a green gambling chip balancing on the table

When you play games for real money prizes you become part of a community of people who thrill to an adventure of gaming entertainment and real money wins. From themed slot machines and jackpot games to online poker tournaments, classic table games, bonus give-aways and more,  21st century gambling is now available to a wider audience than ever.

Regardless of whether you’re a veteran or a novice gamer, a player with a large bankrolls or one with budget stakes or whether you prefer to play live at a retail casino or online, you can enjoy all of your favorite games in an atmosphere that suits your personal needs and preferences.

Some gamers prefer to simply choose a game that interests them and play for the fun of it. But if you’re focused on achieving a high level of real money payouts, you should consider the kind of game that you plan to choose.

There are a number of factors that go into this decision – ease of gameplay, skill vs. technique, paytable variances, etc. But when push comes to shove, the most important part of the decision comes down to the game’s house edge. Consider the house edge of your chosen game before when you are deciding which game is best to play for collecting wins.

House Edge

Every casino game favors the house but some games favor the house more than others. The house edge is a statistical advantage that the casino holds over the player in any given game. It represents the percentage of each wager that the house expects to keep as profit in the long run.

The casino must be confident that, when all is said and done, they will make more money than they will pay out so that they can stay in business. That’s why, while individual outcomes can vary widely, the house edge, which is calculated over a large number of bets will ensure that the casino will come out ahead.

The house edge is built on the concept of probability. In casino games, probability is the likelihood that a particular event will occur. For instance, if you toss a coin to determine “heads or tails”, the probability that either heads or tails will come up is 50%/50%. When setting odds and determining payouts for various bets, casinos rely on the laws of probability.

The “house edge,” represents the average gross profit that the casino can expect to make from each game.

House edge, however, isn’t probability. Probability refers to the odds of a player winning a particular game or bet. The house edge, however, refers to the percentage of money that the casino keeps from each bet.

If the house edge of a game is 2%, for example, the house would theoretically expect to pay out 98% to the winners of that game and keep 2%.The house edge is calculated over a long period.

Not every game will meet the house edge – sometimes the player will beat the house edge and sometimes the house will win more consistently. But over the long term, statistically, the casino and the players can expect the house edge to accurately reflect the percentage of wins and losses.

Minimizing the House Edge

As a player, can you minimize the house edge? The house edge is an accepted mathematical concept but there are strategies that you can undertake to minimize its impact on your bankroll.

  • Make sure that you understand the rules of the game you’re playing. Check out whether the game offers optional bets or side bets and then do your research to make informed decisions that work in your favor.
  • Games like blackjack and poker have optimal strategies that guide the player to make the best decision for any hand. These strategies (“basic poker strategy”, “basic blackjack strategy”) have been proven to increase the player’s odds of winning which reduces the house edge. If you’re playing a game where there are variations to the game (Pai Gow poker, European poker, Omaha poker, Texas Hold ‘Em poker), make sure that your strategy is the right one for the variation that you’re playing.
  • Set your bankroll and stick to it. Casinos make a lot of money from players who keep playing, even after they’ve lost the amount of money that they had budgeted for their gaming event. These players often rationalize that “the big win is just around the corner” but in reality, the longer you play, the less chance you have of winning.
  • Play games with low house edges so, from the get-go-, you’re starting out in a good situation.
  • If your game has a betting table, choose the bets that give you the best house edge.

Games and their House Edges

  • The house edge for roulette is 2.75% if you’re playing European roulette (single zero wheel) and 5.26% for American roulette (double zero wheel).
  • The house edge for blackjack ranges from 0.25% to 2%.
  • The house edge for baccarat is 1.06% if you’re betting on the banker’s hand and 1.24% if you’re betting on the player’s hand.
  • The house edge for Craps is 1.41% if you’re betting on the pass line, 0% if you’re betting on the odds bets and 1.36% if you’re betting on the no pass line.
  • The house edge slot machines ranges from 1% to over 10%. Most slots are 3% and over.
  • The house edge for video poker starts at 0.25% and goes up to more than 10%.


  • If you are looking for a bet that does not require the use of strategy or playing decisions and has a low edge, playing baccarat is your best bet.
  • If you want to play a game where you can use strategy and make decisions, blackjack and video poker are good options.
  • If you like roulette but want to keep your house edge low, choose European roulette. European roulette, with 37 pockets, has almost half the house edge as American roulette where the wheel features 38 pockets.

Understand the house edge and how to use it to make smarter gaming decisions.

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