There’s a common expression that goes: “The house always wins.” Gamblers may try to tell you otherwise, but the truth is they do always make a profit, although only in the long term. In a single casino gaming session, you can make significant wins. But if you were to play around the clock, 24/7, you lose.
The reason for this rather gloomy outlook is something called the house edge.
What is the House Edge?
The house edge is the percentage amount by which, statistically speaking, the casino is expected to win on every game, be it a classic table game or slot machine.
For example, a house edge of 2% on a particular game means that you will be expected to lose $2 for every $100 you bet. While you might consider this an unfair state of affairs, you must consider the alternative. Imagine if there was a casino game where the player had the house edge. Word would get around, everyone would only play that game, and it wouldn’t be too long before the casino, or online casino, went bust (although that can happen).
And if they all went bust, we would have nowhere to enjoy our casino gaming entertainment.
So, the best thing to do is to consider the house edge as a small tax on your fun, a necessary payment to keep the games going. If you play in a big live casino in Las Vegas, you will probably get free cocktails and other perks, so this should make up for the house edge.
Plus, never lose sight of the fact you can get lucky at any time and walk out a big winner.
Games Have a Different House Edge
If you are still rather annoyed at having to face the house edge, the good news is that some games have a much lower house edge than others. This means you can play with the expectation of your casino fun lasting for longer.
Below, you will find the best three games for a low house edge
0.5% Blackjack, with Basic Strategy
Blackjack is one of the most popular games, whether it be in a brick-and-mortar casino or an online casino, where you still get to play with real dealers using the live dealer games.
But to enjoy the 0.5% house edge on blackjack, you must follow what is known as the basic playing strategy. That means knowing when to stand or take another card, when to double down, and when to split. The strategy is based on the knowledge that it’s always more likely that the next card to be drawn will be value ten since all picture cards have that value.
By comparison, playing blackjack without any basic knowledge increases the house edge to a little over 2%, so it’s worth reading up. And if you don’t want to learn the strategy, print off one of the free charts readily available online, which gives you the optimum way to play.
0.5% Video Poker
While slot machines have a high house edge of around 4-5% on average, video poker machines are only around 0.5%. These games are perhaps more popular in real casinos, although they are readily available online, too. Indeed, you will often see them embedded in the bar tops, so punters can sit and play while enjoying a drink. This is the casino equivalent of redeem codes in gaming.
The game is based on poker, and you must get the best possible poker hand across the five reels. Some basic knowledge of poker hand rankings, and the probability of making a particular hand, goes a long way with video poker. But beginners can have just as much fun with it.
So, you thought that baccarat was a sophisticated, high-class game reserved for high rollers? Or James Bond? Wrong! Baccarat is probably the simplest of all casino table games because you don’t have to make any decisions, aside from whether to bet on Banker, Player, or a Tie. The dealer does all the work, playing out both hands to see which one comes closest to a total of nine.
To get this low house edge, always bet on the Banker, as statistically that has a minor edge on the Player bet.
If you play baccarat online, you can play for low stakes. And live dealer tables will also include baccarat games, so you can feel like you are James Bond (it’s his favorite game) from the comfort of your own sofa!
You might not care about the house edge and play roulette regardless. But the game does have a high house edge, particularly American Roulette, which has a house edge of over 5%!
At the end of the day, it’s down to your personal preference. If you accept why the house edge is there, you will enjoy the games for what they are – a form of entertainment.