Learn What House Edge Means When Playing Casino Games

Casino games such as roulette, blackjack, Punto Banco and others are known as bankers' games because these are games of unequal chance, and the nature and structure of them gives an advantage to the casino. This advantage is known as the "house edge". It gives a measure of the percentage that a gaming hall would expect to retain, on average, from each hand or spin given normal patterns of play. In simpler terms, it works in two ways.

Dealers and Bankers

In casino games such as blackjack, the dealer wins all bets from losing players, even if their own hand is also a bust. This is because the dealer "holds the bank". By contrast, a player will only win if their own hand beats the dealer's.


In other bankers' games, like roulette, the house 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 slots on the wheel. However, winning bets are actually paid at 35 to 1.

UK Gaming

The house edge is a universally accepted feature of international gambling and, in fact, is often less in the UK than applied in many other countries. Nonetheless, the gambling industry and the UK Gambling Commission both support a policy of clarity towards those participating in UK gaming. Be sure to check out the house edge percentage on all casino games in the UK.


Only the basic percentages have been illustrated. However, note that these figures will vary in certain playing conditions. For example, in blackjack, the edge can fluctuate widely (both for and against the house) depending on the techniques applied by individuals. There are many books and sites dedicated to the best strategies to assist players in developing their own winning technique. The edge may also differ depending on the odds payable at individual gaming halls.

Be Sure To Check

Gamblers should always check the information applicable to the casino they are attending before they participate in any gaming. This can be found either in directory leaflets, or other means of displaying the information. But rest assured that it is a requirement at all gambling premises.