What is the house edge in online casinos

How To calculate online casino winning chances

Many people play in casinos with real money. In that case (and also if you play with play money), it is excellent if you win. However, since offline and online casinos are businesses that also have to make a living, they have created the house edge. And this edge has an impact on your online casino winning chances. What house edge is and how to deal with it is explained in detail here.

We’ll tell you exactly what you need to know about the house edge. After all, it’s nice to be well prepared when entering the world of gambling. Especially if you’re going to gamble with real money.

House edge: what is it?

All games, whether in an offline or online casino, involve odds. Because a casino wants to make a profit when people come to gamble, the most excellent chance of winning lies with the casino and not the player. This is called the house edge. However, not all games have the same house edge, and there are also differences between offline and online casinos.

You can calculate the house edge quite easily. You start with 100%, from which you subtract the so-called payout percentage. This is a kind of winning percentage that should be paid out to the player after x number of playing times.

We will explain the principle using an example. If you take the video slot Jimi Hendrix, you will see that the payout percentage is 96.91%. For the ease of the calculation example, we round this off to 97%. So on average, 3% (the house edge) of the best of all players will end up at the casino. So if you bet a total of $1,000, in theory, $30 will go to the casino. But only after so many spins on the video slot.

Online casino odds

The house edge of an online casino has, of course, everything to do with your chances of winning. Thus, you can calculate your chances of winning by using the house edge. In the above example, we have shown you how to do that.

How do you find out the amount of the house edge?

Sometimes you have to search for the house edge per game. But an online casino will undoubtedly mention the house edge with the game in question. How exactly the house edge is mentioned can differ per software developer, and also, the exact place where it is noted doesn’t always correspond. Sometimes it is called RTP or Return to Player, but also ‘theoretical payout’ or the payout mentioned above percentage. If we take a video slot as an example, you can often find information about the payout percentage or RTP in the menu or settings. It is, for instance, indicated by the paragraph symbol or the question mark.

Online and offline ‘house edge

Interestingly enough, we see differences between online and land-based casinos’ house edges. For example, in gambling halls, the house edge is 15%, while in land-based casinos, it can be as much as 8%. Video slots and pokie machines in online casinos (as you could read above) apparently can afford a house edge of around 3%. A lower house edge obviously means a more significant advantage for you, the player.

Differences between online casino games

Not only between the online casino and the offline variant, we see differences. There are also differences between the various casino games. In general, the house edge is (slightly) higher with video slots and slot machines than blackjack or roulette.

Blackjack is played with a house edge of 1% or less, making it one of the best-paying casino games. Usually, the house edge is as low as 0.5%.

Roulette seems less attractive if statistics are to be believed. But, again, this differs per version: American roulette has a higher house edge than French roulette.

French or European roulette: house edge of 2.7%
American roulette: house edge of 5.26%

Playing without house edge?

It is not possible to play in a ‘normal’ casino without a house edge. However, a change is taking place in the financial world. This is partly due to the substantial rise and fast development of blockchain applications and cryptocurrencies. For example, crypto-currency Zerocoin and SP8DE want to develop their own random number generator (RNG) that can be used in casino games. By constructing the games in a certain way, they would then be able to remove the house advantage from a game. We are curious to see if they will succeed and look forward to the developments that blockchain and crypto-currencies will bring to the online casino.