Casino Gambling Guide

Games to avoid: Sucker Bets

You will find lots of information on our site that helps you find the best casino games online, and which strategies you should use to maximize your winnings (or minimize your losses as some say). For example, we recently examined and compared all video poker, let it ride and caribbean poker offerings from five of the biggest online casino software companies.

While we certainly intend to write more articles like that in the future, we will take a completely different approach in the one you are reading right now. Instead of telling you what the best games to play are, where you can find them, and how you should play them optimally, we will give you a brief overview of five games you should *not* play. Each game is unique and has it's own set of rules, but all five of them have one thing in common: they offer some of the worse odds in online and offline gaming. Collectively we refer to these games as "sucker games", and to the bets that you can place on them as "sucker bets".

Sucker game Top 5

Keno & Lottery

In Keno you pick between 1 and 15 (10) spots on a 80 number sheet. In each round 20 numbers are drawn randomly. Depending on how much numbers drawn match the numbers you selected, you are paid out according to the pay table, which varies with each bet (how many numbers you picked).

Video Keno

A typical casino Keno game has an house edge of 30%. Some bets on Video Keno offer considerably better odds though. Keno is a close relative of the Lottery, a game that even tops Keno in providing bad bets, with an expectation of 50%.

Big Six

In Big Six you can bet on the $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, Joker and Casino symbol. Each symbol occurs with a certain frequency on the money wheel. The less a symbol appears the higher it pays when hit, according to the following pay table:

Symbol Payout
1 1 to 1
2 2 to 1
5 5 to 1
10 10 to 1
20 20 to 1
Joker or Casino 40 to1

Big Six

Though Big Six looks a bit like Roulette, it's definitely not worth playing with an house edge ranging between 11% and 24% for the various bets offered.


Red Dog Poker

After placing your initial bet two cards are drawn in Red Dog Poker. If they match (suits are ignored and Aces count as 11), a third card is drawn. If the third card also matches (three of a kind) you are paid out 11 to 1. If it doesn't it's a push. If the first two cards don't match, the spread is calculated as the number of cards between the lowest and the highest card drawn. If the spread is zero, it's a push. If the spread is one or more you have the option to raise your bet. A third card is dealt. If the third card falls outside the range you lose. If it's inside the range you are paid out according to the following pay table:

Spread Payout
1 5 to 1
2 4 to 1
3 2 to 1
4+ 1 to 1

Red Dog Poker

The house edge on Red Dog Poker depends on the pay table used, and the number of decks, but is always more than 3% for the games we checked online.

Sic Bo


In Sic Bo you can make a wide variety of bets on the outcome of a roll (spin) of three dice. Most bets have an house edge between 7% up to 18%, except for the High and Low bets, with an house edge of 2.78%.


In conclusion

We have labeled Keno, the Lottery, Big Six, Red Dog Poker and Sic Bo as "sucker games", games to avoid. This is merely our opinion, based on the high house edge that comes with these games. It's entirely up to you to decide if you do or don't want to play these games. In the "short term" it's possible to win (or lose) considerable sums of money, even when playing "sucker games". In the "long term" you will lose more money playing these games, when compared to for example Blackjack or Video Poker.

More sucker games
6:5 Blackjack - An article by Kenneth R Smith from

Related topics
Gambling Strategy & Rules
Caribbean Stud Poker
Let It Ride
Pai Gow Poker
Video Poker
Online Poker

House edge
Money Management
Psychology of Gambling
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Biggest casino in the US
Who founded Las Vegas
Sucker bets
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