Casino Games that Pay Better with Skill Applied

Casino games that require skill to maximize odds of winning.

Casino Games that Require Skill to Increase Your Odds of Winning

Gambling amusements are often categorized by their characteristics. Machines versus tables is the most common. Today, we’re going to divvy them up between skill games and non-skill games; that is to say, those that give a player better odds of winning with skill/strategy applied, as opposed to those that do not.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of today’s topic, those of you seeking the opposite experience may be interested in reading the following:

Simple Casino Games that are Easy on the Brain

Casino Games that Require Skill to Win

No one has to implement a strategy to win these games. Everyone gets lucky now and again. But if you want to win more often, driving your odds to peak performance, these are the games you’ll want to learn more about. I’ve chosen to list them in order of the best payback percentage, with perfect strategy applied.

Video Poker

These can be the most rewarding games of all. The trick is to find one with the right rules and pay table. At online casinos, Microgaming’s All Aces VP (99.92%) and Jacks or Better with 9/6 Full Pay (99.54%) are about as good as it gets. A few land-based casinos – and I do mean a very rare few – still provide VP games with 100-101% RTPs. Learn more here.

Blackjack

Of course, blackjack will land high on any list of this nature. It is the most strategically driven game in any casino. Just memorizing a basic strategy for the exact rules of the blackjack game you’re going to play can lower the house edge to below 0.5%. The true RTP value depends on the rules in play. For example:

  • Vegas Single Deck 99.69%
  • Double Exposure 99.68%
  • Classic Blackjack 99.60%
  • Spanish 21 99.58%

With these high-RTP variants, players who toss in an astute card counting system at a land-based casino can swing the edge into their favor.

Pai Gow Poker

A unique, 2-handed poker game in which players receive 7 cards to set a traditional 5-card poker hand and a 2-card poker hand. The 5-card hand must be stronger than the 2-card hand. If the player’s 2-card and 5-card hands beat the dealer’s corresponding hands, the player wins. If one beats the dealer, it’s a push. A good strategy will put the RTP at 97.28%.

Caribbean Holdem

This is a house-banked poker game with dual betting rounds, the Ante and Call. It follows the rules of Casino Holdem (based on Texas Holdem), but with a different payout scheme for Ante bets and a progressive jackpot. Using the right strategy here can net you an RTP of 96.91%.

Three Card Poker

This house-banked poker game also presents two rounds of betting, based on the strength of a 3-card poker hand. What makes it so unique is the fluctuation in RTP based on your strategic decision. The Ante alone carries an RTP of 96.67%. If making the Call bet (strategy calls for a hand of Q-6-4 or better), the RTP rises to 97.99%. The Pair Plus side bet falls between the two at 97.68%.

Let It Ride

Another house-banked poker game, this one plays opposite of most. Instead of placing progressive bets (Ante, Call, Raise, etc), the player starts with three bets on the table. As the hand progresses, he can chose to pull one or two of his bets down, it ‘let them ride’. With optimal strategy, you can expect an RTP of 96.49%.

Caribbean Stud

This is a basic 5 Card Stud poker game but with the usual house-banking rules, wherein the player competes against the dealer. An Ante bet is made to start, then all cards are dealt with one dealer card exposed. The player must then fold (lose all bets) or raise (bet 2x ante) before all cards are shown. While strategy does play a big role in this game, perfect decisions will only net an RTP of about 94.78%.

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