You will often hear the phrase ‘House Edge’ when casinos are discussed by professional gamblers, but what is the house edge? And how does it work?
The phrase simply means the amount of money a casino (the house) can expect to make from a casino game.
Remember that every casino game has ‘an edge’ built into it. Let’s use the example of a roulette game.
The roulette wheel is numbered 1 ~ 36 with each number coloured red and black alternatively. If you placed a bet on black you would have a 50-50 chance of winning. This wouldn’t give the casino any chance of making a profit.
So the casinos introduced the 0 number to the roulette table and coloured it green. In effect giving them a small edge over the player, outside bets (bets on red or black) will always lose when a single zero comes up.
The edge doesn’t stop there either. The payout for betting on a single number in roulette is 35-1, but the roulette wheel has 37 numbers! So players are always getting paid slightly less than the true odds. The house edge in roulette is around 5.2%.
House Edge Of Popular Casino Games
So that’s how casinos make a profit with a small house edge on every game. However, some casino games have bigger edges than others.
Blackjack has the smallest house edge, which makes it the best game for players to win. Sitting at around 0.5% this means this is the best game statistically for making money. However, you still need to understand the rules before taking money from the casino!
Craps has a varying house edge as there are so many different ways to bet. It can start at 0%, meaning the house has no advantage and go as high as around 16%. On the pass line or the come out, the house edge is still low at around 1.41%.
The highest house edge bets in Craps are Proposition 2 or 12 (13.9%) or any 7 (16.1%). With so many ways to bet, it’s worth checking out all the options available in Craps!
Another popular game is Baccarat, the game in which you bet whether the banker or the player’s hand will be closer to nine. The edge changes depending on who you back. The banker has a lower house edge, around 1% with the player at 1.24%.
The ever so popular game of Texas Hold’em Poker has a fairly low house edge as well. The house edge is around 2.36% but is also dependant on the game in terms of the number of calls, raises, checks etc.
Lots of other casino games have varying house edges, so be sure to check them before choosing what to play!