While evaluating online casino games a parameter that is commonly used is average return to player. The concept is best explained with the help of an example. A game having an average return of 98% means that if a player wagers on that game for a long time then he is expected to recover 98% of his bankroll and lose 2% of it to the online casino. Naturally online casino games having a higher average return are better for wagering, provided all other factors are identical. This article classifies games according to the average return they offer.
Online baccarat offers two main bets. The Player bet has an average return of 99% and the Banker bet offers an average return of 98.75%. No skill is involved in playing online baccarat. Once the player has placed the wager, the software conducts the entire game. Therefore baccarat, with wagering on the Player bet appears to be a lucrative proposition. The only problem is that it is a very monotonous game. But then one cannot have everything.
There are a large number of blackjack and video poker variants on offer at online casinos. The best of these offer an average return of 99% and even more. However, players have to wager using optimum strategy in order to achieve these returns. In online blackjack it means that they must choose the right move from hit, stand, split and double in every situation. In online video poker it means that they must hold the right cards in the hand dealt. If they make the wrong moves the return that they will actually get will be far lower. In the best online casinos players need not actually know the optimum strategy. It is built into the game. In blackjack, software providers provide strategy cards to aid players. Some of them even provide an auto play facility that automatically uses optimum strategy. In video poker the optimum cards to be held are selected by default.
There are three variants of roulette offered at online casinos. Each variant offers a different return. American Roulette is played with 0 and 00. If either of these numbers is called all regular bets lose. American Roulette has an average return of 94.75%. European Roulette is played only with only 0. It offers a substantially higher return of 97.4%. French Roulette is played with an unusual rule. When 0 is called half the bet is returned to the player for even money bets. This increases the average return even further.
Most of the games at online casinos are slot machines. Each slot machine has its own average return that is determined by the software developer through computer simulations. By and large the average return on slot machines as reported by software developers is around 95%. Since no skill is required in online slots there is no difference between actual average returns and optimum average returns. Many online casinos get their operations audited and the reported average return on slot games is around 95%.
A valid question is why an online casino player should wager on games with lower average returns. The main reason is higher payout ratios. Baccarat offers payouts of even money or less. Blackjack offers payouts of even money on regular wins and 3 to 2 on blackjack. Roulette offers payouts of 35 to 1 on single number bets. The highest payouts in online slots go up to 1,000 to 1 and even more. Therefore players are willing to sacrifice a bit in average returns for the sake of possible high payouts.