How to make a profit playing cards

Whenever you gamble at a casino, the overall odds of winning are always less than 50 per cent, and this is because the casino is a self serving business and works to continuously turn over profit.

While there are some bets which are genuine 50/50 wagers (such as the ‘odds’ bet in the game craps), there will always be a trade off.

For example, you need to place a ‘pass line’ wager in craps before you can place the ‘odds’ bet (and that decreases your chances of winning). When playing the pokies (or video poker), you will get the opportunity to ‘gamble’ any winnings – a pure 50/50 chance to double your money – however you need to risk money at a winning chance of less than 50 per cent in order to reach the ‘double or nothing’ option.

When it comes to playing cards, to ensure you have a higher chance of success (turning a profit), there are some games which are a far better choice than other games.

Best casino card games to make a profit

The following games all boast very low house edges when played using correct strategy, and the player can stand to make a handy profit if he or she knows what bets to place and what actions should be taken during gameplay.


The most commonly played casino card game, blackjack has evolved over centuries to become one of the most entertaining and popular forms of gambling today. With so many different variations, it can be hard to know which style boasts the best odds for the player. In Australian land based casinos, there are only a handful of blackjack variants, including Classic Blackjack, Blackjack Plus and Pontoon.

Depending on the casino and the gaming rules employed, house edges for blackjack games will vary, but are far higher than what you would find on the Internet. For example, in Melbourne, while Classic Blackjack (known as Crown Blackjack) is the better of the blackjack games in terms of house edge, it owns a minimum betting limit per hand of $25, so it does not remain very enticing for lower stakes gamblers.

On the other hand, Blackjack Plus boasts a $5 minimum wagering limit, but if the dealer draws to 22, players and the dealer tie (push – no win and no loss), and this rule increases the house edge to more than six per cent (when regular blackjack and Pontoon games typically boast a house edge of around one per cent, when correct strategy is applied).

Move online and you will find a host of variations that not only boast betting limitations that are very flexible (from as low as $0.50 to more than $5,000 per hand), but that own rules far more attractive to the player, along with ample entertaining side wagers and slight alterations you would not be able to find anywhere else by the Internet.

Some of the most popular real money online/mobile blackjack titles include:

  • Double Exposure
  • European Blackjack Hi Lo 13
  • European Blackjack High Streak
  • American Blackjack
  • Vegas Downtown Blackjack
  • Atlantic City Blackjack
  • Big Five Blackjack Gold
  • Spanish 21
  • Super Fun Blackjack
  • Multi Hand Blackjack
  • Super 7 Blackjack
  • Pirate 21
  • Pontoon Pro
  • Single Deck Blackjack
  • Live Dealer Blackjack
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Using basic blackjack strategy, players have a strong chance to turn over a profit playing these games, with most titles boasting house edges of less than one per cent.

Counting cards is another way to turn a profit playing blackjack, but this is only possible within the walls of a land based casino. Understanding the deck penetration is critical when counting cards (knowing how far into the shoe the dealer is before the decks are shuffled again).

However, in online games, the random number generated software (which is tested and approved for fairness) does not allow for the player to work out deck penetration, with the virtual deck of cards shuffled also shuffled after every hand.

So if you are willing to learn how to count cards, you’ll need to take your skills to your local brick and mortar casino, where you forfeit the better odds associated with betting at Internet casinos. But if you believe you have the nous and understanding to become well versed in counting cards, give it a red hot go.

Baccarat owns one of the lowest house edges of all casino card games, and is tremendously popular among Asian gamblers. In baccarat (also known as Punto Banco), you have a few different betting options: you can bet on the ‘player’, the ‘banker’ or a ‘tie’ (and other side bets, if available).

With the rules dictating all gameplay action, you simply need to wager on an option and let the cards do the talking. The approximate house edges for baccarat games are as follows:

  • Banker bet: 1.06 per cent
  • Player bet: 1.24 per cent
  • Tie bet: 14.36 per cent

The odds suggest it is your best interest to always bank on the banker, for the best chance of profit success. This is as close to a toss of the coin wager you will find inside the walls of a casino, and you can further boost your odds by moving your baccarat gameplay to the interactive world of gambling – enjoy more baccarat variations and more betting options.

Casino War:
The simplest card game of all, Casino War (also known as Top Card Trumps) is a favourite among many gamblers looking for an easy and effective way to win some quick cash.
High card wins in this game, and hands are compared between player and dealer. If you are dealt a card higher than the dealer’s card, then you win at 1 to 1. From this basic starting point, the odds of beating the dealer with a higher valued card are exactly 50/50.

However, the odds turn slightly in favour of the house when the ‘tie’ comes in to play. If the player and dealer are dealt a card of the same value, then the player is forced to make a choice: either ‘go to war’ or ‘surrender’

‘Going to war’ entails placing another wager of equal size to your original bet, while surrendering entails taking half of your original bet back, and losing the other half. To maximise your odds, it is always recommended to ‘go to war’.

If you do ‘go to war’, you and the dealer receive another card each, and again, if you are dealt a card of higher value, you will win (but only at odds of 1 to 2 – for example, you’ve placed two $5 wagers after ‘going to war’, you win the war, and get you will back your $10 outlay and an additional $5). If you ‘go to war’ and lose, you forfeit all your wagers.

If you ‘go to war’ and again receive the same card as the dealer, you will win – many games will offer a bonus payout for this outcome (some games offer 1 to 1 payouts, while more liberal games offer 2 to 1 odds, 3 to 1 odds and sometimes even 4 to 1 odds).

Optimal strategy to maximise your profit in Casino War is to always go to war and to try and find the game with the best bonus payout for ties after ties.

Playing online with cash bonuses and promotions

Real money online casinos will offer all players enticing sign up bonuses (such as matched deposit cash bonuses and free pokies spins) and numerous other promos as players continue to play.

It is important to make the most of these free bets, free spins, bonus money injections, cash prizes, VIP loyalty points (which can be exchanged for cash) and other rewards in order to further reduce the house edge while enjoying the hundreds and hundreds of titles. The more you are able to play with bonus cash, the less you are risking your own money, while still allowing yourself to turn a decent profit.

Internet gambling sites offer such rewards in greater quantities than land based casinos, so it is worthwhile registering accounts with a few different websites to take advantage of these handouts.

The online and tablet/mobile compatible casinos we endorse include:

All sites are tested, regulated and licensed, and are legally accessible to all Australians aged 18 years and older. Members can securely deposit and withdraw funds via any of the several globally trusted banking methods available via the ‘cashier’ section of each platform (all financial transactions are protected with the latest secure socket layer digital encryption technology).