Which Casino Game Has the Highest House Edge?

What is casino House Edge? And which online casino games have the highest House Edge and lowest House Edge?

As much as we want to believe that every visit to a casino or online casino will result in a big payout, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, the ‘house’ can come out on top on some occasions.

But what does the ‘house edge’ really mean? And which casino games (both online and offline) have the highest and lowest house edge?

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Casino House Edge Explained: What is House Edge?

House edge is a term used in both the land-based and online casino worlds. It is a guideline on what a player can expect before playing a casino game. The House Edge is the advantage the casino has over the players. Remember, casinos weren’t built on winners!

The House Edge is expressed in percentages. It is the direct opposite of the RTP (Return To Player). For example, if a game has an RTP of 96%, the House Edge would be 4%. The House Edge varies depending on the game someone is playing, including changing in different variations of the same game. For example, Blackjack and Spanish Blackjack have a different House Edge.

Using the same example, a House Edge of 4% means the casino is expected to earn $4 on every $100 bet. This does not mean much in a small sample size but comes to fruition after thousands of playing hours. It won’t apply to one standalone situation, but it will across a vast number of scenarios.

House Edge of Each Casino Game

Type of Casino GameHouse Edge
American Roulette5.26%
European Roulette2.7%
Slots2%-15%
Baccarat1.0%-15.75%
Blackjack0.5%
Video Poker0.46%
Craps0.0%-16.67%

As you can see from the above table, American Roulette has the highest guaranteed house edge of all casino games. Video Poker has the lowest guaranteed casino house edge.

Therefore, on paper, Video Poker is the best game to try if you are wanting to play with minimal impact from the ‘house’.

House Edge on Slot Games

Online slots games are computerized versions of the machines that light up the floor at all casinos. Most games that players know and associate with a bright and vibrant casino floor can now be played online too. Additional features such as multipliers, progressive jackpots, and interactive bonus rounds contribute towards an immersive casino experience whenever the player’s online casino app is opened.

What is the House Edge on Slot Games

Different Versions of Slot Games

There are lots of different versions of slot games, from 3-reel slots to progressives. And all of these types of slots can be found online.

3-Reel

The simplest version of slot games is also the one that has been around the longest. The most traditional slot style is a 3-reel machine. So, the objective is to match up three (3) or more of the same symbol along one, or more, of the available pay lines.

5-Reel

Building from the 3-reel slot model, 5-reel slots offer two additional reels. Therefore, 5-Reel slots offer both the potential for higher payouts and the possibility of more frequent small wins.

Jackpot

Most slot games offer a jackpot-style reward that can be activated in different ways. Winning jackpot prizes in slot games are infrequent but come with the highest payout returns. Jackpot winnings can be unlocked in multiple ways, such as triggering certain bonus games or hitting the right combination of symbols.

To win the highest jackpot payout, the maximum bet is normally required, with smaller jackpot prizes available for smaller sized bets. Rules for each game, including jackpot information, are available in the info section of that game. So, why not give one a try at BetMGM Casino?

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Progressive

Progressive slots have the potential for a high jackpot style payout but have a lower frequency of occurrence.  This type of slot sometimes have different levels of jackpot payouts, and those different payouts may be determined by a player’s bet size.

A progressive jackpot is a community-built prize that increases every time anyone plays that progressive jackpot slot game. It will continue to rise as players play until a player eventually wins the jackpot prize. After the progressive jackpot is won, it will reset to a starting value.  Rules for each game, including progressive information, are available in the info section of that game.

Multipliers

As the name suggests, multipliers work to increase player winnings by multiplying bets, line wins and total wins. Depending on the game, wager, and/or multiplier amount, winnings can be multiplied beyond their original amount. Rules for each game, including multiplier information, are available in the info section of that game.

Multi-Payline

This can be an exciting change from the classic 3-and-5-reel slot styles. Multi-payline slots usually include more interactive features to go with the higher number of winnings combinations – such as animation, graphics, and bonus games. For most games, after each spin, the game checks to see if a paying combination was made along all the various lines.

The classic 3-reel slots typically feature a single payline, positioned across the middle of the screen. Multi-payline slots may sometimes exceed 100 lines and can stretch diagonally or horizontally, take on V shapes or even zigzag across the reels. Further, multi-payline slots are available at a number of online casinos.

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Video Poker House Edge

It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing Video Poker online or in-person at the casino. Either way, the house edge is just 0.46%. That’s almost nothing.

What is Video Poker?

To put Video Poker into context, a player can visualize the combination of poker and slot machines. Although there are different variations of Video Poker, they all have the same general mechanic. The player is trying to create a hand that matches the payout table instead of competing against a dealer.

Most Poker games are played with your standard deck of cards, though some variations throw in wild or Joker cards to allow the player more ways to manipulate their hand. In general, after making a Video Poker wager, a player will be dealt a random hand. The player will have one chance to exchange one or more cards they are dealt in their random hand for new random cards that have not been dealt, and that is the result of the hand. The objective is to make one of the paying hands on the video poker table.

Video Poker House Edge

Video Poker Playing Hands

Playing hands include (from best to worst):

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a Kind
  • Two Pair
  • High Pair

House Edge on Table Games

Wanting to trade the lights, animations, and sounds of slots on a casino floor with virtual gameplay? Well, the dealers, felt tables and sounds of chips hitting the table can be accessed on an app.

Blackjack

In the simplest terms, the main goal in blackjack is to manage to form a total that is higher than the dealer’s hand, without exceeding 21. If players surpass this number, they lose that hand. If both player and dealer do not exceed 21, whomever has the highest total number wins. One or more can play at a blackjack table at the same time, but they are not competing against each other. They are competing only against the dealer.

Casino House Edge for Blackjack

Blackjack rules for the player and the dealer are slightly different. The dealer must play by a fixed set of rules and will generally stand on totals of 17 or higher and draw on all totals of 16 or less. The player has more flexibility with their blackjack strategy and can stand (stop receiving cards) or hit (receive another card) on any total. The player must make their play decisions before the dealer draws any additional cards. If the player exceeds 21 (busts), they lose and the current round ends.

After the player completes their decisions, and if they haven’t busted, it’s the dealer’s turn to draw according to the House Rules of the game. The player wins when the dealer exceeds a total of 21 or by having the higher of the final hand totals. If the player and the dealer end with the same total, the hand is a push or tie and neither side wins or loses.

The casino house edge on Blackjack is 0.5%. This means that Blackjack RTP is 99.5%. Why not give it a shot at Borgata?

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Roulette

Place your bets and watch the ball spin around the wheel and land a number. Roulette is more complicated than that, but that is the very basic mechanic of one of the most popular table games at the casino.

Betting the Inside

Players can wager on what number the ball lands on the roulette wheel. If the ball lands on a player’s selected number, the payout return for most roulette variants is 35:1. In addition to betting on specific numbers, there are various combination bets that allow you to cover multiple numbers across the board. A player can place their wager on the border of certain numbers to increase their chances of winning, but for a smaller payout. As an example – if a player’s wager is on a corner of four numbers attached, that player will win if the roulette ball lands on any of those four numbers (at a payout of 9:1).

Betting the Outside

A player may also place wagers on outcomes other than the exact number. Players can wager on the ball landing on:

  • The 1st 12 numbers (1-12), 2nd 12 numbers (13-24), and the 3rd 12 numbers (25-36)
  • 1-18 or 19-36
  • Any one of the three columns of numbers
  • An even or odd number
  • A red or black color

The two types of roulette games are American and European. There are no differences on how to play, but European roulette offers 37 numbers to bet including one zero number. American roulette offers 38 numbers to bet on including two zero numbers. American Roulette house edge is 5.26%, whereas European Roulette house edge is just 2.7%.

Casino House Edge

Baccarat

Baccarat is a game played with multiple decks. Players have the option of wagering on either the player or banker hand or if both hands will be equal resulting in a tie (8:1 odds). The highest possible total in Baccarat is 9. Therefore, the winning hand is the one that has the closest possible value to this number.

Baccarat Playing Edge

Several other wagering options available are available in baccarat. Players can wager on the player or banker hands winning with three cards, or either side getting dealt a pair or perfect (suited) pair (possible 200:1 payout).

Baccarat is about predicting the outcome of the future hand and betting accordingly. Players have the option of seeing the results for the last 10 hands, the last 100 hands or tracking trends using the big road, the big eye road, the small road, and the cockroach road.

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Craps

Craps offers different risk/reward playing styles that may seem confusing at first glance. But once familiar, craps has many outcomes for any player looking for a small, medium, or large pay out.

In the simplest terms, players wager on the numbers that they think a pair of dice will roll. The clearest way to think of Craps is as having one main bet and numerous side bets. The layout itself consists of three sections. The two side sections can be separated into two areas, which are the self-service area and the dealer’s area.

Craps Online Casinos

The self-service area allows for players to place bets on:

  • Pass Line/Don’t Pass
  • Come/Don’t Come
  • Field
  • Big 6
  • Big 8

The dealer’s area has six (6) square “point” boxes, containing the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. After a point is established, the dealer would place a puck on that number to indicate it is the point.

The craps table has two stages, ‘off’ and ‘on’. When the table is “off”, players cannot place Pass Line and Don’t Pass wagers because the shooter is yet to make the come-out roll and establish a point. Once the shooter rolls a point, the table is “on” and players are now able to wager on Pass/Don’t Pass.

Depending on your bet, Craps has a casino house edge of 0.0% to 16.67%. You can even play live dealer craps now at the online casinos in America.

How Does House Edge Compare between Land-Based Casinos and Online Casinos?

Online casino slots generally have a lower house edge and provide more chances for wins compared to retail casinos. In terms of popularity, there is also a difference between the most played games at a retail casino compared to an iCasino. For example, a game like craps which involves other players’ rolls and usually creates a full table with people interacting doesn’t have the same gravitas when playing online.

However, online casino are implementing new features consistently (such as live dealer) and are trying to create an in-house experience as close to the real thing as they can.

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