Understanding House Edge in Casino Games

If you've ever gambled then you know this painful truth - the house always wins. Why and how? It's called the house edge. Today, we're going to take a closer look at house edge from what exactly it is, the edge of some of your favorite games and even some tips on how to minimize losses and even the playing field. Let's get into it!

Explaining House Edge

Ever wonder how a casino makes a profit? If you thought it was just from players losing bets you'd be wrong - somewhat. Every casino game - slots, blackjack, roulette, craps - they all have a built-in casino edge. It's called house edge. It's the advantage the casino - or house - has on any given game.

Let's say a house edge for a particular game is 5%. That means that the house can expect to keep $5 from every $100 wagered. Now those are both the averages over a long period of time. Think about how many hands of blackjack are dealt in just an hour span. A lot. You take that over an entire day and you start to see how the casino turns a profit.

As we mentioned, every game in a casino - land-based or online - comes with a house edge. Let's take a look at some of them-

  • Blackjack

Everyone's favorite table game, blackjack comes with a house edge of about 0.5%. However, it should be noted that that house edge is for single deck games. And as we know, there aren't many single deck games around. The more common multi-deck games bump the house edge to around 1.5%. Still, even with that bump blackjack is routinely seen as one of the games that gives players a better chance at winning.

  • Roulette

Roulette is another player favorite but it comes with some conditions. American roulette - this game comes with a 0 AND 00 slot - has a house edge of 5.26%.

European roulette - which only has a single 0 slot - has a house edge of only 2.7%. That might not seem like a big difference, but a 3% drop in house edge is huge. So when it's available, always try and play European roulette.

  • Baccarat

Baccarat allows three bets - on the player, on the dealer or a tie. And each one of those comes with different house edges. A bet on the player has a house edge of 1.24%. A banker bet has an edge of 1%. The tie bet jumps up to close to 15%. So while the tie bet will pay out more, it also goes with the biggest house edge, making it the riskiest of the three.

  • Craps

Craps is exciting and thrilling because of the multitude of bets. They range from about 1% all the way up to nearly 17%.

  • Sic Bo

Another popular card game with multitude bets, Sic Bo has a wide range of house edges that start around 2.78% and go all the way up to 33.33%.

  • Keno

Usually found in an online casino's specialty section, Keno is a laid back game that's really just pure luck. And because of that, the house edge is a whopping 20%-40%.

  • Video Poker

Plenty of online casinos have a good selection of video pokers. Players will be glad to know these house edges are only around .46%.

  • Slots

The type of slot will determine the house edge. Things like paylines, reels and how many paylines a player chooses to play will factor into the house edge. These range from 2% to 15%.

Can You Beat The House Edge

Unfortunately, no. The house edge is always going to be there no matter what. You might find yourself on a hot streak and get caught up in the moment and think that you've somehow found the secret to defeating the house. You haven't. The odds have just bounced in your favor for an extending amount of time and they will swing back in favor of the house.

The house edge is the house edge and it's never going to change. Sure, certain games can be played with strategy that will help you minimize losses, but when it boils down to it, gambling is pure randomness.

How You Can Minimize Losses

Just because the house edge is always present doesn't mean you're helpless against it. There are some things you can practice that will give you the maximum chance at winning-

  • Play slots with the highest RTP. RTP - Return To Player - is the amount a slot has paid out over a long period of time. So if a slot has an RTP of 95%, a player can expect $95 back out of every $100 they wager. Always look for slots with RTPs 96% and up - there will never be a 100% RTP. The higher the RTP the better chance players have.
  • Play smart and avoid risky bets. Take baccarat for example. A bet on the banker has a house edge of only 1%. A tie has a house edge of nearly 15%. Sure, if you hit a tie bet it'll payout nicely, but you're also less likely to win that bet when compared to the banker bet. There's nothing wrong with playing smart and finding bets that might seem boring but will give you the best chance at winning.
  • Play responsibly. That means paying attention to your bankroll and never betting more than you can afford to lose. Never chase losses and never bet angry. If you have a bad streak then walk away and clear your mind - you'll thank yourself later.


Players need all the ammunition they can get when going into a gambling session, and understanding the house edge is crucial. With this knowledge, you'll know which bets to make and which to avoid, giving yourself the best chance to go up against the house and come out on top!