An unfortunate fact of life is casinos need to make their money somehow, which is why high house edges and frustrating player limitations to minimum and maximum bets are a necessary evil. These restrictions are in place to protect the casino and ensure a gambling venue remains operable, but of course it also means gigantic profits for casinos and gambling moguls. During the 2013 – 2014 financial year alone, Melbourne’s Crown Casino is reported to have brought in a huge 655.7 million dollars, up 65.7% from the previous year.
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One of the many benefits to gambling online is that several games come with a lower house edge than you’ll find in land based casino, with more lenient betting options making them more accessible for punters with smaller bankrolls.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which games are the most profitable for an online casino. To do so, you’d also need to take into account how much that particular venue had paid out in winnings on a certain game. As a general guide, casinos make most of their money from games and bets with the highest house edges.
The house edge on casino games
The house edge refers to the advantage a casino or gambling venue (the “house”) has over a punter when they’re playing a particular game, and is how casinos make their profits. A game with a higher house edge means the player stands a smaller chance of winning and therefore are typically the most profitable games for an online casino. The house edge is generally detested by players, but serves as protection for gambling venues to ensure they don’t go bankrupt.
The house edge of each game varies significantly, with particular wagers within certain games carrying different advantages and disadvantages. The standard house edges for popular casino games are detailed below:
Slots house edge – the house edge on slot games varies given the huge range of game variations and difference in progressive jackpots. Generally the house edge when playing online pokies can be expected to fall around 5%, with the house edge on pokies in real life venues ranging from 2% to 15%. In Australia, the average payout percentage for pokies is 90% of all money put in, with Australian law stating the lowest payout percentage legally allowed is 87%.
Blackjack house edge – there are many different types of blackjack and each variant brings its own house edge. Blackjack is typically one of the most player friendly games when it comes to the house edge, and classic blackjack played using standard liberal rules and proper strategy can come with an edge as low as 0.28%.
Roulette house edge – there are two main variations of roulette; European roulette which is played on a single zero wheel and American roulette which is played on a double zero wheel. The additional zero brings the house edge up significantly and therefore it is advised that players steer clear of American roulette wherever possible. The house edge of European roulette is 2.70% while the house edge of American roulette is 5.26%. Making a top line/first five bet in American roulette brings the house edge up to a whopping 7.89%. American roulette is much more profitable for a casino which is why this is often the only variant found at bricks and mortar casinos. There are much better chances of finding the more player friendly European version at online casinos.
Baccarat house edge – the best bet you can make in baccarat is the banker bet which comes with a house edge of 1.06%. The player bet is not too much higher, at 1.24%, while the tie bet increases dramatically to a house edge of 14.36%.
Craps house edge – the house edge in craps will vary depending on the type of bet being placed. The craps bet with the lowest house edge is the pass/come bet, with a house edge of 1.41%. The bets with the worst house edge are two, 12 and any hard hops at 13.89% and any seven at 16.67%.
Video Poker house edge – with so many video poker variations the house edge can vary significantly, especially when playing in an online casino, but most video poker games come with a low house edge. The house edge on the popular game Jacks or Better is a low 0.46%.
Keno house edge – Keno comes with the highest house edge you’ll find in a gambling venue, with offline keno games up to and beyond a huge 25%. The Internet offers better odds, with the house edge on online keno games sometimes as low as 10%. The minimum bet on keno games can be as low as $1 so even with such a high house edge, it doesn’t necessarily make keno the most profitable casino game.
How to beat the house?
Ahh, the age old question! If there was a sure fire answer to this then all casinos would be closed down in a heartbeat. Obviously there is no assured way to beat the house, but players can be mindful of certain factors in order to help direct profits into their own pockets instead of to the venue.
From the house edge statistics listed above, you can see that games requiring player strategy like blackjack have a lower house edge than games based on plain luck of the draw like roulette or keno. Keep in mind the lower house edge on strategy games will only work in your favour if you’re familiar with the game and take the recommended strategies into account. One way to work towards beating the casino is to master the strategy of the game you’re playing and familiarise yourself with all facets of the gameplay.
Ultimately, players need to accept that online casinos, just like any other business, work with the main intention of bringing in a profit. Rather than getting frustrated by this fact, it will work in your favour to accept that casinos are there for the thrills and excitement that come with risk taking and enjoy the games as such.
Gambling responsibly by setting yourself personal limitations will ensure the casino doesn’t profit from your losings in a way that will be detrimental to your finances.
You can put your strategies to the test for free with games in demo mode at leading casinos like those recommended in our casino table above before moving on to place real money bets. Raging Bull Casino is top-rated casino site for players from United States, which has some excellent welcome bonuses available for new players.
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