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How to Play Online Casino Games

Playing online casino games online is easier than ever now that online gaming is legal in some U.S. states. Now that you can play, it’s about time to learn some games you’ve never played or brush up on games you used to know and love.

Online casinos offer a wide variety of games that appeal to anyone interested in casino games. Here’s a short list of the types of games you can now play legally online in some U.S. states.

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Baccarat

Baccarat is a card game played against a house dealer, popularized in the original Casino Royale James Bond movie. The player can bet either on the player’s hand or the dealer’s hand to win. Two cards are dealt to both the player and the dealer. Each card in a hand is worth points that add up to determine the hand value. Face cards and 10s are worth zero, aces are worth 1, and all other cards are face value. The actual value is the ones digit of the number, so cards totaling 6 and 16 are both worth 6. If either the player or dealer’s hands total 8 or 9 with the first two cards, it is called a “natural win,” and the hand is over immediately. If the player has 6 or 7, they are required to stand. For 0-5, the player may draw another card. When both the player and banker are done drawing, whichever hand is closer to 9 wins.


Bingo

Bingo is a game that is similar to the lottery. Essentially, numbers are chosen randomly, and then players mark those numbers on their bingo cards (5 by 5 grids of random numbers) if they have them. The first player to create the line, shape, or pattern announced at the beginning of the game with their markings calls “Bingo!” and wins the prize for that round. The cards are made up of five columns — headed with B – I – N – G – O respectively. Column B can contain numbers from 1-15, I numbers from 16-30, N numbers from 31-45, G numbers from 46-60, and O numbers from 61-75. Players can play multiple cards in a single game.


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Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game played against a house dealer. Both the player and dealer are dealt two cards, and the object of the game is to make a hand as close to 21 as possible without going over. Numbered cards are worth face value, face cards are worth 10, and aces are worth either 1 or 11 (player’s choice). If a player is dealt an ace and a card worth 10 in their first two cards, they have “blackjack,” a natural 21, and they win immediately (usually three dollars for every two bet; sometimes less). Otherwise, the player chooses to either draw one card at a time or “stand” (draw no further cards). If the player draws a card that puts them over 21, they “bust” and their bet is collected. Only one of the dealer’s cards is face up while the player makes his/her decision. Once the player is done drawing (after standing or busting), the dealer flips over their hidden card and then draws per the house rules. Whoever holds the highest hand between the player or dealer wins the bet, and players take back their bets if they tie. Players can also their first two cards into two separate hands if they were dealt a pair. Players can also “double down,” doubling their bet and receiving exactly one extra card, hoping that card causes them to beat the dealer.


Craps

Craps is a dice game where players make bets on what will be rolled next. The game can look intimidating at first, as there are a lot of possible bets that can be made. Each rounds starts with a “shooter,” or a player who throws two dice. A few things can happen as a result of the initial roll, depending on the total rolled:

  • 4,5,6,8,9, or 10 — A “point” is established, and the shooter continues rolling until they roll the same number again or a 7. If the player hits the “point” number again, players who bet on the “pass” line win. If they hit a 7 before the point, the “do not pass” bettors win.
  • 2, 3, or 12 — “Craps,” or “crapping out.” The “pass” bets lose, and the shooter rolls again to try to establish a point.
  • 7 or 11 — “Natural.” The “pass” line wins.

In nearly all cases where the pass line bettors win, the do not pass line bettors lose, and vice versa. Players can also bet individual numbers and a slew of other options. There are numerous bets possible in craps at many different payout odds.


Roulette

In roulette, a dealer places a ball in a spinning wheel with notches in it. The ball will eventually come to rest within a notch that is labeled with both a number (0-37 or 0-37) and color (red or black) — for instance, red 32. Players can bet on the outcome of the roll, from as general as red/black or odd/even, to as specific as an individual number. Individual numbers pay higher rewards due to their lower likelihood of hitting.


Slots

Slots is a game with several spinning “reels” of symbols (columns). Each slot game features different symbols on the reels, usually representing a theme (Egypt, cats, dragons, pirates, etc.). The player is hoping to match symbols on certain winning “lines,” and some slot games allow players to play multiple lines, increasing their chances of hitting a match. Lines can be straight, diagonal, or even zig zag. Players can examine the different line possibilities and the different values of matching symbols in the slot game’s pay tables. Many slot games also have bonus rounds that can be reached with certain matching symbols. The bonus rounds can involve free spins or fun games that award players extra credits.


Video Poker

There are various forms of video poker, but all are based on the general five-card poker hand rankings:

    • Royal flush
    • Straight flush
    • Four of a kind
    • Full house
    • Flush
    • Straight
    • Three of a kind
    • Two pair
    • Pair
    • High card

Players are dealt a five-card poker hand, and they are given the option to redraw any or all of the five cards to make a better hand. Generally players are only paid if they make a hand of at least a pair of jacks or better. The better the hand the player makes, the more they get paid, with a royal flush paying the maximum. There are many variations involving wild cards, with different odds for each.

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