When playing games like slots, roulette, and blackjack at an online casino, you’re always competing against the house edge. The odds are always in favor of the casino, so does this mean you should just accept defeat and expect to lose in the long run? Not necessarily! While you can’t eliminate the house edge, certain methods significantly cut into it and improve your chances of winning.
Understanding house edge
The house edge, also known as the house advantage, refers to the statistical edge casinos possess on all games. It represents how much the casino expects to profit long-term from player losses. This edge comes from how the games are structured – the payouts, rules, and probabilities inherent to the game all work in the casino’s favor. For example, in European roulette, the house edge is 2.70% due to the single zero on the wheel. For slots, the house typically holds a 5%-10% advantage. The more you play, the more likely the house edge leads to losses. These percentages reflect thousands and thousands of bets. In the short term, anything happens. But, the house edge is why casinos always come out ahead overall.
Using strategies to offset the house edge
While the house edge is a mathematical certainty, players are not helpless against it. By using certain strategies and playing in a disciplined, calculated manner, you can reduce how much the house edge affects you.
- For blackjack, the basic strategy maximizes your payouts by telling you the optimal play for every hand versus the dealer’s upcard. Perfectly using basic strategy whittles the house edge down to just 0.5% in a standard Vegas six-deck game. Card counting takes it even further by having you alter bets based on the shifting composition of decks.
- In craps, the house edge on pass/come bets is 1.41%, but making the free odds bet behind it brings the edge way down. Since the free odds bet only carries a 0.85% edge, smart craps players always take full odds to decrease the overall house advantage.
- For roulette, the best strategy is to stick to the bets with the lowest house edge – columns, dozens, even/odd, red/black. It cuts the edge down to around 2.7% in European roulette. American roulette can’t be beaten, so easily due to the double zero.
Deploying strategies in high roller online casinogames allows you to reduce the house edge effectively. By playing optimally, you minimize how much the edge eats into your bankroll over time and extend your playing session. While strategies give you an edge, they don’t change the underlying randomness or house advantage. In the very long run, the house still comes out ahead. Using a smart strategy gives you the best odds possible of bucking the house edge and winning. Simply set a gambling budget and quit while you’re ahead.