All games which can be found in the casinos have a long term advantage for the house or the casino while it provides the players the possibility of winning some money in the short term. There are several casinos which do have a skill element where the players can make a decision which can change the outcome of the games. It is possible for the skillful players to minimize the house edge, however, it is extremely rare for a player to be skillful enough to totally eliminate his disadvantage in the long term in any casino game.
The player's disadvantage
The true odds of a game are the payouts which can be expected considering the odds of winning or losing. For example, if a player has to bet on the number which would occur by rolling dice, the true odds of the game would be five times the amount which is bet since the probability of any number appearing is 1/6th. However, the casino will only pay the winner 4 times the amount bet if the player wins.
The house edge
The house edge is the profit of the casino and is often expressed as a percentage of the original bet of the player. However, in games like Spanish 21 or blackjack the final bet could be more than the original bet if the player doubles his bet.
In American roulette the wheel has 36 numbers and two zeroes. Half of these numbers are black and half of them are red. If a player bets $1 on black, his chances of winning are 18/38. The expected value of the player is the probability of winning + the probability of loosing. In American roulette the house edge is 5.26%. If a player bets $1 for ten rounds then the house profit would be $1 x 10 x 5.26% (the house edge) = $0.23.
However, this is just an average number for the profit won by the casino. The house edge will vary according to the game and the situation. In Keno, the house edge could be as much as 25% while in slots the edge can be 15%. In Australian Pontoon games, the house edge can be as less as 0.3%. In roulette the calculation of the house edge can be very complicated while in the other games it is relatively simple.
House edge in skilled games
In games of skill like Spanish 21 and Blackjack, the house edge is the advantage of the house based on optimal play without the use of card counting or other advanced techniques. All the optimal plays which are used by the players are known as the basic strategy and it is based on these strategies that the house edge is calculated.
All good players try to decrease the house edge as much as they can so that they can increase their own odds for winning at the games.
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