We went behind the scenes a the new Horseshoe Cincinnati and the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Ind. , to find out which games give you an edge.
Table Games Your Best Bet
Jay Bean, Horseshoe's floor manager, agreed to sit down with us and talk about the games with the best odds.
He says many people don't realize that table games have much better odds than slots. They are intimidated by thoughts of card sharks taking their money, with images of an intense Texas Hold 'Em tournament in their minds, and so they stick with the safe games: The slots.
But they are doing themselves a disservice, he says.
Bean's advice? After you've spent some time on the slot machines, move on to the Blackjack table, and start by just observing.
Blackjack has the best odds of winning, with a house edge of just 1 percent in most casinos, Bean said.
Plus, you are playing against only the dealer, not hooded poker champions.
"Blackjack is one of our easiest games to play," Bean said. "You're just looking for a number that beats the dealer's number without going over 21."
If you're a novice, Bean says sit down during a less busy time, such as the afternoon, and the dealer will walk you through the game.
But the same is not true with poker: You should practice the game with your friends first, at home, Bean says, until you are comfortable with it. Bean says novices are best off passing on the poker tables, where yes, the competition can be tough.
You can find out more information about the game of blackjack at the following link: http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/
So from the Blackjack table, he suggests moving on to the dice game Craps, the game with the second best odds, also nearly 50-50.
The Craps table can be a bit intimidating for the beginner with all the boxes on the table, Bean admits. But it's really not tough, and it has one of your best chances of winning. In the end, all you are really doing is betting on a dice roll.
For more information on craps, visit http://wizardofodds.com/games/craps/
Bean says your next stop should be the Roulette wheel. It's simple, and pays fairly well.
"So you bet on your favorite numbers," Bean said. "The dealer spins, and if your number comes in you win."
If you stick to betting on just Reds or Blacks, you have nearly a 50-50 chance of walking away a winner. If it lands on red when you choose red, you will double your bet, Bean explains.
While it may seem you have an even chance of winning by simply choosing a color, there is one catch that gives the house its edge: the extra green 0 and 00 position on the wheel. It's on all American roulette wheels.
Or, if you feel lucky, play just one number. It's hard to win, but if you do it pays out 36 to 1.
For more information on roulette, visit http://wizardofodds.com/games/roulette/
Your worst odds? The casinos, understandably, did not want to talk about games with poor odds.
So we turned to Forbes Magazine, which in a report about Best Bets at the Casino , says two popular games -- the Wheel of Fortune and the ever-popular slot machines -- have the lowest odds of winning, with a house edge of 10 percent or more.
The Experts Agree
University of Cincinnati Professor of Analytics Michael Magazine has crunched the numbers, and agrees that blackjack is the best way to go home with money in your pockets. He says if you take a little time to learn the game, you have the best odds of winning.
"You are somewhere between 44 percent to 48 percent in every single hand of winning," he said, noting that no other casino game gives you odds that good.
But Magazine cautioned that he's not promoting gambling, because he said even games with the best odds still favor the house.
"Play it long enough and you will lose. In the long term the house doesn't lose," Magazine said.
Who Has the Loosest Slots?
Finally, if you are wondering which casino's slots are loosest, it's pretty much a draw.
Indiana's Gaming Commission reported the Hollywood in Lawrenceburg paid out 90.8 percent of what was put into its slot machines in 2012.
The Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati paid out 89.3 percent last month, the only figure available, according to the Ohio Gaming Control Commission.
While it may sound like a difference, Horseshoe is just one percent less, so it's really nothing the average player would ever notice.
More important information: With slots, the more money you put in per bet, the higher your chance of winning. In addition, state records show that penny slots have the lowest odds, with $1 and $5 slots paying much better.
Always gamble responsibly, and don't waste your money.
You can learn more about specific odds of slots machines
in each state that has casino gambling by visiting the American Casino Guide.