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The 5 Worst Casino Bets

Last week we told you about saving money in Las Vegas by making the right wagers. Playing games with a smaller house advantage extends your bankroll and gives you a better chance to win in the casino. This week we’re going to look at the other side of things. Making bad bets are the easiest way to lose money quickly in the casino.

Below you’ll find some of the worst wagers you can make in the casino. If you enjoy the games or specific wager or game feel free to play it but approach with caution or limit your wagers. For example, I only allow myself $20 per penny slot game. I know it has a large house edge but I love playing them. This just helps minimize the damage while maximizing fun.


Blackjack Insurance

If you play blackjack with perfect basic strategy you can bring the house edge to almost zero (actually 0.20% on a game with favorable rules). Blackjack is a great game that involves just a little skill. One of those skills is to avoid buying insurance when the dealer shows an Ace as their upcard. Depending which blackjack game you’re playing the house edge on insurance can be almost 8%. When you play blackjack you’ll almost always see other players wave off insurance as soon as they see the dealer’s Ace. Follow your fellow players.


Big 6 Wheel

The Big 6 Wheel is a game anyone can play. It involves absolutely no skill and you’ve probably played a similar game before ever walking into a casino. You’ve grown up seeing variations of the Big 6 Wheel at carnivals. The game is easy, you place a wager on a number (or dollar amount) and if the wheel lands on your number you win. There’s a reason this game is displayed so prominently as soon as you walk into a casino. The Big 6 Wheel comes with a huge house advantage ranging from 11% on the $1 wager to over 24% if you play the joker or wild slot on the wheel. If a casino game looks to easy that’s because it comes with a large house edge.


Craps Prop Wagers

You can make certain wagers when playing craps that take away almost the entire house edge. When you play the pass line with max odds your house edge can be as low as 0.00099% depending on the odds available in the casino. Unfortunately the craps table is littered with bad wagering options. Most of these are the proposition (or prop) bets you see in the center of the table. The hard way wagers (rolling doubles) have a house edge between 9% and 11%. The worst wager at the craps table is that “any 7” will show up on a roll. The house edge on “any 7″ is 16.67%. Avoid the center of the table and you’ll be safe from the bad wagers at craps.


Live Keno

Live Keno (as opposed to video keno) used to be a popular casino game but that popularity has waned over the years and you’ll no longer find a live Keno lounge in every casino. They still exist and should probably be avoided. The game is played similar to the lottery where you pick a certain amount of numbers and when a ball matches enough numbers selected you win. Prizes vary depending on how many numbers are hit and where you play. Live Keno has almost a 25% house edge depending on which casino you play. Over time you’re going to lose $25 of every $100 wagered at Live Keno. That’s more than any other game in the casino.


Penny Slots

The casino floor isn’t filled with these bright, shiny and loud games because they’re the most fun slot machines to play. They also give the casino a large house edge without even paying a dealer. While high limits slot machines may have a house edge as low as 4%- 5%, the penny slots may have a house edge as high as 15%. A 15% house edge may not seem like a lot when you’re playing a game at 9 cents per spin but some of these games have a maximum wager above $5 per spin. Even though the house edge is the same for each type of spin you feel it a lot quicker when you’re playing that higher maximum wager.



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