The House Edge is a widely used gambling term used to define the mathematical advantage that a casino has over players. As a gambler, this means that you will have to face a certain percentage loss over a period of time, and the casino will win a corresponding percentage of money over the same time. Therefore, it is very important for you to understand that you can win now and again but you certainly cannot hope to beat the casino in the long term.

What is House EdgeCasinos and other gambling establishments maintain varying percentages of house edge for the different games that they offer. This gives them the revenues needed to cover their operational costs which can be quite high given that gamblers get a very high level of service at these establishments. As a matter of fact, casinos make a lot of profits from games and not just recover their costs. Games such as blackjack, Keno or poker provide casinos with a huge amount of money.

Take the example of a poker machine located in any casino. If it has a house edge of 10% that means that 10% of all the money you wager, on average, is retained by the casino. The local government generally sets the minimum house edge but each casino has the option of deciding the level on its own. Therefore, in the instance mentioned above, the house edge set by the government might be 15%. Gambling game manufactures can programme the house edge into each machine very easily.

Poker machines are equipped with a Random Number Generator, also known as RNG. As the name indicates, it generates numbers purely at random when the game’s button is pressed. The RNG works on a computer programme and it is absolutely impossible for players to mess with it. The game manufacturer offers poker machines with inbuilt chips that ensure that certain numbers of losses are guarantees for a specific number of games.

Take the example of a Roulette game to understand more about house edge. The roulette wheel has 36 numbers in addition to a zero. Therefore the ball can stop at one of 37 places, which is a mathematical odd of 1 in 37. However, if the house pays out 35 to 1 this means that the casino will always win in the long term with a house edge of 2.7%.

It is a fact that you will lose money if you gamble a lot since the house edge will conspire against you. Even if you get lucky in the short term, you will certainly lose money in the long term. This also means that you should stop playing after you have won a few times so that you do not lose it back to the casino which is what will inevitably happen if you gamble for a long time. As long as you are aware of this fact and are disciplined in your approach to gambling then you will win money and also enjoy yourself tremendously while gambling.

Casinos have an advantage over gamblers; after all, this is how they earn enough money to stay in business. This advantage, known as the House Edge, ensures that casinos manage to keep back a certain amount of the money that is wagered.  The house edge is just an indicative number and it is no guarantee that you will get back a fixed amount whenever you place wagers. There’s always a chance that you will win your first bet or even that you will have a long unlucky streak. However, if you gamble for long enough then there’s a good chance that your losses will be close to the house edge.

House Edge

It is very important to know about the house edge and how it works so that you win more money than you lose at a casino.

  • The ‘grind’ refers to the way the house edge keeps chipping away at your casino bankroll. The longer you play, especially by ploughing back your wins into the game, the more you will be affected by the grind. Therefore, the wisest thing to do is avoid marathon gambling sessions and also to select games that have a relatively low high edge. Also, you should make fewer bets in order to protect yourself from the house edge
  • Take the trouble to find out the house edge of the various casino games you want to play since it varies according to the game. While the house edge of Craps is 0.8% and that of Blackjack is 0.5%, the figure for Roulette is 5.5%. Interestingly, slot machines have an edge of 0-17% whereas progressive slot machines have an edge of 5-17%. The games that are the most unprofitable to play are Keno (25%) and the typical State Lottery (50%). These games have the biggest jackpots, and they attract lots of players even though the chances of winning them are slim. Do keep in mind that you are more likely to win at games that have small house edges. Slots are also very exciting and quick paced but you won’t really make any money if you play them for long.
  • Use the right strategy for each game so that the house edge can be lowered. This means that you have to play strategically when you are playing games that have an element of skill. However, this is not significant if you are playing games that are entirely about luck. If you can take the trouble to earn how to play games such as poker, craps or blackjack then you will be able to beat the house to some extent. Its best to practice these strategies before you actually gamble any money.

There are more ways that you can make your casino outings more profitable than usual. All casinos offer comps and freebies in order to attract customers. You just have to pick and choose the best ones to get the maximum advantage from your casino outing. Furthermore, you should be disciplined when you gamble so that you don’t fritter away your wins in a (mostly) futile attempt to win even more money.