As a New Jersey online casino player, one thing you never have to worry about is being bored. Even if you play every day, with so many different types of games at your fingertips plus the wide variety of options within each game category, the fun and excitement of online casino gambling is always only a click away.
But assuming the reason you play is not just to have fun, but to try to win, does it make a difference what you play? Of course, it does.
All NJ online casino games must be approved in advance by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) to make sure they offer you a fair chance to win. However, some games are more favorable to the player or, conversely, to the casino, than others.
If you are new to NJ online casino gambling, the sheer number and variety of games can be overwhelming. In your eagerness to play, you might not make the best choices.
The information in this article will help you untangle the maze and identify the games that give you the best odds and your best chance to win.
Understanding Payments, House Edge, and RTP
All casino games, both online and offline, have a built-in house edge. If they didn’t, the casinos would not be able to stay in business and make a profit.
That doesn’t mean that in spite of the house edge, winning is impossible, even on games with a relatively high house edge. If players never won, obviously the word would get out and they would stop playing, so that, too, would make it impossible for a casino to stay in business.
At NJ online casinos, the house edge for different games varies. As a general rule, slot games have a higher house edge than table games. However, within each of these very broad categories, there can also be significant differences.
For example, some New Jersey online slots might have a house edge of 8% or higher while others have a house edge of 4% or less. Even so, a house edge of about 3-4% is about as low as you will find on any NJ online slot games.
In contrast, some table games, notably blackjack and video poker, at least when played correctly, have a lower house edge than even the best slots. In fact, the house edge on the best blackjack games is only 0.5% or less. However, this low house edge is contingent on the player knowing and using the correct basic strategy.
Only a small percentage of blackjack and video poker players know how to play these games correctly, which is why casinos can still make a lot of money from these games.
Of course, even very poor players can get lucky sometimes and win. But in the long run, they are playing against a higher house edge and giving back more money to the house than they should be.
Return to Player (RTP)
The Return to Player (or RTP) is the flip side of a game’s house edge. For example, a game with a theoretical published house edge of 5.26% would have an RTP of 94.74%. These figures are in fact the house edge and RTP of a game you will frequently see on NJ gambling websites, but not a very good game, American Roulette.
An important point to keep in mind about the RTP is it’s not a reliable indicator of how you will fare in any given playing session. In fact, your single session results can deviate markedly in either direction. However, knowing a game’s RTP is still helpful because it allows you to make better choices based on a game’s theoretical rate of return over time.
The RTP is a mathematical determination based on thousands of outcomes as to what will be the likely percentage of the total amount wagered on that game that the casino will return to the players. The more you play, the closer your own results will start resembling the published RTP.
How do slots differ from other casino games?
The house edge for online slots is generally higher than it is for other online casino games, but this is not the only important difference.
There really isn’t any right or wrong strategy for playing slots because the outcome is determined purely by luck. The one exception is that if the game lets you choose how many paylines you want to be active, you should choose to have all of the paylines working for you. Although selecting less than the maximum would lower the cost per spin, it is not recommended because it gives you fewer ways to win. If having all the paylines in play makes the game too expensive with the coin size you were considering, simply choose a smaller coin size.
Lower wagering requirements for clearing bonuses with slots — usually, but not always
Online casinos are aware of the fact that most of their slots have a higher house edge than most of the other games they offer. That is why most NJ online casinos set lower wagering requirements for clearing bonuses with slots than they do for their other games.
Borgata Online Casino is a notable exception. Most of their bonuses come with an across the board 15x wagering requirement. 15x the bonus can be steep for some players, especially since Borgata only gives you one day to complete the wagering. However, if you choose a game other than slots, the wagering requirement does not increase.
It is not unusual for NJ online casinos to impose a 50x bonus wagering requirement for clearing a bonus with video poker or blackjack, in contrast to only a 5x or 10x bonus playthrough requirement for slots.
But at a casino like Borgata, where all games count equally, it makes little sense to clear a bonus with slots. Smart players will realize that playing a game with a lower house edge is a better option and choose video poker or blackjack.
What qualifies as a high paying casino game?
Luck comes into play in all casino games, but the games with the highest RTP, namely blackjack and video poker, also require some degree of skill. Sure you can sit down and play the latter with little or no knowledge of correct basic strategy and get lucky and win. But don’t count on it happening often.
Even if you’re an expert player, you won’t win all of the time. No one does. But by taking the time to learn the ins and outs of the best casino games so that playing them correctly becomes second nature to you will pay off in the long run with better overall results.
Many players don’t want to be bothered and prefer playing a game like slots where skill doesn’t enter the picture at all. This is fine, as long as you understand that these are not the best games in the house for a player who hopes to win. Even so, some slot games offer a better rate of return than others.
As a general rule, progressive jackpot games have a relatively low RTP. When playing these games, you’re hoping for the big, possibly mega-size, life-changing payout, but the price you pay is smaller and less frequent payouts meanwhile.
Slot games tied to TV shows, movie franchises, and celebrities, though no doubt highly entertaining, might also not be your best bets as far as RTP is concerned since the interested parties will be waiting for their cut from the slot manufacturer.
Which table games have the highest rate of return?
Out of all of the different types of games you can play at NJ online casinos, blackjack stands out as the game that consistently offers the best payout percentages. The percentages aren’t uniform since different casinos offer different versions of the game.
In fact, you will often find different versions of blackjack even at the same casino. Depending on the number of decks and specific rule variations, some blackjack games might be slightly more or less favorable than others. Obviously, given a choice, you should pick the game with the best rules and highest RTP.
The following are the types of rule variations that are favorable to the player and, other things being equal, will give the game a higher RTP.
- Fewer decks
- Blackjack pays 3-2 as opposed to 6-5 or even money
- Doubling down permitted on any two cards
- Splitting pairs permitted on any two same-value cards
- Resplitting of pairs (other than Aces) permitted
- Doubling down after splits permitted
- Dealer standing on soft 17 (rather than hitting soft 17)
Obviously, no blackjack game exists, either online or offline, that incorporates all of these favorable rules. If it did, the edge would shift from the house to the player. Therefore, when any of these favorable rules are added, one or more will always be taken away.
For example, in single deck blackjack, doubling down might be restricted to hands of 9, 10, and 11 only and, in addition, the dealer will probably be hitting soft 17. Many multiple deck blackjack games also have the dealer hitting soft 17. When you have a hand of soft 17, you should always at least hit it and, against a dealer 3-6 (or 2-6 depending on the rules) double down. By hitting or doubling, you can’t possibly bust, and you could improve your hand.
Conversely, when the dealer is allowed to hit a soft 17, she is the one who can improve her hand.
Obviously, even if you are allowed to double down on any two starting cards or split any pair, you should only do so when basic strategy says it is correct. However, being given the option works in your favor. It allows you to get more money on the table at the most opportune times.
Good and bad single deck blackjack games
Good single deck blackjack games are a rarity.
In most areas of the country, including New Jersey, the overwhelming majority of blackjack games are played with six or eight decks. Moreover, in the few single deck games that are available, in addition to restricting you to doubling down on 9, 10, and 11, multiple other unfavorable rules will usually be added. For example, the dealer must hit on soft 17, and blackjack might even pay 6-5 instead of 3-2.
The result is that the advantages to the player that the single game otherwise offers are largely negated and the house edge actually becomes higher than on many multiple deck games. Knowledgeable players avoid these inferior single deck games and stick to other blackjack games with better odds.
Single Deck Blackjack at Tropicana and Virgin Online Casinos
A notable exception is the single deck blackjack game by Gamesys offered at Tropicana and Virgin online casinos. This is an excellent game because even though there are a few unfavorable rules, most of the good rules are retained. For example, the dealer stands on soft 17. Blackjack also pays 3-2.
Here are the important rules:
- One deck
- European style blackjack–dealer has no hole card
- Dealer stands on soft 17.
- Doubling down on 9, 10, and 11 only
- No doubling down after splits
- No resplits
- No surrender
- Player can play one betting position only.
According to playnj.com, this game has an RTP of 99.74%, while the two casinos list the RTP as 99.91%. Either way, it is probably the best online blackjack game you can find.
Good Multi-deck Blackjack Games
There are also many very good multi-deck games. Your best bet is to choose games with an RTP of 99.5% or higher. Here are two examples you might consider, along with many others.
Atlantic City Blackjack at Tropicana and Virgin Online Casinos
This game is played with eight decks, but it has very favorable rules. According to the two NJ gambling websites offering it, the RTP is 99.64%.
Here are the important rules:
- Eight decks
- Dealer stands on soft 17.
- Doubling down on any two cards.
- Doubling down after splits.
- Resplitting pairs (except Aces) allowed up to four hands.
- Late surrender*
*Despite the name Atlantic City Blackjack, the late surrender option no longer exists at any Atlantic City casino. So as long as you know how to use it properly, you are gaining a big advantage.
Classic Blackjack by NetEnt (available at multiple NJ online casinos, including Golden Nugget, Caesars, and others)
NetEnt is not only one of the leading manufacturers of top quality online slots; the company also provides table games. Whatever game it is, the NetEnt label is your assurance that it meets the highest standards in technology, playability, and game fairness.
Classic Blackjack by NetEnt has a published RTP of 99.59%. Here are the important rules:
- Four decks
- Dealer stands on soft 17.
- Doubling down on any two cards
- Doubling down after splits
- No resplits
- No surrender
Keep in mind that the published RTPs for all blackjack games are based on your ability to apply the correct basic strategy. If you don’t know the correct basic strategy, you should learn it and then practice in demo mode with play money before you play any form of blackjack with real money.
It is also perfectly fine to bring a basic strategy chart with you to the table to refer to when you play.
Which online casino table games have the lowest rate of return?
Blackjack games and bets with the lowest rate of return
Blackjack is clearly the table game with the best rate of return. However, even in that category, you have a wide choice. Live Dealer games are very popular because they are a lot of fun to play, particularly so if you love the social interaction that is otherwise missing in online and mobile play. But in return for the extra entertainment, you are up against rules that are less favorable than in many other forms of online blackjack. The house edge on Live Dealer Blackjack hovers around 1%.
An even newer option, Unlimited Blackjack, offers the extra convenience of never having to wait for a table since it uses community cards allowing an unlimited number of players can play simultaneously. However, once again, the rules are less favorable than in traditional blackjack. In fact, the pair splitting rules are very specific and restrictive.
Contrary to basic strategy, certain pairs must always be split, while other pairs you can never split, even though in some instances, it is not the correct play.
By the way, many blackjack games also offer optional side bets. One example is 21 + 3. Another is Perfect Pairs. These side bets might be fun to make, but the house edge is substantially higher than on regular blackjack bets so they are best avoided.
Baccarat worst bets
Baccarat is another very good table game to play online, as long as you stick to the standard bets on bank or player and stay clear of the other options.
The house edge is only 1.06% on banker and 1.24% on player. Another bet to avoid is the optional Dragon Bonus side bet, which has a greater than 9% house edge.
Roulette is a mixed bag. No form of roulette offers odds anywhere near as favorable as the best blackjack games, but if you want to play this popular casino table game online in New Jersey, you have options.
First and foremost, you will have a much better chance of winning if you stick to games with just a single zero on the wheel rather than both a single and double zero.
However, your best bet, if you can find it is French roulette that also includes a special provision for those times when you make an even-money bet (i.e., red or black or odd or even) and the ball lands on zero. Either the casino returns half of your losing bet back to you or the bet stays “en prison” for the next spin. Either way, the house edge is reduced to a very respectable 1.35%.
Your next best bet is standard European roulette without the special provision described above, but a wheel with a single zero. The house edge on this game is 2.7%.
The worst form of roulette to play is American roulette. The addition of a double zero on the wheel nearly doubles the house edge to 5.26%. Unfortunately, all Live Dealer roulette games are this form of roulette only.
By the way, many different versions of online roulette are now available. For example, Multiview Roulette, Multi-wheel Roulette, and Double Double Bonus Spin Roulette are a few of your choices. The repetitive nature of roulette can make play over a period of time monotonous, so additional varieties like these incorporate extra features to correct for that and make the game more exciting. However, they do not change the overall odds.
Other Online Casino Table Games with Mediocre Payout Rates
Two other table games where the rate of return isn’t great are Let it Ride with a published RTP of 95.71% and Three Card Poker with a published RTP of 94.33%. Many NJ online slots have an RTP that is higher. Table game players can find many better games.
Which video poker games have the highest rate of return?
Video poker is another online casino game with a high rate of return. As with blackjack, the RTP will vary depending on the version of the game and whether or not you employ the correct playing strategy.
Depending on what form of video poker you are playing, the optimal playing strategy will also vary, as it does in blackjack, but even more so. Therefore, in order to maximize your chances of winning, you will need to take the time to learn the correct way to play.
As with blackjack, you can find this information readily online and then copy the applicable strategy chart and bring it with you to the table.
It will be worth the effort because then you will be able to enjoy some of the best games in the house. Video poker is also a good game to play in Atlantic City, but the average RTP for NJ online video poker is even higher.
Deuces Wild by Game King
According to playnj.com, the online video poker games with the highest RTP of all can be found on most NJ online casinos. The game is Deuces Wild by Game King, and it is available on the Three- and Five Play (multi-line) versions of the game. Played correctly — and be forewarned the strategy is complicated — this game offers a 99.73% RTP.
Jacks or Better by Game King
Another excellent choice is Jacks or Better. Not only do most NJ online casinos offer it; this game is much simpler than Deuces Wild, so it’s a great option for beginners. But be careful because all versions of this game are not the same. The one you should play is 9-6 Jacks or Better by Game King, so-called because it offers the “full pay” structure of 9 coins on a Full House and 6 coins on a flush. If you follow the optimal playing strategy with these favorable rules, this game gives you a 99.54% RTP.
What happens when you win? How fast can you get your money?
If you wish to withdraw funds from your account, first you will need to make a request on the casino website. Decide on the exact amount you wish to withdraw (which cannot exceed your available funds) and the method you wish to use. Keep in mind that different methods might have different minimums and maximums. Also, in some instances, you might only be able to use a particular method if you used the same method to make your deposit.
If this will be your first withdrawal or first time using a particular withdrawal method at that casino, or if you have any other questions, be sure to contact customer support for assistance. Requests for withdrawal typically should not take more than 24 hours although some may take a little longer (up to 72 hours). However, don’t hesitate to ask for any help you may need to ensure that the process gets completed as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Once your request is approved, the length of time required for you to actually receive your money depends on both the casino and the method.
For example, Golden Nugget online casino players who are requesting a withdrawal onto their VISA or Discover card or Play + prepaid account will receive the money instantly. The minimum withdrawal is only $10, while the maximum is $25K ($100K for VIPs).
Different NJ online casinos offer their own prepaid cards. This is an option worth looking into, as it is a convenient way to get money in and out of your account very quickly, often instantly.
Also, if you live near Atlantic City and plan on going there anyway, many NJ online casinos offer the option to make online deposits and withdrawals almost instantly at the cashier’s cage at the affiliated Atlantic City casino.
Withdrawals to e-wallets like Neteller or Skrill, in those casinos that offer it, are also very quick. Usually, you can get the money instantly, but it could take 1-2 business days.
PayPal withdrawals, on the other hand, usually take 2-3 business days, while ACH (bank transfers) can take 5-7 days.
The slowest withdrawal method is a check by mail. This can take 2-3 weeks.
Keep in mind that you can only withdraw money from your online account that is already in your cashable wallet. If you are in the process of clearing a bonus, as much as you might love to withdraw any resulting winnings immediately, particularly if they are substantial, you will have to wait until the bonus is completely cleared.
Any attempt to withdraw any of these still unavailable funds prematurely will result in your forfeiting not just those winnings, but the entire bonus and any other winnings associated with it.