Once reserved for only the highest of rollers, baccarat has historically been played at a 14-person table in the casino's most exclusive area. But as the game moved out to the casino floor, what was once mysterious actually turned out to be accessible and fun. In fact, that's the case with more than one game we encountered. "When you're not sure about what you're doing, ask," says Chris Loscalso, table games shift manager at the Horseshoe. "We're here to help."
Each player bets on the dealer, the players or a tie. Four cards are dealt face up: two for the dealer and two that all players share. Add the numbers on the cards together (face cards count as zero, drop the first digit if the sum is more than 10) and the closest to nine wins. The Tricky Part: An additional card can be added to each hand based on the point total, but the rules dictate when it is dealt. The Tip: With almost even odds, it's like betting on black or red at roulette. "It's as easy as flipping a coin," says Loscalso. "So flip a coin and pick one side."
Each player gets three cards face down. The dealer gets three cards face down. Like your hand? Bet equal to your ante. Don't like it? Fold and lose only your initial bet. The dealer must have a queen or better to continue. If so, the better hand wins both bets. If not, you win equal to your ante. The Tricky Part: You can also bet on the combination of your hand and the dealer's hand — called the six-plus bet. Three of a kind or better pays out based on the hand. The Tip: "Always put less money on the six-plus bet," says Loscalso. "It pays up to 1,000-to-1, so you don't need that much to win big."
Pai gow poker
This is the casino version of lemonade on a hot summer afternoon. The game has a refreshing amount of ties (which helps stretch your gambling budget) and a leisurely pace. Each player gets seven cards to make the best five-card hand and best two-card hand. The dealer does the same. Win both hands, and you win equal to your bet. If the dealer wins both, you lose. Split, and it's a tie. The Tricky Part: A basic knowledge of poker is needed. The Tip: "If you're not sure what you have, turn over your cards and the dealer will help," says Loscalso.