Full Guide on Casino House Edge

House Edge Explained

/ 8 min

We will explore the meaning and facts behind casino house edge. Use our guide to find the gambling games with the best odds in New Zealand.

Best Casino Games with the Lowest House Edge in NZ

Game Best house odds Bet type/best rules Standard deviation
Baccarat 1.06% Banker 0.93
Baccarat 1.24% Player 0.95
Baccarat 14.36% Tie 2.64
Blackjack 0.28% Liberal Vegas rules 1.15
Craps 1.36% Don’t pass/don’t come 0.99
Craps 16.67% Any seven 1.86
Craps 1.41% Pass/Come 1.00
Craps 1.52% Place 6,8 1.08
Craps 11.11% Any craps 2.51
European Roulette 2.70% Single Zero e
American Roulette 5.26% Double Zero e
Video Poker 0.46% Jacks or Better 4.42
Keno 25%-29% / 1.30-46.04
Wild Hold ’em Fold ’em 6.86% / d
Red Dog 2.80% Six decks 1.60
Caribbean Stud Poker 5.22% / 2.24
Three Card Poker 7.28% Pairplus 2.85

What Casino Games Have the Best Odds?

  1. Blackjack offers the best odds overall, and a low edge of 0.28% with Liberal Vegas rules.
  2. Baccarat has a house edge of 1.06% for a Banker bet.
  3. Crap’s best bet is the Don’t Pass bet, of which the casino will keep 1.36% over the long run.
  4. The best online Roulette sites offer a highly competitive edge of 2.70% if you play the European variant.
  5. Video poker as a Full Play version is another potentially profitable option, with a low 0.5% house edge.

What Is the House Edge?

What Is the House Edge

The house edge is a standard value denoting the casino’s mathematical advantage over players. The value describes the average expected result statistically.

The house odds reveal the percentage of a wager the platform retains as profit.

To put things into perspective, it is the opposite of slot games’ payout rate.

Why trust our casino selection

Our list of online casinos in NZ can be trusted because it’s subject to licensor regulations. Such rules constrain online gambling sites to publish the odds for each game.

House Advantage vs Payout rate

  • The concepts are two faces of the same coin
  • European roulette has a 2.7% built-in casino advantage, then its payout rate is 97.3%
  • Similarly, Starburst is a slot with an approximate payout rate of 96.1%
  • That means the gambling site keeps around 3.9% of all wagers
  • Don’t forget that these stats are calculated over long series of wagers

How to Evaluate the House Edge on Casino Games

How to Evaluate the House Edge on Casino Games

  1. The house advantage expresses how much the casino will profit from each game, on average.
  2. Even if you have net winnings in one round, along multiple ones, the result will round out to the house edge’s description.
  3. You shouldn’t see it as if casinos were cheating because that’s not the case.
  4. Gaming platforms publish the house odds for every game of chance in their portfolio.

From a player’s perspective, you get the best gambling odds when you identify the lowest edge on casino games.

Casino House Edge Example

Due to its built-in advantage, the casino will always be in a better position to win than the player.

However, if you apply the correct gambling strategies and choose the best odds, you might overcome part of that advantage.

Real-life roulette example

  • For every $100 wagered during a gaming session at the roulette table, that casino will keep around $2.7.
  • However, the house advantage applies over a long-term period and serves more as a guiding principle.
  • Even when a player is on a winning streak, the gambling venue will beat most other players, taking its 2.7% from them.

House Odds are Probabilistic

The house odds represent a probability, i.e., a mathematically derived percentage that shows how often something will occur if repeated in a specific number of instances.

In gambling, the longer a player bets, the closer he will get to the statistical house advantage or payout rates.

Expected Value for the Best House Edge Casino Games

Expected Value for the Best House Edge Casino Games

  1. Blackjack: -0,5%
  2. European Roulette: -2,7%
  3. American Roulette: -5,26%
  4. Caribbean Stud Poker: -5,22%
  5. Baccarat Banker: -1,05%
  6. Craps Don’t Pass: -1,36%
  7. Video Poker: -1%
What is a game’s expected value?

The expected value in gambling is an estimate of how much a player can win or lose based on the game’s payouts and odds.

Gambling games have a negative expected value because they are built to favour the casino.

More Aspects for Casino Games with Best Odds

More Aspects for Casino Games with Best Odds

Your chances of winning or losing at a casino game go beyond the descriptive house edge.

Other parameters paint a more detailed picture of the best gambling odds.

Comprehensive knowledge of all relevant gambling concepts is the best recipe for productive outcomes.

Element of Risk

Since there are many variables during a game, you should consider the casino edge to only be an approximation of your chances of winning.

How can the element of risk help you?

Expert players from New Zealand use the element of risk to calculate a more realistic probability of winning during multiple betting rounds.

It offers a modified house advantage by taking into consideration your average losses and dividing that by the money bet overall.

An element of risk with a smaller percentage translates into better potential outcomes.

Element of Risk Table

Game Casino Advantage Elementof Risk
Three Card Poker 3.37% 2.01%
Blackjack 0.43% 0.38%
Mississippi Stud 4.91% 1.37%
Caribbean Stud 5.22% 2.56%
Let It Ride 3.51% 2.85%
Wild Hold’em Poker 6.86% 3.23%

Standard Deviation

Applying the concept of standard deviation in gambling can help you calculate bankroll volatility.

The standard deviation shows the range of variations in results.

A low standard deviation means that most results will resemble the computed average, which in gambling translates to getting expected results as per the odds.

On the other hand, a high standard deviation points to more dispersion. That’s equivalent to less predictability and more bankroll volatility. In other words, you risk more.

The table below shows the outcomes of sessions within various numbers of standard deviations.

Standard Deviation Table

Number Probability
0.25 18%
0.50 38%
0.75 55%
1.00 68%
1.25 78%
1.50 86%
1.75 92%
2.00 95%
2.25 97%
2.50 98%
2.75 99%
3.00 99%


In a land-based casino the hold is a correlation between the sold chips and the chips kept by the house.

It is another way of computing house profits, and it gets expressed as a percentage.

The same goes for online gambling sites and games.

For example, for a slot machine with 94% RTP, the average hold is 6%.

The hold isn’t fixed, and it constantly changes as players win or lose at the table.

Hold Example

  • We can take a baccarat table to illustrate the hold.
  • Suppose a player wagers $100 on multiple bets.
  • After a few rounds, he ends up with $75.
  • In that case, the table keeps $25, which means the hold is 25%.

What about major casino returns?

The hold can go over 100% when players get positive returns.

Suppose a player puts $100 in a slot machine and triggers a jackpot of $1,000 after a few spins.

In that case, the hold is actually negative (-900%) since the house must pay the jackpot.

When you play no deposit slot games, the hold is technically negative, which means the online casino would be in the red.

However, realistically speaking, they just don’t give out free funds. That’s where the slot’s payout rate and RNG mechanics come into play, distributing no deposit returns randomly.

Hands per Hour

Hands per hour show the median number of hands played during a specific game.

The number of players participating in the game can influence the final number of hands played per hour.

Hands per Hour Table

Games Hands per Hour Casino Edge
Blackjack 70 0.5%
Baccarat 72 1.2%
Craps 48 1.58%
American Roulette 38 5.26%
Let It Ride 52 2.4%
3 Way Action 70 2.2%
Pai Gow 30 1.65%
Caribbean Stud Poker 50 1.46%
Big Six 10 15.53%

Key Takeaways for the House Edge for NZ Players

  1. The casino edge guarantees its long-term advantage over players.
  2. It varies between casino games, but blackjack has the lowest.
  3. Casino tables’ edge is equivalent to a reversed payout rate in slot games.
  4. The metric dictates the average profit the gaming venue will make from a specific game.
  5. To get the best gambling odds, you should search for games with a lower house edge.


What does the house edge mean?

Typically, it is calculated as a long-term built-in advantage represented as a percentage of wagered sums the casino gets to keep.

What is a good house edge from a player’s perspective?

The best games will have a lower edge, making them more favourable for players. Look for games with an advertised edge ranging from 0.5% to 2%, but anything over 5% is generally unfavourable.

What’s better, a high or low house advantage?

Search for a low casino edge to reduce your potential losses. A higher percentage means poorer chances to win, and higher losses will incur over the long term. The best option to minimise losses is to play games with low house odds and practice shorter gaming sessions with responsible bankroll management.

What casino game has the lowest house edge?

Blackjack is one of the best odds casino games at 0.5%, while baccarat and craps are a strong second and third with 1.06% and 1.36%.
Francisc Csiki
Author Francisc Csiki Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

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