Luke Garrison: Sports & Casino Author from Canada


About the author

Name Luke Garrison
Job Agate Editor for The Canadian Press

Luke Garrison is a professional writer who grew up just outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He currently works at the Canadian Press and enjoys the outdoors in his free time.

Canadian bettors, and sports bettors everywhere, should be able to bet in a safe, non-convoluted way.

Most of Canada tends to gravitate toward classic casino games such as ‘Poker’ and ‘Blackjack’, but there are so many others that are a blast once you’ve learned to play. Some of the games we’re about to mention are almost certainly titles you’ve heard of in passing over the years, so why not finally find out what they’re all about?

All of the casino games we’re about to mention are table games that can be played both online and at physical casinos. The preference is truly yours! Perhaps you’ll find yourself at a casino bachelor or bachelorette party where this knowledge will be useful, or maybe you’re just looking for a new way to unwind after work. Either way, we have you covered.

Baccarat

Most Canadians have absolutely heard of ‘Baccarat’ – especially fans of James Bond! Simply put, your goal is to wager on the winning hand, which is the one that scores the highest point total. Your three betting options are ‘Player’, ‘Banker’, and ‘Tie’.

Betting odds of both the player and the banker are 1:1, whereas a bet on a tie would have either 8:1 or 9:1 odds. This is because naturally, a tie is far more unlikely than declaring a winner. Another thing to remember is that if a player bets on the banker (and the banker wins), most casinos will often take a cut of the profits (around 5%).

The next step to learning baccarat is understanding the card values. Numbers two through nine (2-9) are worth the usual face value (ex. a five would amount to five points), whereas a ten, jack, queen, or king is worth zero points and any ace is worth just one point. As a side note, card suit is irrelevant in this game.

From there, both the banker and the player receive two cards. Once the cumulative value of each hand has been determined, the first number is removed and the final score becomes the second number. For example, if you were to draw an ace and a queen, your score would be ’01’ aka ‘1’.

On some occasions, the player and/or the banker may be given a third card to add to their score. For players, this happens when their initial score is between zero and five, but the banker only receives a third card if their initial score is zero, one, or two.

In Canada, the most popular type of baccarat is called ‘Punto Banco’ which quite literally means ‘Player Banker’. Between one to fourteen players can participate in a single game, and every player who bets on the winning result will receive a payout based on their staked amount.

Bingo

Bingo is a very simple yet fun casino game that often gets brushed to the side for simply being too familiar. For most Canadians, it’s the first game of chance they were ever aware of, seeing as it’s a popular game the majority of us played as kids anywhere from family gatherings to summer camp.

Most versions of bingo are just like the classic one, with the main differences being the number of cards and balls used. ’75-Ball Bingo’ still reigns supreme, played on a five-by-five card with numbers ranging from 1-75. For those who may not know (or have forgotten), the numbers are broken down into 15 numbers per letter.

Numbers 1-15 are found under the ‘B’ column, 16-30 are only under the ‘I’ column, and so on. A winning card can be anything from a single line (either horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) to a ‘Full House’, which is when you’ve filled in your entire card.

Other outcomes include multiple lines, such as an ‘X’ (two diagonal lines) or a ‘T’, which is when the top horizontal line and the vertical line under the ‘N’ have both been filled out. As another fyi, upside-down ‘Ts’ do not count.

For those that would prefer to play offline and perhaps even yell ‘Bingo!’ when they’ve won like old times, there are still physical bingo halls throughout most cities in Canada. Online bingo can sometimes be more of a slot-type game, but the same principles apply and they’re generally easy to pick up on.

It’s a great activity for those looking for a fun night out with a twist, or for those who would rather press their luck from the couch.

Craps

No casino games list would be complete without at least mentioning a dice game, and ‘Craps’ is arguably the most timeless dice game there is. Each round requires rolling two dice at once, with the player rolling them referred to as the ‘shooter’.

Anyone can bet on the shooter each round, and the dice are passed in a clockwise direction after each turn as well. This gives everyone a chance to play as the shooter. The round begins with the shooter rolling the dice so that they hit the back wall from where they are positioned around the table, in what is called the ‘come-out roll’.

After the dice have settled, their sum determines the next step. The best possible outcome is called a ‘natural’, which is when the total dice amount is equal to ‘7’ or ’11’ signifying both a winning bet and a re-roll. If the shooter were to roll a ‘2’, ‘3’, or a ’12’, they would not win but can continue rolling.

A roll of ‘4’, ‘5’, ‘6’, ‘8’, ‘9’, or ’10’, the dealer will mark that number on the table with a chip-looking object called a ‘button’. To see what a craps table looks like, please refer to our intro image at the top of this page. The marked number is also called ‘establishing a point’ and if the shooter is able to roll that same number again, they would then be declared the winner.

Conversely, if they roll a ‘7’, it’s called a ‘seven out’, which means the round would then be over. The most common bets in craps are on the ‘pass line’ and the ‘don’t pass line’, and either bet type can be placed at any time during the round as long as the point has not yet been established.

The shooter can also bet on either pass line. If the shooter rolls a natural, or the same number as their point before a seven out, a pass bet will win. On the other hand, if a shooter rolls a ‘2’ or ‘3’ or sevens out before rolling for a point, a don’t pass bet would cash.

As a chance game that has undergone a lot of development since at least the late 1700s, there’s a lot more to know, but what we’ve explained here is a good place to start.

Now that you’ve learned a bit about some new casino games, feel free to branch out from your usual favourites. You’ll be happy you did!

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