The Advantages of Casino House Edge

Casino House EdgeEach land-based casino, and even online ones, have what is commonly referred to as the house edge. Since casinos are in the business to make money, it would make sense that they have the advantage over players when it comes to playing various games. More specifically speaking, the casino house edge is what profit the casino receives from each player’s bet on each and every game found within the casino. Overall, the creation of the house advantage comes from the fact that casinos are an enormous business whose main goal is to get as much money as possible, while still sending customers home happy.

The Correlation between Number of Games and Customer Percentage Loss

With each game you play in a casino, you may start out betting with just one dollar. Because of the house edge, you will never truly see that dollar back in full, but rather you will get, at most, 95 cents of the full dollar returned to you. While this is the simplest way of describing the casino house edge, it does not do the scenario full justice because the more times you play a single game, the more likely you are to lose more money. Strictly speaking, if you only pay one game, you may either lose that dollar completely, or double it. However, if you find yourself playing 100 or more games, you are much more likely to lose money than gain it. In general, the sweet spot for some games of chance tend to be in between 10 and 100 times of play – within this area you may either lose a few percentages of what you betted, or gain nearly ten percent of what you bet on the game.

The percentages for each casino game can vary widely for a multitude of reasons including the percentage of the house edge, the ability of the player, and the overall odds of the game. For example, Roulette has a higher house edge percentage than baccarat because of the type of play. In general, this means that the higher the odds of winning the game, the higher the house percentage becomes because of the increased likelihood that there will be more plays on games with higher odds.

Casino House Edge is Not Cheating

Many of you may disagree with this simple fact, but in the long run, the use of the house edge is nowhere near cheating. Think of the house edge more as a customer service fee on each bet you make – just like gratuity on a restaurant check when you have a large party. Even when you do win money on a game, the casino has still made money from you because of the house edge. In all reality, this is one of the major ways casinos continue to maintain their booming business status.

The House Advantage Percentages Chart

House Advantage

The following chart breaks down the typical house percentage on each of the most commonly played casino games, indicating not only how much the casino is making on each bet, but also the odds of winning for each game.

As you can see by the chart above, Keno has the highest house advantage overall, following by slots, Caribbean Stud and Roulette. The other games listed have a much higher chance of winning from each bet, making their house percentage lower. However, even the lower house percentages are still earning the casino money on every single bet – even if you walk out of the casino with ten times more what you spent.


Keep in mind that the lower the house edge is on a casino game, the more likely it is for you to win from round to round. Because of this, even though you are making quite the profit from playing the game, you are still giving a good portion of what you bet to the house edge, even if it’s only half a percent per bet. Consider you bet $10 on one round of a six deck basic strategy black jack game. The house edge earns the casino half of a percent of your $10, or a mere nickel. For every $10 bet you make, the casino is earning an additional nickel, so after say, one hundred games, the casino has earned $50 just from the house advantage – and that doesn’t include if you lost money to the casino in one of the games.

The previous example is what many may refer to as ‘the grind.’ This refers to the amount of times you play a single game in regards to the varying wins and losses you will experience. To avoid getting sucked in to the grind, be wary of repeatedly playing games with a high house edge and be sure to pick a number of the maximum times you will bet on any given game.


If the House Always Wins, Do I Always Lose?


The simple answer is no, but in a way the answer is also yes. As discussed above, when you hit the grind in any given game you will have made a small sum of money in addition to what you brought in with you, but you will have also lost money to the house edge on each bet. When thinking of casino games in this manner, the house does always win, even if you won money from them as well.


As with anything, sometimes the odds will be in your favor, and sometimes they will not. The trick to overtaking the house edge and coming out of the casino with more money than you took in is proper strategy and practice. Cheating is, of course, illegal in casinos and will quickly get you removed – but a good player will win more than they lose, although they will still lose a fair amount of games. Rather than immediately be wary of the odds for each of these casino games, and the house edge placed on each, remember that these games would not be a good source of entertainment if there was not the potential for loss, otherwise there would be no challenge.


The following chart shows the general element of risk for a variety of casino games. If you are a first time visitor to a casino, then you may want to consider a game with a lower element of risk. On the other hand, if you are ready for a challenge, then choose a game with a higher element of risk – just remember that with the greater risk comes a higher house edge and a greater likelihood that you will lose money rather than win it.

Blackjack Atlantic City rules 0.43% 0.38%
Bonus 6 No insurance 10.42% 5.41%
Bonus 6 With insurance 23.83% 6.42%
Caribbean Stud Poker 5.22% 2.56%
Casino War Go to war on ties 2.88% 2.68%
Heads Up Hold ‘Em Pay Table #1 (500-50-10-8-5) 2.36% 0.64%
Double Down Stud 2.67% 2.13%
Let it Ride 3.51% 2.85%
Spanish 21 Dealer hits soft 17 0.76% 0.65%
Spanish 21 Dealer stands on soft 17 0.40% 0.30%
Three Card Poker Ante & play 3.37% 2.01%
Wild Hold ’em Fold ’em 6.86% 3.23%

Table Games versus Slot Machines

Everything in the casino has a house edge placed on it, including the slot machines. Because of this, and the high odds of winning the jackpot from the slot machines, it is actually more advantageous to play table games than try your hand at the slot machines. True, most slot machines only cost a dollar or less, but that can easily drain your money as you sit at the slot machine and try dozens of times for the one lucky jackpot. This leads us to another fact about the house edge – the more you are able to win at any given game, the higher the percentage of the house edge.


Realizing this, it is vital to consider what table games at casinos truly have to offer. Not only do they allow interaction with other members of the casino, but they also offer higher chances of winning money. Granted, winning a game of blackjack may only earn you $15 as opposed to the thousands you may earn from a slot machine, but that game of blackjack will be much easier to win than hitting the one in a million jackpot found at each casino.


Final Words

Some may consider the casino house edge as a version of cheating, but casinos are really just using the house edge as gratuity for maintaining the cleanliness and livelihood of their casino. The next time you head to the casino for a night of fun, review the charts to see which games have the highest house edge, and start playing games at the lower edge so that you can keep more of your hard earned money with the potential of still gaining money – and being more at ease with the small percentage the house edge is receiving from each of your bets.