An Introduction to the Casino House Edge

The house edge is in its simplest form the advantage held by the casino or online casino – pertaining to any chosen game.  The house edge is expressed by means of a percentage value.  The percentage value is determined by taking into account the divergence between the odds of the player winning, and the odds of the casino (or the house) winning.  The lower the house edge, the better for the player.

It’s important to keep in mind that the house edge is pre-determined for all games – the only exceptions being Blackjack and Video Poker. Blackjack and Video Poker are not merely games of chance, but are structured in such a way that a player can apply certain skills in order to obtain a favourable outcome.

The general opinion is that the more difficult it is to play a game in the correct way, i.e. the way that it was intended to be played, the lower the house edge – the better the return to the player. There are some exceptions to this rule, but it’s a safe one to follow over all.

The Simpletons

Keno and slot games are considered to be of the easier games to play. During a game of Keno, the player will pick one or more numbers from a total selection of 80 numbers, appearing on a grid. The casino, in turn, will pick 20. Each matching number is a win for the player. Due to the simplicity of Keno, coupled with the basic maths driving the odds, the house edge is very much in favour of the casino – at times as much as forty percent.

Slots, too, require minimum skill on the part of the player.  The house edge varies – anything from three percent to twenty percent can be expected.

Roulette and Baccarat – Player Favourites All Round

Playing Roulette is a great deal of fun, and when considering the very low average house edge of between 2 and 5 percent, it’s not difficult to tell why.  It’s important to make the distinction between a wheel with a double and a single zero, and one with a single zero, as this has an impact on the house edge.  The wheel with a single zero yields a much lower house edge than its double-barrelled counterpart.

Baccarat, in its uncomplicated form, is a fantastic game as far as the return to player ratio is concerned.  The game has many different styles and formats and online betting, but playing the basic version is best as far as the house edge goes. A bet is placed either on the player, or on the banker. With Baccarat, keeping it simple is best. This makes Baccarat one of the exceptions to the difficulty-pays-best rule. As soon as a player starts to engage in the more exotic bets of predicting a tie or a pair, the house edge increases rather exponentially.

The secret seems to be to find a game that you truly enjoy, learn to master it, and give it all you’ve got!