Knowing returns important in Internet gambling
December 17, 2013 3:00 AM
by Marc Meltzer
It’s important to me to know what my odds are in the casino. I may not always play the games with the best returns but I want to know what my options are. Eventually I’ll play the smart game where the best opportunities are.
Knowing returns is even more important with online casinos. There aren’t cocktail waitresses, party pits or any other amenities provided by brick and mortar casinos to distract from the gaming. The distractions are, in part, what make trips to the casino fun for many people.
Casinos are entertainment even if we always want to play the best games giving us a better chance to win. The returns matter with online gaming as much as, if not more than, being in a casino. The only entertainment is the game we choose to play.
Besides slot machines, which will still have many of the bells and whistles, there isn’t much an online casino can do to make online video poker or blackjack more interesting than the game itself. They could add a TV plugin so we can watch football or baseball on a smaller screen. Dear casinos, feel free to steal that idea. But I digress.
With online gaming launching in New Jersey I was curious to see what kind of rules and returns were available for the games. Blackjack and video poker, specifically, have rules and pay tables that can affect the returns anywhere from 1% to 5%.
That might be a small “tax” to pay in the casino where you have complimentary drinks but there’s no reason to pay the tax for a no frills game. At least not to me.
I was extremely happy with what I found. I didn’t check every casino but the I saw offered 3:2 blackjack. Two of the casinos documented a 99.5% or greater theoretical return. That’s the kind of blackjack I want to play!
Some of the online casinos in New Jersey offer micro-gaming where you can literally play for change. Micro games in online poker are some of the most popular so it makes sense the regular online casino games would offer this as well.
Video poker seems to offer good games as well. I’ve seen good pay tables at a couple online casinos. My favorite video poker game, 9/6 Jacks or Better, was available at both places I attended. I didn’t look at other pay tables so I’m assuming full pay games with under 100% returns are available.
Most people I know prefer brick and mortar casinos to their online counterparts. The human interaction is an important social part of gambling for most people. That said, the more serious gamblers I know will be happy to learn the new online casinos in New Jersey offer games they’d consider playing.
In fact, at first glance the rules seem liberal enough that we may see some professional casino gamblers come out of retirement.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gambling and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Follow Marc on twitter @eastcoastgamblr. Check out his blog at www.AC2LV.com Contact Marc at MarcMeltzer@GamingToday.com.