The House Edge for Blackjack and Other Casino Games

Casino House Edge Thumbnail

We all know that heading down to the casino or loading up an online version on our phones can be a whole lot of fun. Of course, winning is a big part of the experience. Generally, a happier gambling experience is one that is followed by some monetary rewards. But how do we know which games pay better than others? It’s actually quite simple. The lower the house edge the game offers, the better chance you have of winning cash when playing the title. For this, reason, this helpful guide will introduce you to blackjack house edge and return-to-player ratios on most of the popular casino games you can play on both land-based floors and online casino platforms.

House Edge in Blackjack and other games

In simple terms, the house edge is the profit that a casino stands to make from a game. It is based on a percentage of the player’s original bet. It is the mathematical advantage that the casino has over the player each time a hand/round is played. For instance, if a gamer plays a slot machine with a house edge of 5%, the casino expects that it will make an average profit of 5c for every $1 the person spends on the machine. The calculation is formulated by a complicated mathematical equation: HOUSE EDGE = (Odds against success – house odds) x probability (percentage) of success. It is always important to know that in the long run, the house always wins. However, there are many lucky players that walk away winners. While some of the wins do come from high house edge games, more consistent ones come from low house edge titles.

What is Return to Player (RTP)?

Many casinos tend to focus on presenting players with return-to-player ratios (RTPs) as they seem a lot more impressive that house edge figures. If you do not know how to read them properly, it seems that the odds are ever in your favor. RTP is the percentage of wagers that customers will be paid out over a long period of time. A 96% RTP on a slot game seems impressive until you realize that someone else may walk away with a win in the future at your cost. The remaining 3% is the house edge. This is what the machines stand to make in average profits from your wagers. But because some games payout big jackpots, the likelihood of landing rewards each time you play a game are slim.

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The House Edge of Various Casino Games

Now it is pertinent to know that games that involve skill and decision-making usually have much lower house edge statistics. This means that if you learn to play them properly you have a better chance of winning than if you were playing a game of chance. That’s why Blackjack’s house edge is quite a bit better than roulette’s house edge and is far better than slot machine stats.

a blackjack or 21 hand

a Blackjack (21)

 

1. Blackjack House Edge

Blackjack house edge is the lowest on the market. There may be one or two video poker games that come close, but very few games offer you less than 1% house edge. Of course, to reduce the edge to its finest margin you do need to know how to play the game optimally. Learning when to stay, hit, double, and split are vital. There are some tremendous blackjack strategies to help you in this regard on our site. We advise learning what you can before hitting the felt. Of course, there are many different versions of blackjack. So, for your convenience, we have listed many of the popular ones in the table below. You’ll be able to read up on both the RTP and house edge of each.

Blackjack Version RTP House Edge
Single Deck Blackjack 99.4% 0.6%
Pontoon 99.64% 0.36%
Multi-hand Blackjack 99.6% 0.4%
European Blackjack 99.6% 0.4%
Blackjack Surrender 99.62% 0.38%
Atlantic City Blackjack 99.65% 0.35%
21 Burn Blackjack 99.4% 0.6%

The house carries the edge in blackjack for two main reasons. Firstly, the player goes first and could go bust before the dealer even begins. Secondly, one of the dealer’s cards is hidden from the table, so players don’t know what hand they are trying to beat.

ROULETTE WHEEL

Roulette Wheel

2. ROULETTE HOUSE EDGE

Roulette is one of the most popular casino table games in the world. The number of different betting options and odds makes it a game for both high rollers and low-risk takers alike. There are two prominent games, namely European Roulette or American Roulette. The American wheel has an extra pocket (00) on the turn style which lowers your chances of winning. The roulette statistic tables below not only show you the house edge, but also the odds paid on various bets and the probability of landing rewards playing those options.

European Roulette House Edge

European Roulette Odds Probability RTP House Edge
Street 11:1 8.11% 97.3% 2.70%
Split 17:1 5.4% 97.3% 2.70%
Odd/Even 1:1 48.64% 97.3% 2.70%
Columns 2:1 32.4% 97.3% 2.70%
Dozens 2:1 32.4% 97.3% 2.70%
Red/Black 1:1 32.4% 97.3% 2.70%
Straight-Up 35:1 2.7% 97.3% 2.70%
Six Line 5:1 16.2% 97.3% 2.70%
Corner 8:1 10.81% 97.3% 2.70%

 

American Roulette House Edge

American Roulette Odds Probability RTP House Edge
Columns 2:1 31.58% 94.74% 5.26%
Corner 8:1 10.53% 94.74% 5.26%
Dozens 2:1 31.58% 94.74% 5.26%
Odd/Even 1:1 46.37% 94.74% 5.26%
Red/Black 1:1 46.37% 94.74% 5.26%
Six Line 5:1 15.79 94.74% 5.26%
Split 17:1 5.26% 94.74% 5.26%
Straight-up 35:1 2.63% 94.74% 5.26%
Street 11:1 7.89% 94.74% 5.26%

As you can clearly see, your less risky bets involve almost a 50/50 chance of doubling your money. This is a similar payout to what you can expect when playing Blackjack and winning. However, if the Blackjack house edge lands in your favor and you win with a natural blackjack hand, you can extend those odds to 3:2. Of course, placing straight-up bets on roulette will multiply your wager by 35x. The higher the payout, the less likely it is you will land it.

online baccarat table

Online Baccarat Table

 

3. BACCARAT HOUSE EDGE

Baccarat is a gem that needs very little strategy and is easy to play. If you are aware of the odds and house edge attached to each bet type, you’ll have a better chance of making the right bet selection. High rollers love baccarat and are often willing to pay the 5% commission for wagering in favor of the Banker. It is most likely for the cards will fall in the bank’s favor.

Bet Type Payout RTP House Edge
Player 1:1 98.94% 1.06%
Banker 1:1 less 5% commission 98.74% 1.24%
Tie 8:1 85.64% 14.36%
Side Bets Various Various Various

 

tHROWING DICE IN CRAPS

Throwing dice in craps

4. CRAPS HOUSE EDGE

Craps is an American favorite. The sheer number of betting combinations makes it a hot game on the Vegas floor. You can choose to make craps as simple or as complicated as you want to by choosing between single-dice roll outcomes or multi-roll outcomes. It’s more difficult to succeed playing single bet outcomes, so the house edge is far higher, yet the payout odds are certainly more attractive. In the table below we will display the kind of bet, the payout range on the bet, and the house edge range on the bet. You may be wondering why there is a Craps House edge range instead of a fixed rate. That’s because different casinos set different odds. As such, be aware of the table rules before you cast your lots.

Single Bet Rolls Pays House Edge
2 and 12 and all hard hop bets 29:1 to 33:1 5.56% to 16.67%
3 and 11 and all easy hop bets 14:1 to 16:1 5.56% to 16.67%
Any craps (2 or 3 or 12) 7:1 to 7.5:1 5.56% to 11.11%
Any seven 4:1 16.67%

Multi-Roll bets obviously grant you a better chance of landing a win. Here, the house edge can be deciphered in three different ways: For the bet made, for the bet resolved, and for the house edge per roll. Most people concentrate more on the House Edge per bet resolved statistic to gauge the risk involved in the wager.

Multi-Roll Bets House Edge Per Bet Made House Edge Per Bet Resolved House Edge Per Roll
Pass 1.41% 1.41% 0.42%
Don’t Pass 1.36% 1.40% 0.40%
Come 1.41% 1.41% 0.42%
Don’t Come 1.36% 1.40% 0.40%
Odds 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Laying the Odds 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Place 4 and 10 1.67% 6.67% 1.67%
Place 5 and 9 1.11% 4.00% 1.11%
Place 6 and 8 0.46% 1.52% 0.45%
Place to Lose 4 and 10 0.76% 3.03% 0.76%
Place to Lose 5 and 9 0.69% 2.50% 0.69%
Place to Lose 6 and 8 0.56% 1.82% 0.56%
Buy 4 and 10 Always 1.19% 4.76% 1.19%
Buy 5 and 9 Always 1.32% 4.76% 1.32%
Buy 6 and 8 Always 1.46% 4.76% 1.46%
Buy 4 and 10 on Win Only 0.42% 1.67% 0.42%
Buy 5 and 9 on Win Only 0.56% 2.00% 0.56%
Buy 6 and 8 on Win Only 0.69% 2.27% 0.69%
Lay 4 and 10 Always 0.61% 2.44% 0.61%
Lay 5 and 9 Always 0.90% 3.23% 0.90%
Lay 6 and 8 Always 1.22% 4.00% 1.22%
Buy 4 and 10 on Win Only 0.42% 1.67% 0.42%
Buy 5 and 9 on Win Only 0.56% 2.00% 0.56%
Buy 6 and 8 on Win Only 0.69% 2.27% 0.69%
The Big 6 and 8 2.78% 9.09% 2.78%
Hard 4 and 10 (US) 2.78% 5.56% 2.78%
Hard 6 and 8 (US) 2.78% 9.09% 2.78%

 

royal flush combination and casino chips

Royal Flush combination

5. CASINO POKER HOUSE EDGE

Casino poker is a hot item among card sharks. Instead of playing against other players, like in competitive poker, you play against the house which makes the odds a lot more determinable. But there are various games of poker to take into regard when it comes to choosing your seat at the table. They are all based loosely on the same poker hands, but with variances in the gameplay mechanics. Below is a table showing all the popular forms of casino poker along with their RTP and house edge stats.

Type of Poker RTP House Edge
Caribbean Stud Poker 94.78% 5.22%
Three Card Poker 98.5% 1.5%
Ultimate Texas Holdem 97.81% 2.19%
Pai Gow Poker 97.5% 2.5%

 

6. VIDEO POKER HOUSE EDGE

Video poker pays off even better than classic casino poker table games because you do not have to compete for the highest hand to win. In video poker, you just must land any qualifying ranking to win a prize. In fact, blackjack house edge often doesn’t compete with the best games in this genre. It’s also a video game that can be mastered by learning the skill and strategies that go with the game. A set wager limit could win you anything from a 1:1 payoff to thousands of times your stake with the jackpot machines. There are various forms of video poker. Look to the table below to find which one offers the best returns for you.

Poker Titles RTP House Edge
All American Poker 100.72% -0.72%
Deluxe Deuces 100.34% -0.34%
Deuces Wild 100.76% -0.76%
Double Bonus 100.17% -0.17%
Double Joker 99.97% 0.03%
Jacks or Better 99.5% 0.5%
9/7 Jacks or Better 100.80% -0.80%
Joker Poker 100.65% -0.65%
Loose Deuces 100.97% -0.97%

You are probably wondering how casinos can offer games with a negative house edge. Well, usually it is only affluent Vegas Casinos that offer these games. However, you really need to know your business to make the right calls on every hand and take advantage of the odds. Most video poker players don’t.

slot reel

Slot Reel

7. SLOT GAME HOUSE EDGE

Slot machines are by far the most popular games in the world. The ease of popping in credits and rolling a reel is obviously an attraction for many. Of course, the bonus rounds and special features are also a big drawcard. But slots are games of chance. No degree of skill can help you win a dime. As such, they have some of the highest house edge statistics of any other casino game (bar maybe scratch cards and Keno). Where the Blackjack house edge is near 0.5%, the very best you’ll get out of a slot is 1%, but that is extremely rare. Most of them are around 4% or worse. Land-based slots are stingier than their online counterparts. That’s because retail casinos must pay utilities and overheads. The costs at online casinos are minimal in comparison. As such, we recommend playing on your desktop or mobile device if you fancy a spin of the reels. Explore the average RTP and house edge of slots in the table below.

Slot Type RTP House Edge
Land-Based Slots 75% – 94% (86% Ave) 25% – 6% (Ave 14%)
Online Slots 88% – 99% (96% Ave) 12% – 1% (4% Ave)

AN OVERVIEW OF CASINO GAMES

Casinos are there to provide entertainment to every budget and risk level. If you study the charts in this guide, you’ll soon be able to match the odds you want to earn with the risk you are willing to take. Remember, high odds payouts come with a high house edge. Low risk, easier wins come with a low house edge. If you are keen to play it safe, the blackjack house edge or video poker RTP should really appeal to you the most. So, spend some time researching and learning these games so that you can optimize your chances at the table.

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Author

Sean van der Merwe

Sean is a member of our expert content writing team. He has experience writing engaging reviews, articles, and blog posts across various genres. These include iGaming, cryptocurrency, video gaming, life, leisure, and more.