The House Edge – A Guaranteed Win for the Casinos

Here’s why it’s important to know the house edge, which is the amount of money the casino expects to win from you over time when you play the games. The bigger the edge, the more they win. The smaller the casino advantage the longer your money may last. You are at risk for a quicker loss on any type of bet within a game that has a house edge of more than 2%.

Here is the house edge, AKA casino advantage, for some of the most popular gambling games in casinos today:

Roulette

There are 38 numbered positions that players can wager on in a number of ways. Betting a single number and winning will net you a payoff of 35 to 1. Therefore the casino makes a 2 unit profit for each win. 2/38 = 5.26% advantage for the house. Your expected loss over time is $5.26 for every $100 wagered. on a single number.

Craps

Type of bet Edge

Pass Line 1.4%

Place 6, 8 1.5%

Any Seven (one roll wager) 14.36%

Baccarat

Bet Bank. 1.06%

Bet Player 1.24%

Bet Tie 14.38%

Basic Blackjack

By far the best table game as long as the player uses correct basic strategy and the house offers favorable rules such as:

Blackjack pays 3 to 2

Dealer stands on soft seventeen

Double after splitting pairs

Double on any 2 cards

Re-split pairs

Surrender allowed

Look for these rules and you’ll enjoy a house edge of about 0.5%.

It’s worth noting that many casinos have switched to hitting soft 17. This increases the edge to 0.7% but it’s still a good game. Be aware of games that pay only 6 to 5 for a player blackjack instead of the customary 3 to 2. Simply put, a 3/2 game nets a player $15 for a $10 bet, whereas a 6/5 game only pays $12. That’s a -$3 loss for every blackjack! Not good. Unfortunately, the Vegas strip is converting to 6/5 games.

Blackjack Variants

Two low edge blackjack variants are:

Spanish 21. 0.7%

Blackjack Switch 0.6%

Carnival Games

Remember the infamous words of the carnival showman P.T. Barnum? ” There’s a sucker born every minute”. A number of games are dubbed carnival games because of a higher house edge than the traditional offerings of blackjack and baccarat. They are:

Texas Holdem Bonus 2.0%

Three Card Poker 2.3%

Ultimate Texas Holdem 2.5%

Four Card Poker 2.8%

Casino War 2.9%

Crazy 4 Poker 3.4%

Let it Ride 3.5%

Mississippi Stud Poker 4.9%

Caribbean Stud Poker 5.2%

Also, be mindful of the optional bonus or side bets at the tables. Most games have them, including those with a low edge.The winning payout amounts look very attractive and players can win even if the original wager is lost to the house. However the house edge jumps to double digits on most of these wagers.

Sports Gambling

When betting on sports games, the house takes a “vig”, slang for vigorish, when bettors make an even money wager. For example, a $10 bet on the Buffalo Bills, vs. the Miami Dolphins will cost $11. Player wins $10, the house keeps $1.

Slot Machines

It seems the everybody loves the penny slots these days. Multi-coin, multi-line with striking themes, graphics and bonus features. Players can wager as little as fifteen cents up to three or four dollars per spin. the edge on the pennies ranges between 10 & 15%! The hold on dollar and higher machines is much lower, ranging from 2 to 5%. If you’re going to bet max on the pennies, you’re better off playing the bucks.

If you like machines study up on video poker. Learn how to read the pay tables that are posted on each machine. There is a skill element to video poker. Choosing the right game can drop the house edge to less than 1%. Good Luck!


Casino Over Under – A New Table Game Flavor

The casino game called Casino Over Under is an easy game to learn and play. The objective is to wager on the total value of three cards after seeing only one. The game is currently up and running at the Magnolia Bluffs Casino in Natchez, MS. PA casinos may be next with a possible launch at Mt. Airy Casino. A demonstration was also presented to the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, NY.

This table game is a good alternative to blackjack for players who feel overwhelmed by having to learn blackjack basic strategy. It’s also a welcome relief from the new poker variants where novice players may feel intimidated. If you ever placed over/under bets when sports betting, you’ll enjoy Casino Over Under.

How to Play Casino Over Under

This game is played on a blackjack type table with spots for up to seven players and a house dealer. Four, six, or eight decks are used, depending on jurisdiction. The value of the cards are similar to blackjack: 2 through 10 are face value, J,Q,K are worth 10 each, and Aces count only as 11.

All players must first make an ante wager in the appropriate betting position. Players may also make an optional bonus bet, which pays if won even if the original hand is lost to the house. The dealer does not play.

The dealer will then deal each player one card face up. Based on the value of that upcard, players must then make one of three decisions:

  • Make an over bet
  • Make an under bet
  • Fold

The over/under wagers must be equal to the ante. After the wagers are placed the dealer deals two more cards face up concurrently to each player and announces the three card total value for each participant.

Win/Loss Totals

Here’s how the win/loss totals are determined: For example, if a player bet the over, the total of the three cards must be over 23. One example would be: Ace (11) +Q (10) + 6 = 27. Players that bet the under must have their totals under 18. Example: 2+3+J (10) = 15. There are no pushes. Winning hands collect even money for the ante and play bets.

Bonus Wager

Winning bonus bets pay according to the following pay table:

Hand Total Payout

  • 13 – 26 loss
  • 12 or 27 1 to 1
  • 11 or 28 2 to 1
  • 10 or 29 3 to 1
  • 9 or 30. 4 to 1
  • 8 or 31 5 to 1
  • 7 or 32 10 to 1
  • 6 or 33 50 to 1

House Edge & Strategy

The house edge for the ante bet has been calculated at under 2%. For the bonus bet, the edge is 5.6%. These are based on a six deck shoe. The edge does vary depending on the number of decks in play.

Strategy is simple. If your initial card is 5 or less, bet the under. With a 6 or greater, bet the over. Never fold. Good Luck!