What is the House Edge and What Do You Need to Know about it ?

When you are first dipping your toes into the waters of gambling and casinos, the water may seem murky. The extensive jargon, the complex rules, the more refined subtleties of the game – it can be intimidating and at times, overwhelming. However, once you wade deeper into the water and become increasingly familiar with the terminology, you will find that everything becomes crystal clear.

Whether you utilise online casinos or visit a brick-and-mortar establishment, it is vital to be informed on the various components of the game so as to bolster your chances where you can. When partaking in an activity that leaves much to chance, it is worth reading up on the basics. Simply put, the house edge is the casino’s advantage over you as a gambler.

What Does This Entail?

The aforementioned advantage serves to ensure that over a prolonged period of time, the casino is making a net profit. It is this built-in upper hand that safeguards the success of any gambling business. So, it naturally follows that, in the long run, no one can ‘win at gambling’ or somehow beat the establishment against which it is playing.

It may be simpler to understand the house edge as a percentage. That being, the portion of your bet that is kept by the casino at the end of the day. Of course, this is not a fixed numerical value per single bet but rather, a projected long-term profit.

There are various running costs associated with both online and physical casinos – general maintenance, licensing, marketing, staff wages, cleaning, and other factors. A casino relies on the bets placed at their establishments to make a profit and so this return has to be substantial and guaranteed.

It is no secret that the casino wins long term, the house edge just tells us by how much. When you are informed on the respective house edge of each individual game, you are able to weigh up the probability of your own success.

Examples of the House Edge

The standard house edge for a game of Blackjack is 0.5%. As this game relies on a degree of prior knowledge and experience, this percentage is calculated with the assumption that the player’s strategy is sound, and their risks calculated.  If you were to play a game of Blackjack having never played before and having limited knowledge of the game, it is safe to say that the house edge would increase slightly.

American Roulette is an example of a relatively moderate house edge as it averages at around 5%. This means that for every $100 bet, the establishment gets to keep $5 or, when looking at smaller amounts, the casino keeps 5 cents of every dollar that is placed as a bet.

To this day, Sic Bo is the game of chance that boasts the greatest house edge. At a staggering 33.3%, this is not a game for the faint hearted. There are safer bets that you can wager, and these can have a house edge as low as 2.78%. Blackjack maintains the lowest house edge of any gambling game.