Online roulette is our favorite casino game, as you might expect, but of course there are lots of other fish in the casino sea and one important factor to consider when choosing an alternative game to play is the house edge.
The house edge can most simply be viewed as the casino’s in-built profit margin on any given game. Whilst far from the only factor to consider when choosing a casino game, it is certainly very important, especially for those players that value profit and time at the table over other considerations, such as the fun factor or the ability to win huge sums. Here we take a look at the house edge of online roulette as it compares to three other key games: slots, blackjack and video poker.
Let’s start with the greatest casino game of them all, roulette. The house edge, as discussed in our more detailed article solely on online roulette, is 2.70% in single zero roulette and almost double that, 5.26%, in double zero game. Aside from one bet on double zero roulette, the house edge remains the same no matter what the player does.
The house edge in blackjack is more complex than roulette because it is changed by two things. Any house edge figure quoted for online (or offline) blackjack assumes optimal play, basic strategy as it’s called, is being used. The house edge is the minimum figure possible but any deviation from basic strategy will serve to increase the casino’s advantage.
The other factor to consider is the exact rules of the blackjack variant being played. Lots of factors, including the number of decks being used, the payout for a “natural” blackjack and the splitting and doubling rules affect the house edge. Based on “typical” rules, as much as these exist, the house edge in blackjack is low, at around 1%.
The house edge in video poker is very similar to blackjack in that the same two factors, the player’s decisions and the precise rules, impact the house edge. It is also similar in that a typical house edge for the game will tend to be around the 1% mark and, as with blackjack, can often be lower, with full pay Jacks or Better offering an edge of just 0.46%.
Slots carry a high house edge, sometimes called the RTP, that can be as big as 15%. The player’s decisions don’t change this but it’s worth noting that some software companies allow casinos to control the house edge, so the same game at one site may have a different edge to that found at another. Around 5% is common.