Here is a list of the most popular of the top 10 casino games. This list is not the top games for a recreational gambler. That is usually only a question of measuring house percentages. This list addresses a more complicated question: What are the top games for a serious player, the one, who is either a professional or is only interested in winning?
Poker is a number one game in the top games for the professional player. The reason is fairly obvious: you are not playing against the casino, but against other players. The gambler, who makes a serious study of probability and psychology, will always be able to find enough players at lower levels of play, who are essentially guessing about the correct strategy and donating their money. A poker table is essentially a centre for the transference of wealth from the unprepared to the studious.
Poker's chief drawback is that it becomes increasingly difficult to win money, as the quality of opposition becomes tougher at higher levels of play.
The card game of blackjack, also known as twenty-one, is commonly believed to have grown out of the popular French game vingt-et-un. The object of the blackjack is to beat the dealer's hand without going over twenty-one ("busting"). Aces count as either one or eleven, face cards as ten, and numbered cards as their printed values. All suits are of equal value. Players begin each game by placing their bets on the circle or rectangle in front of them. The cards are dealt clockwise, either from the dealer's hand or from a shoe, with each player receiving two cards. The cards are dealt either face up or down, according to individual casino rules. The dealer always receives one card face up, the "upcard," and the last card face down, the "hole card." Usually, the dealer inspects his cards by peeking under his hand or by looking into a tiny mirror bolted flat onto the table.
Roulette is also one of the top games. The wheel, approximately three feet in diameter, consists of thirty-eight individually numbered cups around its perimeter. Half of the cups, numbered one through thirty-six, are black and another half is red, while the zero and double zero cups are both green. Each numbered pocket is divided from its neighbors by separators. Red and black cups alternate around the wheel, but the numbers are randomly placed. Frequently, the wheel will be semi-enclosed by a clear, plastic shield that guards against tampering by anyone. There are usually five to ten player chairs around the table. A roulette table can become rather crowded with players, reaching over one another to place bets on the table.
Consistently beating baccarat is tough. Conventional card-counting systems do not work as well as they do at blackjack. You need to use more powerful non-linear count strategies or use a very advanced technique, such as sequencing. Even then, the majority of baccarat games is not beatable. Nonetheless, the almost limitless table maximums mean that if you can find an edge, the potential profits can be spectacular. Baccarat is the only casino game, where a player could enjoy an annual six-figure salary.
Craps. There are a couple of cunning techniques that can be used at craps, such as "backlining" (buying someone else's positive expectation bet). But you could not expect to make a living this way. The only plausible method that could conceivably win at craps is through a dice control (or perhaps, as suggested by Frank Scoblete in Beat The Craps Out Of The Casinos, by finding someone who can). I would not rule out a possibility that the dice control is possible. But even if you can do it, ascertaining your exact edge is very difficult and it is not easy to determine how to best exploit your edge. Moreover, players, suspected of the dice control, can find very extreme countermeasures taken against them. It is also a little known fact that the dice control is prohibited by the letter of the law, though, possibly, not its spirit.
Caribbean stud can be beaten by a number of methods. Although this game has a high house edge, it is possible to find dealers, who expose their hole-cards (a front-loader), which can give you an edge of up to seventeen percent. The progressive jackpot, usually offered with this game, can sometimes become favorable. If you can find a table of players, who show you their cards, then the card-counting can give you an advantage of up to two point seven percent.
Let it Ride. Like Caribbean Stud, this game can be beaten if you can find a front-loader. Let It Ride dealing procedures have been altered radically since the game's introduction to reduce hole-card exposure.
Pay Gow Poker. This banking game can be beaten if it is possible to hold the bank frequently and bet comparatively small amounts as a player. Normally, the house commission on banker wins means it is not possible to do much better than a meager point three percent advantage, but an exception to this rule exists in California, where a flat rate commission is charged per hand instead.