You might have heard mention of the house edge and how important it is to your chances of winning in any particular game. It’s actually found in every casino game and refers to the in-built advantage that the casino has in each game. I want to explain why this casino offers the best player odds on the planet, bar none. The most important fact to remember is that the higher the ‘house edge’, the bigger the advantage is for the casino. Your goal is therefore to lower that advantage as much as possible – the lower it is then the better your chance of winning.

Probably the most obvious example of the house edge is the zero you’ll find on a roulette wheel. Their very existence lowers the probability that your bets will win, for instance if you bet on red or black a spin on zero will mean you will lose your money. The house edge when you bet on a single number in roulette is the most often quoted. If you play in the US where most wheels have two zeros, the edge is 5.3% but in Europe where most wheels have a single zero then the advantage is only 2.7% to the casino.

In fact the original roulette wheels actually had no zeros at all, the first one was added in a French Casino in 1842, ever since then the built in advantage has been racking up profits for the casinos all across the world. To win at any casino game you must learn to minimize this edge.

There are many so called strategies for beating the casino which claim to reduce this advantage, you’ll find many of them explained here on the Play online roulette website. However many of them are simply distortions of probability theory like Martingale, they all sound like some incredibly plausible secret systems, but all you need to know is that the casinos don’t mind you playing them!

Many people think they understand the how the house edge works, but it’s surprising how many fail to grasp the real concept of the house edge. The advantage enjoyed by the house is not experienced when you lose but really when you win, or rather the returns you make on your winnings. For instance – if you placed a single chip on every single number on a roulette wheel, you’d spend \$38 to cover all the numbers. Of course your number would be bound to come up and you’d receive the odds of 35-1, that is you’d get \$35 dollars back plus your stake – a \$2 dollar loss. Here’s a perfect example of the house edge in action, the odds you receive are not reflective of the true odds and why a casino will always win in the long run.

# Reality of the House Edge

A thought may have occurred to you from the previous section –

If the house advantage is only 5.3% in a US casino, then I should only lose \$5.30 for every \$100 I gamble. This doesn’t sound too bad, five bucks for some entertainment, how come I and most other gamblers rarely manage to lose so little in a casino

It’s a good question and anyone who has ever played in a casino would be overjoyed to see their average losses anywhere near that figure, but it doesn’t happen. The reason is that the advantage is not only applied to the amount of money you have to spend in your wallet. The advantage is applied to every single bet you make, each time you gamble the money involved is subject to the 5.3% advantage. You will place many more bets than the amount you have in your wallet, simply because you’ll win sometimes and lose others. Many gamblers will keep on gambling over and over again with the same money, slowly eroding their bankroll. This is commonly known as the churn, it’s how the casino will turn that 5.3% advantage into relieving the player of up to 100% of their cash.

There is another reason that the house will frequently win much more than the 5.3% of a player bankroll. Simply because so many player don’t have an exit strategy, they play till they lose. When your wallet is empty you stop playing obviously, but where is our level for leaving when we’re winning – too many gamblers don’t have one!

The famous US gambler Nick “the Greek” Dandalos was quoted as saying

The house doesn’t beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself.

Which illustrates the point perfectly, the casino doesn’t have to do anything clever to win – it just needs to keep the player playing. That is why you’ll find casinos such pleasant places to stay in, with no clocks, free drinks and comfortable surroundings, all designed to keep you playing as long as possible to iron out those unexpected winning streaks that player get.