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A common saying you’ll hear in any casino, whether physical or online, is that the house always wins.
Understanding what the house is and why it always wins is essential to your overall gambling experience. So, we’ll cover all those aspects in our article below.
The famous phrase means that casino games have built-in advantages that favour the establishment. The advantage ensures that the casino profits in the long run. Why would a casino want the advantage? Because they are a business and need to cover their operation costs.
The casino’s ‘advantage’ is called the house edge. Blackjack is the casino game with the lowest house edge of around 2%, while Keno has the highest house edge of 20% to 40%.
Usually, the longer you play, the more likely the house gets its profit via the house edge. Ultimately, the casino will probably win their money from you regardless of any game you play. We’ve already seen that the house edge varies from game to game, with Blackjack having the lowest value and Keno the highest. Now, let’s look at roulette as an example.
A European roulette wheel has numbers from 0 to 36 = 37 pockets. Therefore, the odds of any given number winning are 1 in 37 or 2.7%.
The house edge comes from the presence of the 0 pocket. Looking at the outside bets of red/black, high/low or odd/even demonstrates this best. Other than the 0 pocket, which is green, half of the pockets are red, and half are black. So if you were to bet on red or black and the zero pocket was not present, you would have a 50/50 chance of winning the bet. However, the zero pocket counts as a loss, no matter which colour you pick. Therefore, your odds of winning are always lower than the casino’s.
The presence of this pocket that works in the casino’s favour is where the advantage lies. The casino always has an extra pocket on their side, and the chances of the ball landing in any given pocket are 1 in 37 or 2.7%, hence the house edge.
So, if you spend £1,000 at a roulette table, the casino expects to pocket at least £27 from you in the long run.
As long as you keep playing, the casino will always win in the long run.
It may be possible to beat the house in the short term. For example, learning basic blackjack strategy can reduce the house edge to around 0.5% if implemented effectively.
Another method players use in an effort to beat the house is managing their bankroll. The casino’s advantage lies in the long run, so setting limits is a good idea. It could help to minimise losses. Discipline also goes hand in hand with this strategy because knowing when to stop helps you stick to your budget.
Ultimately, however, it’s not possible to beat the house in the long run. In the end, the house always wins.
Because gambling is a form of entertainment, and there is always a chance that you could win. Most players don’t spend too much time thinking about the house edge and calculating how much money the casino is making.
Instead, they acknowledge the house edge and that the casino has to make money in the long run whilst remembering that casino games are based on chance, and nothing is guaranteed. The most important thing to remember is to gamble responsibly and only bet money you can afford to lose.
*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to these games are subject to change at any time.