The House Edge explained

What is the casino House Edge?

What is the House Edge?

The house edge shows how much a casino expects to win on any game in the long run.

Put simply it's the player's return divided by the player's loss:

House edge = 1 - (return / loss)

It's shown as a percentage, where 0 would mean the casino expected not to win and 100 would mean the casino was guaranteed to win (some bets in Keno come close!)

In other words, the closer the house edge is to 0, the better your chance of winning.

How to work out the House Edge

As an example, in Sic Bo, the bet on 9 or 14 has a probability of 0.1157 and pays 7 to 1 i.e. return of 8 for each unit staked (stake is returned with winnings).

Therefore, the expected return on a 10 unit bet is:

80 x 0.1157, which = 9.256

Dividing this by the possible loss (ie the stake), we get:

9.256/10 = 0.9256

To get the house edge, we subtract this from 1.

So, the house edge on 9 or 14 is

(1 - 0.9256) = 0.0744 = 7.44%

Getting the edge

Getting the edge and beating the house is essentially about knowing the expected odds and comparing them to the observed results in any one session on any game. Each of our featured games has a Strategy link which explains exactly where we think the edge can be found for that particular game.

It comes down to what kind of gambler you are. For example, would you bet on a horse at 10/11, expecting to win, or on a long shot of 25-1, hoping to win?

In each of the game strategy pages, we'll point out the bets to target based on your gambling style - steady low-risk, occasionally daring medium-risk or high-rolling high risk.

Gambling with discipline

With all this in mind, we have devised an overall gambling policy which, if followed, should, at best, give you consistent small wins and, at worst, minimise your losses.

This overall policy is in addition to the game-specific strategies given for each game i.e. bear this in mind regardless of which game you're playing.

Getting the edge on the house

No gambling system is guaranteed to win - if it was, the casinos would be out of business. But clearly some people do occasionally win at casino games, both real and online. You can be fairly certain that those players have followed a disciplined approach very similar to the gambling policy we outline on our golden rules of gambling page.

Know your game, know your limits - and good luck!

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