Understanding What House Edge Is in a Casino

House edge is the mathematical advantage, described in a percentage, that a casino has over its players. In the short term, varied results are possible. However, casino games get designed so that the entity that provides them always comes out on top in the long haul.

It is crucial to be aware that gambling is a business enterprise. Thus, it would be economically unfeasible for operators to offer 50/50 or skill-based games. They have overhead costs to cover for making their products available to customers. So, they have to make sure that they stand a more than decent shot of turning a profit. Note that the phrase – in the long term refers to a period that is far longer than any player can sit at a table for or spin reels. Therefore, this advantage makes sure that in a million rounds played, the casino will win more times than all the players that participated in them as a group.

Because online gambling platforms have smaller operational costs, they can offer games that feature lower house edges than those available at real-world locales. If that sounds alluring, you can review the best online casinos in the USA.


When it comes to casino games as a whole, blackjack is the king in terms of house advantage, as it features the lowest one of all gaming products. Nevertheless, that is if you know what you are doing. Analysis suggests that newbies who do not know how to incorporate strategy and play the game on instinct face a house advantage of 5%. Yet, if you opt to implement an optimal strategy, you can get this percentage down to as low as 0.5%. That means that for every $100 wagered, you should incur an average loss of fifty cents in the long haul.

Blackjack strategy involves memorizing charts that tell you in what scenarios you should hit or stand. There are specific charts for distinct blackjack variations and rulesets. If you can keep a mental tally of the cards that the dealer burns through his decks, count cards, you can further lower the house edge by 1%. That may not seem like much, but in an extended session, it can pay off dramatically. Online, Microgaming’s RNG Vegas Single Deck Blackjack has a casino advantage of only 0.31% and is an ideal choice for all twenty-one enthusiasts.  

Slot Machines

Reel-spinners are casino’s workhorses, as they pull in more revenues than all the other products on gaming floors. Most land-based regulators mandate that physical machines have a minimum return-to-player that falls in the range of 75% to 85%. Return-to-player, or RTP, is essentially another word for house edge, which features an inverted percentage. That means that in the previously discussed format, most slot machines present in brick-and-mortar spots have a house edge between 15% and 25%.

As mentioned, due to the lower overhead costs, online regulators mandate a higher minimum return-to-player than the one that land-based overseeing bodies demand. For example, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) had an obligatory minimum return-to-player of 92%, which they recently lowered to 85%. That said, the online slot RTP average is 96%. Meaning players only encounter a house advantage of 4% when spinning reels on their phones or desktop computers. There are even a handful of online slots that have an RTP of 99%. Mega Joker is one such title. When played with its SuperMeter feature on, the game has a house edge of only 1%.


Baccarat is a gaming table mainstay that first appeared in 19th century France where it was called baccarat chemin de fer. It is now the most popular casino game in Asia, and in other corners of the globe, players refer to it as punto banco and baccarat banque. You can make the argument that baccarat is an easier game to learn than blackjack, and it requires little to no decision-making or strategy. The basic version of this game allows you to make three types of bets. These are a tie wager, a player bet, and a banker one. Each has its house edge, with the banker one featuring the lowest of this bunch at 1.06%.

Online, you can find multiple baccarat variations in the live dealer format and the software one. Lightning Baccarat by Evolution is a novel product that includes randomly generated payout multipliers. Its lowest casino advantage is 1.24%, and its max potential win is x262,144 on a tie wager.


The house edge in roulette can vary substantially depending on the type of variation you choose to play and the bets you make. In American roulette, the house edge is 5.25%, while on the European version of the game, it is 2.6%. The difference between these two is that the latter features one zero-pocket, while the first has two. When the little white ball bounces its way onto such a spot, the casino takes all the bets placed on the table, and everyone loses. It is these pockets from where roulette derives its house edge. If they did not exist, betting on black/red, evens/odds or lows/highs would all be 50/50 wagers, and the casino would have no advantage at all over its patrons.

If you choose to forego these close to 50/50 wagers and opt to bet on a specific number, you will then face thirty-seven to one odds in European roulette. That is so because the table has thirty-six numbers plus a zero pocket. In such a scenario, your win probability is 2.63%. In other words, the casino will have a 97.37% advantage over you.

To Wrap Up

Though all games featured at gaming establishments benefit the casinos, in some cases, such as at a blackjack table, you can marginalize the house edge and even turn it in your favor. You may also be able to do this at some virtual video poker machines available for online play and with specific craps bets. Remember that no matter what kind of odds you face, practicing proper bankroll management is essential when gambling.

 Author Bio

Hi! I’m Bryan, and I’m a passionate & expert writer with more than five years of experience. I have written about various topics such as product descriptions, travel, cryptocurrencies, and online gaming in my writing journey. The latter is one of my favorite topics, and you can find some of my premium casino content at OUSC.


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