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Casino House Edge Explained

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7min read
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One of the open secrets of the casino world is the not often talked about casino house edge. Shuffling at the fringes of every casino game, the dreaded edge is often considered more of an enemy to the player than Lady Luck herself. We’ll unveil the mystery, discuss what the casino house edge is, and give you a few tips on how to avoid getting caught in its net.

What is the casino house edge?

The casino house edge or advantage is not set up by the casino itself but is inherently built into every game. The house edge is the average gross profit the casino expects to make from every game you play. Each game has its own house edge, which is based on the nature and mechanics of the game. The more time you spend on a specific game, the higher the odds that the final result of your gaming will match the house edge.


Can I do anything to beat the house edge?

As stated previously, each game has an inbuilt house edge which means you can never be completely house edge-free. However, you can pick a game that has a house edge on the lower end of the spectrum. Therefore, if it’s house edge bias that you want to avoid at all costs, you should perhaps steer completely clear of keno and the much-loved American roulette (whose house edge is even almost double the European variant) and stick to playing video poker instead. We’ve knocked together a  table detailing all the most popular casino games and their respective house edges:

Casino GameHouse Edge
Video Poker0.46%
Texas Hold’em2.36%
European Roulette2.60%
Caribbean Stud Poker5.22%
American Roulette5.26%
Baccarat1.01% – 15.75%
Craps0 – 16.67%
Keno20 – 40%
Sic Bo2.78 – 33.33%

*Some games have ranges to account for different bets and vairations of the game.

Slots House Edge

House edge and slots RTP

The return to player or RTP is always represented by a percentage – the higher the percentage, the more the player can expect to receive back from playing the slots game. The RTP changes from slots game to slots game and is established based on how much a specific game has paid out in the time that people have been playing on it. The vast differences in house edge between slot games exist because of the number of paylines. Many players might favor a slots game with many paylines because they believe that it increases their chances of winning; however, the truth is that the more paylines you have, the greater the impact on the house edge.

House edge and craps

A lot of people are drawn to playing craps, probably in part thanks to the free pr given to it by none other than the world’s favorite spy, James Bond. However, knowledgeable players who want to flatten the house edge make the unique “taking the odds” bet in craps which has zero house edge.

The “taking the odds” bet is a side bet and is related to the point. Players are betting on what they think will come up on the dice before a 7 is rolled. The player can choose from three different ranges of outcomes that are put together with different odds. We’ve highlighted these odds below:

Ranges of OutcomesOdds
4 and 102 to 1
5 and 93 to 2
6 and 86 to 5

It is crucial to keep in mind that you will be limited on the amount you can bet when it comes to the odds bet. As you can imagine, the house does this as they can’t guarantee profit from this bet. Of course, even this bet is subject to terms and conditions — you probably won’t be able to use your casino bonus towards it, for example.

Craps House Edge

General tips to help you work with the house edge whatever the casino game

Research Casino Games Illustration
Tip 1

Find the right games

It should go without saying, but if you want to reduce your dealings with the house edge, then the best thing to do is actively seek out games or game variants where you know that the edge is low – you can do this by researching things beforehand and not just showing up and hoping for the best.

Tip 2

Know the rules

Regardless of the house edge, you must know the rules of the game of your choice properly. Many people don’t really know what they’re signing up for, and it shows in the bets they choose to make, which sometimes actually wind up giving the casino even more of an advantage. Rules aren’t there for decoration; if you’re committed to making bank, you need to at least have a basic strategy up your sleeves. Not knowing the basics will create a “secondary edge”.

Tip 3

Budget, budget, budget

It’s essential to learn how to manage your gaming money as efficiently as possible, and this means that you need to set up a fixed bankroll before you even sit down at a casino table. Once you have spent the allotted amount of money, you need to stand up and walk away no matter how much money you’ve made in the process. The clearer your head going into the game, the less chance you have of making silly choices.


Thanks to the house edge, the house will always have an advantage over its players. However, by being smart about the choices that you make, you will not only manage to reduce the edge, but you might even be able to be a worthy adversary for “the house always wins” saying. May the odds ever be in your favor!

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