Which online casino games give you the best chance of winning and have the smallest house edge?
Playing online casino games should be mainly about fun. That said, winning IS fun! If you want to give yourself the best chance of making a profit, choose your games wisely. Here we take a look at the house edge of some of the most popular casino games around.
Irrespective of what games you play, choosing your casino wisely is more important. We only work with a very small, elite group of online and mobile casinos and they are all top class. Take a look at all the casino sites we work with, as well as the welcome bonuses they offer new customers.
House Edge of Most Popular Casino Games
What is the house edge?
Here we take a look at the most popular casino games only. The house edge is the advantage the house holds over the player. All casino games, be they played in the “real world”, online or on mobile, favour the casino.
That advantage is usually called the house edge. Essentially this means what percentage of stakes the casino can expect to win. Note that we say “expect”.
This is because we’re talking about a mathematical concept that only becomes true when you play an infinite number of hands, spins or games. Now, here at CasinoOffers.co, we like blackjack, roulette, etc as much as the next guy. But even we don’t play infinitely.
Luck, or in maths-speak, variance, means that in the short term the player can, does and will win. However, the house edge refers to the long term probabilities. It also, in games where the player’s involvement affects the odds, assumes the player is using the optimum strategy.
House Edge of Roulette
Here we are assuming the player is placing standard bets on a table with a single zero. In this instance, the house edge for roulette is the same no matter whether a player is betting on single numbers, groups of numbers, red or black or any combination of single numbers.
No matter what, the house edge for roulette is 2.70%. That means that a player who bets £100 can expect to lose just £2.70. Note that if you are silly enough to play American roulette (with the zero and the double zero) that jumps to 5.26%.
Using optimum strategy is crucial when you play blackjack. Many bricks and mortar casinos provide basic strategy charts that tell you the best call to make in any given situation. If you’re playing online it’s also really easy to access such info.
The precise house edge for blackjack can vary greatly depending on the precise rules at the casino you are at. It can drop to less than 0.3% with the most favourable rules. However, a more realistic figure is between 0.5% and 1.5%.
That means, if we use a figure of 1%, that a player playing 100 hands for £10 per pop should, on average, lose just £10! Blackjack has one of the lowest house edges around. As such, it only takes a slight helping hand from Lady Luck for the player to win.
The house edge for online slots is often quoted as the Return To Player (RTP). This views things from the player’s return, not their loss. As such, an RTP of 90% means that for every £100 that goes into the slot, you can expect £90 to come out.
The house edge (or RTP – they are essentially the same thing expressed differently) of slots has traditionally been very high. In the past, figures of 15%, perhaps even higher, have not been uncommon.
In recent times the best online casinos have demanded slots that give the player a higher return. This is a result of competition between them. Whilst a house edge of 5%-10% is still very high and still quite common, many slots have a house edge of more like 2.5%.
It’s worth noting that whilst almost all casino games’ house edges are mathematical facts, that is not the case with slots. Slots aren’t games with fixed numbers, certain maths and known probabilities. They are electronic machines that usually allow for the house edge to be changed at the flick of a metaphorical switch.
As such, the house edge of slots can vary, from slot to slot, casino to casino and even, in theory, from day to day.
Picking a casino game is about more than just the house edge
Whilst this article focusses on the house edge, it is vital to note that this stat is not the be all and end all. Different games appeal to different casino players for different reasons.
Blackjack has a very low house edge but it requires a certain degree of skill and knowledge and even concentration. Also, most wins pay out at odds of evens, so in order to win big you need to either be a casino high roller; or you need to be very lucky and go on a long winning streak.
In contrast, online slots may have a higher edge but they offer the chance to win huge sums for a stake of £1 or less. Progressive jackpot slots offer seven- and even eight-figure jackpots. It’s easy to see why they are so popular.
Lastly, which game you prefer may also depend what you are trying to achieve and what mood you are in. If you just want to have some fun and play for a long time, games such as blackjack and video poker are perfect. The low house edge and low variance means you have a great chance of enjoying hours at the table on a low budget.
On the other hand, if you want fast-paced thrills and have a higher budget, games like slots or online roulette offer higher risk but potentially much higher rewards.
Of course, no matter what or why you play, claiming a big welcome bonus automatically swings the odds your way. Throw in a bit of luck as well and today could be the day you win big. Good luck!