Some players still do not understand the concept of the house edge or casino advantage. It is a simple thing. The house edge is a mathematical advantage over the player which ensures casinos a steady income. More precisely, it is a difference between real odds (real chance to win) and payout offered by the casino. The goal is to find games with the lowest house edge. Most of the online games have the house edge below 6%. Here are some games with a huge advantage:
- Draw bet at baccarat - 14,36%
- Big Six $ 5 Bet - 22.22%
- Big Six Joker / Logo - 26.07%
- Keno - 24% to 29%
- Slot machines - 2% to 15%
How to calculate the house edge
Although it may not seems, the calculation of the house edge is quite complex. For most games. Usually, the formula for the house edge could look like this:
The house for roulette is pretty easy to calculate. Let's say I want to bet one chip on number 5 on European Roulette. European Roulette has a total of 37 numbers and pays 1 to 35 for a specific number.
- Win: 35 coins
- Chance to win (Pwin): 1/37
- Lost: 1 coin
- Chance to lose (Ploss): 36/37
The result is EV = -0.02703. Multiply it by 100, and we get the expected profit value for a roulette player is -2.703%. That means that in the long run, the player will lose 2.7 unit from 10 wagered units.
Determining the casino advantage for other games is a bit more complicated, and other methods can be used. For example, the House edge for slot machines is no longer countable without special software.
How the casino benefits from the advantage
But something is the same for all casino games. The higher the risk you take, the higher is the possible reward. And of course, the higher are the loses.
House edge is not just the ratio of what you lose with what you bet. It's the difference between the real odds (what the casino should pay you) and what the casino pays you, as we mentioned. But there are also several games where you will find zero casino advantage. And these games are the most favourable games for players. But to achieve 100% average return, you have to play precisely according to the optimal strategy, and you can still reach these advantages only in the long run - precisely as the theory of probability specifies.
Each game has a different house edge
The concept of the house edge can be explained on roulette. Roulette with one zero has 37 numbers, with two zeros (0 and 00) has 38 numbers. Chance of winning single bet is 1 in 36 on European roulette and 1 in 37 American roulette. And here is the proof of ratio gap.
For both types of roulette, you will only be paid out in a 35 to 1 ratio. This difference gives the casino
- 5.26% for an American Roulette ( 37-35=3 | 2/38=0.0526)
- 2.7% for a European Roulette (36-35=1 | 1/37=0.02702)
House Edge for Casino Games
|Casino Game||Bet/Rule||House Edge|
|Blackjack||about 0.5 %|
|Don´t pass/Don´t come||1.36 %|
|Keno||25 up to 29 %|
|Video Poker||Jak or Better||0.46 %|
|Online Slots||2 % up to 15 %|
Casino Games with Player's Advantage
But blackjack is an unusual casino game. It has a variable advantage which depends on many factors like a number of high cards in decks or rules. The house edge changes with every card dealt. Card counter can estimate these factors and adjust the bet as needed.
Other than blackjack, some version of video poker has a positive player's advantage.
- Full-Pay Deuces Wild Poker - return to player: 100.76%
- Double Double Bonus Poker - return to player: 100.17%