House Edge-What is it?
In every single casino game, whether it be Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Keno or Baccarat there will be something that’s referred to as the House Edge. The house edge is the built-in advantage that the casino has over the player and is also referred to as margin, vig, vigorish or juice.
The higher the house edge the more of a challenge the game will be, as a player has less of a chance of success. Games with a lower house edge are therefor very popular with new players or those looking for an easy win. Many players will tell you that no matter what, the house always wins, but when playing online there are plenty of opportunities to win big and beat the house.
How the House Edge Works
The house edge is often listed as a percentage amount and gives a player an indication as to the amount the casino would expect to retain from every hand or spin played. When broken down there are essentially 2 ways the house edge works.
- In a game such as blackjack or baccarat the dealer, who in this case represents the house, will win all bets from losing players. Even if the dealers own hand is a bust they will still retain the losing players bets, as they are the bank. A player will only win if their hand beats the dealer and this will see the dealer surrender the initial stake and payout winnings as prescribed by the game’s paytable.
- In games such as Roulette, the house edge is attained, as the casino will pay slightly under the true odds for a bet. For example the true odds for any single roulette number bet to win are 36:1, but winning bets could be paid out at 35:1 in order for the casino to profit from the bet.
The house edge can vary depending on the game played and may fluctuate depending on the bet amounts. Playing conditions can also influence the house edge and a casino should always be transparent about the cut that they take.
An Accepted Norm
The house edge has become an accepted norm worldwide and players understand that in order for a casino to operate they need to have some sort of system that sees them benefit. A decent, reputable online casino will always clearly display their games house edge and make sure that a player knows exactly what payouts are available per game. This transparency is encouraged and it ensures that players don’t feel like they have been cheated or suddenly are winning less than they expected.
Games with a Low House Edge
Video poker is one of the most popular online casino games as it has an incredibly low house edge. Of course, different variants of the game see the house edge fluctuate, but overall its one of the games that remains the most popular with those looking for the best winning opportunities. Similarly, European and French Roulette also have a favourable house edge of 2.70, but the American game, with its extra zero numbered slot on the wheel is more of a challenge with a 5.26% edge.
Blackjack is a favourite of experienced players looking to win big as the application of strategy can greatly reduce the house edge. Skilful play and the right card combinations can see the house edge plummet, making winning big a reality on every successful hand.