going over 21, he wins.
Blackjack Switch – each player is dealt 2 hands simultaneously and he may switch the highest cards and try to beat the dealer with his best hand or keep the original hand he received. The player wins if he beats the dealer’s hand and does not go over 21.
Blackjack Super 7s – is a side game during the regular play where a player has the option to bet that he will receive one or more 7s in his hand.
Spanish 21 – using the rules of Standard Blackjack but with additional optional numerical combinations each totaling 21.
- This is the traditional game of Baccarat that is played in a roped off area of the casino on a special table that is only opened when it is booked for a game. Most casinos require a minimum number of players – in Las Vegas casinos, usually there must be at least 3 or 5 players to make it worth the house’s effort to open the game. There is usually a minimum buy-in of $25,000 (in some Atlantic City and Reno casinos) or $100,000 in Las Vegas Casinos and minimum bets per hand of $1,000.
Unlike other table games run by the house, each player is playing against all the other players and no one is playing against the house. This is why the odds are better than any other game in the casino.
Cards are drawn by each player in rotation and the dealer called the croupier never touches the cards. Since the casino has no stake in the game, the croupier takes 5% of all monies played for using the house’s table, employee and space. In addition, each player is expected to tip the dealer generously because the dealer is contracted for the time requested and removed from his/her normal games.
Mini-Baccarat also known as Punto Banco – this is an offshoot game designed for the general public and is played in the main area of the casino. The table has the same information as the traditional Baccarat table but is in an abbreviated form.
The players still play against all the other players at the table and there is still no hand that belongs to the casino in spite of the hand in front of the dealer being referred to as “banker”. Banker is actually the invisible man’s hand.
The house gets a 4% cut of all monies played per hand and the dealer is in charge of taking that cut on the house’s behalf. Additionally, the dealer is the only one that deals the cards for each hand to all the players. Game minimums are as low as $2 with a $5 buy-in up to $500 wager with a $5000 buy-in.
Traditionally, roulette is played the dealer spinning a wheel in which sits the marble, and when the marble drops into a particular number, the player, that bet on that number or color or combination of both, wins the play. But there are two other variations that are popular in casinos in the U.S. today.
There is the American Roulette which includes an extra slot for the double-zero (00) and the European Roulette without the double-zero. The American wheel is more house-friendly, since if you bet Red/Black in any way, all players lose if the ball lands in the green 00 slot.
Roulette – a random number game played using chips, a table layout and a wheel with a small metal ball. The croupier spins the wheel in one direction and the ball in the opposite direction and the winner is the one who guesses which slot the ball fell into – and stayed. Sometimes, the ball does jump out.
Mystery Card Roulette – the playing cards are held inside a slotted wheel that the dealer spins and instead of dice falling into the numbers of the roulette wheel, a paddle points to the winning slot when the wheel stops.
Poker Roulette – is a spin-off of Russian Roulette (the poker game) with the added incentive of a roulette wheel, dice and chips.
People who work in the gaming industry and in casinos often say that there is a reason that this dice game is called “craps”. “You place a bet, roll the dice and the croupier takes your money. You place a bet, roll the dice and the croupier takes your money again. What you get in return is nothing but “crap!” That said dealers and croupiers love this game and swear that it’s the best game in the casino- for them.
Sic Bo is a popular table game just recently accepted for play in U.S. casinos. This is the second dice game, is of Chinese origin and may be more familiar by the names Hi-Lo, Tai Sai, Big-Small or Dai Sui. Players’ place bet on specific areas of the table and then the dealer close the dice chest, shake it, opens it and reveals the numbers on the dice. Each play results in a win or a loss since players bet Big or Small.
All poker games are playing in rooms specifically designated for poker and separate from the main floor of the casino.
Some casinos offer poker tournaments at special times during the year. The buy-in to enter the game can be as little as $50 or as much as $1million.
Three Card Poker – each player plus the dealer get three cards and the highest hand wins. Each bet occurs in $5 minimum increments.
Four Card Poker – each player and the dealer has to make the best hand out of four cards.
Mississippi Stud Poker – besides being fun to say is a 5-card hand of poker where players are competing with the pay table instead of a dealer and to win you needs a pair of Jacks or better.
Texas Hold’em – this is similar to the old-fashioned game by the same name that is popular in many homes for recreation. However, the casino version has a twist! Each player is dealt 2 cards face down. These are the hole cards. The dealer then deals cards face up to the “community” which is in the center of the table. All players (including the dealer) use the “community” cards as their base and the players are out to beat the dealer.
Let It Ride – unlike other variations of poker, you are not playing against the dealer or the other players. You are playing against yourself in each hand. The goal is to make a good hand using your three face up cards and the dealer’s two face down cards without seeing the dealer’s cards. Hands are valued as they are in traditional poker from Pairs of Tens or Better paying equal money up to a Royal Flush paying a thousand to one.
Asia Poker is new to casinos and is best described as a combination of standard Poker and Pai Gow Poker and the Joker is used as the wild card to complete hands.
Pai Gow Poker – an offshoot of the Pai Gow Tiles games played in Asia, this variation of poker uses a single deck of cards dealt by the dealer. Each place receives 7 cards split into two hands of 5-cards and 2-cards. Each player plays against the dealer and the highest ranking hand wins.
Five Card Draw Poker – when you think of “poker”, this is the traditional standard game on which all other Americanized versions is drawn from. This is also the base form of all video poker games and the top hand is a Royal Flush. This is also the same game that is played in tournaments and high-stakes games with the addition of Jacks and Jokers wild added to the mix according to players’ choice.
Caribbean Stud Poker – all players including the dealer (which is unique for a poker game) are dealt 5 cards each. The dealer has one card face-up and the others are all face down. Players either bet an amount equal to the ante or fold. When all players have bet or folded, the dealer reveals his hand. If the dealer’s hand is less than Ace-King or better, the player is paid even money on the Ante only and nothing on the bet. If the dealer’s hand is Ace-King or better, the player loses both the ante and the bet.
At the End of the Day, There Is a Tomorrow
These are the most common table games found in U.S. Land-based casinos around the country. Some casinos develop their own variation of any of these games that are peculiar to their region of the country and have not been included here. However, if you wish, we can provide you with a review of any game played in U.S. casinos on request.