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Learn How to Play Casino Table Games

Learn How to Play Casino Table Games

Casino table games differ from slot machines; you can win not only by luck, but also by using your skills. Experienced players choose them more often, while newbies prefer to avoid them because of the need to learn the rules, betting options, and combinations. Our guide will tell you in detail how to play casino table games, the rules of each of them, strategies, betting systems, casino etiquette, and responsible gambling principles.

What Is a Casino Table Game

These are card games, roulette, dice; to sum up, everything that you can play at the casino table. The dealer is responsible for managing bets, dealing cards, or spinning the roulette wheel, while the pit boss or other employees act as observers.

Rules & Tips on How to Play Casino Table Games

A wide range of table games is available to you: roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker, and other games. Also, there are several versions of each table game with modified rules, increased limits, game progress, and so on. However, we will consider the basic rules of each game. It is important to know them, because all the other versions are at least slightly different from each other, but they are built on the basic versions.

Basic Rules for Blackjack

The main goal of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand by scoring more points than them. In this case, you cannot go over 21 points, otherwise you will lose (bust). Blackjack uses 1-6 decks of 52 cards. At the beginning, the dealer deals 2 cards to you and themselves. One of their cards is open, which allows you to estimate the winning probability. Then you make a decision: you can receive more cards or stop.

The dealer draws cards until their hand is 17 or more.

After that, the hands are compared. The cards have the following values.

2-10At face value
J, Q, K10
A11 or 1

There are 3-10 boxes available in blackjack, and you can bet on each of them. The cards are dealt out separately, so you can get several winnings in one hand. Depending on the game situation, different actions are available to you:

  • Insurance. When the dealer has an Ace up at the start, you can take advantage of this option by betting half of your original bet that they will have a blackjack. If this happens, you receive a 2:1 payout. In other cases, the money goes to the casino, and the game continues according to the usual rules.
  • Split a pair. When you receive cards of the same value in your hand, you can split them. The bet amount on the second hand corresponds to the original one. If there is a pair of aces, there are restrictions on the number of draws.
  • Doubling. After two cards are dealt, you can make a bet identical to the original bet. In this case, you receive only one card.

Blackjack is good because it has a low house edge — about 0,5%. We recommend you study the basic game strategy which outlines specific actions depending on the cards in your hand.

Dealing cards in blackjack
When the dealer has an ace up, you can choose an insurance bet

Roulette Principles

This is one of the oldest casino games in which you have to guess the sector of the spinning wheel where the ball stops. The rules are simple, the results are completely random, but you need to spend time exploring the betting options.

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You can choose outside bets: even/odd, red/black, and over/under. The probability of such outcomes is almost 50%, because they capture 18 out of 37 or 38 numbers (depending on the roulette version). Therefore, the payouts are 1:1. You can also bet on a column or a dozen, covering 12 numbers; in this case, the payout is 2:1. Inside bets are placed on 1-6 numbers. If you guess a specific number, the payout is 35:1.

Single zero roulette table
Betting options in a classic roulette version

The most popular versions are American roulette with two zeros and European and French versions that have only one zero sector. In the last two versions, the house edge is only 2.7%. And if the La Partage rule (in French version) is in effect, the house edge is reduced to 1.4% when you bet on equal chances.

Craps Basics

This is a table game where you have to guess the result of a pair of six-sided dice rolls. There are a lot of side bets еhere, but we’ll cover two of the main ones:

  • Pass Line. You win if 7 or 11 falls out and lose if 2, 3, or 12 falls out. If any other number comes up, it becomes a point; the dealer marks it with an “ON” chip. To win, you need the “shooter” to throw it before rolling 7.
  • Don’t Pass Bar. This is the opposite of the previous bet. All losing options for Pass Line are winning for Don’t Pass Bar. If 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 falls out, an extra round is also triggered. To win, you need to roll 7 before the point.

Both bets pay out at 1:1 odds. We advise you to start getting acquainted with craps by studying them.

Baccarat Rules

If you want to learn how to play popular casino table games in the USA, we recommend baccarat as one of the first games. Just like in blackjack, in baccarat you play against the dealer, and you can bet not only on “Player”, but also on “Banker” or “Tie”. The croupier deals two cards face up. The side with the most points wins; the maximum amount is 9. Points are calculated by adding the values ​​of the two cards. If you score more than 9 points, you do not lose; in this case, 10 is subtracted from the value. For example, if the hands are 8 and 9, 10 is subtracted from 17, so your amount is 7. Card counting in baccarat is as follows.

From 2 to 9At face value
10, jack, queen, king0

If you don’t bet on a Tie and you have the same hand as the dealer, the bet is void, which means you don’t win or lose.

In baccarat, there is a buy-in of the third card; you can do it when your hand is 5 points or less. There are many more conditions under which the dealer can take the third card.

The highest payout is provided for a Tie; it is 9:1 or 8:1, depending on the table rules. The Player’s winnings are paid 1:1. An identical payout is valid for the Banker victory, but the casino removes a 5% commission from the prize money amount.

Pai Gow Principles

This is a poker verison in which you receive seven cards and split them into two hands: 5 and 2 cards. There is also a joker, which acts as an ace or helps to form a straight or a flush. To win, you have to beat dealer’s both combinations.

Splitting hands in Pai Gow poker
A 5-card high hand has to be stronger than a low hand

Omaha Rules

This is the version which is close to Texas Hold’em; you receive not two, but four cards. In this case, you have to collect the combination with two pocket cards and three table cards.

Poker Rules

There are a lot of versions of this card game; in each of them, the rules are slightly different. The most popular is Hold’em, which we’ll discuss below, Omaha, 5-card Draw, and 7-card Stud. Regardless of the version, you need to do one thing to win — collect the strongest combination. The table below contains combinations from the strongest hand and in descending order.

Royal FlushFive consecutive cards of the same suit from 10 to Ace
Straight FlushFive consecutive cards of the same suit
Four of a KindFour cards of the same rank
Full HouseThree cards of one rank and two of another
FlushFive suited cards
StraightFive consecutive cards
Three of a kindThree cards of the same rank
Two PairTwo pairs of cards of the same rank
PairTwo cards of the same rank
High CardIt determines the strongest hand when no one has a combination

Poker is in high demand because a lot depends on your skill; you can call, raise, call and fold. Even with a weak hand, you can win if you know how to bluff.

Basic Rules for Texas Hold’em

This is the most popular poker version where you play against other participants. Unlike Omaha, in Hold’em it doesn’t matter which cards form the combination: your cards or table cards. The game uses a classic deck of 52 cards; the game itself consists of several stages:

  1. Betting with the small and big blind.
  2. Preflop, when players receive 2 cards each and call, raise or fold.
  3. The flop, in which the 3rd card is laid out on the table.
  4. A turn when the 4th card is placed on the table.
  5. River when the distribution of the 5th card happens.

At each stage, players bet after the distribution of cards. To successfully play Hold’em, you need to know the combinations and be able to bluff to gain an advantage over other participants.

Sic Bo Basics

Three dice are used there, and you have to correctly guess the roll results; there are many bets, but the two most popular are:

  1. Small. You win when 4-10 points are rolled.
  2. Big. You win when the sum of the numbers is between 11 and 17.

They bring you a payout of 1:1. If 3 identical numbers appear, you lose. It is also common to bet on a particular number that will land on at least one of the dice.

There are no limits on the number of bets in Sic-Bo; you can bet on all possible outcomes at once.

When playing in a live casino, the special machine throws dice, not a player, as in craps. Payments happen after the announcement of the results.

Basic Rules for Big Six Wheel

This game uses a large wheel with many segments; all of them are numbered and provide different prizes. The dealer spins the wheel, and the sector where the arrow stops is the winning one. To receive a prize in the Wheel of Fortune, you need to correctly guess the number.

Table Games Guide

With the basic rules out of the way, it’s time to learn some tricks that will increase your winning chances. Regardless of the game you choose, if you are playing against the dealer, the house always has the edge. There are no recommendations that will guarantee you a win, but you can reduce the house edge with their help. It is also important to know how to behave in a casino, not to succumb to excitement, and not drain your bankroll.

Learn Strategy for Play Casino Table Games

All table games are different from each other, so there is no universal option. We recommend you start with one and try different techniques to find effective plays.

For example, blackjack has a basic strategy. Based on the cards after the first deal, you will know whether it is better to double, draw, or fold. There are similar techniques for every game, but they are most effective where the decisions you make can affect the result.

Casino Etiquette

It is customary to behave decently even in case of losses in brick-and-mortar gambling venues. Adhering to etiquette, you will win over dealers, waiters, and other players sitting at the table. Follow the written and unwritten rules of the casino:

  • Don’t sit down at the table if you’re not playing.
  • If you are going to participate, wait until the end of the distribution, and only then sit down.
  • Don’t put your phone or other personal items on the table.
  • After placing a bet, do not touch the chips.
  • Touch the cards with only one hand.
  • During the game, keep your hands in the dealer’s field of vision.
  • Do not touch the winnings until the dealer recalculates and moves it towards you.
  • Tip the dealer only with playing chips; no cash.

Each game also has a set of gestures that come in handy if you don’t want to use the words “Pass”, “Add”, and so on. Following etiquette will not affect your bets’ effectiveness, but you will have a good time in a good atmosphere.

Choose Right Tables

The choice depends on your reasons to play. If you want to win some money by showing your skills, then Blackjack with one deck, Baccarat with Banker bets, and Double Bonus video poker are for you. These are the games with the best winning odds.

If you want to have fun, craps is the way to go; it is always noisy at the dice tables, because each participant hopes that their prediction will be successful. You can also have fun in European or French roulette, while having good chances if you choose outside bets. There is no need to learn the rules; just place a bet and watch as the wheel spins.

Terms & Conditions

Having decided on the game, find out all the useful information about it. The rules are written in the description, but knowing only them is not enough.

Blackjack rules
To find out the rules, press the Help button on the control panel

It is better for you to learn strategy for play casino table games and house edge; all the information is available on the Internet. Also check out the basic terminology:

  • RTP — the percentage of funds that the casino returns to players from their bets.
  • Limits — this is the minimum and maximum amount you can bet per hand or round.
  • House edge — this is a percentage which shows how big a gambling site’s advantage in a particular game is.
  • Bankroll — this is the total amount that you use to gamble.

Table games also have their own terms; it will be difficult for you to understand what is happening at the table without knowing them. For example, the poker terms are:

  • Call — leveling the bet.
  • Raise — increasing the bet.
  • Fold — discarding your hand.
  • Board — community cards in Hold’em from the flop, turn, and river.

And this is only a small part of them; learn as much information as possible to avoid confusion.

Betting Systems

In the long run, they are losing, but they will help to win at some point. Most often, betting strategies are used in roulette. These are some of them:

  • Martingale. Doubling the bet after each loss and returning to the original amount after winning. Compensates for previous expenses and even allows you to receive a small profit.
  • D’Alembert. This system is similar to Martingale, but not as aggressive. After losing, do not double the bet, but add an amount equivalent to the starting one.
  • Parlay method. The increase occurs only with a successful outcome. The next bet is the sum of the previous one and the winnings.

No strategy can give a 100% guarantee of winning; Martingale can be a failure in the case of a protracted series of failures. You will have to double until the amount exceeds the casino limits; you also need to risk large sums to receive a small win.

Responsible Gaming

Gambling is addictive, and you may not even notice how you lost all the money; however, you can avoid draining your bankroll if you bet responsibly by following a few tips:

  • Set limits. Determine the maximum amount you are willing to lose; this way, you won’t let yourself lose more than you should.
  • Don’t try to win back losses. If you’re losing money, don’t borrow or go over your spending limits. In practice, these attempts end up with you losing even more. After a series of failures, take a break — this will help you discard negative thoughts.
  • Don’t get emotional. Keep a cool head to avoid rash bets.
  • Don’t drink a lot of alcohol. Under its influence, you lose concentration and make illiterate decisions that lead to losses.
  • Leave on time. If you manage to win, we recommend you withdraw money immediately and stop playing. Attempts to increase the prize money usually end in failure.
  • Do not try to make money on gambling. You may want to get a stable income from gambling but this is a bad idea. You can only make money on Texas Hold’em by participating in tournaments, but you need to become a professional. In general, treat gambling as entertainment.

Be responsible, don’t let yourself become addicted to gambling, and you will receive a positive gaming experience in table games.

Free Table Games vs. Real Money Casino Table Games

Unlike land-based gambling venues, you can play online casino games for free in demo mode. This is a great option for you if you are a newbie, do not understand the rules, and are not ready to spend your money.

In the demo version you use virtual chips that have no monetary value. There is an unlimited amount of them; when you run out of them, it is enough to reload the page to get more.

This way, you can figure out how to play table games at a casino in the USA and get ready for real bets. The only drawback is the inability to withdraw winnings.

Playing for money gives you more gambling sensations. Also, if you are a registered customer who has made a deposit, you can receive bonuses. Due to them, you can play more with less investment.


Baccarat has few betting options and simple rules. Roulette and blackjack are also quite simple.

The probability of the Banker’s victory is the highest, but keep in mind that 5% of the prize money is deducted.

The American version has an additional double zero sector. Because of this, the house edge in American roulette is higher than in European one.

This is the first betting street when you receive two cards face down.

Yes, but only in 6 states: Nevada, Michigan, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

Publication author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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