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What is House Edge and How to Beat It? Explanation and Guide

Home > Blog > House Edge > What is House Edge and How to Beat It? Explanation and Guide
Bob Casino explains what is House Edge and how one can beat it.

An old saying that’s been around since the casinos were first invented is “The house always wins”. Naturally, the house refers to the casino or bookmaker you’re gambling with. House edge is the term used to explain the advantage that the gambling institution you’re playing with has against you whenever you place a bet. With time, every casino game was finessed to give the casino an edge. At the same time, it portrayed a certain amount of fairness and chance of coming out on top. Coming out on top isn’t as easy as it seems. So, how do you beat the house edge?

What Does House Edge Mean?

House edge is primarily an indication of how much you’re going to lose to the house on average, with it being portrayed in number form. Because the casino game rules tend to be similar, the house edge is relatively universal (excluding online casino games).

An example of a house edge would be the 2.7% edge from European roulette. If you were to bet £5 on black 140 times over the course of an hour, theoretically, you’d still lose £19. The odds per bet are a little under 50% accounting for the green zero.

Therefore, the house edge can take a long time to actually reach. This is down to the (just shy of) 50% chance that you’ll win each time. Because of this, you can be up or down after the hour, but by the 10-hour mark of continuous playing, you’re guaranteed to be losing.

Factors Similar to House Edge

Although all casino games are designed to make money for the institutions that use them, the house edge is only an indicator. There are other things to consider when calculating how much loss you’ll experience with a game:

  • Stake size. The amount you’re putting in each time you play will essentially be a multiplier for your losses as well as your wins. The more you bet, the more money you’re going to lose over time.
  • Plays per hour. With every extra play per hour, you’re going further down the line that will get closer to the house edge loss expectancy until it directly conforms to it. As a tip, there’s a crude way to calculate it. For example, by taking your intended stake, multiplying it by how many times an hour you intend to play, and multiplying it by (house edge/100).
  • Time played. The longer you play, the more money you’ll lose. This is especially true for games with less strategy involved, such as Baccarat.
  • House Edge. As discussed, the house edge plays an important role in calculating any expectant losses.

House Edge by Game

House edge can vary drastically from one casino game to another. As mentioned, it can depend on the complexity of rules, various strategic possibilities, etc.

Slots House Edge

Slots are some of the simplest and enjoyable games that don’t require much in the way of learning. The house edge is highly variable because the games offered can vary in terms of pay structure, slot paylines and volatility. The edge typically varies between 0.5% — 22%.

What’s also important to remember about the RTP (Return-To-Player) percentage. RTP is an indicator that shows how much of gambled money the player would get back. For more info on that, check out our slot rules.

Blackjack House Edge

Depending on your level of strategic prowess at the blackjack table, the edge usually falls between 0.15% — 1.66%. The difference depends on various factors, for instance, how many decks are being used in specific Blackjack variations. There are multiple choices that can be made by the player. Therefore, the strategy will also affect the house edge. This is why we highly recommend you check out our beginner’s guide to playing blackjack.

Roulette House Edge

Roulette house edge is a bit more straightforward. Because you bet before the ball is spun, the strategy isn’t as quite as important. The house edge is somewhere between 2.7% — 5.25% depending on whether you’re playing European or American roulette. The number of outcomes is limited compared to Blackjack games. Therefore, there’s no real variation of the house edge with Roulette games.

How to Beat House Edge

Completely beating the house edge is, unfortunately, impossible. Keep in mind, these games were designed by institutions to separate gamblers from their money. However, you can certainly minimize it. By doing the right amount of research and using a few methods to get some practice in, you’ll be able to minimize the house edge. This will give you a better chance of winning more.

Strategize

Some games like Blackjack and Baccarat take some getting used to before you know what you’re doing. Devising a blackjack strategy that works best for you takes a lot of research and practice. In the context of baccarat, it all boils down to understanding the odds of main and side bets, as well as knowing how to count cards. The best way to practice your strategies is to play casino table games for free. Alternatively, use very small stakes that you can afford to lose.

Not all people are keen on devising their own tactics. Therefore, there are a few options that can be useful. The first is to find a strategy online that you like and use that. The second is to modify a ready-made strategy to suit you.

Take Breaks, Know When to Quit

The longer you play in a single continuous session, the more likely you are to start losing more and more. Take breaks. That way, you’re more likely to be able to assess your wins/losses with a clear head. Mastering the ancient art of knowing when to quit is also important. With it, you’ll be able to enjoy any winnings and minimize most losses.

Never Chase your Losses

When you start losing, it can be difficult. The worst thing to do when you’re taking small losses is to increase your stake just to break even. All it takes is one streak of increasing your stakes repeatedly to clean you out and leave you in a bad financial situation.

Only Play with What You Can Afford to Lose

If you’re going to the casino, set yourself a budget. Start playing with money you can afford to lose without worrying. With that in mind, you are more likely to enjoy yourself. Then, when the money is gone, you know it’s time to leave and come back another time.

This is true for any online casino as well. Utilize deposit limit functions where possible to avoid sliding down a slippery slope.

Conclusion

House edge is undoubtedly a factor to take into consideration when trying to win big. However, it is important to remember that winning big is not the ultimate goal. At the end of the day, all of those casino games are made to have fun and experience the thrill of risk and gamble. Make sure you remember the factors above. Armed with knowledge, you’re guaranteed to have a great gaming experience.