The House Edge

The House Edge is a built in mathematical monetary benefit for the casino on each and every game offered. Also called the casino advantage, it is defined as the ratio of a player’s expected loss to the initial bet over time, and if you’re going to become a responsible gambler, it’s important to learn the house edge for all casino games that you want to play

House Edge at Roulette

Take Roulette for example. There are 38 numbered positions that a player can wager on. The casino pays 35 to 1 on a winning number and the player retains his original wager. Therefore the casino makes a 2 unit profit on each spin. 2/38 equals a 5.26 % advantage for the house. Now this does not mean that every time you wager one hundred dollars at a Roulette table you’re going to take home ninety four dollars and seventy four cents! You may get very lucky or you could lose it all in a short period of time. But over the long term the casino can expect to win 5.26% of all monies wagered.

Why is it important to know the edge? Because the smaller the casino advantage the longer your money may last, giving Lady Luck more time to sit beside you. You are at risk for a quicker loss on any game or type of bet within a game that has a house edge of 2% or more. (Such as Roulette)

The Edge on Other Games


 Pass Line                                                                                                           1.4%

Place 6/8                                                                                                       1.5%

Any seven (one roll wager)                                                                              


There are about twenty types of wagers in Craps. The above examples are the minimum & maximum advantage. It’s obvious why a pass line bet while placing the 6 & 8 are player favorites.


 Bet bank                                                                                                           1.06%

Bet player                                                                                                         1.24%

Bet tie                                                                                                               14.36%

Betting the bank has the lowest edge because game rules favor the bank, whereas a tie bet has the highest because a player is betting that both bank and player hands will result in a tie.


By far the best table game as long as the house offers favorable rules and the player(s) use basic strategy. Look for the following rules and you’ll enjoy a house edge of about 0.5%:

House pays 3/2 for a player Blackjack

Dealer stands on soft seventeen

Player can double after splitting pairs

Player can double on any two cards

Player can re-split pairs.

Carnival Games

At the beginning of the new millennium a number of games dubbed carnival or sucker games because of their high casino advantage have found their way into the pits. Despite this they continue to remain very popular. They are:

 Caribbean Stud Poker                                                                                       5.22%

Let it Ride                                                                                                         3.51%

Three Card Poker                                                                                              3.37%

Casino War                                                                                                       2.88%

Slot Machines

It seems that everybody loves the penny slots these days. Multi coin, multi line with attractive graphics and bonus features. Players can wager as little as fifteen cents or as much as three dollars per spin. Be aware that the casino hold on these machines ranges between 10 & 15%! The house makes less money on lower denomination machines so the take has to be increased. The hold on dollar and higher denominations is much lower, between 2 & 5%.

Your best bet is to learn Video Poker. Choosing a VP game with good pay tables can drop the house advantage to less than 1%.

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