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Casino House Edge Explained (& How It's Calculated)

On this page, you will find everything you need to know about casino house edge and its calculation. You will also discover what the house edge typically is for most online casino games and slot machines, as well as answers to other frequently asked questions such as, what is a good house edge? And, can you beat the house edge?

What Does House Edge Mean In a Casino? 

All casinos have a house edge. But what exactly does this mean? The house refers to the online or land-based casino you are playing at, and of course, casinos have a built-in advantage as they rightly need to make a profit to run their businesses, giving them a slight edge.

Often, the casino will beat the player, and this is because the odds are in their favour. This built-in advantage the casino has is known as the house edge. For example, an online slot has a Return to Player (RTP) rate of 96%. That could make the casino house edge around 4%, meaning the casino will most likely keep a 4% average profit from all bets placed on that particular slot machine.

How Is Casino House Edge Calculated? 

Knowing the house edge of a casino game is great for players as it means they can understand how likely they are to potentially win. You can work out the house edge of any casino game you play online.

The basic equation you can use to work out the house edge for casino games is:

Fair game winning - actual game-winning ÷ fair game winning x 100 = house edge.

What Is a Good House Edge? 

Knowing the house edge can make it easier for you to see if the casino game could potentially be profitable. For example, if a casino game or slot has a high house edge, it could pay out less over a longer period than a casino game or slot with a low house edge. However, it is important to understand that, ultimately, casino games are games of chance, so nothing is ever guaranteed.

What Is The House Edge For Most Casino Games? 

Every casino game has a unique house edge. Poker is one of the most popular casino games as it tends to have a low house edge, which means the chances of potentially winning could be slightly higher. Let's look at the different casino games and their house edge percentages.

American Roulette 

American roulette is a popular table game. The roulette wheel has 38 segments, each labelled with the numbers 1 to 36, 0 and 00. These segments alternate in red and black colours. The 0 and 00 are green. The aim of the game is to guess where the ball will land on the roulette wheel. Guess correctly, and you win your bet. American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%.

European Roulette

European roulette is a popular version of roulette descended from Europe. European roulette is similar to American roulette, with a few exceptions. This roulette wheel has 37 segments. These are numbered 1 to 36 and include 0. The aim of European roulette is the same as American roulette; to guess where the ball will land on the roulette wheel. European roulette has a house edge of 2.7%.

Blackjack

When you are ready to play, you'll receive 2 cards from the dealer. The dealer also has 2 cards; 1 face up and 1 face down. You then will decide whether to hit or stand. The aim of Blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible without going bust. Blackjack usually has a house edge between 0.42% - 1.5%.

Video Poker

Video poker combines the best of online slots and poker. When you have placed your bet, you will recieve 5 cards. You will then decide which cards you want to hold on to. The cards you don't want, will be exchanged for new cards. Then, the second hand is drawn, and you will now have 5 cards that represent your final poker hand. The bigger your hand, the more you can potentially win. The house edge of video poker is 0.46%.

Online Slots

Online slots are all different and have different outcomes. The aim of online slot games is to match symbols on a line. There are often bonus features which can make gameplay entertaining. Online slots usually have a house edge between 1% and 20%, depending on the game.

There are many other casino games to play online too, including baccarat, which has a house edge of just over 1%, Caribbean Stud Poker, which has a house edge of 5.22%, and Texas Hold 'em, which has a house edge of 2.19%. The casino game with the highest house edge is Keno, with a house edge of 25 - 29%. These are the house edges for the most popular online casino games. 

What Casino Game Has The Lowest House Edge? 

Blackjack tends to be the casino game with the lowest house edge. There are, however, different varieties of Blackjack, so check the house edge before you play.

Blackjack is one of the most popular online casino table games because it mostly offers the lowest house edge. The type of Blackjack with the lowest house edge is Classic Blackjack. Classic Blackjack typically has a house edge of only 0.5%. Using strategies and claiming bonuses could potentially lower the house edge also.

What Is The House Edge on Slot Machines? 

All online slot machines have a different house edge, averaging between 1% and 20%. The easiest way to find out the house edge of an online slot is by looking at the slot's RTP (Return To Player) percentage. The RTP refers to the total amount returned to players over numerous spins. However, it is important to note that the RTP is a theoretical value and does not guarantee anything.

Working out the house edge of an online slot can be relatively simple. Let's say an online slot machine has an RTP of 97%. Take that number away from 100, leaving you with 3%. That is the average house edge, and around the amount the casino keeps.

Can You Beat The House Edge?

There isn't one particular key to beating the house edge. You can, however, choose online slots and casino games that tend to have a lower house edge.

When it comes to online slots, you might want to pick a slot with a high RTP, as this could mean that the house edge is generally low. A high RTP slot would be anything over 96%. Regular online slots with bonus features tend to have a high RTP, while Jackpots tend to have a lower RTP.

With Blackjack, it could be best to stick to the classic game version, as this usually has the lowest house edge. If you want to try and beat the house edge, it's an excellent idea to familiarise yourself with the game's rules and have a bit of practice. An inexperienced player will likely increase the house edge as you're more likely to make poor decisions. The house edge of 0.5% is based on knowledge, basic strategy and the standard rules.

Just like Blackjack, knowing the strategy and rules of poker can potentially help you make better decisions, which could increase your chances of beating the house edge.

The house edge of roulette depends on what style of roulette game you're playing. If you want to beat the house edge in roulette, you may want to choose to play European roulette, which has a house edge of 2.7%. This means that potentially, you could win more money over time by playing European roulette compared to American roulette. That is because European roulette does not have the double zero pocket. However, as mentioned throughout this article, casino games are ultimately games of chance, and nothing can ever be guaranteed.

 *All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to these games are subject to change at any time.