The House Edge

Casino games, such as Roulette, Blackjack, Punto Banco etc, are bankers’ games and, as such, are games of ‘unequal chance’. The nature and structure of these games therefore gives an advantage to the casino (the House). This is called the House ‘Edge’, and it gives a measure of the percentage that a casino would expect to retain, on average, from each hand or spin, given normal patterns of play. In very simple terms, it largely works in two ways:-

• In games such as Blackjack, for example, the Dealer wins all bets from losing players, even if their own hand is also bust. This is because the Dealer ‘holds the bank’. By contrast, a player will only win if their own hand beats that of the Dealer.
• In other bankers’ games, like Roulette, the ‘Edge’ is achieved by the casino paying slightly less than the ‘true’ odds for a particular bet. For example, the true odds for a single Roulette number to win are 36 to 1, since there are 37 compartments on the wheel. However, winning bets are actually paid at 35 to 1.

The ‘Edge’ is a universally accepted feature of international casino gaming and, in fact, is often less in the UK than that applied in many other countries. None the less, the casino industry and the Gambling Commission both support a policy of openness and clarity towards those participating in UK gaming, so this leaflet aims to make players aware of the House ‘Edge’ and help them understand the way it is applied.

Only the basic House ‘Edge’ percentages have been illustrated. However, please note that these figures will vary in certain playing conditions. In Blackjack, for example, the Edge can fluctuate widely (both for and against the House) depending on the techniques applied by individual players.There are many books and websites dedicated to the best playing strategy to assist players in developing their own technique.

The games that can be played, and the related odds,  can be found on the UK Casino Table Games website at www.ukcasinotablegames.info/All percentage figures given are in favour of the House.

Blackjack

4 decks (best technique) 0.51% (0.85% where the dealer may draw on ‘soft’ 17)
6 decks (best technique) 0.55% (0.89% where the dealer may draw on ‘soft’ 17)

Perfect Pairs

Pay Table 1 (recommended 4 decks) 6.76%
Pay Table 2 (recommended 6 decks) 5.79%

If only minimum odds used:-

Four Decks              
11.59%
Six Decks 13.83%

21+3 Side Bet

4 Decks               
4.24%
6 Decks 3.23%

21+3 Blackjack Top 3                 9%

Roulette

Even chance bets 1.35%
Bets on the layout 2.70%

Please Note:

All the above percentage figures are the average expectations but can vary due to customer playing style.

All percentage figures given are in favour of the House.

Casino Stud Poker

On a standard game 2.51%
With ‘progressive Jackpot’ 4.30%
Bonus Insurance sidebet 3.59%

per total wager

Baccarat

If ‘Bank’ wins   
1.06%
If ‘Player’ wins                  
1.24%
If a tie at 9-1 4.84%

Baccarat Pairs

If any pair in either bank or player's hand     10.36%

Three Card Poker 

On ‘Pair Plus’ wagers 2.7%
Prime Three Card Poker 3.62%
Progressive TCP 24.2%
Overall game 2.0%

Please Note:

All the above percentage figures are the average expectations but can vary due to customer playing style.