Low House Edge Casino Games
Blackjack is known universally as the casino game with the lowest house edge. Roulette is another popular table game with a low house advantage. There is a major difference between these two casino games though. Blackjack only offers the best odds if you play every hand perfectly. Roulette on the other hand is based completely on luck. Most people are unaware of this but there are some casino games that have a much lower house edge than Roulette and require a lot less skill than Blackjack. In this article I will look at the casino games with the lowest house edge.
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What Is A House Edge?
Nearly every game at a casino has a built-in “house edge”. I will use Roulette as an example. There are thirty eight numbers on the table. Eighteen of them are red and eighteen are black, leaving two unaccounted for; the 0 and 00. The casino’s house edge comes from these two spots on the wheel. Let’s say you bet $10 on red. There are thirty eight different spots the ball can land on the Roulette wheel. This bet pays 1:1 but the odds of you winning are slightly less than 1:1. The house has a 5.26% edge on red/black or odd/even bets in Roulette due to the 0 and 00. It’s close enough to a coin-flip situation that people love to play Roulette but the real odds of you winning are 47.37%. This is how the casino makes money. The house edge for most games is very low, but it enables the casino to win in the long run. On most games the house edge is a little less than 1:1 so you can easily win 5 times in a row but if you keep playing you would eventually lose what you won.
The house edge differs from one game to another. Blackjack has the lowest house edge but there are several factors in determining the actual advantage. The number of decks used affects the house edge. The following statistics are based on the casino using six decks for blackjack, as most of them do. Online casinos also simulate the use of 6 decks so that the odds are the same as what you would expect from a live casino. The house edge in this scenario is 0.64%. That means that you will have a 48.75% change of winning a single hand, assuming you play perfectly. This is as close to a coin-flip as you are going to get at a casino. You may be wondering why anyone would want to play a game like Roulette when they could play Blackjack. The answer is that you need to follow the perfect strategy in Blackjack in order to receive these odds. In Roulette you could just blindly throw chips on the table and your odds would not change.
Which Casino Games Have The Lowest House Edge?
This is a tough question to answer. There are many variables that will have to be considered. A better question would be which bets have the lowest house edge. In Roulette for example the house edge is 5.26% as I already mentioned except for the 0-00-1-2-3 bet. The house edge for this bet is 7.89%. The same is true for other casino games, some bets are better than others. So it all depends on which bet you make. To simplify things here is a list of the five casino games with the lowest house edge in general:
Blackjack – The house edge in Blackjack is generally 0.64% if you play every hand perfectly.
Jacks or Better Video Poker – I was hesitant to list Video Poker because different casinos configure the pay-outs for Flushes and Full Houses differently which drastically effects the house edge. The house edge for a machine that pays out 6:1 for a Flush and 9:1 for a Full House will have a house edge of 0.46%. If the machine only pays out 5:1 for Flushes and 6:1 for a Full House the house edge jumps to 5%. It is important to check out the machine’s pay-table to find out which formula it uses before you play. To receive these odds in Jacks or Better you need to have some experience with the game.
Baccarat – When you bet on the banker in Baccarat the house edge is 1.06%. If you bet on the player in Baccarat the house edge is 1.24%. No skill is required for either bet.
Craps – There are many different bets in Craps. The bets with the lowest house edge are Pass/Come and Don’t Pass/Don’t Come. The house edge for these bets is 1.41% and 1.36% respectively.
Pai Gow – Pai Gow has a house edge of 1.50% when played perfectly. It is a very simple game so the skill level required for optimal play is minimal.