How the House Edge Works

The frequently quoted phrase “the house always wins” isn’t just a pessimistic mainstay of the gambler’s vocabulary, but it’s not exactly gospel either. In this article we’ll discuss what the house edge is, how it works and, most importantly, how to beat it.

What is the house edge? Well, that’s an interesting question. Interesting firstly because it’s a mathematical model that most people don’t understand even though they participate in it every time the gamble, and secondly because once you know what it is you are empowered to look out for yourself, and you’re always going to be one step ahead of the house.

Who’s the house? Whether it’s the guy running the craps game on the corner or a multi-billion dollar casino outfit, the house is whoever is offering the game to you. The house is the person or business who collects all  the bets on the table when the roulette wheel lands on zero-green, or when  the dealer wins against the player in blackjack, or when the craps shooter sevens out.

The house edge is therefore that small statistical advantage that is built into every single casino game that gives the player an expected negative return. If the house edge is 5% (such as on a French Roulette table) and you wager $100, your expected return is $95.

The house edge works in favour of the house because even if players win big in the short run, the house will always collect that extra 5% as long as they’ve got the bankroll to cover short term cash outs. Now that you know what the house edge is all about, check out the virtual craps game at Crazy Vegas and check out how playing the pass line and taking the odds will reduce the house edge to zero.

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