Best Odds in a Casino, According to Psychology and House Edge

Throughout the ages, casinos have thrived and grown in popularity, due in no small part to the clever use of small psychological hacks. Be it through crazy carpet patterns, the placement of basic services such as restaurants and toilet facilities, or even through the lack of clocks and windows to give off the feeling of time standing still, we’ve heard it all before.

While these tricks are undoubtedly effective, they are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are many other tricks that are hidden up casinos’ sleeves, many of which are unseen by the casual player. Here we will dive a little deeper into the psychology of casinos- namely how players’ gameplay is affected by the in-built house edge.

House Edge Definition

In order to know how casinos’ house edge is tricking you, you need to first know what house edge means. By definition, house edge is the percentage of advantage that a house has over a player in any given game- which is why it’s sometimes also known as house advantage. This, in turn, means that over a long period of time, the casino will always win against the players.

For instance, if a game has a 2% house edge, after calculating the losses and wins of thousands upon thousands of bets, the money returned to players would amount to about 98% of all the money wagered, while the casino will keep the remaining 2%.

Don’t worry! It’s still possible to win against casinos, as long as you quit while you’re ahead and, if you’re passionate about games, it’s also highly encouraged to learn strategies to increase your own chances of winning.

How House Edge Affects Players’ Gameplay

Besides not giving players a fair chance of winning on their wagers, without knowledge of a game’s house edge, it would be difficult for players to gauge which games they would have a higher chance of winning at. When one knows the percentage of every game’s house edge, naturally, their style of playing will change accordingly.

Some casino games could have house edges that vary greatly, but generally speaking, here are a few games with lower house edges:

  • Blackjack: 0.3% – 1.2%
  • Craps: 0% (When betting on four or ten, five or nine, or six or eight) – 16.67% (When betting on any seven)
  • European Roulette: 2.7%
  • Pai Gow: 0.75% – 1.50%

The very knowledge of various games’ house edge would also debunk several popular gambling myths, including casino games being rigged. It’s true that the odds are stacked against the player, but the common misconception of casinos being able to control when and how much is given out would no longer hold water.

Another way is by utilizing a game strategy. Game strategies can sometimes change the house edge drastically if played correctly. This is especially so with poker games like Texas Hold’Em. Check out this Texas Hold’Em article to better understand how strategies affect your odds.

Of course, there are many other factors besides the house edge that play into affecting a player’s winning chances, but understanding the house edge percentage is an essential first step into getting to know other psychological tricks that casinos may use against players. Until 0% edge games become the norm in casinos all over the world, the knowledge of house edge will still remain relevant and essential to tip the balance between casinos and players.