Understanding the house edge in different online casino games


When you play at an online casino, it’s imperative to understand that every game has a house advantage. Due to the house edge, the casino will profit in the long run, regardless of short-term player wins. Each casino game has a different house edge. Some games give better odds than others. It’s the mathematical advantage the casino holds in any given game. It’s usually expressed as a long-term percentage of each bet that the casino keeps.

If a game has a 5% house edge, the casino will keep $5 on average over time. This doesn’t mean you can’t win in the short term – you absolutely can. But if you played that game indefinitely, the casino would eventually come out ahead by about 5% of your total bets. It’s imperative to note that the house edge is a long-term average. In the short term, anything happens. You could hit a lucky streak and come out way ahead, or you could lose several bets in a row. But over thousands of bets, the house edge usually evens out to its theoretical percentage.

House edge in popular casino games

Now that we understand what house edge is let’s look at how it plays out in some of the most popular online casino games.

  1. Slots

Slots are the most popular games in online casinos, but they also have some of the highest house edges. It depends on the specific game, but it’s typically 5% to 10%. This means that for every $100 you bet on slots, you can expect to lose between $5 and $10 over time. You could also hit a big jackpot and come out on top – that’s part of slots’ appeal. But they’re not the right choice if your goal is to minimize the house edge.

  1. Blackjack

Blackjack is the most player-friendly game in the casino if you know how to play correctly. With a perfect basic strategy, the house edge in blackjack is as low as 0.5%. However, even small mistakes in strategy can increase the house’s edge significantly. For the average player, the house edge in online blackjack is 1-2%. Still, those are much better odds than most other casino games.

  1. Roulette

The house edge in roulette depends on the specific rules and bets. European roulette has a single zero, so the house edge on most bets is 2.7%. American roulette has a double zero, so the house edge on most bets is 5.26%. Some roulette bets have a higher house edge. For example, the “basket” bet (0, 00, 1, 2, 3) in American roulette has a house edge of 7.89%. As a general rule, stick to simpler bets with the lowest house edge.

  1. Craps

Craps offers some of the best and worst odds in the casino, depending on which bets you make. The basic “pass line” bet has a house edge of 1.41%, which is quite reasonable. But some of the more complex bets, like the “hardways,” have house edges over 10%. As with roulette, the key to minimising the house edge in craps is to stick to the simple bets with the highest odds. More Bonuses mean more chances to beat the house edge, at least in the short term.

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