Casino novice? Try these games to start with

by Lily White
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These days, you don’t have to be a British secret agent or a millionaire playboy to enjoy a night at a casino. Once seen as the playgrounds of the rich and famous, casinos are now accessible to all, and to a large extent, we have the internet to thank. Even if you don’t live near a physical casino, all you need is a laptop or smartphone and an internet connection to access literally hundreds of online casino platforms.

When you sign up and walk in through the virtual doors, you might find the sheer number of games a little daunting. Online casinos do not have the physical space limitations of land-based ones, and a single online casino might easily host a thousand games or more. Here are some ideas on where to start.


The classic symbol of a casino is the roulette wheel. This is the perfect game for beginners, as unlike poker or blackjack, skill and experience don’t come into it, and a first time player is as likely to win as a casino veteran. It doesn’t matter from a statistical perspective whether you place an inside bet on a single number or an outside bet on a number group. However, the even money bets like black/red or odd/even are probably the most fun, as playing those feels like a fair battle between you and the wheel. You will win roughly as much as you lose, so if you keep the stakes low, roulette won’t burn your bankroll too fast.


If playing bingo makes you think of your grandmother, you need to get with the times. Over the past decade, bingo has exploded in popularity with a new and younger group of players – although more mature casino goers still enjoy it too, of course! While bingo games are available in many online casinos, there are also plenty of actual cash bingo websites that specialize in bingo and nothing else. These often have a wider variety of bingo variations. Standard bingo is usually played using either 75 or 90 numbered balls, the former being the standard in the USA and the latter being most common in the UK and elsewhere. However, you can also get 30, 50, 75 or 80-ball bingo games.


Most casino novices gravitate towards the safety and anonymity of the slots. There are hundreds to choose from, you don’t have to interact with a dealer or other players, and chances are, as a new player, the casino has welcomed you with some bonus free spins. It makes sense to use the freebies, which will probably be limited to a specific game, but once you have done so, try one of our other suggestions. Slots are fine as far as they go, but the problem with them is volatility. Yes, they sometimes give out big wins, but you can also have long lean spells during which they will deplete your bankroll in no time flat.


James Bond’s game of choice is far simpler than it looks. Like roulette, it is all down to chance, and at just over one percent, the house edge is among the lowest in the casino. Simply back player or banker to be dealt a hand closest to nine, and stand back to see who wins. Statistically, the banker win is marginally more likely due to the rules for dealing a third card, which is why banker pays 95 cents to the dollar while player pays even money, but both have approximately the same house edge. Baccarat is easiest to learn by playing so give it a try, you won’t regret it.

Video poker

If you’ve never played a hand of poker in your life, you might feel a little nervous about approaching it for the first time. It’s a step you will never regret, and for the complete novice, video poker is the ideal place to start. It’s based on a variation called five card draw. You will be dealt five cards and have one opportunity to have any that you want redealt. So decide which to hold, the rest are redealt and that is your final hand. Prizes are typically awarded for anything from a pair of jacks upward. There are different variations of video poker with different pay tables. Some incorporate jokers and wild cards, so there is a lot to explore once you have got to grips with the basics.


The most popular casino game of them all, blackjack is a game that practically everyone knows how to play, and if you don’t you can learn in two minutes flat. Blackjack is like video poker, but different from roulette or baccarat in that there are decisions to make, and these can influence whether you win or lose. In other words, skill as well as luck affects the outcome. In video poker, you need to learn what to hold and what to discard. In blackjack, the question is whether to hit, stand, split pairs or double down. The optimum decision depends on your cards and the dealer’s upcard, but with a little practice, you can learn basic blackjack strategy and enjoy more wins against the house.

Sic Bo

The oldest recorded gambling games relate to dice. They have been found, crafted from animal bones, in excavations dating back to prehistoric times. The best-known casino dice game is craps, but the complex table can be off-putting for beginners. A far better choice of dice game for the casino novice is sic bo. A little like roulette, you place your betting chips where you want to bet and the instead of spinning a wheel the dealer rolls three dice. Also like roulette, there are a choice of even money bets. These relate to the total value of the three dice – small for 4-10 or big for 11-18. Note that any triple number roll is excluded, which is how the casino retains its house edge. There are numerous other bets you can place, and unlike craps, these are quite clear to understand.


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