Sharpen your gambling skills and practice gambling before you go to Las Vegas with these free online casino practice games and tips. A few minutes here may let you win big in Vegas!
Playing tip: Slots have the worst odds in Las Vegas (house advantage is about 10%), so if you lose you have been warned. Table games, like blackjack, craps or baccarat will give you a much better chance of winning. The casinos fill the place with slot machines because they take in the most money from them. A major plus to playing them is that you can spend a lot of time playing and not risk much if you play the nickel or dime machines (quarter machines can add up fast). They are also a source of mindless entertainment, which for many is one of the reasons we like to go to Las Vegas. That being said, here is some advice for you avid slot players who are set on winning that multi-million dollar jackpot.
The higher you bet per slot pull, the better your odds of winning. A one dollar machine has much better odds than a nickel machine. Always play the maximum coins. The higher payout machines tend to be hidden and not in the front of the casino. If a machine has recently paid out it could mean it is a “loose” machine and *may* payout big again sooner than other machines. Don’t keep playing a losing machine. Go on to another. Casinos will rarely put two loose machines next to each other, so if a machine is winning don’t play the one on either side of you.
If you are losing on a machine stop after about six loses in a row and move to another machine. A good machine to pick is one that recently paid off well. If you see someone winning big, wait for them to leave. Another way to pick a machine is look for a jackpot left on the reels as the last spin. Have a preset spending limit each day and be sure to stop when you hit it. You can always play again the next day or on your next trip to Vegas. However, never stop on a winning streak. Hotels can vary a lot in how loose or tight their machines are set (within the legal limits).
Finally, a study was done by the Las Vegas Advisor comparing various hotels which showed that the The Palms had the loosest slots in Vegas. You might give them a try on your next trip. For more information on slot playing see our guides below:
Playing Guide: Slot Machine Basics
Playing tip: Blackjack involves skill in addition to luck. Learn basic playing strategies to maximize your chances of winning. The house only has a 0.5% advantage if you play by the basic rules … if you don’t follow these rules the house advantages soars to over 7 percent (not much worse than slot machines). Here are 4 simple rules you should learn and memorize well to give you an edge and play close to 50 percent. You can do better with more advanced techniques, but that just gives you a fraction more percentage points for a lot more work. Be sure to practice using these rules before you try them (you can use the free online flash blackjack link listed below). The rules are easy to learn, but take practice to master (maybe a few hours of play). Use the blackjack practice game link to try it out. In Vegas you will have a lot of distractions, so you need to know things cold to get it right when you play for money. A small investment of time will make a huge difference when you play in Las Vegas.
Blackjack Strategy Rules:
- If the dealer’s up card is 7 or higher, continue to draw cards until you have a hard count of at least 17 or higher, or a soft count of 18 or higher. A hard count means you have no Aces that can count as 1 or 11. A soft count means you do have an Ace.
- If the dealer’s up card is 6 or lower, draw cards until you have at least 12. Stop when you have 12 or higher.
- Double down when your first two cards total 10 or 11 IF the dealer has a 9 or lower.
- Always split aces and eights. Do not split any other pairs.
- Never take insurance.
Free Blackjack Practice Game (no downloading required):
Playing tip: Poker requires the most skill of any game in Las Vegas. It requires learning the rules, knowing basic playing strategy, and learning to read other players (a bit of psychology). We highly suggest you practice a lot before playing in Las Vegas. Reading a good book on poker is another good idea. One of the best practice poker games we have seen comes from PartyPoker.com.
They have the largest number of online players and will give you a lot of good players for you to go up against (similar to what you might encounter in Las Vegas). Their site lets you play against real players and is worth downloading. Here is a link to learn the rules of poker, including Texas Hold’em. You can also take a look at our Poker Dictionary to get familiar with all the terms.
Playing tip: Video Poker requires a lot of skill and luck. You need to learn the percentage edge of different hands and what beats what. Learn to read the machine odds and know which ones pay better (they don’t all pay the same). As with regular poker, reading a good book on poker strategy can go a long way in helping you keep your edge. If you follow basic rules the house has a 3 percent edge. Here is a link to learn the basics. Knowing the odds of various hands can help you make decisions.
Here is a printable version of poker card odds.
Video Poker Guide: Video Poker Basics
Playing tip: Craps is one of the most exciting games in Las Vegas. A single game can last several minutes, so you really get your money’s worth in terms of playing action. There are many bets, but the one that will give you the best odds is to bet Pass or Don’t Pass (house advantage is 2 percent). Go with your hunch and don’t be afraid to bet Don’t Pass if you feel the shooter will not make the point. You can also backup your bet after a roll (assuming you did not lose) and increase your bet to pickup an additional percentage edge. This is always suggested. Here is a link a that describes all the different bets and how to play. Again, your best bet is to simply go Pass (shooter will win) or Don’t Pass (shooter will lose). As with any game, set you limits and walk away from the table if you hit them. Learn to walk away when you reach your winning limit. There is always the next day or your next trip to Vegas to catch up.
Free Craps Practice Games:
Playing tip: Baccarat has one of the best odds in Las Vegas (house edge is under 1.4%). It is like Pass / Don’t Pass in craps, but you are betting on certain hands coming up that the dealer plays. We won’t go into the details, but it has to do with getting closest to 9. Pictures cards are worth zero. You can bet on yourself winning or the dealer. They also have a bet on a tie hand, but that is really a sucker bet and should be avoided. The minimum playing amount for a game can be steep, but many casinos have mini-baccarat games that start at $5 per bet. You may have troubles finding the baccarat tables, so ask around (there is a reason they are hard to find, since the casinos make the least amount of money from this game).
There is a major downside to baccarat: The games go very fast and a round is often done in less than a minute, so you can lose very fast (also win fast). You must be very strict with limits and watch your bankroll with this game. Learn to walk away when you reach your winning limit. Try playing some practice games using the links below. You will be amazed at how simple it is to play.
Baccarat Guide: How to Play baccarat
Free Baccarat Practice Games:
Baccarat Practice Game
Playing tip: Roulette is all luck. The odds are worse than almost any game in Vegas except for Slots and Keno (5.3 percent edge on outside bets). However, it is fun. Betting on Black or Red, Odd/Even, or any of the outside bets has the best odds. If you can find a table with only “0” instead of the usual “0” and “00” it will give you much better odds… some of the casinos in downtown have single “0” tables. Everyone loses when a “0” or “00” come up, unless you bet on these numbers, which is a poor bet. Playing numbers are the worst odds, but if you are very lucky you can win big. Be sure to watch your bankroll, since games can go very fast. Just go with a hunch and play black/red. If you feel red coming on bet it. Don’t pay any attention to previous outcomes. 100 reds could come up and the odds of getting another red are still the same. Walk away when you reach your loss limit. Learn to walk away when you reach your winning limit too!