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Casino Odds And The House Edge

Casino games are fun to play and they offer the possibility of a large payout. However, you need to be aware that every casino game provides a predictable long term advantage to the casino operator or "house". This is known as the "house edge". This house edge comes about because the casino does not pay winning bets at the true odds. For example, a European roulette wheel has 37 numbers (1 to 36 and a single zero) which means that the true odds of winning are 37/1. However, if you had placed 1 on the winning number you would get paid out at odds of 36/1. The player's expected value is,

(1/37 X 1) + (36/37 X -1)
=1/37 - 36/37

Therefore, the house edge is 0.95% for each single number. This means that after 100 spins at 1 per spin the average house profit will be 100 X 1 X 0.95 = 0.95. This is the average profit from each player each betting for 100 spins at 1 per spin. Taking into account all the possible bets available on a roulette table the house edge increases to 2.7%.

For more information on odds and probabilities and expected value read the following sections, odds and probability, expected value.

The house edge varies from casino game to casino game. A single number on a European roulette wheel has a house edge of 0.95%, as shown above, while Keno can have a house edge of up to 25%. There are some variations between casinos and between games but a summary of the average house edge for the most popular casino games is listed below.

Banker 1.06%
Player 1.24%
Tie 14.36%

Blackjack 0.28%

Caribbean Stud Poker 5.22%

Keno 25% to 29%

Pai Gow 1.5%

Single Zero Roulette 2.8%

Double Zero Roulette 5.26%

Slots 2% to 15%

3 Card Poker
Pair Plus 2.32%
Ante & Play 3.37%

Video Poker 0.46%







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