Betting Strategy

Explaining the House Edge for Common Online Casino Games

The house always wins and we know this. The dice are loaded, yet we still roll at the craps table. The decks are stacked against you, yet we still take a hit at blackjack. The odds are always against you. Well, not exactly. I mean, if this were all true, why would anyone play in any casino, online or otherwise?

What we are describing is called the “house edge” and it is very real and very important. Knowing the house edge for online casino games will help you decide which games to play. Understanding what house edge means is important to any online casino strategy.

In order to be successful playing in online casinos, you need to know what the house edge is and how to use it to your advantage.

What is the House Edge?

If you’re a novice to online casinos and new to betting, you are sure to stumble across the “house edge” conversation. But what exactly does it even mean? Simply put, the house edge shows the statistical advantage held by the online casino on any given casino game.

It is the statistical calculation, as a percentage, based on the discrepancy between the odds of you winning and the odds of the house winning. It’s the advantage the game holds over the player every spin, roll, or deal. Therefore, since we are talking gambling odds and statistics, the house edge is the percentage amount it will win off an online casino game over an extended period of time.

It is important to know the difference between you and the house when it comes to online casino games. You are playing a short game. The online casino is playing a long one. You want to get in, get ahead, and get out, as quickly as you can. The online casino wants you to play for a long time and then for a little longer and then, maybe, just a little longer still. This is what the house edge tells us, just how well does that long game work.

How to Calculate the House Edge

As an example, let’s see how a house edge is calculated. One of the easiest bets to do this with is one of the easiest and most popular bets in every online casino, Roulette’s Red/Black wager. A very common misconception about the wager is that you have a 50% chance of winning due to there only being two outcomes (Red or Black) and the wager pays out even. However, on a U.S. Roulette table there are two green spaces, the dreaded zero and double zero, and this changes everything.

Now, the total outcomes is three (Red, Black, or Neither) on a board with 38 individual variations. In order to win the Red/Black wager, only 18 of those 38 variations can work, so your odds of winning are calculated like so: 18/38 = 47.37%. Since the house wins on green as well, their odds are calculated like so: 20/38 = 52.63%. Now, we simply subtract our odds from theirs, 52.63 – 47.37 = 5.26% and this is the house edge on a U.S. Roulette Red/Black wager. Pretty simple here but the more difficult the bet, the more difficult the math.

How to Use the House Edge

The house edge on table games and slots in online casinos are usually given to you. Especially on the more popular, classic games such as blackjack, roulette, or craps. It may take a little digging around on your part to find them but they are on there. Check every menu and drop down bar they have. It has actually become industry standard to do this for players so beware of online casinos that do not. Allow these numbers to point you to the most favorable games and wagers. You can put stock into these numbers. They are the cold, hard facts the casino cannot deny.

It is important to remember that the house edge is calculated with no strategy applied. So, if you are playing a game and applying a strategy or two, you can move those odds and that house edge closer to your favor. Online blackjack has an average house edge of about 3%, however, if you are a well-versed blackjack player and play by the smart and strict rules, you can lower that to almost even. (If you can count cards in a brick and mortar casino, it can be even lower.) Simple strategy can go a long way and earn you big profits in the end.

The house edge is a useful and important tool in online casino gambling. It will improve everything about your experience. From the games you play to the amount you win. Always keep the house edge in mind when playing in an online casino, it will tell you all you need to know.

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