Beginner's Guide to Online Casino Games

Beginner's Guide to Online Casino Games

Published Date · March 8, 2019 · Last Updated · June 23, 2023 ·Read Time · 11 mins

The casino is a prestigious venue featuring games that can yield enormous returns!  Who has never dreamt about betting to win double, triple (or even more) their winnings? The bigger payout rate, the bigger are your chances!

What is the payout rate ?

Formerly known as Player Return Ratio (PRR), the payout rate is an average rate (expressed in percentage) representing the amount of money that is given back to players.  This ratio is defined by technicians specifically authorized by governments, who give audits within real casinos (and online ones to, nowadays) in order to check that the online or real casinos are observing this ratio that is imposed by law. These audits are happening every 100 days or so. The ratio also means that there is calculation of an average over a certain period of time! For example: if the ratio is 90%, you will not get 90£ back from a 100£ bet ! If it happens to be the jackpot, it will be more but if you lose, it could be nothing!  In addition, this average is depending on variance: on the same game, from one day to another, the game is absolutely capable of paying less.

Some payout discrepancies !

According to the casino type, the payout rate can vary. Virtual casinos are offering a much more interesting payout rate than in-sito establishments. The basic bet that is given back to online players is about 97%, against 86 % for in-sito establishments. Some online casinos even give 99 % of their bets back and therefore only take 1% profit ! Obviously, real casinos can’t afford this as they are facing diverse additional fees (workforce, location, housekeeping, etc.).

Theoretical payout rate VS Actual payout rate : what’s this all about ?

The theoretical payout rate is given by the percentage redistributed to players, and reveals favourably to getting returns. The actual payout rate is the payout ratio for a machine over a fixed period of time. The actual payout rate can be different from the theoretical one if your gaming strategy is not optimal. If a slot machine took 1 penny as a bet with only one pay line, its payout rate would not be the same as if it took the maximum bet possible over multiple pay lines. How do we at a casino’s different games? What is the payout rate for each game?

Slot Machines

Winning at slot machines is a matter of Luck and a little bit of strategy! Playing by instinct, trusting to fate, is inevitable! But then, what’s the most probable winning technique? The most popular winning tip is to be careful on the way you bet. The bigger the bets are and winning lines are played, the more your chances are growing! Of course, budget must follow. Hence, you must set a budget and stick to it! It is much preferable to play, for example, 4 chips and 5 lines over a 5 pence machine than one lone chip on a 1£ machine! Sure, the bets are less important but they stay optimal and most important: they are multiplied!

Must know : Online and real casinos are particularly fearful of maximal bets that are associated to all pay lines because this method allows you to yield enormous returns on the long run.

Table Games


Playing a « game of luck » doesn’t mean playing with « no strategy »!
In order to optimize your winning chances, some tips and tricks must be kept in mind.
Do not hesitate to follow this winning technique: maximize profits, minimize losses and test several betting methods.

In order to know how to maximize profits, you need to check the roulette before playing.

  • In a real establishment, repetitions can happen. Over some roulettes, the marble will stop more times over an even number than on other roulettes. Do not forget to check the information table !
    • The croupier’s habits (their way to throw the marble, to turn the wheel) can influence the marble’s behavior. It is very much possible that if the croupier uses the same amount of strength to throw or manipulate the wheel, the same numbers would often land!

In order to minimize losses, you need to know what amount to bet!
• First rule: never bet more money than you can afford to lose!
You must set a budget and as the games go, the player’s behavior is going to influence their bets, and then their wins and losses.
• Things to avoid, for example, are consuming alcohol or drugs which can lower your vigilance regarding your set budget or actions.
• If possible, note the successive bets and stop when your limit budget is reached.

Finally, choose the following betting methods to win big returns!

  • Play the exterior: interesting technique as it has good probability not to lose bets on betting on manque-passe, even-odd or red-black. The winnings are lower but winning rate is bigger even if a little bit less than 50% (Whose fault is that? Zero and double zero!). Never ever play the following numbers: 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. Why? Simply because the house edge lies in these numbers!
  • The exterior double bet works very well. Example: odd and red. All numbers will be covered, and twice for some of them. With this strategy, you win twice your wager.
    In case you lose, the bet must be doubled on the same color until it finally lands and wins. This strategy is called the classic martingale.

Game technique: 5£ bet on red, but black lands. This is a loss. On the next turn, still 10£ bet on the red. Black lands again: 15£ loss (5 + 10). Next bet: 20£ on red (yes, again!) and this time red lands (sooner or later it WILL land, you then need to double the bet until it happens. Winnings: 40£

Wins minus losses: 5£ profit! A small amount, that’s true but if you do this constantly, the final benefits can be huge!
Always start with betting the minimum allowed amount on the table and increase little by little. Be careful: some tables have a maximum bet amount and this can be easily reached before finally getting your win. This strategy requires an important budget in order to double up on each turn!

  • The big martingale: Just like the classic martingale, bets are increased by successive stages, but you need to add the initial bet amount to each new bet.

Game technique: first bet of 5£ which loses. The next bet will be 15£ (5£ initial bet + the new bet that’s doubled to 10£).

  • James Bond plays Roulette! With the James Bond strategy, the bet is constantly 200£ on each turn. Place 140£ on passe (numbers from 19 to 36), 50£ on sextets (numbers 13 to 18) and 10£ on zero.
    Chances of winning are therefore increased and at the same time you are diversifying your bets.
    The marble lands between 19 and 36 : 80£ win.
    If it stops its crazy run on a sextet (from 13 to 18), your win gets up to 100£.
    Please note: you’d win 160£ if zero comes out.
    But, and that’s a big « but »! If the marble lands on a number between 1 and 12, then what? The 200£ are lost. Then, you need to play again with the classic martingale in order to try to get this loss back (if you have enough budget left of course!).
  • The prison: this method is applicable on European roulette and considerably reduces the house edge from 7,90 % down to 1,35 %).
    Game technique: 10£ bet on black.
    Marble stops of zero: the house keeps their 10£ and the croupier throws the marble again.
    Now it lands on a black number: the bet is recovered.
    No win but also: no loss!

Must know :
• Training at home or on a free table allows you to gaze at a table without losing a single penny and familiarize yourself with roulette and other players.
• Prefer European Roulette! American Roulette has a double zero which considerably lowers your chances of winning.
• Cash your winnings: Wager of 100£ and win of 50£? Put the 50£ aside and keep on playing with the 100£ addressed to betting. This way, your win is definitive and quite real !


On this game, there is no luck anymore. All is about Ma-the-ma-tics !
You will need basic notions: know all the possible strategies, the house edge and the cards that improve your hands, the player’s edge and also the cards that worsen your game. All this, while applying the game rules.

House edge

The main house advantage is that its opponent (you) is playing first without knowing the casino card!
Also, when a player bursts (gets over 21), the house wins even if it bursts.
The lowest cards (less than 6) favor the casino. The croupier got more chances to build a good hand and then, natural blackjacks become more difficult.

Player’s edge

The player has the opportunity to increase or lower the amount they are betting each turn. The house is forced to continue playing if the player is over 17 even if it means losing!
The high cards favor the player. The house has a bigger risk to burst and natural blackjacks are more frequent!

Mastering the rules of Blackjack

If the player builds a natural Blackjack (21 with only two cards), the usual win is 3 against 2.
If the house builds a natural Blackjack, the player only loses 1 against 1 or even nothing at all (if insurance)!
• Manage all data available: if the player could bet only on high cards, they would systematically win but this is forbidden! The player bets big on high cards and lowers their bets if the cards value is decreasing. This is the key to winning at Blackjack!
If your bets are too evasive, the casino can be alerted and can suspect that you are counting cards. This is forbidden and sometimes punished. Be stealthy!

Basic technique: house visible card = 6 or less, Stand on 12. The dealer will hit until it gets 17 or more. Hit on an A6 and stand on A7. Double down on 10 or 11. Always split pairs of aces and pairs of 8. Split 7s if the croupier’s card is 7 (or less). Never ever take insurance at Blackjack.

Hi-Low technique (to count cards): that’s simple; you need to give cards (from 2 to 6) a +1 value and a -1 value to all cards above 10. The other cards are neutral and count for zero. Positive count = cards favor the player because more chances to see high cards being played. The goal being to beat the croupier, there are more chances for the house to burst because they need to stop hitting when they reach 17.

Must know : Other techniques give aces a -2 value and +2 to 5. For aces, it is logical as they can be considered as a « 1 ». The 5 is generally called « the friend of the house » as it can transform bad hands into good hands. Example: (12-16) becomes (17-21).

The shoe hosts between 4 and 8 decks of cards in casinos. If count is positive at first, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually was positive in the end. The best moment to increase your bets is when count is positive AND there are not a lot of cards left in the shoe!


James Bond’s favorite game, Baccarat requires observation and instinct!

First step: Observation.

  • Card distribution
    Two hands are dealt, clockwise, composed of two cards from an eight-deck shoe. One hand is the player’s while the other is the croupier’s.
    All players at the table can bet on the results given by the hands: bet on the player’s or on the croupier’s in order to be as close as possible to 9. Players can pass and then not be dealt any hand. The dealing player is going to choose two cards for all the players and give them to the croupier, in charge of the chips. The first hand goes to the player and the second one to the croupier.
    When the starting shoe is shuffled, the first card is flipped to show how many cards the dealing player must discard (or burn) between dealing of the two hands. Example: if the first card is a 2, the dealing player will have to burn two cards between each handover until game is shuffled again!
  • Cards value
    The value of the cards is added to give a global score between 0 and 9. Any number series (or straights) don’t matter. Figures are worth 10, aces are worth 1 and all cards between 2 and 9 are worth their own number. In case of addition, tens are ignored and then figures are worth 0.
    Example: Player’s hand is composed of a 5 and a 7. Adding these values gives 12. Therefore the score is 2. It’s not possible to get over the maximum value, as it is in Blackjack for instance, but dealing a third card is subject to a series of rules.
    In case of draw, the hand doesn’t count, bets are redistributed to players and new hands are dealt.
  • Player’s third card
    A third card is drawn by the player and the croupier in the following cases:
    • If one of the hands is worth 8 or 9: no hand can be dealt an additional card. This rule always prevails!
    • If the player’s got less than 5, they can receive a third card. The player is the first to receive their third card.
  • Banker’s third card
    If the player does not receive a third card (because their score is at least 6), the croupier gets a third card if their score is less than 5. If the player got a third card, the banker getting a third card depends on the value of the player’s third card and the banker’s score.
    • Player’s third card = 9, 10, figure or ace: the croupier draws a third card (if their score is between 0 and 3).
    • Player’s third card = 8: the croupier draws a third card (if their score is between 0 and 2).
    • Player’s third card = 6 or 7: the croupier draws a third card (if their score is between 0 and 6).
    • Player’s third card = 4 or 5: the croupier draws a third card (if their score is between 0 and 5).
    • Player’s third card = 2 or 3: the croupier draws a third card (if their score is between 0 and 4).
    Must know
    In most of casinos, the banker will draw a third card according to these rules. Just like Roulette, the only decision to make is: betting on player or banker.

Step two: bet smart and with your guts!
As these are blind bets, learn probabilities of the game and how to count your victories. Learn how to follow movements all by listening to your guts: it allows you to develop a paying strategy. Just be careful not to follow it blindly!

Thanks to a small sheet, it is recommended to note the history of played hands and which one wins on each turn. This way, the movement can be followed as a winning pattern can be identified (recurring hands). The probabilities to win a hand are roughly 50/50.

Start with small bets (one or two units) and increase them slowly as long as you lose the small units. If your budget allows it, your loss will eventually be recovered!
If betting on a player brings you satisfaction, you need to continue betting smoothly. Do not bet on a different hand each turn!

Any doubt? The sure bet is Banker! The rule says that the dealing player systematically bets Banker until it loses (follow the trend, follow the trend!). It’s possible to do the same when being a normal player. It’s a nice starter to elaborate a strategy later on.

One last piece of advice? Listen to your instinct as it is impossible to decipher a hand! Of course, you need to leave the table when the situation is at its best and the set budget is not reached.

No matter which game…

No matter which casino game fascinates or attracts, you need to constantly keep in mind that Luck is so often prevailing, which makes a lot of players go crazy! Self-control and wisdom are needed to maneuver in this, where everything is won and lost in a matter of seconds!

Always, always and always define a budget and stick to it.
Always, always and always think about the « game spirit », not the « easy quick money spirit»!
Never, never, and never, take for granted any method that brings you the jackpot one day. It can reveal itself being the worst of strategies on another table!

Finally you can discover our list of top UK casinos.


Michael Oltra