What Is the House Edge?

In any casino game, the house wins more than it loses. Understanding the house edge casinos hold over players helps gamblers make better use of their money. Playing smarter helps improve the odds over the short term and increases the amount of time, and enjoyment, a person can get from gambling.

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How Does the House Edge Work?

The house edge represents the built-in advantage casinos have in games of chance. As a number, casinos consider it the average profit they make per bet. Without it, casinos would have little reason to remain in business.

However, casinos have little interest in individual hands or players. All that matters to them is the number of bets placed. Over the course of a time period as small as a day, enough bets are placed to give the casino a level of certainty about their earnings.

How the House Edge Works

How the House Edge Works

As an example, black jack has a house edge of around 0.5%, making it one of the smallest house advantages of any casino game. Say over the course of a day 100,000 hands are played in the casino. The casino would expect to keep $500 in profit, because the number of hands is large enough to stabilize the odds in its favor.

Other games, like roulette, slots and keno, give the casino even more advantage. A higher house edge means the casino profits more. This also means less time for a player to enjoy gambling.

Gambling the Smart Way

Casinos couldn’t get people to gamble if there was no chance to win. However, in the short term, anyone can be successful gambling.

One way to increase success is to understand the game. The 0.5% house edge in black jack applies to players that use proper strategy. Other players that don’t understand the strategy of black jack have worse odds.

In games like roulette or craps, where the odds still aren’t as bad as slots, making smart bets can improve odds. Taking the time to learn how each game works not only increases the chance of winning but make the games more enjoyable.

Another tip for increasing your odds is making fewer bets. Slots not only give the house a bigger edge, people bet on them faster. Placing fewer bets in games like craps means less exposure to the house edge.

Understanding Jackpots

Games like slots remain popular because they offer gamblers the chance at getting a jackpot. They also offer what is perceived as cheaper play.

It’s true that slots offer a chance at higher winnings with less investment. However, the higher house edge means losing money faster. That means less playing time and less fun.

Table games offer players the best chance of overcoming the advantage of the house. Winning a large jackpot, while a nice fantasy, is an unrealistic hope. With the right strategy and some luck, table games offer a far greater chance at winning than slots.

Over time the house will never lose. Players can achieve success and have more fun over short periods by being smart with their bets and knowing what games to play.


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