Classic Casino Games
Relive your favorite Las Vegas memories playing roulette, blackjack, poker, craps and other classic casino games. Today’s casinos have evolved into an entertainment destination which is as much about nightlife, sporting events, shows, and dining as it is about gambling. In certain places like the iconic Las Vegas Strip, gaming has actually become an afterthought. Of course, people still gamble there, but the odds are among the most unfavorable anywhere and it's not the primary reason people visit anymore.
Classic Rat Pack casinos and the ambiance that accompanied them are long gone. Classic three-reel slots can still be found hidden amidst a sea of modern video slot games, but they are rare. Even table games like craps and baccarat that used to be the biggest draws, are now more of a sideline and may even be devoid a dealer if there aren't enough interested players.
Player's Guide to Classic Casino Games
The good news? Online casinos have preserved every type of game and they are all available at any time of day or night.
In this guide, we'll take a closer look at classic casino games, and offer some advice for finding and playing them at online casinos.
Classic slot machines have been around since the late 1800s, but the iconic “one armed bandit” version rose to prominence in the early 1960s with Bally's Money Honey. Standard features like the three reels with fruit symbols pull handles and payment in a shower of coins existed before this, of course. But, Money Honey was the first machine to incorporate electronics, a light show and lots of noise as players spun the reels. It also dramatically increased the number of coins that could be stored and released for jackpots and allowed players to increase their winnings by wagering more than one coin.
When slots were strictly mechanical, they were seen by most players as boring and were passed over in favor of table games. Adding electronics was the first step toward making them the most popular game in the house. It would take decades for technology to make modern video slots possible, but during that time the electro-mechanical three-reel slot ruled supreme on casino floors.
Play Free Classic Slots for Fun
In a way, today's video slots are just an extension of what made Money Honey and its many imitators so popular. They focus on an entertaining show as much as actual gaming action and the versions with the biggest jackpots are still the most popular. So can you play a three-reel slot today? They're increasingly hard to find on live casino floors, with usually just a handful kept around as a novelty. They're not hard to find online, however, and for good reason. Many players prefer the classic reel slots because the odds are more favorable.
Classic Slots – Jackpots, Odds, and Rules
The bigger the jackpots got on any particular machine, the more the odds increased in the casino’s favor. Sure, one player would eventually make off with a big haul, but smaller wins were much more infrequent. Players would keep playing in spite of the bad odds in the hopes of hitting the massive jackpot.
Classic reel games had many limitations; far fewer pay line possibilities and physical space issues. Also, they could never equal the massive jackpots of video slots. So to keep the games interesting, players had to be rewarded with smaller but more frequent wins. That translated into a better overall expected return for the player. Those looking to stretch their slots budget while retaining the possibility of hitting a jackpot big enough to be exciting are better served by the classic reel slots.
Online casinos are entirely electronic, of course, but they can replicate this style of play easily. Many have three-reel slots with limited pay lines, and there are also some hybrids that fuse certain components of modern video slots without significantly increasing the house edge.
Classic Las Vegas Casino Games – Gameplay Video
Classic casino craps are the original mobile casino game since all that's required is a pair of dice and two players. People have been playing dice since the dawn of civilization. It later evolved from “casting lots” in Roman times to “throwing hazards” in old England. The basic rules, like the pass line and making a point before rolling craps, were formalized during World War II as Allied soldiers discovered that the game was something they all had in common.
Craps is still popular on live casino floors, but it has lost a lot of ground to video slots and poker. It was actually the most popular game in casinos prior to 1960, gaining a huge following when it became a game of choice among deployed soldiers serving in World War II.
Today, one issue that seems to keep people from the craps table is being intimidated by it. The small selection of craps tables at a casino means there is going to be a crowd around them. There are also many unspoken customs and rules about how to handle and throw the dice. Craps has its own language for bets and wins as well and it’s confusing and takes a long time to learn.
Online craps provide the perfect opportunity to become familiar with the game with no outside pressure. Don't worry if you can't throw the dice perfectly and don't be intimidated if you're not fluent in craps terminology, slang, and jargon. The video version of game functions the same way as the live one; the only difference is that no one is physically throwing dice.
Casino Baccarat conjures up images of the wealthy and well-dressed gathered around gaming tables in exotic locales. It is the favored game of James Bond, after all. But it’s another case where complicated rules and customs cause players to pass on playing. The game is very popular in Macau, but in Vegas, you'll usually only see it played at the most high-end casinos. Like craps, it was much more popular in the West prior to 1960, especially when it was played under the intriguing name, chemin-de-fer.
Baccarat is most popular among Asian gamblers, so if a Las Vegas casino is hosting a lot of tourists from that area of the world, there will be multiple tables occupied. But it is a rarity. Online casino play offers you the option of playing a game anytime, and you can choose from popular variants like mini-baccarat.
Live play requires multiple people at the table. Online simulations allow you to play baccarat by yourself for real money, although there are also varieties that allow for multiple players. Sometimes these versions allow players to talk to each other through a chat window.
Roulette means “little wheel,” in French. The game was created in France in the 1700s by combining older Italian and English gambling wheel devices. Modern roulette became famous when it was played in Rick's casino in the movie Casablanca.
Roulette has always had one basic principle: choose a number from 1 to 35, a color, either black or red, or one of three rows. Then, the dealer releases the ball and everyone waits to see where the ball lands when the wheel stops spinning.
Classic Casino Games: Keeping the Memories Alive
If you want to play the classics, there's always going to be ample opportunity online regardless of what transpires on live casino floors in the future. It's also the preferred way to learn the rules of some of the more complex games.
You can not only play at your own pace with no social pressure, but you can also usually play in a “free mode” that lets you experiment without making actual wagers.