House edge, which basically is nothing but the commission charged by a gambling agent, for instance a lottery administrator, a bookmaker or online casino, is the yardstick which measures whether a certain gambling endeavour is actually reasonable and fair at core, or not.
House edge is also one of the most significant factors which must be kept in mind by every sports bettor whenever he engages in any sort of gambling or sports betting activity. It’s a very good indicator of the amount of money (from the bet) that goes into the pocket of the bookmaker / gambling agent / online casino and the percentage that gets redistributed among the winners.
Quite obviously, you are very unlikely to have a situation wherein this house edge would be zero, as every lottery administrator, bookmaker and online casino is in it to make some money, so as to cover its expenses, apart from generating some profit for itself. Still, whenever we talk about a high house edge, it simply implies a situation wherein sports bettors get ripped-off by way of high betting margins, and hence should stay away from any such online casino or bookmaker that charges them unreasonably. One of the major exceptions in this regard is the Bet365 casino which charges very reasonable house edge on all its offerings. You can learn all about Bet365 and the bonuses offered by it, publicized as well as non-publicized, by visiting.
Let’s carry out a comparison between the house edges you’re most likely going to witness at the roulette tables, lottery games and sports bets with even odds. These are fairly good representatives of the three significant gambling categories.
The simplest way in which you can calculate the house edge is by comparing the actual winnings paid out by an online casino, bookmaker or lottery agent with what may actually get paid in a fair betting environment.
Throwing some more light on the fair bet or fair game environment, it is one wherein no commission is charged by the bookmaker, online casino or lottery agent – a model which you normally follow when you place bets against your friends.
We can obtain the house edge in terms of percentage by subtracting the actual money won (after paying out margin or commission) from the money that could be won if there was a fair game environment, and then dividing the resultant figure by the fair game winning amount. The obtained result should then be multiplied by 100 to arrive at the percentage figure. Therefore,
House Edge = [(fair game winning amount – actual winning amount) / fair game winning amount] x 100
In case of roulette game
Owing to the popularity and simplicity of the roulette game, we can consider it as being the ideal representative of all casino games, with regard to calculation of the house edge.
European roulette wheels have grooves in them that are marked by numbers 0 to 36. The Las Vegas roulette wheel or the American wheel has an extra groove which is marked ’00.’ Therefore, in essence, a European roulette wheel has a total of 37 numbers on it, while the Las Vegas or American wheel has a total of 38 numbers on it.
If we refer to the Internet based casinos, for instance the kinds of Bet365 etc., they provide you the option of selecting the kind of roulette you wish to play. However, brick and mortar casinos usually don’t have any such choice and you’re limited by only one single type of roulette wheel. In the game of roulette, the winning number is the number printed on the groove wherein the spinning ball finally lands.
Now, if we were to compare this to a fair game environment wherein 38 friends are playing roulette at home, with each one selecting one number and then placing a £ 1 bet on that number (with no two players, or more than two players betting on the exactly same number), in this case whenever the ball is spun, followed by it landing on a specific groove, the number corresponding to the groove it lands on, would be the winning number. The player who had selected that winning number would win all the money collected on the table, thus winning a total of £ 37.
However, if the same game were to be played in an online casino or an off-line establishment, the chances are that the winning player would be paid no more than £ 35.
If we take into account the difference between these two winning amounts and apply it to the equation provided above, we’ll arrive at the house edge of the roulette game as follows:
House edge = ((37 – 35) / 37) x 100 = (2 / 37) x 100 = 5.4%
It implies that every time you place a £ 100 bet in an offline / online casino roullete table, £ 5.4 is handed it to the respective off-line / online casino, and the remaining amount is redistributed among the winners.
There are all sorts of games you can play in an offline or online casino, and the house edge may also vary from one game to the other. Many casino games have a house edge which is comparatively lesser than that offered on the roulette tables.
It is the mark of a good gambler to always play in only those off-line / online casino games that feature a low house edge. On the other hand, a casino may adopt all sorts of tricks to encourage gamblers to play the games with higher house edges. For instance, the usual house edge applicable to craps is in the vicinity of 1.4%, making it one of the most regularly played off-line / online casino games by gamblers.
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In case of sports bets with even odds
Again, simply owing to their simplicity, we’ll take into account the evens odd sports bets to be the ideal representative of this gambling category.
When we refer to even odds, we essentially mean that the concerned event under consideration (normally a sports event) has the same chance of going either side. A good example in this regard could be a tennis match happening between two top level players, both of which have the same chance of emerging victorious.
In this scenario, a fair bet would be a simple bet placed between two friends who wager money on either of these tennis players to emerge victorious. So, if these two friends were to bet £ 10 each, the winner of the bet would collect £ 20, thus essentially profiting £ 10. On the other hand, if the same bet were to be placed via a bookmaker, the chances are that the winner may collect no more than £ 19.10, as the odds offered on even games by majority of bookmakers are in the vicinity of 1.91.
In case you don’t have much idea about the decimal odds, 1.91 odds are the equivalent of 10/11 in the UK fractional odds system and -110 in terms of the American odds system. 10/11 odds would imply that you’ll get back £ 10 if you were to place a bet of £ 11, and -110 odds would mean that you’d need to bet £ 110 so as to win £ 100. Regardless, as the winnings awarded by majority of bookmakers on even odds is £ 0.91, if you want to figure the house edge in case of even odds betting, you can calculate it using the following formula:
((1 – 0.91) / 1) x 100 = 0.09 x 100 = 9%
This is precisely how every bookmaker or online casino earns money. As there are a large number of online casinos that provide odds higher than 1.91 on even bets, so as to lure more number of bettors, the house edge in their case could be significantly larger than 9%. In fact, if we talk about big parlay bets, the house edge therein can go up to 40%!
As it may be fairly evident by now, it’s in a gambler’s best interest to play only casino games and maintain a safe distance from sports betting activities. However, this is where smart sports bettors score an edge over their counterparts and bookmakers. They know how to take advantage of various betting-related situations and stay profitable in the long term.
You should also keep in mind that even though house edge is a significant factor in selection of gambling games, it’s not the only one you should refer to. To give you an example, you must also keep in mind the fact that majority of casino games are no more than games of chance. On the other hand, indulging in sports betting is mostly about making well-informed decisions related to your picks, thereby enjoying a higher probability of scoring a winning bet.
In case of cash 3 lottery
This type of lottery game is known by many different names, for instance Daily 3, Play 3, Pick 3 etc. depending on the place where it is played. In this particular game, the player needs to select any 3-digit number from the range of 000 to 999. That specific number is played either as a box or a straight. When it’s played as a straight, it involves betting on the possibility that the number gotten from the lottery will be exactly the same as the one which is selected. Playing as a box is about betting on the possibility of the selected number being the same as the lottery number, in any specific order.
Let’s understand this better with the help of an example. Let’s say your selection is number 537 and you opt to play it straight. In this case, you’ll emerge victorious from this bet only and only if the number drawn in the lottery is exactly 537 and nothing else. Alternatively, if you had opted to play this number as a box, you’d be victorious as long as the number drawn from the lottery consists of the digits 5, 3 and 7, no matter what their order of occurrence may be, for instance, it could be 375, 753, 357 or anything else. Hope you get the drift!
As you may have guessed by now, playing the numbers straight would obviously deliver higher returns compared to a box game.
Now consider a situation where 1000 friends walk into a casino and select one number each as a straight bet, placing £ 10 bet on each number, in a way that all 1000 numbers are covered. Once the winning number has been drawn, it is the person who had selected the lucky number who’d be declared the winner and collect the £ 10,000 cash, essentially making him richer by £ 9990. This can be termed as a fair game. However, if we talk about generally offered lotteries, the winner may get no more than £ 5000 as winnings. In that case, he’d essentially be richer by £ 4990. The house edge in this scenario can be calculated using the following formula:
((9990 – 4990) / 9990) x 100 = (5000 / 9990) x 100 = 50%
Hence, the house edge is 50%, which is not only the case in Cash 3 lottery game, but also in a large majority of other popular lottery games like Fantasy 5, Powerball, Lotto, Cash 5, Play 4 etc. so, whenever you indulge in lottery bets, keep in mind that you’re essentially going to win half of the actual winnings, the remaining half would be given away. Now where this other half goes shouldn’t be a gambler’s concern!
Whenever we talk about and study house edge, it would become clearer that casino games are the best option for any gambler. Lotteries are at the other end of the spectrum that have miserably high house edge. Regardless, the gambler also gets the chance of winning a significant amount!
Just like lotteries, games played in an offline / online casino, for instance Bet365, are also about chance, implying that the gambler must pick a number or several numbers, and then wait if the luck is indeed in his favour or not. There is no specific way in which you can select one number over the others. However, the situation is quite different when it comes to sports betting. As you may have access to plenty of information on the Internet, and sometimes even insider information from the seasoned sports handicappers, you can more accurately predict the outcome of sports events compared to predicting any lottery number.