House edge, or sometimes also known as house advantage, is a term we always read about in articles about our favorite casino games, but what does it mean, exactly, and how does it affect gameplay and gaming odds?
House Edge Definition
Well, house edge is the percentage of profit the casino will get from the total of every player’s bets over time. The percentage that the house will earn varies from casino to casino based on the rules that are in place in that particular game. Here’s a formula for you to visualize it:
(Total Bets In a Game) x (House Edge Percentage) = (Total Earnings of the Casino From That Game)
For instance, if in a single day, a casino has a grand total of $20,000 placed as wagers at a Blackjack table, and the house edge is 1%, the casino will earn 1% of $20,000, hence ending up with a profit of $200. Here is the example in the formula:
$20,000 (Total Bets At Blackjack Table) x 1% (House Edge Percentage) = $200 (Total Earnings of the Casino From That Blackjack Table)
1% of profit from all the bets placed at a single table may not seem like a lot, but when you take into consideration the fact that casinos are open all day, every day, all the while earning 1% of every bet, it all adds up to an amount big enough to cover the costs of running a casino.
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House Edge and How It Affects Gaming Odds
This figure is important because it shows that whatever the casino doesn’t earn as profit, it gives back to the players- also known as the Return-To-Player rate (RTP). From this, players can calculate what the chances are of them getting their money back or even winning on their bets.
However, players need to keep in mind that the house advantage percentage shown applies to the sum of all bets, which shows that the longer a player plays a game, the higher the chances of losing money. Their best bet then is to wager a small numbers of bets, as the chances of them winning would be higher- and if there are any losses, they will be at a minimum.
As long as players stick to the age-old advice to ‘quit while they’re ahead’, and spend time picking up game tips and strategies, not only will the house advantage be maintained, but it may even decrease.
The House Edge of Popular Casino Games
As mentioned before, the house edge of every game would differ based on the set of rules that are implemented. For exact percentages for the house edge and winning odds for each game, it would be recommended to look up customizable calculators, but if you’re looking for a general house edge percentage of popular games, you can find them here:
|Type of Casino Game||General House Edge|
|Blackjack||0.3% – 1.2%|
|Baccarat||1.06% – 15.75% (If players choose the tie option)|
|Craps||0% (If betting on four or ten, five or nine, or six or eight)- 16.67% (If betting on any seven)|
|Three Card Poker||2.32% (if betting on Pair Plus option) – 3.37% (If betting on ANTE bet)|
|Slot Machines||2% – 25% (Dependent on which slots you bet on)|
|Sic Bo||2.78% – 33.33%|
|Pai Gow||0.75% – 1.50%|
|Keno||20% – 46.06%|
While players should make informed decisions on their bets based on house edge percentages (and subsequent RTP rates), their chances of winning are still affected by the application of various game strategies. Besides knowing the house edge in games, it would also be highly recommended for serious players to make use of strategies.