Since legalization in 1993, Indiana residents have enjoyed riverboat casinos with the addition of land-based and racetrack casino venues over the years.
In 2019, the bill H 1015 allows for a new casino and regulates sports betting both at live venues and online. We hope this is the first step toward online casino regulation in the Hoosier State.
This page covers the many casino games you can enjoy, both live and online.
The broad categories include slots, table games and video poker. Once you drill down into each category, you’ll find plenty of variations. Some of these are new games, while others involve rule changes or side bets.
Right now, you can legally play casino games at online casinos in Indiana. Casinos using state sweepstakes gambling laws offer slots and limited table game options.
- First, we give a rundown of the many casino game categories, including the games you can enjoy online.
- We also cover free casino games (compared to real-money games).
- We wrap up by looking at house edge, legal Indiana sweepstakes casinos, mobile casinos and live dealer options.
Types of casino games in Indiana
When you count the many slot titles, there are 1000s of casino games to enjoy. Even the broad category of table games involves 100s of titles.
Here is a summary of the main game divisions; you’ll find details on each one below:
- Slots: Slots is the most numerous game type, both live and online. Titles range from three-reel mechanical slots to themed video slots in big HD cabinets, some with an entertainment tie-in and multiple bonus features and jackpots.
- Blackjack: While this could be part of the broad category of table games, blackjack is so popular that it deserves a separate mention. There are multiple variations of blackjack, including many side bets.
- Roulette: The simplicity of the game keeps roulette popular. You’ll find US and European wheels available. With simple and complex betting strategies available, this game has long been a favorite of players trying to beat the house.
- Casino poker variations: Many other casino table games use poker-hand rankings to determine winning hands. They include three card poker, casino hold ’em and Ultimate Texas Hold ’em.
- Video poker: There is more to video poker these days than just the standard jacks or better or deuces wild. New variants include multi-hand games and variations of “bonus poker,” which have win multipliers.
- Online bingo and keno: Online, these games come with colorful themes and many variations of rules and winning combinations. You can win some big prizes for getting the numbers right in as few drawn numbers as possible.
- Other casino games: There are still more popular casino games that don’t fit neatly into any category. Well-known examples include craps and Sic-Bo. You will find novelty games including Wheel of Fortune-style ones in live Indiana casinos.
You’ll have a massive selection of slots at many Indiana casinos.
For example, Ameristar has 1,900 slot games, while the Horseshoe at Hammond has more than 3,000 titles. If you are playing online, Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots have 50+ titles to enjoy.
Three-reel slots include many of the titles that pioneered this form of gaming. They include the Wheel of Fortune titles, which feature jackpots and mechanical bonus wheels. Other popular three-reel slots at Indiana casinos are Pinball and Top Dollar.
If you prefer a little more action, then five-reel video slots are your best bet. These range from simple classics including Cleopatra and Texas Tea, to innovative games that make the best use of big screens and surround sound.
Many casino slots include progressive jackpots. Keep in mind; there is a balance to be struck when choosing these games. That shot at a huge progressive keeps gameplay exciting, though your regular wins will generally be smaller as a result.
There is an online blackjack table at Chumba Casino. Compared to the options in other states in live casinos, this game is fairly standard.
Blackjack has proven to be so popular over the years, that there are a lot of variations available. Some of these are subtle, e.g., whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17 makes a difference to your strategy.
Some changes are huge, pushing the “21” concept to its limit in terms of making the gameplay more exciting.
Variations include free bet blackjack, blackjack switch, Spanish 21, pontoon and European rules (no dealer peek) blackjack. You will also find a wide choice of side games, many with jackpot prizes.
Traditionally there are two types of the roulette wheel. These are US wheels, with two green zeros, and the European wheel with a single zero. A new type, with three zeros, is becoming common.
To get the best odds, you need to pick the wheel with the smallest possible number of zeros. Online, you will often find French roulette available. This variation pays 50% of your stake on outside bets when the ball hits zero. This does reduce the house edge, though precisely how much it does depends on how you balance your inside and outside bets.
When regulated casinos come to Indiana, the possibility of roulette variations seen elsewhere will appear. These include mini-roulette, with a smaller wheel, which is ideal for mobile play. Live dealer roulette, multi-ball games and even a jackpot variation are all possible.
Casino poker variations
Collectively, the casino poker variants are known as carnival games in live casinos.
There are many variations, each with unique gameplay. What they have in common is that poker-hand rankings are used to determine the prizes. Some games require the dealer to qualify before the big prizes are awarded.
Here are some commonly found casino poker formats:
- Casino hold ’em
- Caribbean stud
- Full flush poker
- Let it ride
- Mississippi stud
- Pai gow poker
- 3-card poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold ’em
Many of these games also include side bets. As usual, the house edge for these will be higher than in the main game. As poker variations, there is an easy way of determining who gets that jackpot prize. If you make the side bet and hit a royal flush, then the big prize can be yours.
Video poker has been a gambling staple since before the recent generation of video slots.
You can play this on bar-tops, though you can also find slot-style cabinets. Many consoles allow you to choose from a menu of games. These include staples like jacks or better, joker poker and deuces wild.
Aside from these are many bonus poker variations, which give random win-multipliers usually at the cost of extra credit. If you want more action, why not choose a multi-hand game. Here, you spread your stake over many hands.
Bingo and keno
Live bingo and keno games are popular, though the latest innovations with these titles you can find at online casinos.
With quirky themes, social elements like leaderboards and player contests, and many different ways to win jackpot prizes, these games have a big following.
Craps games are often the loudest in the casino, especially when someone goes on a long “roll.”
This popular game does run online at international casinos and could come to Indiana under future regulation. Online craps games give you a chance to get to know the complex bets and strategies before you hit those rowdy tables.
Sic-Bo and other dice games you can also find online.
Baccarat is also available, in both live dealer and software-based form. This favorite of high-rollers has a very low house edge. While the dealing rules are complex, betting is simple.
Real money casino games vs. free games
For many players, it is hard to beat the excitement of winning money on the turn of a card or the throw of dice. That said, many people also enjoy free casino games, either for fun or in a social context.
You can play casino games at sweepstakes casinos for “gold coins,” which are a play-money currency. This is a great way to find out which are your favorite titles. It also allows you to fine-tune your strategy before you play for real money.
When regulated casinos finally come to Indiana, there is likely to be another way to enjoy free casino games.
This involves taking advantage of no-deposit casino bonuses. These are (usually) small amounts of cash that state-regulated casinos give to players simply for registering. The only rule is that you need to wager this money one or more times – usually on slots – before any profits can be withdrawn.
This not only gives you a way of trying several games to find out which you enjoy the most, but it also gives you a shot at walking away with a profit, too.
How the house edge works
All gamblers know that the casinos make money by having a small advantage built into each of their games. This is known as the house edge.
There is a balance. If gamblers thought they had little chance of winning, they would not play. This means the house edge needs to be small enough to keep the games attractive while allowing the casinos to stay in business (and profit).
You will find there is a lot of variation in house edge between the different casino games. Even within a type of game, there can be some significant differences.
Here are some examples of common house edge figures for popular casino games:
- Roulette: The US (double zero) wheel has a 5.27% edge, if you choose the single zero European wheel, this goes down to 2.7%.
- Blackjack: The edge varies with the rules and number of decks in play. If you play perfect strategy, this will range from 1.2% (single deck, stands on soft 17, liberal splitting/doubling) to around 3%.
- Casino poker games: These games have edges between 3.5% and 6%, again, you’ll need to play perfect strategy to achieve these.
- Baccarat: This is a favorite among high rollers, with an edge of only 0.9% for banker and player bets, avoid the tie bet, as this has a huge 10% house edge
- Slots: Many slots will publish their return to player (RTP) on their information screens. Penny slots have the highest edge, while dollar slots have the lowest. The range is 92%-98%, with most penny slots less than 95%, giving the casino a 5% advantage.
The best ways to keep the house edge as low as possible is to learn the perfect strategy for the games you enjoy
Side bets often have a huge edge compared to the main game. These do add some excitement, though you should be aware that 10% is common.
Finally, slot games with progressive jackpots usually have a higher house edge for day-to-day play. While the overall score might be the same as for non-jackpot games, the big prizes are rare, meaning most players experience smaller returns. Players should note, there is no such thing as a slot machine strategy. Wins are determined by random.
Playing casino games on mobile devices
Most websites are designed to work on both mobile devices and desktop computers these days. Online casinos were pioneers in this area.
Today’s games are built with mobile in mind, and slots work very well. Simply flip your phone into landscape mode, and you’ll find the reels fit the screen nicely.
Table games vary. Some of the older player versus software titles have partially adapted. This makes the betting too small and fiddly to be comfortable on mobile devices. Newer games work brilliantly, the best have buttons on the right-hand side, within reach of your thumb.
Casinos sometimes offer dedicated apps, as well as responsive websites. Accessing these is a compromise in many cases. You’ll get faster loading and smoother gaming, though the game selection is sometimes only a tiny percentage of the total.
We recommend that you try out casino games on your mobile device in the play-money practice mode before you commit to real-money play.
Live dealer casino games
In regulated states (and internationally), live dealer casino games have become the go-to option for table games fans. These games provide real-time action via a video stream from a studio — usually in a casino.
There are many games available at live dealer casinos; here are the most common options:
- Blackjack: This is usually played on seven-seat tables, just like in a live casino.
- Roulette: Some tables have a croupier spinning the ball, though live auto-roulette games are also available.
- Casino poker: Variations at live dealer rooms include Caribbean stud, three card poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ’em.
- Baccarat: This game has complex dealing rules, though it is easy to play and has a lower house edge than many alternatives.
You will find a social element to live dealer casino games. You can chat with the dealers or other players. You type into a chat box, and the dealers will often reply (they will speak since they don’t have a keyboard).
Betting on these games is as simple as dragging chips from a virtual overlay onto the right spots on the table.
One small downside is that you need a stable internet connection. If you time out without acting, your hand might be folded (depending on the game).
The minimum bets for live dealer casino games are often a little higher than for the software versions.
Wrapping up: Casino games in Indiana
You already have two options for enjoying casino games in Indiana.
One option is to visit one of the 13 live casinos, and the other is to play at social sweepstakes casinos online.
What every casino games fan is hoping for is regulated state casinos coming online in the near future. While this would require a new act, it is hoped that this will follow from the liberalization of sports betting.
We have a good idea of that future regulated games might look like via New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
You’ll find a significant choice of slots, table games and video poker to enjoy. Innovations, like mobile casino gaming and live dealer games, will only make this more entertaining.