The house edge is the built-in advantage that casinos have, in order to keep up with the costs of the day to day running of the business. It’s how they ensure that they have the ability to make money off every table and every machine in their establishment.
While table and card games have this edge built into them – meaning the casinos don’t have the ability to set this themselves – savvy players know what tables to try and which ones to rather pass on, in order to get the best bang for their buck on a night out.
The house edge is always present, which means it always affects whatever winnings you make – and depending on what game you play, the edge varies but the fact is that the house will always have the ability to win a certain percentage of the time.
Is the House Edge Consistent?
Depending on where you play, the house edge can vary greatly – and will differ depending on if you’re playing in Europe or America, or if you’re playing online or at a land-based venue. For example, the average house edge of the roulette wheel in America is 5.26%, but across the pond it falls all the way to 2.7% – and this small difference in percentage adds up greatly over the course of several thousand spins a day.
Table Games: While the house edge varies between table games, the games with the lowest house edge will give you the greatest chance of having higher winning streak – though as the games listed also are games of chance, the outcome can go either way. In order to have the best chance of walking away with higher winnings, look at games that have the lowest house edge, such as craps, baccarat, keno, video poker and blackjack.
Slots: While the pinging and whirring of slot machines, with their flashing lights and bright colours draw in patrons aplenty, they offer one of the lowest return to player values around. Slots usually have the biggest house edge in the casino, and players will usually spend far more than they win in the short term. If you want to strike it lucky, look for slots that offer free bonus spins in order to stand a chance of winning some cash back.
With online casinos, the house edge is still present – though the house edge tends to be smaller if you look for sites that offer plenty of free bonuses, spins and other incentives to regular players. In order to entice players in, many online casinos will publish the payout ratio of the various games they offer – allowing consumers the chance to choose wisely ahead of time.
The payout ratio of various online games also differs greatly between online casinos, with similar games having as little as a 0.5% payout ratio difference between them – however, this also adds up to quite a bit over the course of many spins.
While the house edge exists, and will give the house the advantage for a set percentage of the time, knowing which games to bet on and knowing that you should most often bet in favour of the dealer to give you a higher win yield, means that you can affect your winning outcome just as much in the long run.