House Edge Explained

Published by Dave Perez on October 12, 2020

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Published by Dave Perez on October 12, 2020

In the simplest term, the house edge refers to the amount in percentage that the house makes off every bet, consider it as a built-in profit margin. Yes, this may sound like they're up to no good but in actual fact, it all boils down to mathematics and odds.

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The more complex version of the term requires that we delve into each casino game individually to uncover the true percentages of the house edge.

Everyone goes to the casino to fulfill the same reasons. Some players head to the tables for fun and excitement while others go with the intention of walking out with swollen pockets.

What everyone should remember though when entering a casino is the fact that at its core a casino is a business.


The House Always Wins


While casinos have been likened to an adult’s games room or a couple of hour vacations, always keep in mind that as with any business, the casino is there to make money.

One aspect that you can certainly guarantee is that there is no such thing as taking a chance for a casino. The house will always make a profit.


If you’ve spent time at your casino you’ll most likely have noticed that for some reason there are never any clocks or even windows for that matter.

This is the case for just about every casino you set foot in, and it’s not some design flaw or mistake, it boils down to science actually and it all has to do with the house edge.


As you read further you’ll notice that there are different house edges and odds for every game you play at the casino.

It may seem as if the house edge does not really affect the outcome, however, the games and edges have been designed to always have the house win in the long run.


Statistics have shown that spending less time in the casino is actually far more beneficial for players.

This works in the player’s favor thanks to how casinos make money. The longer you play for the more chance the house has of taking the money back that you’ve just won, hence the lack of clocks and windows.

This is done for a specific reason, in order to help players forget the passage of time therefore playing for extended periods where the house’s edge is on the constant rise.


Blackjack House Edge


The iconic card game has captivated players since the dawn of gambling and for good reason. Not only is the game extremely simple to learn and play well, but it is also the game that has the lowest house edge or advantage.

Don’t get too excited though, this is only the case if players stick to a strict Blackjack strategy throughout their time at the table and continue to play the odds perfectly.

Keep in mind that this is hardly ever the case, barring a few veterans of the game.


Most blackjack tables will offer players a house edge of 0.5%, however, if you’re one of those professionals who are able to play the odds like a god, you’re able to drop this edge to as low as 0.28% in some cases and if you’re playing and a relatively liberal establishment.


One piece of information that every blackjack player is aware of or should be at least is the mere fact that every time you “hit” or take a card from the dealer your odds of winning decrease significantly.


Another way players are able to increase their probability of beating the house is card counting. Although frowned upon at just about every casino, it’s not necessarily illegal. Using even the simplest method, if done correctly, should see you registering longer winning streaks.


Craps House Edge


This game has been immortalized in blockbuster movies and is often abuzz with excitement as everyone around the table, be it, player or spectator.

The premise of the game is hardly confusing, all one needs to do is roll the dice and pray it lands on your selected bet.


Whether the game does get a little more complicated is during the betting aspect. There are a massive number of bets and side bets players can place which all have an effect on your odds and the house edge.


The majority of the casino will all have a house edge of around the same percentage; however, it does and can fluctuate wildly depending on the table and the player of course. Players can expect to see a house edge of between 0% – 13.9% with the latter being seldom realized.


Here is a table of the best types with their probability and house edges indicated:


 Bet Type True Odds Payout  House Edge
Pass Line 251 to 244 1 to 1 1.41%
Come 251 to 244 1 to 1 1.41%
Don’t Pass 1031 to 949 1 to 1 1.36%
Don’t Come (Bar 12) 1031 to 949 1 to 1 1.36%
Pass / Come 2 to 1 on 4 or 10 2 to 1 on 4 or 10 0%
Don’t Pass / Don’t Come 1 to 2 on 4 or 10 1 to 2 on 4 or 10 0%
7 Out 5 to 1 4 to 1 16.67%
Yo 11 17 to 1 15 to 1 11.11%
3 17 to 1 15 to 1 11.11%
2 Snake Eyes 35 to 1 30 to 1 13.89%
12 Box Cars 35 to 1 30 to 1 13.89%
Hi-Lo 17 to 1 15 to 1 11.11%
Craps 8 to 1 7 to 1 11.11%
C and E 5 to 1 3 to 1 with craps 11.11%
Field 5 to 4 2 to 1 on 2 or 12 5.56%
Field (alternate) 5 to 4 2 to 1 on 2 2.78%
Horn 5 to 1 27 to 4 with 2 or 12 12.50%
Whirl / World 2 to 1 26 to 5 with 2 or 12 13.33%
Hard Way 4 or 10 8 to 1 7 to 1 11.11%
Hard Way 6 or 8 10 to 1 9 to 1 9.09%
Big 6 or 8 6 to 5 1 to 1 9.09%
Place 4 or 10 2 to 1 9 to 5 6.67%
Place 5 or 9 3 to 2 7 to 5 4.00%
Place 6 or 8 6 to 5 7 to 6 1.52%
Buy 4 or 10 2 to 1 2 to 1 4.76%
Buy 5 or 9 3 to 2 3 to 2 4.76%
Buy 6 or 8 6 to 5 6 to 5 4.76%
Lay 4 or 10 1 to 2 1 to 2 2.44%
Lay 5 or 9 2 to 3 2 to 3 3.23%
Lay 6 or 8 5 to 6 5 to 6 4.00%


Roulette House Edge


Online Roulette BonusYet another casino favorite where you’ll always find a bunch huddled around. The game of roulette is ridiculously easy to play and understand.

The game consists of a roulette wheel, a ball, and a table indicating the betting. The objective is to try and guess which number or color the ball will.

Now, obviously, these are not the only two aspects you’re permitted to place bets on, they’re actually quite a few different bet variations which add to the thrill of the game.


There are basically three different versions of the game. European, American, and French roulette. They are literally exactly the same in every way apart from one tiny detail.

The American version has included a 00 slot on the wheel. All wheels consist of the numbers 1-36 in both red and black colors and all wheels have a 0 in green.


Here is a table showing the differences depending on your bet type:


Bet Payout European Odds American Odds
Single Number 35 to 1 2.70% 2.60%
2 Number Combination 17 to 1 5.4% 5.3%
3 Number Combination 11 to 1 8.1% 7.9%
4 Number Combination 8 to 1 10.8% 10.5%
5 Number Combination 6 to 1 13.5% 13.2%
6 Number Combination 5 to 1 16.2% 15.8%
Column 2 to 1 32.40% 31.6%
Dozen 2 to 1 32.40% 31.6%
Even/Odd 1 to 1 48.60% 47.4%
Red/Black 1 to 1 48.60% 47.4%
Low/High 1 to 1 48.60% 47.4%

Author: Dave Perez

Dave Perez is a casino content expert working in the industry for 5 years as a content manager, looking for the best online casino tips? follow this guy

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