Understanding the House Edge: How Casinos Stay Profitable

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If you visit an online casino, it won't be long before you hear the words 'house edge,' and begin to wonder what they mean. We'll explain that below, along with giving you some more insight into what to expect.

What is a house edge in a casino?

This is the advantage the casino has over every game it offers. Clearly, a casino is a business, so it must make money. It does so by earning some money from all the available games it offers.

The house edge is shown as a percentage. Each game will show a return to player guide, also given as a percentage. So, let's assume a game has an RTP of 95%. This means the casino has a house edge of 5%.

Does the RTP percentage tell you about the return on every wager?

No. The above example would seem to suggest you can get 95% of your bet back on each game. However, no one would play casino games if that were the case.

The idea is that the RTP shows you what the likely return is to players over the game's lifespan. And similarly, the life of the game should return 5% of the total wagers to the casino offering that game.

Does the house edge vary from one game type to another?

Yes. Blackjack usually has the lowest house edge, coming in at around 0.5%. in some cases, this could go up to around 1.5%. However, this is still lower than slot games. These often see the biggest variations in house edge. The percentage for these can be anywhere from 1% to 15%.

Check the house edge before you play

You'll find the return to player (RTP) detail for the games, so you can work out the house edge from that. It's sensible to go for games with the lowest house edge you can find, as they produce more prizes going back to the player. There's no guarantee you will ever win any of them, but it's always best to maximize the potential as much as you can.

So, check the house edge and be sure you choose a casino that takes the lowest one possible for the games you prefer to play there. It's a good metric to help you choose a casino, too.