Lotteries have long been the most popular form of gambling in the world. In fact, over 50% of people participate in state and/or multi-state lotteries.
The idea of spending a few dollars to play seven figures may seem harmless. However, you are completely ripped off by the lottery!
Plus, you don’t have to buy tickets just to have a chance to win big. I will explain in more detail why the lottery is so disadvantageous and which jackpot casino games are more worthy.
Why is the lottery bad?
The biggest draw in lotteries is undoubtedly the jackpots. All eyes immediately turn to the huge Powerballs and Mega Millions. These lotteries seed their jackpots at $20 million and $40 million, respectively. The two also paid up to $1.5 billion in a single draw!
Of course, you don’t have to play the biggest lotteries to win big. California, Florida, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, for example, offer huge prizes.
The biggest problem here, however, is that most players never look past the top prize. They are so blinded by earning life-changing money that they ignore the terrible odds they face.
Mega Millions gives you a 1 in 302,575,350 chance of winning the jackpot. It only offers 20% return to player (RTP) after being ranked for the first time. Powerball offers slightly better jackpot odds at 1 in 292,201,338. But it only delivers 23% RTP after initially seeding.
The good news is that both lotteries theoretically pay out more as jackpots increase. Powerball and Mega Millions offer 60% and 55% RTP respectively when their jackpots reach $250 million.
But even these payout percentages are no reason to brag. In rare cases, keno is the only casino game that offers a return on investment close to this minimum (60% to 70% RTP at worst). No form of gambling offers such large prizes as multi-state lotteries, or even some states. However, no type of game presents such a return on investment either.
What Jackpot Casino games are available?
You don’t have to settle for winning $0.50 or less for every dollar wagered. Instead, you can play the following casino games and enjoy both reasonable RTP and big jackpots.
Real money slot games are the closest thing to a lottery in casino games. They paid up to $39.7 million (Megabucks) in a land-based casino and $21 million in an online casino (Mega Moolah).
Of course, most slot machines do not offer these amounts of money. But there are plenty of games with multimillion-dollar prizes. Slot machines also offer a much higher return on investment than the lottery. You can expect between 89% and 96% RTP at land based casinos and 95% to 98% RTP at online casinos.
Most slot machines aren’t expensive either. You can bet as little as $0.25 on many games and still qualify for a jackpot. The big disadvantage of slot machines is that they encourage very fast play. You will probably spin the reels between 400 and 600 times per hour.
Even at $0.25 per spin, you’re risking $100 to $150 per hour at this rate. But you also get more play with slots per dollar wagered than with lotteries due to the higher RTP.
Caribbean stud farm
Caribbean Stud is a poker game that lets you try to form a better five-card hand than the dealer’s. You also have the option of playing for a progressive jackpot.
You must place the minimum ante bet to play. Casinos offer you the option of opting for a progressive jackpot with a side bet of $1.
When the betting round is over, you and the dealer are dealt a hand of five cards. You must decide to “raise” (worth 2x the ante) after getting your cards.
When you fold, you lose the ante bet and the jackpot (if placed). If you raise, you and the dealer compare your hands to see who has the strongest hands.
By beating the dealer, you are eligible for one of the following payouts:
- Royal flush – 100 to 1
- straight flush – 50 to 1
- Square – 20 to 1
- Full house – 7 against 1
- Flush – 5 against 1
- Right – 4 against 1
- A set – 3 against 1
- two pairs – 2 against 1
- Anything – 1 to 1
Your side bet depends entirely on the strength of your hand, not your ability to beat the dealer. Here is a common jackpot payout chart:
- Royal flush = 100% of the progressive jackpot
- straight flush = 10% progressive jackpot
- Square = $100
- Full house = $75
- Flush = $50
Your odds of receiving a royal flush are 1 in 649,740. Although these odds are long, they are still much better than your odds of winning the average jackpot in the lottery or slots.
Additionally, some Caribbean Stud jackpots are worth between $250,000 and $1 million. This game offers 94.76% RTP (ante/raise only) with perfect strategy.
The RTP on the side bet depends on the value of the first prize. You can expect an overlay (more than 100% cashback) when the jackpot exceeds $250,000.
Let it ride
Let It Ride is also a poker game. However, it has notable differences from the Caribbean stud.
First, he only sees that you receive three cards. You use these cards along with the two community cards to form a five-card hand. Second, Let It Ride gives you the option to cash out up to two-thirds of your original bet. You spread your stake equally over three betting circles (eg $1/$1/$1).
You have the option of withdrawing a third of the bet after seeing your three cards face down. The second chance to collect a third of the bet occurs by seeing the first community card. You “let it go up” if you don’t take back any part of your bet. After the second community card is dealt, you turn your cards over to see if you qualify for a payout.
Therein lies another difference between Let It Ride and Caribbean Stud.
The dealer does not even participate in Let It Ride.
It’s all about you being dealt a qualifying hand. Here is a standard payout table:
- Royal flush – 1,000 to 1
- straight flush – 200 to 1
- Square – 50 to 1
- Full house – 11 against 1
- Flush – 8 against 1
- Right – 5 against 1
- A set – 3 against 1
- two pairs – 2 against 1
- Pair of 10s or better – 1 to 1
- Nothing else – Loss
This game also offers the opportunity to play for a progressive jackpot. You can place a $1 side bet to get the following payouts:
- Royal flush – 100% of the progressive jackpot
- straight flush – 10% progressive jackpot
- Square – $500
- Full house – $100
- Flush – $75
Let It Ride jackpots can get pretty big. In fact, a player has won a progressive jackpot worth $1.52 million at Betfair Casino New Jersey.
You can also expect decent progressive prizes at other casinos. For example, RealTime Gaming casinos usually feature a Let It Ride jackpot worth over $100,000.
Should we still play the lottery?
You may be discouraged by the lottery after seeing the incredibly low RTP. But this form of gambling has a few redeeming qualities, including the following.
The biggest jackpots available
You simply can’t find bigger prizes than what the lottery offers. Here are the biggest jackpots in lottery history:
- $1,586.4 billion (Powerball) – January 13, 2016
- $1.537 billion (Mega Millions) – October 13, 2018
- $768.4 million (Powerball) – March 27, 2019
- $758.7 million (Powerball) – August 23, 2017
- $687.8 million (Mega Millions) – October 27, 2018
The biggest casino gambling jackpot ever paid out is $39.7 million. An anonymous player at Excalibur casino won this payout in 2003.
$39.7 million is definitely a life changing amount. However, it is far from equaling the biggest lottery prizes in history.
Spend a few dollars a week
If you play the lottery, you probably don’t spend that much on your hobby. Assuming you’re like most people, you’re probably only betting $5-10 on tickets each week.
Of course, exceptions to the norm exist. I’ve personally seen people spend over $150 on scratch cards in a single trip. However, the average lottery player is not risking at all what they would risk in an hour-long session of slots, Caribbean Stud or Let It Ride.
Cheap entertainment value
To continue on the last point, the lottery is a really cheap source of entertainment. You can buy tickets, wait for the winning numbers and experience the thrill for a small amount of money each week.
You may want to bet more some weeks than others. Overall, though, you’ll probably only spend a small amount on tickets.
The lottery does not always offer such low payout percentages. In fact, the state lotteries of Idaho (80.0% RTP), Massachusetts (73.41%) and Arkansas (71.87%) also offer a decent return on investment.
But these lottos are exceptions to the norm. You will normally receive between 30% and 60% RTP depending on the size of the jackpot.
Casino games also offer much higher payouts as well as large prizes. You can’t win $500 million from slots or Caribbean Stud, but you can play seven figures.
You will also get more play per dollar wagered. That said, you should definitely consider playing the jackpot casino games covered here.