The house edge is the amount by which a casino will win over time on a given game. You might think it’s unfair that the casino has an edge. But think about why it’s in place. Without the house edge, the casino would not be able to earn money to pay for its staff and expenses. And without it, there wouldn’t be any casinos that we could enjoy. And then what would we do?
With this in mind, players should respect why the games have an edge over the house. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do all they can to reduce it, thereby maximizing their chances of making a profit in any given session.
Fortunately, we know the house edge for each regular casino table game, as well as the RTP (payout percentage) on each slot machine.
So if you want to keep the house edge very slim then these three games are the ones to play. And with more and more US states legalizing online gambling, you may soon have more opportunities.
For a complete novice, the house edge in blackjack is around 2%. This means that for every $ 100 the player wagers they will lose $ 2. Not too bad, isn’t it when you consider the entertainment value of the game? In a physical casino, you can also get free drinks while you play.
Yet when you apply even basic blackjack playing strategy, you can reduce the house edge by as much as 0.5%. It’s very low and that means you could gamble for ages and lose very little. You can also do a luck streak and end a particular session with a profit, of course.
A basic strategy is to be more daring, take another card when the dealer looks strong (with a high upcard) to try and get a high score yourself, or bet aggressively when the dealer looks weak. Aggressive play means doubling down with a wider range of hands to get more money on the table. Download a simple online blackjack hand chart that will give you the optimal play for each combination of your starting hands and the dealer’s face up card.
Many players popular US casinos avoid baccarat, assuming it’s a game for high rollers and James Bond. But in fact, it’s easy to take, you can play for low stakes, and the dealer does all the work anyway; you just have to place a bet, and that’s it.
Your choice at the start of each stroke (the name of a baccarat round) is to bet on one of three outcomes: the player, the banker, or a tie.
You then sit down and watch the dealer deal hands and confirm the results, either taking your bet or flipping it with a profit if you win.
With so few possible outcomes, and the player’s or banker’s outcome being the most common, there is only a slim house advantage of 1.06%. Let’s call it 1% for simplicity. So you are slowly bleeding money AND you have no work to do!
And, of course, you feel like James Bond.
If you’ve been to a large casino, you’ll have seen the video poker machines, often built into the bar, so you can sit and talk to your favorite bartender while playing. Find a Jacks or Better (Full Pay) game and you might face a small house edge of just 0.46% – the best you’ll get at the casino.
You don’t have to be a shark poker play video poker; just an understanding of the basic hand rankings – pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, straight flush, and daddy of all, the royal flush.
However, each game has a visible payout table, so you’ll be picking it up soon.
More common play options
Pai Gow is a common game at many live casinos, but you are less likely to find it online. He has a house advantage of around 1.5%. A lot of people will be heading to the roulette tables. But the single zero version of the game has a house edge of 2.7%, while the American double zero roulette game has 5.26%.
And what about slot machine games? Well, the level of RTP varies from slot machine game to slot machine game. But most games fall in the house edge range of 2% up to 15%.
While it’s good to keep an eye on the house edge, the most important thing is to make sure you have fun and play within your means. It’s supposed to be a form of entertainment, after all.
Jasmine Jones story