If you ever talked about casinos with anyone, you have probably heard you can never beat the house because of the house edge. That is a common term used in many reviews, guides, and even daily, but too many people don’t understand what the fuss is all about.
They either believe it doesn’t exist, or they think it doesn’t apply to them. Both of them are wrong, and to avoid being one of those guys, keep reading and learn how to utilize it to your advantage.
Casino House Edge Meaning and Definition
The best way to describe this casino phenomena is to say it is the advantage a casino brand has against you. Is it the same thing as RTP? Definitely not. While RTP is calculated theoretically, the house edge can be applied to any single hand. Essentially, it tells the player what chances he has when playing against the house. Based on the initial bet, and not betting in general, it immediately provides valuable information for the customer.
It is always expressed as a percentage. The percentage is the part of the bet the company will keep for profits. This piece of information is useful in two ways:
- It tells the customer how much the game pays on average.
- It tells the customer which games can theoretically be more profitable than others.
Let’s use it as an example! For instance, the edge in blackjack is usually between 0.4% and 0.6%. This means that every time you bet €10, you can count on 4 to 6 cents lost.
What is important to know is that unlike RTP, which is not necessarily the same with all operators, the edge is always the same for the specific type of game. It doesn’t even change depending on where you play or who the playing company is. Of course, this also means you can never avoid the house edge. As long as you play, it will exist.
Why is House Edge so Important?
There are two categories of people who depend on the edge. The first ones are obviously casinos and the second customers. Now, allow us to explain why both of you are concerned about this simple number.
Can’t Beat the Casino in the Long Run?
One way the casinos make a profit is from the house edge. Of course, there are special casino resorts that also offer non-gambling entertainment (such as those in Vegas) and generate significant revenue from it, but trust us – the house edge is what keeps the cash coming.
Even though many punters might say how casinos rig their games and dealers cheat by using marked decks of cards, that is not true. The fact is, the statistic is usually on the side of the casino. Even with blackjack, a game that has the lowest edge, casino companies can generate significant income.
They don’t have to cheat for someone to lose. Stats say that before or after – someone will lose! If 10 players are playing the same game simultaneously, all of them can’t win. It is even less possible for all of them to score a jackpot. Considering not all games are blackjack, and some of them even have a higher advantage and are solemnly based on luck, it is easy to see how it is impossible to beat the casino, even in the long run.
Why Should Players Learn About the House Edge?
We already revealed why you should know the house edge, but we’ll also dig a bit deeper this time. First of all, it is important to understand the edge and choose games wisely. Not all games have the same advantage for the casino you play in, and choosing a game with a high one can definitely affect the balance on your account.
The second reason why it is important is that you understand the way casinos operate. Knowing the company has nothing against you personally can help you stop chasing losses.
Finally, the house edge provides a good reference to use when trying to minimize your losses. However, don’t be seduced by it. Other things matter too: bet size, the number of hands you play, and how long your playing sessions are.
Or to put it in some perspective: Bill Gates won’t mind losing €10,000 in a single hand of roulette, but you probably will! Learn the advantages and disadvantages of the most common games you play to keep things under control.
House Edge in Different Casino Games
There are many different games, and even more variations, so don’t mind if we don’t list them all here. Still, we dedicated some time to list all the most common games and the most popular ones.
Blackjack House Edge
|Number of Decks||House Advantage|
|Single deck||0.17%||Double deck||0.46%|
Blackjack is known as the game that has the lowest edge. However, it is also partly a skill-based game, so customers can dedicate some time to learning how to count cards to increase their chances even more. There are plenty of strategies that can help you get better results.
- Blackjack charts – ideal for visual types. These charts help you understand all the possible hands, outcomes, and advantages. You can print it out and have it nearby when playing at an online casino.
- Card counting – seen in so many movies, this is probably the most popular strategy there is. To put it simply – players count how many cards there are in the deck and keep track of possible outcomes. Don’t hesitate to use some literature to master your skills.
- Composition strategy – in a way, this is a mix of charts and counting cards and can be quite complicated. However, once you master it, you can lower the edge below 2%.
Before you start playing any variant, we kindly suggest you check how many decks are used in it.
Roulette House Edge
|Type of Roulette||House Advantage|
|American Roulette||5.26 – 7.89%||European Roulette||2.7%|
|French Roulette||1.35 – 2.7%|
When it comes to roulette, calculating the edge gets a bit tricky, so pay close attention.
The advantage the house has highly depends on the variant you are playing and the type of bet you are placing.
As you can probably figure out from the table, the American roulette is the most volatile, and the biggest advantage for the casino is for 1st Five types of bets (betting on 0, 00, 1,2,3).
At the same time, French variation is the least volatile. The lowest advantage for the company is for betting on color, odd and even, 1 to 18, and 19 to 36.
Slot Machines House Edge
|Online Slot||House Advantage|
|Ugga Bugga (Playtech)||0.03%||Book of 99 (Relax Gaming)||1%|
|Mega Joker (NetEnt)||1%|
|Blood Suckers (NetEnt)||2%|
|Marching Legions (Relax Gaming)||1.88%|
|Jokerizer (Yggdrasil Gaming)||2%|
Slots are insanely popular, even though they are not exactly the type of game with a user-friendly house edge. On top of that, the RTP is probably the lowest in the industry.
Unlike many other games, slot machines sometimes have additional, randomly triggered features that keep customers entertained and motivate them to spend more and more. Also, the number of paylines activated will affect the minimum amount you can bet.
For instance, if you wager the maximum 30 paylines, you’ll have better odds, but if you can’t afford them all and cut them in half – you are also increasing the edge in half. House edge in slots varies, so we bring you a small table with some of the lowest house advantages in the industry.
How to choose a slot that will help you max out your winnings? The best place to start is to choose one with a high RTP, as such games have the lowest advantage for the casino. The second thing you have to do is play the maximum number of lines whenever possible. Finally, if you can, opt for buying bonus features as they help you increase your chances of winning. They might cost a bit extra but can be incredibly lucrative.
Progressive Jackpot Slots House Edge
Before we explain the house advantage of this type of game, allow us to provide a small definition of this type of game. Progressive jackpot games feature astonishing prizes called jackpots.
What makes them progressive is that it is not a fixed amount. Only the starting amount is fixed, and the rest is contributed by customers playing it. Every time you play a hand, a part of your money goes into the pot. And jackpots can reach millions and millions of Euros. Games can be just progressive or global progressive, meaning players from all over the world put some money into the pot.
However, to trigger the biggest jackpot, you have to play the maximum number of paylines, and you have to place really high bets. To help you understand, take a look at the slots house edge in the table above. Now, compare that to the advantage of Mega Moolah (one of the most popular progressives), which is 11.88%.
Whether they are worth the money is up to you to decide. Objectively speaking, there are better games in terms of the house edge than progressive jackpots. On the other hand, none of them allows you to trigger millions and millions in winnings.
Video Poker House Edge
Despite the fact video poker is played against the algorithm, it is still poker. And as a skill-based game, it gives you a greater chance of winning. Please understand that every software provider has its own set of popular video pokers, and we simply can’t list them all. To find out more about titles not mentioned here, consult the software provider’s page or the casino.
Just like blackjack, video poker gives you some good odds, and even an advantage over the house. Please understand that that doesn’t mean you’ll be winning constantly. Even with such great odds, you can still experience a losing streak.
Baccarat House Edge
|Type of Bet||House Advantage|
|Banco wins (Banker)||1.06%||Punto wins (Player)||1.24%|
|Tied 8 to 1||14.4%|
|Tied 9 to 1||4.85%|
Baccarat is a card game that is incredibly popular and has an old-school vibe to it. The main reason for its good reputation is not only James Bond movies but low house advantage as well.
Depending on the hand, it can reach just a little above 1%, which is pretty neat. However, they can also go up to more than 10%. Here, we represent the house edge for playing with 8 decks.
Baccarat may be straightforward, but there are still some things you can do to improve your odds and chances. One obvious piece of advice is never to take tie bets.
Secondly, you should bank on the banker to increase your chances and reduce the disadvantage. And finally, don’t hesitate to play variants with fewer decks.
Craps House Edge
Craps is a 100% game of luck, so the chances to lower hose edge are minimal. Of course, some bets give you a better chance against the house, but all things considered – it shouldn’t be the no. 1 choice for customers who want to reap maximum benefits.
Pass and Don’t Pass bets have a casino advantage of 1.41% and 1.36, respectively. At the same time, Hardways are either 11.1 or 9.09%. Betting on any 7 has the astonishing advantage of 16.9%. To understand the house edge in its entirety, we highly recommend you take a closer look at the odds guide provided by your casino company.