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Its no secret that different casino games return substantially different amounts to players.  Of course the return that one player will get from a given game will be different to that which another player might get playing the same game, but what we are looking at here is what a particular casino game returns to al players over time.  And the difference between games is not small!

House Edge

Every casino game has an inbuilt mathematical house edge. That is, the rules of the game are devised such that on the balance of probabilities, over time, the house will return to players an amount that is less than it has received in bets.  The  difference between what is received in bets, and returned as winnings is called the house edge. Where $99 is returned on bets of $100, the house edge is 1%.  This can also be expressed as return to player rate (rtp rate), payout, or payback of 99%.  

Can you impact house edge?

While the house edge that a casino makes on each of its games will generally tend to a similar figure each period (for some games like slots it is predetermined so the figure is exactly the same!), that doesn't mean every player plays to that same house edge.  Experienced players who know what they are doing will generally play to a lower house edge than players who do not know what they are doing. And of course lucky players who enjoy nice wining streaks will certainly defy the house edge and take money from the casino.

For games of skill, there is no doubt that the way you play the game will impact the returns you receive.  If you know how to play blackjack basic strategy for example, you will be much better off than if you play blackjack and do not know what you are doing.

Does house edge vary much between online versus traditional play?

Not really.  Most online casinos replicate the rules followed in the major terrestrial casino jurisdictions so gaming returns are pretty similar.  Differences do occur for games of chance where rtp rates are pre-determined.  A good example of this is slots play, where terrestrial and online rtp rate differ substantially.  For more details on this read our slots returns page.

How much do returns vary from one game to the next?

In a word - enormously!  Set out blow are historical actual rtp rates for a number of games earned by a well known online casino (The Sands).  These rates have been independently audited.

Game

6 MTH AVE

Feb-08

Jan-08

Dec-07

Nov-07

Oct-07

Sep-07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baccarat

100.90

100.51

99.38

108.53

98.78

98.59

99.61

Black Jack

99.01

98.77

99.34

99.25

98.69

99.2

98.82

Java Craps

98.32

98.8

96.23

98.04

99.59

99.65

97.58

All Games 

97.98

97.71

98.11

97.92

98.11

98.11

97.89

Video Poker

97.77

97.77

98

97.25

98.18

97.26

98.16

Pai Gow Poker

97.07

97.75

98.2

92.25

95.38

101.54

97.29

Spice Island Poker

96.09

97.29

100.28

93.79

94.14

97.43

93.58

Video Slots

95.50

94.49

94.67

95.78

98.48

95.21

94.38

Roulette

94.85

93.04

94.88

98.47

97.45

91.48

93.8

Red Dog

89.33

89.3

89.54

103.64

78.45

85.27

89.79

Rags to Riches (slot)

84.01

83.93

77.4

84.83

88.74

90.93

78.2

The pay-table clearly demonstrates that 'skill' games like blackjack and craps clearly return more than no-skill games link slots. The one exception is Baccarat - the high rollers favorite. Baccarat is a very simple game where you choose your bet and then let the dealer play out the game.  However, if you choose the correct bet is is a high returning game.  See our baccarat strategy page for more details.

And yes, the above pay-table does mean that over the  months to Feb 05, this casino lost money to its baccarat players.

So choose your game wisely and good luck!

 

 

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