Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Looking at the House Edge

For three decades, John F. Abate has operated companies which provide printed guides to gambling topics, including Marketforce and Wintrack. One element of gambling that experts like John F. Abate look at when assessing a game is the house edge.

A gambling game's house edge represents the extent to which a casino or similar establishment makes money on every bet. While individual bets can go well or poorly, the house can be reasonably confident that over the course of thousands of bets, its overall take will be dictated by the game's house edge. Typical calculations of a house edge assume the player is using the optimal strategy for the game in question.

A game with a negligible house edge, such as the 0.5 percent edge of blackjack, is relatively safe for a gambler. The odds of the player winning are almost matched with those of the house winning, so players who play briefly and have a decent run of luck are likely to come out ahead. A game with a larger house edge, such as roulette, keno, or slots, is a riskier proposition for a gambler, especially during long sets. Games which require more thought, effort, or experience typically have a lower house edge.