Understanding the casino house edge and how it works

Published on October 25, 2016 in Casino Tips

Casino House Edge and how it worksThe main aim of any casino, whether online or land-based is to both make money and pay out money to lucky players. Due to the fact that the casino is the one offering the games on which you play as well as the cash that will be paid out, each casino game has a small house edge in their favour.

The house edge helps the favour tip ever so slightly in the casino’s favour and because of the sheer multitude of people playing, the casino will generally come out on top. This doesn’t mean that players can’t win. There are thousands of punters each year who win both small and large sums of cash.
 

Let’s take a closer look at what the house edge is, how it affects players, and how to avoid being caught out.

What is ‘house edge’?

As mentioned before, the house edge is the small percentage of favour that fall works to the casino’s advantage. It’s a mathematical edge that can be as little as 1% depending on the casino game and the casino in question. While 1% may seem like a ridiculously small sum, casinos make money on each bet placed. Millions of bets are placed each year by players who are hoping to strike it lucky and it’s based on this cash coming in to a casino that they earn their money.

Every single casino game has a built-in house edge that ensures that the casino will be a winner. There are many betting systems being used by players to try and beat the house edge, but they often prove to be futile. The only betting system that seems to ‘work’ is card counting when playing the game of Blackjack, but this is illegal and players will be banned by casinos if caught.
 

Win or lose

The only way to truly “beat” the house edge is by landing a lucky spin or being dealt a lucky hand. The point of casino gambling is that luck is the only way to be a winner. While most players understand this concept, it can also be the downfall of many punters as they continue to hope that their luck will change when they continue to lose.

While the house edge is a mathematical equation, you can also put the edge in the casino’s favour by making irresponsible gambling decisions. By chasing big wins, making bets in order to “cheat” your losing streak, or by attempting to out-play the casino, you will more than likely put more money into the casino’s pocket instead of your own. Always have a personal gambling strategy, such as a set betting limit, and be sure to stick to it.
 

Games and their house edge

Not all casino games are created equal and there are certain games which have a higher or lower house edge. Games are also affected by how often you place bets in a single hour. 

Blackjack is one casino game with the lowest house edge possible of only 0.36%. The house edge can increase to as much as 1%, but will very rarely get any higher than that. Baccarat also has a low house edge and is one of the reasons it is preferred by high rollers. The house edge for Baccarat is 1.06%, but the tie bet is definitely to be avoided. Lastly, video poker games have low house edges clocking in at only 0.46%.

There are many casino games that have a mid-range house edge such as Craps, but there are others with a high house edge and these games should be avoided. Games such as Caribbean Stud Poker has a house edge of 5.22% while Keno’s house edge can be as high as 25%! 

It’s not impossible to win on games with a higher house edge, but it’s definitely much harder than on casino games with a low house edge.
 

Smart gambling choices

In order to keep the house edge to the minimum and not put your own cash at risk, always be a smart gambler. 

  1. Learn everything there is to know about your chosen casino game. Make sure that you know every rule and all of the smallest details. If you’re playing a table game, learn exactly how the betting system works and how you could potentially lose money.
  2. Have a budget and stick to it. Once you start placing bets, be sure to know your limits. You need to ensure that you only spend the allocated sum of cash you’ve put aside and nothing more. Once your bank runs dry, it’s advisable to log out and try again another day.
  3. Wherever possible, avoid side bets and jackpots. While some players only enjoy gambling when betting on these extras, they can drain your bank so play wisely!
  4. It’s a fact that certain games have a higher house edge than others. Stay away from these games and you’ll stand a better chance of filling your own pockets before handing your cash over to the casino.

Play responsibly and no matter what the house edge may be, you’ll be a winner.