The casinos on the Las Vegas Strip tower above the rest of the city. They have trillions of dollars to throw around at whatever they want, and tons of new ones are popping up every year. The reason for this concentration of wealth is simply known as the “house edge”.
This edge can also be stated as “the average profit a casino can expect to earn from a player’s bet.” In technical terms, it is the ratio of the amount of money lost to the total amount of money that was bet.
For example, the house edge in blackjack is a miniscule 0.5%, which means that for every $1000 that is wagered, they will win $5 on average. Even in a game like this where the house edge is tiny, the potential for profits can be huge.
When it comes to online casinos, things are no different. These sites make a living from the built-in advantages that can be found in all their games. This edge gives them the advantage in the long run, which means they are guaranteed to make money the more that time goes on.
Why Is the House Edge Important?
For casinos, the house edge is important because it is their way of making a profit. They make so much money from it that they can afford to comp high-rollers, give rewards to frequent players, and even give large deposit bonuses in the case of online casinos.
For players, the house edge is important because it lets you know how fast you can expect to lose your money. The whole point of gambling is to have fun, so as a gambler, your job is to maximize the amount of fun that you are having per every dollar that you spend.
The higher the house edge, the less fun you can have per dollar. The reason for this is simple: you will not be able to play for as long before you go broke.
This is the reason why it is important to pay attention to where the edge is the highest, so that you can avoid those games if possible. Unfortunately, most sites make it impossible to avoid these games during the bonus phase while you are clearing your playthrough requirements.
Which Games Have the Highest and Lowest House Edge?
The games that are notorious for having a high house edge are the slot games and Keno. The house advantage on Keno can be over 25%, which is insane. This is over 50 times higher than the house edge on a game like blackjack.
In terms of house edge, slot games are also awful for the player. Bets happen much faster in slot games than other games, which magnifies the casino’s profit per hour. This is the main reason why slot games are the only games that contribute 100% to most casinos’ deposit bonus playthrough requirements. Slot games account for at least 80% of most online casinos’ game libraries, which makes it tough to dance around the house edge that they possess.
You might have noticed that the games with the highest house edge require no thinking at all; you just pull a lever or pick random numbers to play them. Once we start looking at games where there is some actual thinking involved, we will see that the house edge diminishes rapidly.
The game with the lowest house edge is always going to be blackjack. The edge here is only 0.5%, which means that you will only lose $5 for every $1,000 that you bet. Other games with a very low house edge include baccarat, Pai Gow, Pai Gow Poker, and video poker.
Below is a list of some popular games and the average house edge that is associated with them:
- Baccarat – 1%
- Blackjack – 0.5%
- Caribbean Stud Poker – 5%
- Keno – 25%+
- Let It Ride – 3.5%
- Pai Gow – 1.5%
- Roulette Single Zero – 2.7%
- Roulette Double Zero – 5.26%
- Slot Machines – 2%-15% range
- Video Poker – 0.5%
- Spanish 21 – 0.7%
- Three Card Poker – 3.3%
- Sic Bo – 8%
- Craps – 1.5%
How Can I Fight the House Edge?
You cannot beat the house edge, but you can certainly put up a fight against it and try to minimize your losses. This should be the attitude of every gambler. Winning is not realistic in the long run for all casino games, so you should instead focus on having the most fun per dollar that you possibly can.
One way to maximize this fun and play for a longer time is to play the games that have the lowest house edge. This might seem like a no-brainer, but go check out a casino sometime and see for yourself how many people are lining up to play slots and Keno.
Most people either think the house edge is a myth, or they convince themselves that these games are beatable if they are lucky enough. But in the games with the large house edge, you will only lose faster. This is backed by precise mathematics, and there is no way to dispute this simple fact.
Once you find a game that has a low enough house edge for your liking, you can then begin to study that game to become better at it. This is applicable to games like video poker and blackjack, where your own decision-making skills determine how high the house edge is at any given time.
Even if you play perfectly, the house still has an edge. However, it is possible to minimize this edge with a good strategy. Many of these betting strategies and playing strategies can be found on the internet.
Why Play Against a House Edge at All?
This is a perplexing question that we have been asking ourselves for years. Why would we want to play in a game that is designed for us to fail? It is annoying enough to lose in games that are free, so to lose in games that cost money and offer us bad odds is extremely bothersome.
The truth is, some people do not care if they lose. Some people win so much in life that they need to mix in a little bit of losing for balance. Some people lose so much in life that they gamble to try and prove they can beat the odds. Whatever walk of life we come from, there seems to be a reason for gambling that ignores the fact that the games are not in our favor.
There is also a subsection of gamblers that just want to have fun, and they see their losses as paying for entertainment. Much like when they go to the movie theater, they hand over some money and receive some entertainment in return . This is the viewpoint that we recommend you have when you play these casino games. It is not logical to try and play the games to prove anything or to try and make a living playing them.
Is There Really No Way to Beat the House Edge?
This question requires a timeframe for us to be able to give a correct answer. Sure, you could log into any online casino and be a winner after one hand. You could win after 100 hands. You could win after 1,000 hands. However, once you start to approach the million-hand mark, losing is pretty much a foregone conclusion. It is simply not possible to beat the odds in the long run.
Thanks to features like progressive jackpots, it really is possible to gamble online and walk away rich. All you need is one lucky spin and you could win millions of dollars. However, these stories are so few and far between that you should not make this your main goal for gambling online.
To sum things up, the house edge is an unbeatable and undeniable fact of every casino. Some games have a higher edge than others, but every game has an edge of some sort, no matter how well you play them. The only two ways to avoid the house edge are to not gamble at all, or to find a game that you can have an advantage in, such as poker.
Since you cannot beat the house edge, your primary focus should be on having fun and being entertained. Keeping this in mind, there are several things that you can do to try and maximize the total amount of fun that you have for every dollar that you spend.
You should be focusing your play on the games with the lowest house edge. Otherwise, you will go broke much faster and be forced to deposit more often than you would have liked, and who wants to do that?! The key is to do what is fun for you, and to not take the games too seriously. The best way to keep this attitude is to play low-stakes and just try to keep things on the fun side.