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House Edge

There’s an everlasting term in casino circles, “the house always wins.” Not true. However, every casino game does have a house edge. The house edge was built into every casino game the day it was created. Casino games have a predictable long-term advantage to the casino, or "house," while offering the player the possibility of a large short-term payout. Think of lottery tickets. Though the payout for a lottery can be $250 million, there is still a house advantage in terms of the money spent overall by each customer. If lottery companies didn’t have an advantage they likely wouldn’t offer lotto services. Understanding this concept is crucial to getting the most out of playing online slots for real money.

While the house edge for online blackjack is easy to find, it can be difficult with slot machines. This is because each machine is different. You might hear a house advantage anywhere between two and 15 percent. What convolutes the data is that slots are run with a random number generator. Every spin is a new, random beginning.

That means the house edge can go far above the norm while you play, only to balance out long after you’ve run out of cash.

The old-school way to figure the house advantage is to count the number of reels and the amount of symbols on each reel for a particular machine. Some 3-reel slots have 15 symbols per reel. Do the math (multiply 15 three times) and the odds come up to one in 3,375 chances of winning the jackpot. But when you dabble with video slots (they offer up to 25 paylines) gauging the house edge takes math reserved for those who land robots on Mars.

You can better your edge by finding the machine that fits you. Some machines offer solid payouts for betting one credit. Others offer a huge increase in winnings once you bet the maximum. When playing machines with multiple paylines the payouts become a lot more frequent once you max out. However it could pay less than the credits you put in at times

Ultimately, leave the house edge data to MIT blackjack players and poker pros.