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What is the House Edge?

In simple terms the House Edge is how much the casino expects to win from the games in the long run. Just as it is in live casinos, the same is true for online casinos. 

To further elaborate, there is an automatic built in advantage for the ‘house’. The ‘house’ essentially sets the rules and controls the plays. ‘House advantage’ is also referred to as ‘margin’, ‘vigorish’ and sometimes ‘juice’. If the house edge is high, the player’s chance of winning decreases. If the margin is low, the player’s chance of winning increases.  

For a simple example we will refer to Roulette. With the European wheel, which contains 36 slots and a Zero, the payout for choosing correctly is 35 to 1. Say for example the player wagers one chip on every number. So, the player bets on 37 numbers to win. Obviously only one number will come up a winner, so the player loses 36 of his/her chips, wins one and receives 35 chips back for winning.

Breaking it down with math:

Average loss = 1
Original bet = 37

House edge is 1 divided by 37 (1/37)
This equals 2.70%
Therefore, an expected loss of 2.70% is automatically built into the game, thus giving the House an edge of 2.7%

The game with the lowest house edge happens to be craps. The edge can go under the 1% mark. Other include:

•    Keno with the highest advantage anywhere between 25% to 29%
•    Blackjack 0.28%
•    Baccarat 1.06%
•    Caribbean Stud 5.22%
•    Slot machines anywhere between 2% and 15%
•    Video Poker as low as 0.46%

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