If you like playing online roulette, you’ll have come across the term the house edge. It’s a simple concept but it’s at the very heart of why there are more rich casino owners than there are rich punters. It’s called an edge because it’s an advantage, in reality the house has many such advantages but the only integral and guaranteed one is the existence of a zero on the roulette wheel.
The existence of this zero gives the house edge of 2.7%, if you play on an American roulette wheel (please don’t!) then you can double that edge as there are two zeros on the wheel. Probably the best way to illustrate the House edge, is to imagine placing a single chip on all 37 numbers on the roulette wheel, that’s 37 one chip bets. You would be guaranteed to pick the winning number obviously and you would receive winnings of 35-1 plus your stake.
This is the simplest way to see the house edge, you receive 36 chips back after backing every number, you cannot win and the casino cannot lose on that bet. The odds of landing on a specific number are 100%/37 which equals 2.7 % which is also the house advantage because of the zero (compared to the odds offered)
That is really it and why casinos will win more often than not, it is a slender advantage but a crucial one. In reality it is amplified due to erratic betting, poor strategies and sometimes even just plain luck.
However this is why many people spend so much time trying to win at roulette, the odds are only slightly in the casinos favour, a modicum of good luck, a brief lucky streak can make an awful lot of money for the astute roulette player.
Consider not the many roulette gambling systems, not because there’s anything fundamentally wrong with most of them (apart from the fact people imply that they sometime guarantee winning, which is nonsense). No the search for biases or patterns in a roulette wheel and it’s spins.
Quest for Turning the House Edge
The precept is again quite simple, if you can turn the house edge to your favour – winning becomes much more likely. Forget suggestions that you need to be able to predict certain numbers or specific areas, modern roulette wheels and casino management makes this very unlikely. Consider though that you could eliminate two numbers from that wheel, maybe statistically exclude for whatever reason those two numbers being spun then the house advantage of 2.7% is transferred to you.
This is the basis of many successful roulette stories, some of the biggest wins in roulette history were based on very small biases identified by painstaking research. If you can eliminate two numbers for a period of time it becomes a huge advantage if you bet accordingly. It gives the sort of odds that cannot be matched by any roulette gambling system anywhere.
Makes you think doesn’t it ? I’m off to study the numbers on the free game in the DublinBet online casino, I’m sure the leg on table three looks a little uneven 🙂
This post is available in German –