18th Aug2020

Goodbye House Edge, Hello RTP

by James Smith

“The house always wins” is one of the best-known phrases both inside and outside of the casino world. Obviously, this is true when you view casino gambling at a macro level; however, there are a few people who manage to come out on top. So, why does the house always win? Quite simply because the casino holds a probability advantage (of winning) over the players. This is what is known as the ‘house edge’ or the ‘casino’s advantage’.

Let’s take the classic game of roulette. On a European wheel with one zero pocket, the house edge is 2.70%. This is due to the odds against winning a single number bet are 36 to 1, but the payout is only 35 to 1. With a house edge of 2.70%, roulette players know that over the lifetime of this game, they will lose $2.70 on every $100 wagered. No strategy or betting system will ever change that. However, casino bosses and game developers don’t want to promote the fact that players are destined to lose, the longer they play. With this in mind, the term ‘house edge’ has been phased out, and it’s been replaced by RTP.

What is RTP?

RTP stands for Return To Player. This is the amount of money that the game you are playing will payout over an indefinite number of spins/hands. Once more, using European roulette as an example, the RTP is 97.30%. In other words, players ‘win’ (on average) $97.30 for every $100 wagered.

As you can see the return to player percentage is simply the house edge flipped over. Instead of saying how much a player will lose, a positive spin is put on it by telling players what they can expect to win. You have to admit that sounds rather more appealing, don’t you think?

Casino Games With High RTP

Many games in the casino that offer outstanding value. For sure, the pit boss will hold the upper hand, but in some cases, the edge is less than 1%. These are some of our favourites.

  • Video Poker
    If you look around, you’ll find an abundance of online video poker games that have a 99% plus RTP. However, in most cases, you do need to play the game with the maximum number of coins to reap this benefit. The beauty of video poker is its simplicity. All you need is a basic understanding of poker hand ranks, and you can start playing. It has been a popular game in the US and Canada for some time now; and thanks to internet casinos, many other players from around the world are giving it a go.
  • Blackjack
    Blackjack is the king of casino card games. Much like video poker, there are several variants of blackjack with a house edge of less than 1%, such Single Deck Blackjack, European Blackjack, Double Exposure and Blackjack Switch. In order to get the most value from the game of blackjack, you need to follow the correct strategy. There are many blackjack strategy charts on the internet to guide you along the way. Essentially, a strategy chart tells you what the optimum decision is when playing your hand. Casino bosses love patrons who simply play on their gut feeling. Certainly, they may hit a few lucky wins, but the dealer will pick up many more.
  • Slots
    When it comes to high RTP casino games, many people don’t think of video slots. However, there are a few gems worth catching. Among the highest RTP slots are NetEnt’s Mega Joker, Playtech’s Ugga Bugga and Ooh Aah Dracula by Barcrest. Each of these games can claim a place in the 99% RTP club. An appealing feature of modern online slots is they offer some amazing jackpots. It’s possible to win hundreds, thousands or even millions of times your stake from a single spin.
  • Craps
    The standard RTP for the don’t come bet in craps is 98.64%, but come odds and don’t come odds both have a house edge of 0%. This probably explains why there is always so much shouting and cheering around the craps table in the casino. Evolution Gaming has now introduced an online live dealer variant. Now players can get an authentic craps experience from the comfort of their own homes. If you like shooting dice, this is the game for you.

Gamble Responsibly

Even if you play games with a high RTP, you can still lose all your bankroll. Remember, this is a life-time average. You will have sessions where you win, and others where you don’t. With that in mind, it’s imperative that you gamble responsibly. Only play with what you can afford to lose. Treat these games as a form of entertainment, and that makes the times when you do win even more special.
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