Image of Casino Games With The Worst Odds

We should set something straight right off the bat: no casino game is mathematically beatable on a long-term basis. In that sense, it would be oxymoronic to claim that there’s a game with good odds. You might have a few great runs here and there, but these profitable sessions are not sustainable.

Eventually, the house will always prevail. This is not a knock on your skill or ability — it’s just that each game has a built-in statistical probability against you.

Then again, some casino games have a lower return on investment than others

Understanding which games have poor payout odds can help you make more informed decisions the next time you hit a casino floor, whether virtual or real. 

This article will outline casino games that will give the least bang for your buck. 


Keno IconKeno is known for two things — monster payout potential and a dreadful RTP. Depending on the casino and the game variant, the house edge may reach as much as 60%. Contrast this to blackjack, which has a 0.5% house edge, and it will become clear why advantage players and sharps avoid keno and lottery-type casino games.

Online keno somewhat differs from its retail counterpart, but the gameplay is fundamentally the same. In both variants, you pick one or more numbers from a larger pool (usually around 80), and if they are drawn from the drum, you win. In general, the more numbers you select, the greater the potential payoff and the lower the chance of hitting it.

Keno can indeed dish out astronomically large prizes, but the odds of hitting the jackpot aren’t nearly as great to justify the risk. For perspective, the chance of hitting 10 numbers in keno is roughly one in 9 million. The state lottery is probably a better bet in this respect.

Big Six Wheel

Wheel Game IconWheel of Fortune, Big Wheel, Money Wheel, Lucky Wheel —  the vernacular doesn’t matter —  they are all names referring to the popular Vegas-style casino classic. The game is a predecessor of live dealer wheel games found in online casinos, such as Dream Catcher.

You can place bets on any compartment. If their number, color, or symbol gets picked, you receive a payout based on the paytable. The payouts for low-frequency numbers are larger, but harder to hit.

The house edge in the Big Six Wheel depends on the wager. The overall RTP of the game is 80.16%, far lower than games such as video poker and blackjack.

American Roulette

American Roulette IconMuch like previous entrants in our list, American Roulette is a game solely based on luck. In other words, no formula, mathematical trick, or betting strategy will increase your winning chances.

The three main types of roulette French, European, and American — may look similar, but a closer mathematical examination reveals key differences in their payout odds. The American version has a house edge of 5.26%, twice what the European version has and nearly four times what it has in the French version.

It might appear that this variance is not significant, but it can have a significant impact for high-rollers. Thus, experienced players tend to stick to single-zero roulette variations and avoid American roulette.

Progressive Slots

progressive slots iconProgressive slots have a rather obvious appeal. It is not uncommon for these games to pay out mouth-watering sums, with grand prizes frequently exceeding $1 million. Developers make these titles with a low base RTP to offset this massive payout potential.

There is no better example of this than the legendary Mega Moolah slot, a mainstay of the online casino industry. The gameplay of this safari-themed slot is undeniably entertaining, and the chances of winning big are tempting, but it has a low RTP of 88.12%.

A far cry from high paying slots like Bloodsuckers, Big Bad Wolf, and 1429 Uncharted Seas that have RTPs exceeding 97%.

Craps (Prop Bets)

Craps IconCraps is the most vibrant and loudest game on the casino floor. The most popular dice game appeals to many players due to its boisterous comradery, the variety of bets, and the sense of team success when a point is established.

But one more draw of craps is often overlooked — low house edge, at least on certain bets.

A don’t pass bet has a house edge of 1.36%, among the lowest of all casino games. Some craps bets are among the worst out there, paradoxically. For example, the big red wager has a return-to-player rate of 83.7%, putting it in the same category as our other low-paying casino games.

Final Thoughts 

There you have it; these five casino games are the hardest to win. A common denominator among most bad odds games — the possibility to win big —  and this is also their most attractive feature. These games are also easy to learn and don’t require a lot of skill, which is why casual players prefer them

Now, if you’re in for some fun, there’s nothing wrong with trying out these games. But if you play them for a long time, the chances are high that you’ll go home empty-handed. Aside from the entertainment value, it is best to stay away from them.

About the Author

Author Sadonna Price has been part of the online casino industry for over a decade, watching it develop and expand across the US. She enjoys playing online slots and table games, as well as Texas Hold’em.