Gambling around the globe looks mostly the same. It’s not the games that change, so much as the subtle way the games are played.
It also turns out that players worldwide have different preferences when they spend their time on the casino floor. These are the 7 most loved casino games in Europe.
You’ll notice some apparent games, but a few may surprise you.
1 – Texas Hold’Em
Casino poker rooms have steadily remained full for decades. The fish are attracted by the Wild West’s romance and feeling that still emanates from the expansive enclaves.
The sharks are attracted by, obviously, the fish. Poker rooms are an ecosystem.
The bigger fish eat the smaller fish. The sharks eat the bigger fish. The casino gets a little piece of everyone’s pie.
Many U.S. gamblers are surprised to learn of poker’s popularity across Europe. However, stroll into any casino or underground gaming establishment throughout Europe, and you’ll find plenty of poker action.
Poker accounts for approximately 20% of the table action across Europe. So, don’t be fulled into thinking you’ve stumbled upon the “fish Market.”
Some of the world’s best players hail from around Europe; I’m talking about $20 Million plus winners that don’t make the top 10.
Walk into the wrong game, and you may find yourself on the wrong end of a cleaning out.
The great thing about playing poker in Europe is that you’ll meet some of the more interesting individuals you could ever hope to meet. There may not be a casino game for the money to immerse yourself in the culture’s nuances than playing poker with the locals.
2 – Baccarat
Baccarat is beloved by high rollers around the globe, and the same holds for European gamblers.
The relatively manageable house edge combined with the thrill of a game where chance reigns supreme draws in the whales and those with more modest budgets equally.
European casinos are in no short supply of baccarat tables. There’s something extraordinary about playing baccarat in an old-world casino.
The refined elegance of many European casinos combined with baccarat’s high-class status will have you feeling like you’re in a movie. There’s no mistaking why James Bond, the Hollywood super-spy, makes his home at the baccarat table.
Now, I’m not saying Bond inspires the hoards of European baccarat players. However, if many European gamblers are following the footsteps of 007, they aren’t alone.
My favorite aspect of baccarat, besides the friendly house edge, is the simplicity. The game can be learned within a few minutes, and outside of where to place their wager, there are no decisions to be made.
First-time casino gamblers often shy away from the baccarat table because they automatically assume they came is complicated or must have some secret strategy. The truth is that the game is straightforward and player-friendly.
Players in the know are the reason for the game’s soaring popularity in Europe.
3 – Blackjack
Blackjack is widely considered the most popular casino table game in the world. The game holds nearly a third of the share of total revenue generated by casino table games.
Advantage players favor real money blackjack for apparent reasons. If those reasons aren’t obvious, I’m referring to card counting.
Even recreational gamblers can turn a decent profit when Lady Luck shines. Still, you’ll need something in your corner to diminish the low house edge even further.
Here is where the basic blackjack strategy comes into play. Basic strategy is a formula based on millions of simulated hands. It gives players the best play against the dealer’s upcard.
So, if you happen to be a little rusty or it’s your first time playing in a casino, don’t stress over a game of blackjack. Stop into the gift shop and buy yourself a basic strategy card.
Then settle into a game surrounded by your new foreign friends, and you’ll be able to gamble alongside them all night without depleting your bankroll. Players that employ a basic strategy on every hand can cut the house edge to under 1%.
While European players lean towards baccarat because of the close edge, much like in the U.S., basic blackjack strategy is overlooked.
4 – Keno
Keno is nothing more than the casino’s version of the lottery. The game gives you a chance to make a smooth six-figure payday.
If you know anything about the lottery, you already know how slim those odds can be. Still, the lottery style game played with 80 numbers gives you a multitude of ways to win.
If I walked into a casino with a $20 bill and were forced to stretch that $20 all day, I’d hit the Keno parlor. So many ways to win almost guarantees that you’ll take some incremental wins.
That will help stretch your bankroll and keeps things exciting. There’s something about being 1 number away from a nice chunk of cash that makes you even more determined to hit the jackpot.
Keno is found in every casino worth its salt, but the game thrives in Germany. Gamblers can find keno everywhere you look in Germany. When it comes to European countries, Germany is the king of keno.
5 – Roulette
Spend much time in gambling circles, and you’ll soon learn that roulette comes in 2 main variants, American and European. American roulette wheels being double zero and European being single zero.
Contrary to logic, you can find American roulette in European casinos and European roulette in American casinos. If your lucky, that is.
You see, European roulette or single-zero wheels are much better for the player. How much better?
The house edge in American roulette is nearly 5.3%. When you compare that to European roulette at a house edge of 2.7%, the difference is staggering.
You can essentially expect to lose roughly twice as much per hour playing on a double zero wheel.
There may bez no better time to ditch the American roulette wheel than while playing in European casinos. Roulette accounts for roughly one-quarter of all casino table game revenue.
Player’s love the excitement of placing a sizeable wager on their lucky number and watching the ball dance across the wheel before settling into its final home.
You don’t have to lose your shirt, making low bets. When you stick to even money bets, you stand the best chance of breaking even or walking away from the casino a winner.
Careful to not start thinking your due for a win or that because red came up 11 times in a row, number 12 must be red. That kind of thinking will bankrupt a player faster than almost anything.
6 – Craps
Craps tables are the quintessential casino scene. Players huddle around the table with stacks of chips while the shooter slings the dice across the large table.
Still, craps are responsible for less than 7% of total casino revenues.
I find this unfortunate because craps are one of the most entertaining casino games available. The fact of the matter is that many players are intimidated by the game.
Maybe it’s the crowd, perhaps it’s the expansive table with a wide variety of bets, or it could be a combination of the two.
In reality, craps is an extremely player-friendly game, and all you need to know to enjoy a night at the craps table are the pass line and don’t pass line bet.
These two bets have some of the lowest house advantages in the casino. You’ll essentially be betting for or against the shooter.
Once a player becomes comfortable with the game’s flow and rules, they may start making the odds bets. Craps odds bets have a house edge of zero and are a great way to even the odds with the casino.
7 – Slot Machines
Slot machines rule the casino landscape. Whether you’re playing in Spain or Las Vegas, the slot machines are tremendous revenue streams for the casinos.
European slot machines are mostly the same games you can find in the U.S. Granted, you’ll probably find more soccer or racing themed games across most of Europe.
Because America is so prominent in popular culture around the globe, many of the movie-themed slots are well represented across Europe. You’ll even find the Wild West-themed games that are popular in the U.S.
Denominations will be slightly different because of foreign currencies. Still, they are comparable to those you’re accustomed to back in Las Vegas.
You will want to understand exchange rates and the specific denominations you’re playing for before you ever begin spinning the reels.
I’ve heard my share of stories about a hapless gambler that sat at a slot machine and had exhausted their entire bankroll within 30 minutes because they didn’t understand how much they were playing.
Try to learn as much as possible before you go on your European vacation. This will take care of any costly learning curve and put you in the best possible position to win.
As you can see, European gamblers are much like their American counterparts. You should easily slide into a European table given similar casino gambling habits.
Pick any of the 7 most loved casino games in Europe, and you are sure to have an enjoyable gambling experience.
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