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HOME > > How the Casino Gets Its Edges

How the Casino Gets Its Edges

16 November 2023

By Royal Flushes

CINDY: All casino players know that the casino has an edge at every game and that in the long run, and also in the somewhat short run for some or many players, those players can be behind never to recover.

ABBIE: That’s the truth; unvarnished and real that every casino player faces. Yes, the casino makes playing their games a fun experience. I mean the casino itself is a wonderland of sights and sounds and excited players rushing here and there or intent on the games they are playing.

CINDY: After decades I still get excited entering a casino. I have to remind myself that I face an uphill battle and that I am never guaranteed a win. Sometimes the very casino itself mesmerizes you. You have to sort of pinch yourself to remember what you are attempting to do and why it is so hard.

ABBIE: So how does the casino get its edge over the players?

CINDY: The edge can be achieved in two ways. The casino can win more decisions than the player. You’ll find that at the craps table with the pass line and come bets. Other bets? Well, the casino can pay back what is called “casino odds.”

ABBIE: Take a look at roulette. The wheel we play, which is called the American wheel, has 38 numbers; 1-36 and 0 and 00. The chance of hitting one number of those 38 is one in 38 or 37-to-1. That 37-to-1 is the true odds of the bet and a fair payout for hitting a number should be 37-to-1.

CINDY: But the casino cannot make any money by paying the true odds of the bet. It must shortchange the players by taking two from the player’s win making the winning bet pay 35-to-1. That becomes a house edge of 5.26 percent. That’s a pretty big edge in the scheme of things.

ABBIE: As an aside – why would you play roulette then?

CINDY: Because the game is leisurely and you can last a pretty long time playing it.

ABBIE: Now take a look at blackjack. The house wins about 48 decisions, the player wins about 44 decisions and about eight decisions are pushes (draws). Wouldn’t the house edge be immense in such a case?

CINDY: It would but the casino offers options on playing certain hands which can increase the winning amounts of the players or decrease the lowing amounts. A player playing perfect basic strategy can keep the house edge to about one-half percent. For example, traditional blackjack pays a blackjack hand three to two. You can put more money up on certain bets that favor the player. Blackjack can be a fast game if the player plays one-to-one or so against the dealer so it is best to play at a table that is full or nearly full of players.

ABBIE: Craps also has many bets, usually poor bets, where the casino does not pay back the full amount based on the odds. That is just like roulette. The edges on most of those bets are very high but so many players succumb to what they feel are high payouts.

CINDY: High payouts usually have high edges. Those bets should be avoided.

ABBIE: Reading helps players understand what are the good bets and what are the worst bets in the casino. You always have a better chance to win if you make the good bets.

CINDY: And that’s the truth.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Royal Flushes
Abby Royal is a lawyer and Cindy Royal is a school administrator. Together, they are the Royal Flushes. The sisters play weekly or bi-weekly in such venues as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos throughout the country.

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