Casino odds guide: how to crush the house edge

You might be thinking, “yeah, sure I know what odds are” but did you know that casino odds are different from normal odds?
The casino’s odds are lies.

There are two types of odds in this world. One is true odds and the other is the casino’s house odds. The house odds are what the game payouts are based on.

Scientists Blackboard
Crazy Fact 1 The difference between these two types of odds is what creates the casino’s house edge.

What does ‘House Edge’ mean?

The house edge is what the casino uses to make its money. The higher the house edge is in a game, the more likely you are to lose money betting on it.

Blackboard Odds

A Game by game guide to casino odds

  • Blackjack Odds

    Online Blackjack

    Blackjack is the casino game with the lowest house edge. If you play using perfect strategy, you can knock it down to 0.28%. Online, it’s possible to get that house edge down to about 0.12%. How? By picking your game wisely.

    The house advantage grows by 0.02% for every deck you add to the game. So, go for single or double deck blackjack games. Games where the dealer has to stand on 17 are better too because this changes the house edge to -0.13%, giving the player the advantage.

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  • Crazy Fact 2
    Roulette Odds

    Online Roulette

    There’s one important difference between American roulette and European roulette games. The house edge is 2.7% in European roulette but it’s a massive 5.26% in American roulette. These odds represent the fact that the American roulette wheel has ‘0’ and a ‘00’ slots, whereas the European version only has one ‘0’.

    That’s why you have a 48.6% chance of winning when you bet on red/black in European roulette and a 47.4% in American roulette.

    Always check that the game you’re playing pays the full 35 to 1 payout for a single number too. Tweaking payouts is something sneaky casinos often do, thinking no one will notice. Even a switch to 33 to 1 doubles the house edge from 5.26% to 10.53%.

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  • Baccarat Odds

    Online Baccarat

    In online baccarat the odds favor the banker, just like they do at land-based casinos. Based on the standard 8 deck game, the probability of a banker win is 0.4586% and the probability of a player win is 0.4462%.

    If you want to make a profit, stay away from tie bets. Even though the payout is higher at 8 to 1, the house edge on a tie bet is 14.36%. It’s only 1.06% on banker bets and 1.24% on player bets.

    In order for the house to keep an edge in baccarat, every winning banker bet is subject to a 0.5% commission.

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  • Crazy Fact 3
    Casino Wars Odds

    Online Casino Wars

    Casino Wars is popular because it’s so simple. There’s a simple odds based strategy you can follow too. If you surrender every time you and the dealer tie then the casino will have a house edge of 3.7% but if you go to war every time, then the house edge reduces to 2.88%.

    Try to find a Casino Wars game that offers a bonus for consecutive ties too. These rules mean the house edge is knocked down to just 1.24%.

  • Video Poker Odds

    Online Video Poker

    Most gamblers know that video poker is famous because some versions of the game have payout percentages above 100%. A little-known fact is that even if you haven’t studied video poker strategy, you can still get a better payout rate from a video poker machine than any other game at the casino.

    With perfect strategy you’ll get a payout percentage of 99.54% but even if you’re a newbie, you can expect an average payout percentage of 99.52%.

    Also, aim for video poker games that give you ‘full pay’ with 9/6 paytables. This is when a full house pays 9 to 1 and a flush pays 6 to 1. A video poker game that cuts the pay on a flush to 1 to 5 will reduce the game’s payout percentage from around 100% to 95%.

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  • Crazy Fact 4
    Online Slots Odds

    Online Slots

    Slots games are an odds lover’s nightmare because they’re the only casino game where you can’t calculate the odds of a win. Slot outcomes are run by random number generators and each game’s mechanics are different.

    As a rough guide though, a 10 symbol 5 reel online slot with 20 paylines can churn out over 33.5 million different symbol combinations. In comparison, video poker has only 2.6 million possible combinations and there are just 1,326 potential starting hands in single deck blackjack.

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Are online casino odds better than land-based ones?

Land Based vs Online

Yes, is the simple answer.

Land-based casinos pay out an average of 88% of every Canadian dollar you bet there. The best online casinos pay out 95-97%.

This isn’t down to the online casinos feeling generous. It’s because business wise, running a casino on the Internet is very different to operating a land-based one:

  • Online casinos can afford to let you win more often. They don’t have to pay rent for prime real estate or pay massive bills like offline ones do. Internet casinos also employ fewer people, so staff salaries take up less of their budget.
  • The traditional casino experience isn’t just about gambling. It’s about drinking, socializing and maybe seeing a show. Online casinos know they can’t offer these extra benefits so they give players more wins instead.
  • Online casinos aren’t restricted by space. That means they can offer you a better range of games. If you visit a Canadian land-based casino you won’t necessarily be able to play European roulette, for example. Online you can play whatever games you want. These less common variants of games tend to have better odds for the player too.