Rules and Strategy

Casino Games and the House Edge

In the world of online casinos there are hundreds of online games. These include card games and their many variants, numerous online slot variants with huge progressive jackpots to win, video poker and classic table games like craps and roulette. Playing at an online casino should be a pleasurable experience and it’s only logical that you play the games that you find the most entertaining, yet in all online casino games the operators hold a mathematical advantage over the players known as the ‘house edge’.

The house edge is the percentage that a casino would expect to retain from each hand or spin played. It’s an internationally accepted feature of casino games and can vary from country to country and also at each individual casino. Depending on the game type, the house edge can fluctuate wildly and there are many strategy guides devoted to assisting players to reduce its effect. The house edge doesn’t prevent players from winning big money; however your mathematical advantage over the casino becomes greater when you play game where the house edge is weaker.

Below you will find a list of the most popular online casino games and the basic house edge for each. Please note that this is only an average figure and that some of these figures will fluctuate dependent on the establishment and country of origin.

Online Slots

In general the house edge is high for online slots. Although slots are extremely popular and the potential winnings astronomical, the games are programmed to return a percentage of winnings back to the casino. Online casinos make significant profits from their slots and the house edge in games like these can range from between 5% to 15%.

Carribean Stud / 3 Card Poker / Let it Ride

For these 3 popular online poker variants the house edge can be classed as medium to high. The house edge can be anything from around 3% all the way up to 10% in some variants of Caribbean Stud poker.

Roulette

Roulette is a very popular game of chance in online casinos. When playing European Roulette which features a single zero slot, the online casino maintains a house edge of 2.7% regardless of where you place your bets. In American roulette which features a double zero slot also, the house edge can be anything from between 5.2% to 5.4%.

Craps

In an online game of craps, the house edge depends greatly on the types of bets you place during the course of the game. It can range from 0% on an odds bets to 12% on hard hops and even up to 17% for any seven.

Baccarat

Although still a very popular game, baccarat is a game of chance, and as such there is no skill involved when playing it. For baccarat the house edge is considered very low and can be anything from between 1% to 1.5%.

Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular games at an online casino. The house edge in this game relies on how well you know the strategy of the game. Because of this, the house edge in a game of online blackjack can be anywhere from 0.28% for someone who makes very little mistakes all the way up to 5% for those who are completely new to the game.

Video Poker

When playing with a sound strategy, an online casino has a very low house edge for a game like Jacks or Better. The house edge on a game like video poker usually sits at around 0.4%.

Keno

As keno is a lottery game, the odds of winning are extremely low across the board. Due to this you can usually expect the house edge in a game of keno to be anything from around 25% all the way up to 30%.

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