Comparing House Edges at the Casino
It’s always nice to win money at the casino, but that shouldn’t be the reason you play. Casinos are there to provide entertainment, and as a customer, you pay for that entertainment by playing the games. Each one has a house edge attached; for every round of cards or spin of the wheel, the casino expects to win a small amount of money.
Having said that, you’re not obligated to give the casino your money. Some games have a lower house edge than others, and every once in a while, when the conditions are right, you can even turn that edge around in your favour. Here’s a quick look at some of the standard house edges you’ll encounter at the casino, broken down into small, medium and large categories.
There are a number of games you can play that generate less than 2% house edge – if you play them well. These include some of the most familiar games at the casino: Blackjack, Craps, Baccarat, Video Poker, and Pai Gow Poker to name a few. Most of these games have more than one way to bet, and some of those bets will have larger edges, so make sure to study the odds and pick the right bets for you.
Generally speaking, the less strategy there is to the game, the higher the house edge will be. If you want to open up your casino options, playing simpler games with less than a 5% house edge will help prolong your bankroll. This will include table games such as Let ‘Em Ride (3.51%) and Tri Card Poker (3.37 % on Ante and Raise bets), as well as European Roulette (2.70%) and many slot machines.
It’s perfectly acceptable to play games with house edges above 5% – just be aware how much you’re paying for your entertainment, and make sure it corresponds with how much you enjoy playing these particular games. Caribbean Stud Poker (5.22%) and American Roulette (5.26%) are still not too costly; Keno, on the other hand, comes with a house edge as high as 29%. Manage your bankroll accordingly, enjoy the games responsibly, and best of luck at the tables.