Understanding House Edge In Online Casino Games

Posted by Chris Spencer on
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Have you ever wondered how Las Vegas casinos and hotels become so grand, opulent and aesthetically pleasing to the eye? Well, we have the answer and it’s affectionately referred to as the house edge. Contrary to the popular saying, the house doesn’t always win, but it does possess an advantage over the bettor. This house edge on casino games guide will walk you through the basics of understanding this home-team advantage, what to know and which casino games possess the highest and lowest house edges.

Your Top Online Casinos for House Edge in 2020

house edge in casino games

What is a House Edge on Casino Games?

The house edge is also known as the casino advantage or house advantage where the dealer, croupier, etc possess some sort of statistical advantage over the player. This leverage exists during casino table games, like craps and roulette, and even when playing random number generator online slot machines or video poker. It’s worth noting that the casino operators don’t create these house edges out of thin air, they’re already baked into the game odds themselves. Your initial chances of winning are what they are.

While the house edge does tip the scales in the casino’s favor, the information is valuable to the player as well. By knowing the leverage of each game, you get a sense how often real money comes back to the player (on average), while also affording yourself the opportunity to gravitate towards and learn the rules of casino games with the lowest house edge.

Does the House Edge on Casino Games Vary?

It’s worth noting that the casino operators don’t create these house edges out of thin air, they’re already baked into the game odds themselves. Your initial chances of winning are what they are.

Because blackjack deals with cards, roulette table a wheel and ball, craps feature dice and video slots random number generator algorithms, the house edge on each game is unique. In short it can range from less than a half of one percent all the way up to 30-40 percent in some cases. Granted, the payouts on those games with higher house edges are just as large. So, with that risk comes the reward.

Slots – Return to Player (RTP)

One thing to know before creating an account with an online casino to play slot games is the return to player percentage or RTP. Like the house edge, it’s displayed in the form of a percentage, but most online slot games feature the RTP instead of the game’s edge. The house edge of slots is just 100% minus the RTP. For example, if a slot machine boasts a return to player rate of 98.5%, the house edge is 1.5%.

House Edge on Casino Games: Weakest Advantage

european roulette house edge

You need to remember that when you ask “which games possess the lowest edge” that not only can the house leverage vary from game to game, but the edge can also vary within a game based on the player bets placed. A great example of this is roulette.

European Roulette

Unlike its American counterpart, European roulette’s house edge is quite low at just 2.7%. Because the Euro wheel features fewer colored numbered slots for the ball to fall into, it’s house leverage is nearly half that of American roulette. However, the 2.7% edge is for the game overall and not based on each money bet. For example, the best odds at the roulette table come when you wager on and ODD or EVEN number, RED or BLACK slot or HIGH or LOW number and with that the house odds are 48.6%, not quite 50/50.

Video Poker

The average house edge in video poker games are less than a half of one percent, which is great news for those who love to play. Because there are so many unique versions of video poker, that RTP rate varies, but can be as high as 100.71% in Deuces Wild or 100.64% Joker Poker, which means the player actually possesses a slight edge over video poker games’ random number generator software.

There are instances, like in Jacks or Better, where the house does possess a 0.54% edge, while the RTP rate is a generous 99.46%.


When playing with traditional rules, blackjack’s house edge is just 0.5%, which is probably a big reason why it’s so popular with novice online casino players. However, that edge can swing both directions depending how many decks are being used and how each bettor at the table plays their hand. For example, if you’re playing single deck blackjack, the leverage swings to the player, while five-deck blackjack favors the house and if you know that the dealer must STAND on 17, but the guy next to you doesn’t, that can also benefit the casino.


Craps is not a game for inexperienced casino players. Before you dive into the various house edges, be sure to learn how to play craps.

The edge in craps can range between 0% (zero perent) to nearly 17%. If you have a tight budget, the wisest money bet are pass line, don’t pass, come, and don’t come player bets as they pay EVEN real money with house edge ranging between zero and 1.41%. Just remember to study the rules before you step up to a craps table.


Because slots do not involve a dealer on the other side of the table and outcomes are decided by random number algorithms, there isn’t really a definitive basic strategy or way to better your odds. This is why the RTP is so prominently featured. The online casino knows it’s average house edge ranges between 2-17%, while online games with a house edge of less than 4% are considered loose slots. Just remember that before you start playing, study the paytables and paylines of each online slot.

House Edge on Casino Games: Strongest Advantage

Just because a casino game boasts a higher house edge doesn’t mean it should be completely ignored. If you are an experienced player with a larger bankroll to inherit the risk, by all means let those chips fall where they may. Just remember those big, fancy building out the desert don’t get built on the goodwill of its operators, but via the meat from these high edged games.

keno house edge


Depending how many numbers you’re playing, Keno’s house edge can vary between 20 and 40 percent, which is extremely high for a casual casino game. The object of Keno is to choose one or more numbers out of 80 total numbers. Like slots, online Keno is often powered by random number generator algorithms, which make every outcome truly random and that no basic strategy can cut into the home advantage.

Sic Bo

Similar to craps, Sic Bo is a casino table game where players wager on the outcome of dice rolls. Because you’re wagering on three dice being rolled an various outcomes – sometimes more than one money bet per dice roll – the house edge ranges between 2 and 33 percent.

American Roulette

The reason we recommend online casino players choose European / French roulette or American is because the latter carries with it an advantage of 5.26% or nearly double of European. Why is it so much higher? The American roulette table wheel features green 0 (zero) and green 00 (double zero) slots where the Euro version only has the one green zero. Just that one extra slot boosts the house edge because the players are typically wagering on RED and BLACK numbers 1-36.


The name of the game sounds imposing, but baccarat is a very simple game to learn and enjoy. Like blackjack, the edge depends on the number of decks being played. If there’s a single deck, it can be as low as 1.01%, while an six-deck shoe nudges the advantage up to 1.06%. Because the objective of the game is to wager on who will win the hand between the banker (dealer) and yourself, it’s good practice to back the banker and take advantage of his edge.

Caribbean Stud

While video poker favors the player and three-card poker’s is a modest 3.37%, Caribbean Stud’s leverage is a robust 5.22%. The good news is when the odds tilt in a players’ favor and the edge swings to the other side of the table, he or she may add to their original bet. It’s a risk-for-edge trade-off.

House Edge FAQs

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