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Understanding the House Edge in Casino Games

Jennifer Lynn Written by Jennifer Lynn
Richard Grant Reviewed by Richard Grant

Understanding the House Edge in Casino Games

When stepping into the vibrant atmosphere of a casino, it’s crucial to understand the concept of House Edge. This term represents the mathematical advantage that the casino holds over the players. While the allure of big wins tempts many, it’s the House Edge that ensures casinos continue to thrive. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of House Edge, helping you to comprehend its role in your gaming experience and how it varies across different casino games.

Understanding the House Edge

Defining House Edge

  • The House Edge is defined as the ratio of the average loss to the initial bet.
  • It does not account for additional bets placed during a game, such as splits or doubles in Blackjack unless these are mandatory bets.
  • The calculation is based on the original bet to simplify understanding the potential losses over time.

Why the House Edge Matters

  • Every casino game is designed to favor the house, ensuring profitability.
  • Strategies can reduce the House Edge, but it’s impossible to eliminate it completely.
  • The House Edge varies not only between games but also within different bets in the same game.


The Impact of House Edge on Gameplay

Factors Influencing House Edge

  • The presence of a Tie option in games like Baccarat or Craps can affect the House Edge calculation.
  • Player’s mindset, concentration, and financial threshold can indirectly influence the practical House Edge they experience.

Choosing Games Wisely

  • Games with a lower House Edge offer a better chance of winning in the long run.
  • Understanding the House Edge helps players make informed decisions about which games to play.


Game Statistics

Game Betting Rules House Edge
Blackjack Vegas Rules 0.28%
Pontoon Standard Bet 0.32% – 0.65%
Dealer Stands on Soft 17 0.40%
Spanish 21 Dealer Hits on Soft 17 0.76%
Blackjack Switch Standard Bet 0.58%
Atlantic City Blackjack Standard Bet 0.35%
Vegas Strip Blackjack Standard Bet 0.35%
Progressive Blackjack Standard Bet 0.28% – 0.76%
Super Fun 21 Standard Bet 0.94%
European Roulette Single Zero 1.35% – 2.70%
American Roulette Double Zero 5.26%
French Roulette Single Zero 1.35% – 2.70%
Baccarat Player 1.24%
Baccarat Banker 1.06%
Baccarat Tie 14.36%
Punto Banco Player 1.24%
Punto Banco Banker 1.06%
Punto Banco Tie 14.40%
EZ Baccarat 1.01%
3 Card Baccarat 17% – 20.8%
European Baccarat Player 1.24%
European Baccarat Banker 1.06%
European Baccarat Tie 14.40%
Banque Baccarat Player 1.24%
Banque Baccarat Banker 1.06%
Banque Baccarat Tie 14.40%
Chemin De Fer N/A
Craps Pass Line/Come Bet 1.41%
Craps Don’t Pass/Don’t Come Bet 1.40%
Craps Pass Line Odds/Comes Bet Odds/Buy Bets – 4 or 10 4.76%
Craps Pass Line Odds/Comes Bet Odds/Buy Bets – 5 or 9 4.76%
Craps Pass Line Odds/Comes Bet Odds/Buy Bets – 6 or 8 4.76%
Craps Don’t Pass Odds/Don’t Come Bet Odds/Lay Bets – 4 or 10 2.44%
Craps Don’t Pass Odds/Don’t Come Bet Odds/Lay Bets – 5 or 9 3.23%
Craps Don’t Pass Odds/Don’t Come Bet Odds/Lay Bets – 6 or 8 4.00%
Craps Field Bets – 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 5.50%
Craps Field Bets – 2 or 12 5.50%
Craps Place Bets – 4 or 10 6.70%
Craps Place Bets – 5 or 9 4.00%
Craps Place Bets – 6 or 8 1.52%
Craps Hardways – 6 or 8 9.09%
Craps Hardways – 4 or 10 11.10%
Craps One Roll Bets – Any 7 16.90%
Craps One Roll Bets – Any Craps 11.10%
Craps One Roll Bets – 2 Craps or 12 Craps 13.90%
Craps One Roll Bets – 3 Craps or 11 Craps 11.10%
Craps One Roll Bets – Big 6 or 8 9.09%
3 Card Poker Ante Bet 3.37%
3 Card Poker Pair Plus 7.28%
Pai Gow Poker 1.50%
Let It Ride 3.51%
Caribbean Stud 5.22%
Video Poker Jacks or Better 0.46%
Video Poker Bonus Poker 0.83%
Video Poker Joker Poker 1.91%
Video Poker Deuces Wild 1.09% – 5.03%
Video Poker Aces & Faces 0.74%
Video Poker Pick’em Poker 0.5% – 10%
Video Poker Aces & Eights 0.22% – 2.51%
Video Poker Tens or Better 0.86% – 2.04%
Casino War Go to War on Ties 2.88%
Casino War Surrender on Ties 3.70%
Casino War Bet on Ties 18.65%
Keno 25% – 29%
Sic Bo 2.78% – 33.33%
Red Dog 2.80%

Conclusion: Navigating the House Edge

The concept of House Edge is a fundamental aspect of gambling that shapes every game in the casino. While it guarantees that the house always has an advantage, savvy players can use knowledge of the House Edge to their benefit, choosing games that offer a higher probability of success. Remember, the House Edge is a guide, not a guarantee, and the unpredictability of gambling means anything can happen in the short term. So, choose your games wisely, understand the odds, and enjoy the thrill of the casino with an informed perspective.

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About the author

Jennifer Lynn
Head of Content
Jennifer Lynn has spent 14 years working in the online casino industry, making her a real expert in the field. She's not just skilled at writing about casinos; she also has a deep interest in online gambling games and is a passionate researcher and player. Jennifer offers her expertise on a range of casino games and the smart strategies to use. But her life isn't all about gambling and casinos. She also loves riding horses and practicing yoga, showing that she knows how to balance her professional interests with personal passions.
Last Updated: Jun 19, 2024



What does house edge mean in a casino?

It is simple. The phrase refers to the advantage that a casino has over the player/s in a certain game.


Why do casinos have a house edge?

Well, a casino is a business. That means that their goal is to make money. So, in order to make money, the casinos need to have the advantage over the player, otherwise, they might just eventually go bankrupt.


Does the house edge mean that casino games are fixed?

Well, yes and no. Casino games are not fixed in the sense that some people might imagine. However, the rules of the games are stacked against the players. Meaning that a player can win, but it is more likely that the casino will come out on top.


What is a good house edge for the player?

It depends on the game you are playing. If we take Slots (the most popular casino game) as an example, then most have a house edge between 5% and 10%. So, anything over 10% would be too far, and anything under 5% is a game worth jumping on. When looking for a good Slot, try to find something closer to 5% than to 10% though.


What game has the lowest house edge?

Most gamblers know that Blackjack is the best game for players.


What is a good house edge in Blackjack?

Blackjack has a staggeringly low house edge percentage. There are games with a house edge as low as 0.40%, and the highest house edge in a game of Blackjack will never go beyond 2%. So, from that perspective, a standard Blackjack house edge is around 1%. Much lower than Slots, or pretty much any other game.


What games have the best house edge for non-Blackjack fans?

If you don’t like Blackjack, there are quite a few games to pick from. Pontoon, for example, is an excellent game for those looking for a lower house edge. Usually, a game of Pontoon will have a house edge similar to Blackjack. Anywhere between 0.5% to 2%. Other games with good player odds include Baccarat (usually around 1%), French Roulette (around 1.3%), and some versions of Craps.


Which Roulette version has a lower house edge?

If you are a Roulette fan, then it would certainly benefit you to seek out casinos that feature the French Variant. The French Roulette wheel has 37 slots, whereas the American version has 38. Many believe that this difference is insignificant. However, when we tell you that French Roulette’s house edge is around 1.35%, and American Roulette’s is over 5%, the difference will not seem as insignificant.


What games have the highest house edge?

For low-risk players, these are the games to avoid: Live Keno, Penny Slots, a lot of variants on Craps and the Big Six Wheel. All of these games have quite the high house edge.


What is the house edge in Poker?

Poker is where we throw everything we learned about house edge away. Unlike other casino games, Poker is skill-based. Meaning, there is no house edge. The only edge goes to the person who has played more Poker. Casinos make money off of poker by charging a small “competition fee”. And the rest is all up to the players themselves. This is why most pro-gamblers dedicate a lot of their time becoming great Poker players.

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