What about that casino edge?

What about that casino edge?

A lot of people tend to forget the fact that casinos are after all a business. This leads to a lot of people complaining that casinos are ripping people off in not very legitimate ways. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The real method in which casinos get money from people and manage to maintain a business is the House Edge. There are many names for it but it’s basically the percentage that the casino makes out of every bet that players make.

Games like Blackjack and Video Poker might be the most successful games for players who actually want to make a profit. But even in these cases the House Edge is still there. No casino game will give you the edge as a player. Every bet made by a player has a probability of winning or losing. Flipping on a coin for example is straight 50-50 chance because there are only two valid results possible. If you were to bet a dollar on this you would be paid true odds. But in general casinos will pay you less than the odds would imply. This is what the casino edge is really about.

Another example is the game of Roulette. The house has a 5.26% for the double zero game. In the game of Roulette you have 36 numbers plus the 0 and 00. The odds of winning are one in 38 or 37 to 1. In case of a win the casino will you 35 for your dollar bet. You get to keep your dollar and are paid an additional $35. This makes it a difference of two dollars (38 minus 36). Divide these two dollars by 38 which are the true odds and you get the house edge of 5.26%. This means that even if you covered all the numbers with a bet on the layout you would still lose money. These odds are very good for the casino but not so much for the players around the table.

Games like Roulette, Craps and Big Six have a fixed percentage because one roll or spin will never be able to change the final outcome. There will always be 38 numbers on a roulette wheel and 12 numbers on two dies. Blackjack is different in this because every time a card is drawn from the shoe, it changes the remaining cards from the deck. This advantage can shift from player to house depending on which cards have already been drawn and the skill with which you play your cards.

I hope this has been a thorough explanation of why a casino doesn’t have to cheat you out of your money. Does this mean you will lose all the time? Of course it doesn’t, there are still odds in your favour so winning is an option all the time. However in the long run casinos will still make a profit out of each and every bet.


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