Playing Electronic Craps, Roulette and Blackjack

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Moe, Al. "Playing Electronic Craps, Roulette and Blackjack." ThoughtCo, Feb. 8, 2017, Moe, Al. (2017, February 8). Playing Electronic Craps, Roulette and Blackjack. Retrieved from Moe, Al. "Playing Electronic Craps, Roulette and Blackjack." ThoughtCo. (accessed October 23, 2017).
Players at a video blackjack machine
A video blackjack machine at the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. George Rose / Getty Images

Playing electronic versions of your favorite casino table games may be all that is offered at your local casino, but players should keep in mind that the rules and payouts are different. Plus, there is another factor that has a great effect on your success: your speed of play!

In many gaming jurisdictions, the casino proponents were able to get legislation passed for gambling based on the idea that new casinos would only offer slot machines and gaming devices.

The specific wording helped assuage fears that there would soon be huge casinos coming into small towns, but the outcome has been much different than some voters anticipated. Regardless of the reasons behind the machines, casinos like Maryland Live! built huge properties with no table games, just thousands of slot machines.

With no dealers to pay, the casinos were able to open quickly without hiring and training hundreds of additional employees, and guests weren't without plenty of options for their cash because the casino included very nice electronic table games so players could play their favorites like roulette, craps, and blackjack.

Electronic Blackjack

Electronic blackjack games have been around since the early 1980's. When video poker was making some headway into the slot machine market, blackjack games were digging in too. However, since most casinos at the time (Nevada and Atlantic City were the only legal gaming locations in the US) offered blackjack, often for as little as $2 per hand, there wasn't a whole lot of interest in electronic blackjack.

Now, as then, slots that offer a variety of games like Game King and Game Maker have blackjack available for as little as 25-cents per hand. That's a great bargain, but you'll give up a lot when you play. For instance, the main issue with most video blackjack is that you'll be paid only even money on a blackjack.

Since you can expect to get a blackjack about once very 21 hands, you're giving up almost half-a-bet five times out of 100 hands. That equates to about 2.5 percent the house is taking. Since there is no dealer, shouldn't the house pay that 3-2 if you make an even amount bet? Of course, it should. If you are lucky enough to find one of the newer machines that does pay 3 for 2, make sure you always bet an even amount, or you'll short-change yourself!

Unfortunately, the blackjack payoff deal isn't the only thing different with electronic blackjack. While the machine will offer insurance (which you don't want), it won't let you double down on anything but 10 or 11, and that hurts your odds too. In addition, most video blackjack machines use a single deck of cards (alright, the electronic version with a random number generator) and shuffle after each round. However, the times may be changing.

Organic Gaming offers an electronic/live deck machine that actually deals real cards. If you find this or another machine with actual cards, sit down and read the rules. This might be just for you! You can expect the game to be played with 8 decks of cards, but also with very liberal rules.

Electronic Roulette

Mechanical roulette machines were available at the turn of the century - not the 21st, but the 20th!

That's right, over 100-years ago you could play a roulette-style game with no dealer. The odds were high, about 15% for the house, but they got play, because they were all some bars and speakeasy's offered. Today's much the same, we play what's available. There are electronic video games with a roulette screen and standard payoffs, and there are also new machines that have an actual wheel spinning around with a ball that pops out for each new spin.

These games are very close to the real thing, with bets as low as 25-cents per chip. You may find that you don't have quite as much time to make your wagers, because all bets have to be down before the ball pops out and the machines are programmed to get a lot more spins than a live game. In addition, you'll find that it's psychologically easy to bet more money when it's just a blip on the video screen instead of a big stack of chips you need to slide onto the numbers.

Be strong!

You'll also want to keep in mind that tracking the spins of the wheel and the numbers that come up is a fruitless journey, since the games are programmed for variance. The ball is forced out of a tube with a puff of air, and that puff varies, so the speed of the ball and the number of revolutions will vary. Gaming gods help us all.

Electronic Craps

Programmers have had more trouble with electronic craps machines than blackjack and roulette. Early machines made in the 1970's offered bets like high and low instead of the pass line, but today's machines are very sophisticated.

The best machines offer an actual pair of dice that tumble before a number is established. TCS John Huxley has a touch screen electronic craps table with a small pair of dice and all the standard craps bets on a touch screen. Organic and Star Craps also have touch screen games, but the dice used are more rounded and closer to the size of a small cantaloupe. However, they too offer bets with standard craps table payouts.

Craps bet payouts vary from region to region (such as 14 to 1 on Eleven in Las Vegas and 15 to 1 in Reno) and so do the payouts on electronic craps games. Keep in mind that the electronic version may be offered to get more players into action, such as the $2 minimum games at the Bellagio Casino in Vegas where the actual craps tables have a $25 pass line minimum, you'll pay more to play the electronic version in two ways.

The first way you'll pay more is in the speed of the game. While a speedy dice crew can get 100 rolls out per hour, when the action is hot, the rolls per hour slow down. On the electronic version, the machine will tell the players what rolled and then the 30-second countdown begins. Get your bets in quickly, or miss out. If you get in more bets per hour, the house wins more money, simple as that.

The other way you could lose out is on any prolonged roll (yes, they can even happen on the electronic games) when you bump up against the maximum bet. Organic's (Interblock) craps game has a bet range of $1 to $29.

That's great when you don't want to get $500 into action on the table game, but not so great if you start your bets at $10 on the pass line and take $20 in odds. Where do you go from there? It is what it is: easy to play, low-limit, quick craps. Nothing wrong with that, just know what you are getting with the electronic version.

On the Plus Side, you will get points on your player's club card at most properties, although not every one, you'll be able to sit down, which you can't do at a standard craps game, and you'll also be able to learn the game on an inexpensive medium. And, if you don't mind losing the one-on-one interaction with the dealers, you'll also be happy that you don't have to tip anyone, except maybe the cocktail waitress.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Moe, Al. "Playing Electronic Craps, Roulette and Blackjack." ThoughtCo, Feb. 8, 2017, Moe, Al. (2017, February 8). Playing Electronic Craps, Roulette and Blackjack. Retrieved from Moe, Al. "Playing Electronic Craps, Roulette and Blackjack." ThoughtCo. (accessed October 23, 2017).