What is the House Edge at a Casino?
Historically, a casino was a social club where people enjoyed music, dancing and gambling. In the 21st century, however, casinos are more like indoor amusement parks for adults. Most are staffed with employees who keep an eye on patrons and watch games. Then there are security guards who protect the casino floor from distractions.
Roulette, blackjack and baccarat are the most popular games at casinos. These games provide billions of dollars in profits to casinos in the U.S. Each year.
For most of the games, the house edge is the advantage that the casino has over the player. Typically, the casino takes a small percentage of the total winnings of the bet, known as a “rake.” Some casinos require a 1 percent advantage. The house edge is based on a mathematical expectation of how much profit the casino will make from the game.
A casino’s advantage depends on the way the players play. Some players have superstitions that affect their game. Others are just plain irrational. The house edge can vary from less than one percent to over two percent.
The house edge is calculated based on the odds of each game. The casino can make money only if it wins more than the player puts up.
Casinos do their best to protect their patrons. They have security personnel, who can spot blatant cheating. They also enforce rules of conduct. They have cameras in the ceiling, which can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. The video feed is recorded and reviewed later.