Understanding House Edge

Everything you need to know about US casino house edge

The house always wins...or does it? Learn about casino house edge and which games offer the best odds.

What is a House Edge? 

You can’t successfully play online games without a sound understanding of house edge casino games. In the most basic sense, the house edge is the casino’s built-in advantage over you on any game. It represents the expected gross profit for the casino on each game, calculated over an extended playing period. The house edge is a subtle but significant way for the casino to ensure it remains profitable. 

How is House Edge calculated? 

The casino house edge is usually stated as a percentage. For example, American Roulette (with the 00) has a house edge of 5,26%. If the players wager $1million over an extended period, casino operators can look forward to a gross profit of around $50,000. 

Does this happen every time like clockwork? No! Some players can walk away with jackpots, but the math over a long gaming session will work out in the casino’s favor. 

8 Casino games with the lowest house edge in the US 

Online casinos will always have odds stacked in their favor, which is true for all online games. But some casino games have lower house edge values, offering players the best chances of success. If you want a fighting chance when playing casino games, staying within the games listed in the table below is a fantastic place to start.

Casino GameHouse Edge %
1Blackjack (Single Deck)1.5%
2Craps1.4% – 5.0%
3Baccarat1.5%
4Three-card Poker1.5%
5Video Poker1.5%
6Slots2.0% – 10.0%
7European Roulette2.5%
8Pai Gow Poker2.5%

Blackjack House Edge 

The casino will have an edge of around 1.5 – 2% in a standard blackjack game. The exact figure will depend on the blackjack variant you are playing and the rules applied to the game. 

The blackjack house edge is cunningly hidden in how the game is played. You can lose the game when you bust before the dealer even shows their cards – even if they were busting also. This gives the house a massive advantage, which the game tries to water down by allowing you to double down, split, and so on. 

How to lower the House Edge in Blackjack 

If you want to enjoy sub 1% house edge figures in blackjack, you must:

  • Learn basic blackjack strategy. This blackjack strategy teaches you when and how to play (hit, stand, split, double-down) in response to what you have and what the dealer is holding.

Roulette House Edge

Many roulette variants exist, but American, French, and European are the most popular types. The games differ in the number of 0 sections on the wheel. American Roulette features the 00, which you will not find on other variants. However, a 000 roulette wheel is now also being used in some casinos. 

The classic roulette game (European) has a house edge of 2.7%. While this is still higher than some game types, it is still a long way from the 5.26% displayed by American Roulette.  

How to lower the House Edge in Roulette

  • Getting rid of the house’s advantage in roulette is more straightforward. You need to stay away from games featuring more than one 0 spot.
  • Using a roulette game strategy is also a good idea. But the best thing you can do is stick to bets offering 50/50 odds.

Slots House Edge

Slot machine games are not skill-based, unlike blackjack, poker, and other popular table games. Here, the outcome is determined purely by random number generators.

Random number generators are software devices that control when and how much the slot pays out. The house edge on each game is hardwired into these random number generators and cannot be changed. You can, however, give yourself greater chances of winning big by making intelligent decisions.

How to lower the House Edge in Slots 

  • Look for slot games with a high payout
  • Make sure you utilize all the available pay lines
  • Play games with many bonus rounds

Poker House Edge

Poker is also another game where the casino enjoys a little house edge. Also, you can improve your odds of winning and lower the house edge by making the right decisions at the right time.

Online Poker has many variants, with equally as many house edge values. But through the proper use of poker strategy, you can lower the game’s house edge to even less than 0.5%

How to lower the House Edge in Poker

  • Since this is a somewhat skill-based casino game, you can lower the house edge by learning the art of playing poker correctly.
  • You also need to pick a reliable poker strategy and stick to it

Baccarat House Edge

The baccarat house edge is close to 1%. But many players stay away because it is known for requiring high bets.

The baccarat House edge is determined by the number of decks played in the game. You will also enjoy better house edge figures when you make certain bets. For instance, backing the house on any hand enjoys the most favorable house edge percentage at 1.01 to 1.06%.

How to lower the House Edge in Baccarat 

  • The baccarat gameplay is straightforward, and you can increase your chances of winning by using a baccarat strategy.
  • Research has shown that backing the banker always carries a significant advantage.
  • Stick to single-deck baccarat variants
  • Under no circumstances should you ever pick the tie bet

Craps House Edge 

You will find it’s challenging to enjoy odds better than the pass line or don’t pass line bets in craps. Casinos offering 3-4-5 odds on the line bets have a house edge lower than 0.5%. You can only beat this if you are playing perfect basic strategy in blackjack; otherwise, craps variants are some of the best casino games with the lowest house edge.

How to lower the House Edge in Baccarat

  • Since a role in craps can take a bit long, it is common to feel somewhat anxious. Be patient
  • Stay away from proposition bets.
  • Don’t play crazy bets like the Any 7. They have some of the worst house edge figures in the casino

Conclusion

The house edge is a permanent feature in the online casino. If you plan on enjoying casino games, you need to live with it. But it does not mean you have to suffer because of it. 

Many online casino games provide better chances of winning by lowering the house edge. You can also take various actions during your gameplay to ensure you enjoy the lowest house edge possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

The slot machine house edge varies, but you will find most games between 2 - 10%.
The casino house edge is calculated by dividing the return to the casino by the amount spent by the player. It is expressed as a percentage and inversely proportional to how much you are wagering.
Craps has the lowest house edge, but this will ultimately depend on the rules applied to that particular variant. You will also find a favorable house edge in video poker and when you use basic strategy in blackjack.