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Online Casinos with Low House Edge

Smart gamblers learn as much as they can about the house edge. Playing any casino games means playing against the built-in edge the house establishes for every game. It isn’t entirely true that casino games have the same house edge across the board. Look at a game like blackjack, for example. Different rules in blackjack affect the edge the house has against the player. Playing against an eight deck shoe decreases the player’s advantage by more than half a percent, while a common casino rule that insists you can only double on 10 or 11 increases the house’s edge by a quarter of a percent.

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Casinos don’t make money because they’re luckier than the players; they make money because the odds are stacked, however small, in their own favor. The edge is the casino’s average profit for each bet. The house edge on every roulette bet is around 5% depending on house roulette rules. For each one dollar bet in roulette, the casino expects to keep five cents of that buck as profit, returning the other ninety-five cents to the players as winnings. Those ninety-five cent winnings keep the player coming back for more, and handing the casino more five cent pieces.

House Edge and Profit

Look at the bigger picture. If everyone in a casino on a given night wagers a total of $1,000,000, the casino expects to earn $50,000 in profit from those wagers.

Mathematics teaches us that the more a gambler plays, the closer their losses will approach the house’s expected profit. In layman’s terms? The casinos always win in the long-term.

Since the casino expects to make a profit, why do people gamble? That’s a question for a sociologist. It has something to do with the fact that everyone thinks they can beat the numbers, and something to do with the fact that gambling is fun. Let’s say you play blackjack for an hour with $5 bets. You should only lose about $1.50 every hour if you follow basic strategy. Throw in a couple of $5 tips, and your hour of entertainment has only cost you $11.50. That’s cheaper than a night at the movies or a dinner at a nice restaurant.

Online Casino House Edge

Picking an online casino based on its house edge means looking at the games they offer, the rules of those games, and your potential income from bonuses and other incentive programs.

You should look for online casinos that offer the casino games with the smallest house edge and then play those games. Here’s a list of games with a low house edge to look for when picking an online casino:


Played properly, baccarat offers the house an edge as low as 1.06%.

Blackjack (Vegas rules)

If you learn blackjack strategy and play at an online casino offering fairly liberal Vegas rules, the house has about a 0.25% edge against you.


There are a lot of awful bets in craps, but if you learn the right bets (Pass/Come and Place 6,8 for example) the house has only about a 1.5% edge against the player.

Pai Gow Poker

Again, if you know what you’re doing, the casino has only about a 1.6% edge against the player in Pai Gow.

Video Poker (Jacks or Better, for example)

Keeping proper video poker strategy in mind, video poker is right up there with craps and expertly-played blackjack as the easiest game to beat in the casino. The best video poker players give the house a less than 0.5% edge.

Other Low House Edge Online Casino Games

Some casino games are good bets against the house under certain conditions. If you’re looking for a low house edge, never play at an online casino that only offers “American” or “double-zero” roulette wheels. The difference in the house edge when you take away that one number from the wheel is about 2.5%, big enough to keep serious casino gamblers away from American style roulette games altogether. European-style roulette gives the house an advantage of about 2.5%, while American-style wheels crank that edge up to well over 5.5%.

Believe it or not, some slot machines give the house a very slim edge, especially the high-dollar slots. Casinos program slot machines to offer a specific payback percentage, usually advertised somewhere on the machine. You’ll notice that the larger a credit size for a slot machine is, the less edge the house has against the player. That’s because it is easier for the casino to make a profit on larger bet sizes. Penny, nickel, and even dollar slot machines aren’t very good bets, but some high-dollar slots offer a house edge of 2% or even less.

Altering the House Edge with Bonuses

Like joining the rewards club at a traditional casino, taking advantage of online casino bonuses is one way of shrinking the house’s edge against you. If you play a slot machine in Vegas for a few hours and the casino buys you two or three drinks and comps your steak dinner, you have to calculate the value of those freebies when you work out the house’s edge. If you lose $50 over the course of the night, but you eat and drink $50 or $60 worth of goodies for free, you’ve turned a profit.

The same is true for online casinos, except your profit doesn’t come from buffets and watery Cosmopolitans. Taking part in bonus programs puts the casino’s money back in your pocket. Make sure you’re playing casino games that count toward clearing your bonus, and stay on top of how much you have to wager versus how long your redemption period is. If the online casino of your choice is offering free money, take advantage of it. It’s like taking a bite out of their edge.

Finding online casinos with low house edge means doing your research, looking for casino sites that offer games with a low edge, and playing only those games that offer advantageous rules. Avoid American-style roulette, blackjack with restrictive rules, and sucker bets like penny slots, prop bets in craps, and dealer insurance in blackjack, and you’ll enjoy the lowest house edge possible.

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