7 Easy Gambling Activities with a Low House Edge for Beginners

7 GamblingBeginners

You can find casino games that offer a low house edge if you know which rules or pay tables to look for and use the proper strategy. But this requires quite a bit of work.

You can play blackjack and some video poker games with a house edge of under 1%. Good poker players can even win in the long run. But all of these games require advanced strategy.

The gambling activities listed on this page combine a low house edge with either no strategy or a simple strategy that anyone can use.

These 7 easy gambling activates with a low house edge for beginners can be played by anyone without being worried about fighting a large casino advantage.

You can pick any game from this list and learn exactly what to do in just a few seconds. The largest house edge on the list is 2.88% and the smallest is 1.06%.

Here’s a quick overview of the seven games and the house edge of each.

House Edge
Baccarat Banker Bet
Craps Pass Line Bet
Casino War Always Go to War
Sic Bo Small or Big
Sports Betting at 105 to Win 100
Red Dog Spread Seven

Many of these games have other bets available, but in order to play at the lowest possible house edge you can only play the ones recommended below. If you play the other bets you increase the house edge.

This page is designed for beginning gamblers so I want to offer a few pieces of advice before you get started.

  1. Place the minimum bet when you start playing. As you learn more about the game you can bet more if you want, but the minimum bet lets you play longer and minimizes the cost of any mistakes.
  2. If you don’t understand something ask the dealer. They’re here to help, so take advantage of their knowledge.
  3. You can play most of these games for free online. This is a good way to learn how the game works before playing in the casino.
  4. Never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. Even though the games listed on this page have a low house edge, in the long run, they’re all designed to take your money. Never count on winning, because you rarely will.
  5. Never chase your losses. Don’t bet more after a loss hoping to win back what you lost. You may be able to win back losses sometimes, but often you’ll just lose faster.

Remember all of these tips when you read through the gambling activities listed below. And keep them in mind as you start playing in the casino for real money.

1 – Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the easiest games you can play in the casino. The game is the same whether you play regular baccarat, where the players take turns dealing, or if you play mini baccarat with a table like a blackjack table with a dealer.

The best strategy is even easy. All you need to do to play with the lowest possible house edge is always bet on the banker. All of your winning bets pay a commission, usually 5%, but even after this, the house edge is 1.06%.

Baccarat is the number one game I suggest for beginning gamblers. Simply take a seat, choose how much to bet, place your bet on the banker, and the dealer takes care of everything else.

Some casinos keep track of the commission and collect it when you finish playing. I prefer to play where they take care of the commission on each hand as it happens because if you play a long time the commission can add up quickly.

When you play where they settle the commission on each hand as it’s played you always know exactly how much money you have.

2 – Craps

Craps offers many bets, but most of them are at a high house edge. If you stick with the pass line bet you play with a house edge of just 1.41%.

All you have to do is join the table, wait for a come out roll, and place your bet on the pass line. The dealers take care of everything else.

When you make a pass line bet and a point is set you can place an odds bet behind your pass line bet. The odds bet has a zero house edge so you actually reduce the edge more by taking the odds.

You can’t place an odds bet unless you place a pass line bet so you need to do it first. If you don’t know when you can place a bet ask one of the dealers at the table. They’ll be glad to help you and once you learn the first time you’ll never have to ask again.

You have the opportunity to roll the dice but you don’t have to roll them unless no one else is at the table. You can pass them to the next shooter when it’s your turn.

Craps is also a fairly slow game because each pass line bet can take a number of rolls to resolve. By playing a slow game you can play longer on the same sized bankroll than when you play faster games.

3 – European Roulette

A European roulette wheel is one that has a single zero space and doesn’t have a double zero space. All bets placed on a European roulette wheel have a house edge of 2.7%.

You can place a wide range of bets with different payouts, but they all have the same edge.

You can bet on odd or even or black or red with a payout of one to one. Or you can bet on a single number with a payout of 35 to one.

Simply join the table and place a bet before the person running the game spins the wheel. In some casinos, you exchange your regular chips or money for special roulette chips. They have different colors to keep the bets straight, but it’s the same as betting cash.

I recommend starting with the even-money bets mentioned above until you get the hand of the game, but European roulette offers a great way to start gambling for beginners with a low house edge.

As you get used to the game you can consider placing bets on two numbers, four numbers, the dozens, or the columns.

If you want a chance at a big payout you can bet on an individual number. A $10 bet on a single number pays out $350 when you win. Of course, the wheel has 37 spaces on it so on average a single number only comes up one out of 37 spins, but it does offer the chance of a decent payout when you get lucky.

4 – Casino War

Casino war is based on the popular card game that many people learn how to play as children.

You place a bet and if your card is higher than the dealer’s card you win even money. So a bet of $5 wins $5. If your card and the dealer’s card are the same you can choose to go to war.

The best strategy when playing casino war is to always go to war on ties. When you do this the house edge is 2.88%.

This is an easy game to play and a simple strategy. The Casino War table usually isn’t crowded so it’s easy to start playing. Just place your bet and always go to war on ties and the dealer does everything else.

5 – Sic Bo

Sic Bo is a game using three dice that are popular in Asia and with Asian gamblers. You don’t roll the dice so the only thing you need to do is place a bet.

The board where the best are placed has many different betting options, but most of them have a high house edge. You should only bet on either the big or small space. Both of these bets have a house edge of 2.78%.

A bet on small wins on any roll of four to 10 that isn’t three of a kind and the big bet wins on any roll of 11 to 17 except three of a kind.

All you need to do is place a bet and the dealer rolls the dice, usually by activating a device like a cage or a globe where the dice are juggled, and pays out winning bets or collects losing ones.

6 – Sports Betting at 105 to 100

Studies have been done showing that the majority of sports bettors pick winners on games with a spread no better than 50% of the time. This means that if you simply pick a team at random you’re betting with about the same chance of winning as everyone else.

This makes picking the game easy. Simply pick a team using a coin flip or throw a dart at the bet sheet.

The games you need to bet are the ones that offer a point spread. One team will be favored and give points and the other will receive points. The favorite will have a minus and the underdog will have a plus.

Here’s an example:

This is a sample line from an NFL game.

Houston + 3

San Diego – 3

This means that Houston is playing at San Diego and San Diego is favored to win. If you bet on Houston you get 3 points and if you bet on San Diego you give three points.

In other words, when the game is over you add three points to Houston or take three points away from San Diego.

So if you bet on San Diego they need to win by four or more points for you to win the bet. If you bet on Houston they need to win or lose by two points or less for you to win the bet.

Many sportsbooks charge 110 to win 100, but you can find some that offer 105 to win 100 regularly or run specials offering this rate.

If you place bets at 105 to 100 it means you have to win 51.22% or the time to break even. This also means the house edge for the sportsbook created by the difference between 105 and 100 is just 2.38%.

This makes betting on games with a spread at 105 to 100 is easy and offers a low house edge.

Over the course of 100 bets at 105 to win 100 you’re probably going to win 50 games and lose 50 games.

It costs you 105 times 100 to make all of the bets for a total investment of $10,500. When you win you get back your 105 plus 100, so the 50 times you win you get back a total of $10,250.

The loss of $250 is divided by the investment of $10,500 to get the 2.38% house edge.

If you’re lucky and win 51 games, which is entirely possible, the house edge is reduced to four-tenths of a percent.

With a break-even goal of winning 51.22%, all you have to do is win 52 games out of 100 instead of 50 to have a small edge.

If you bet at random you’ll have many sets of 100 games where you win 52 games. Of course, you’ll have the same number of sets of 100 games where you lose 52 games in the long run, but all of this simply shows why sports betting offers a low house edge for beginning gamblers and is easy to do.

It’s also one of the few gambling activities you can do where it’s possible to win money in the long run.

If can win half the time on 98 games and figure out a way to pick two games better than the sports book you can win more than you lose.

This sounds easy, but few people are able to do this consistently. But the possibility is there if you’re willing to do the extra work.

7 – Red Dog

Red Dog is a casino game that’s also called Acey Deucy or high low in some places. The dealer places two cards out on the table face up and you can bet that the next card will land between them. You get different payout odds depending on the spread between the two cards.

The spread is the number of cards between the two cards, and aces are always high. So if the two cards are a four and an eight, the spread is three.

The strategy to use when playing Red Dog is simple. You should only bet when the spread is seven or more. This makes the house edge 2.8%. Here’s a list of the only hands you should bet on when you play Red Dog.

  • Two – 10
  • Two – Jack
  • Two – Queen
  • Two – King
  • Two – Ace
  • Three – Jack
  • Three – Queen
  • Three – King
  • Three – Ace
  • Four – Queen
  • Four – King
  • Four – Ace
  • Five – King
  • Five – Ace
  • Six – Ace

You should never bet on any other hand. You don’t need to memorize the list. Simply count how many cards are between the two and if the spread is seven or more you should bet.

All of these bets are paid out one to one, so if you bet $10 and win you get your $10 back and a win of $10. When you lose you lose your $10 bet.


If you’re a beginning gambler or are looking for an easy game with a low house edge to play you can use this list of 7 easy gambling activities with a low house edge. Just read the section for the game you want to play and you’ll instantly know the house edge and the best strategy.

If you’re looking for the best option I suggest starting with baccarat. It’s easy to play and has a house edge of only 1.06%. If you want an activity that offers the best chance to win read the sports betting section.

Petko Stoyanov
Get in touch with Petko
About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.