The House Edge Explained – What You’re Up Against When Gambling

Every casino game has an intrinsic advantage that works in the casino’s favour, and this is called the house edge. It is essentially the casino profit as a percentage of the player’s initial bet. Using the house edge, you can work out the average loss to your initial bet and thereby estimate what you can expect to lose in a single hand or game.

What this means is that overall, the casino and not the player will always come out a winner in the end. The longer you play, the higher the chance that your play will match up with the house edge and that you will lose money. Casinos are designed to make regular profit. No matter how many gamblers win at a game in the short term, the casino will still make its money.

Do Your Homework

Online casinos will often share their game payouts on their website which means you know exactly what your chances are and can make better gambling decisions. The games are designed in a mathematical way to give the casino the edge over the player and the odds are set up to ensure that you’ll lose more often than winning.

What the house edge communicates is how much each game pays out on average over its lifetime and which games offer players the best return to player rate on their bets. This is where the house edge can be used to your advantage in determining which games are the most profitable for you.

When Does The House Edge Change?

In some scenarios, the house edge varies and this comes down to certain factors within the actual game and not the casino. The house edge percentage for a particular game is usually similar across different casinos but bear in mind that games like roulette have great percentage variation between the European and American versions and blackjack for example has the lowest house edge of all games, sometimes as little as 0.5% up to 2%.

Slots And Profitability

It is interesting to note, that although some casino games require experience and knowledge to improve your chances of winning, online slots have no way to better your odds so everyone plays equal. Slots is where the casino can make more profit or a bigger house edge.

This is because slots offer quite a low return to player rate and is why casinos, including online, have so many on offer. Also be aware that the more pay lines a game has, the greater the impact on the house edge, even though they seem to offer more chances for a player to win.

The house edge increases as gamblers place their bets with less expertise. Roulette is one of the most popular casino games but has a very high house edge of 5.26% and slot machines can go up to a house edge of 17%. The house edge is always with you but understanding it makes you a better player.