Online Casino Game

How to calculate casino payout percentages

Author at TechGenyz Contributor

Not many people know this, as beginners to the online casino and gambling world, but payouts within casino games will always favour the casino house. The edge does differ from casino to casino, however some table games on particular bets will favour the house by as much as 10% and more! It is pretty crazy to think about it like that we know, however this is another reason as to why casinos will manage to stay in business, due to the generation of profits that are made this way.

The best chance of you having to give the house the least amount of money is by selecting games that give you the best winning chance over a long-term period of time playing. So, make sure you keep on reading to find out everything there is to know about RTP and the dreaded house edge! Here are some great recommendations for the best payout online casino sites in Canada.

How do games work at a casino?

Of course, we all know that when we play casino games, the actual outcome of those games will be pretty random, meaning you will have no control over what you win and what you lose as you play. The RNG that is integrated within the games is what dictates the degree and amount of your winnings. The random number generator exists within every casino game from a licensed and reputable casino site. Meaning, your favourite fruit slot machines, classical casino games like roulette and blackjack, etc. will all have an algorithm to ensure your gambling is 100% fair and secure.

However, every single game you play will have a slight house advantage. For example, on roulette, you could place a bet on the ball landing on a red or a black number. There are 18 numbers of each, meaning you have a 48.65% chance of it landing on your colour of choice. The zero is green, and that will equate to 2.7%, taking away from the 50% that should be the odds you face when selecting colour bets. The house edge is exactly that-it essentially lowers your chances of winning by a small percentage. But alas, that is the beauty of casino games-anything really can happen when you play!

UNLV Gaming compiled a basic chart looking at the house advantage with different games in the casino:

House Advantages for Popular Casino Games
GameHouse Advantage
Roulette (double-zero)5.3%
Craps (pass/come)1.4%
Craps (pass/come with double odds)0.6%
Blackjack – average player2.0%
Blackjack – 6 decks, basic strategy*0.5%
Blackjack – single deck, basic strategy*0.0%
Baccarat (no tie bets)1.2%
Caribbean Stud*5.2%
Let It Ride*3.5%
Three Card Poker*3.4%
Pai Gow Poker (ante/play)*2.5%
Slots5% – 10%
Video Poker*0.5% – 3%
Keno (average)27.0%
*optimal strategy

What is RTP?

RTP is a theoretical average and percentage that you will win some cash back from whatever you have wagered into a game. The way it works is that it provides you a theoretical value that you could be returned from a casino game, for every set amount of cash that you play with. For example, a slot machine that has an RTP of 98%, will therefore theoretically be giving players £98 back from every £100 wagered for example. However, one thing you should keep in mind is that the RTP is not a direct measure and it can be used to represent multiple players at once who are playing. So, you are not necessarily promised an instant percentage of cash from whatever you have wagered, it does not work like that unfortunately.

It is really important to realise that each time you play, the RTP represents the long term payouts of a large group of people and it is never instant.

The RTP has often been said to be quite misleading as many will perceive it to be an instant win, especially new players that come to the online gambling world. Often many have expressed their opinions of when comparing the payout percentage to the RTP. Neither actually talk about frequency, as you are just given one percentage to reflect upon. Games such as European Roulette actually will have one fixed house edge across all the betting variations that you play with and for that reason, you can often lower the house edge as you play with increasing advantage to yourself in terms of wins.

When considering a slot game, you will always need to consider the variance of the slot too, as that will express the likelihood of you winning far more easily. Especially if the game has a huge jackpot integrated within the game, as a player you could have a slight inkling of the possibility of you nearing a payout, when variance terminology is involved.

Familiarise yourself with the variance

So, what is variance? Variance is the term used to describe the attitude that a slot machine actually showcases. When we say attitude we actually mean the frequency of pay and whether the slot machine is loose or hard. The terms often used are low variance, medium variance and high variance. Low variance being a loose slot that pays quite frequently; a high variance slot being quite the opposite and therefore one that can actually take a while before it even hints at any form of payout at all.

Slot machines have really low betting limits, meaning that it is highly possible that you could actually pay into a slot just £1 and come out with 100 times that easily. Of course, this will all depend on the behaviour of the slots as we mentioned earlier. If a slot machine is loose and low variance, it’s very likely that you will get paid lower amounts, far more often than landing a huge sum of cash to take away. However, with a high variance slot, you will find that the slot machine will actually pay very little often and land you with the huge payouts, every once in a while-which could really be huge amounts of money. While we all wish that the slot machine would land on that life changing sum of money, there is nothing that you will be able to steer the slot machine into your favour. You simply must wait and hope that it lands on you!

Maximise your returns 

By paying attention to the terms we have described you will come to realise that you can play slot games and casino games with a strategic outlook. Always try and select casino games with the lowest edge, such as single deck blackjack, craps, baccarat and video poker. All the house edges from these games do not often increase to more than 5% and then again when you win a few rounds, you can statistically reduce the house edge incrementally towards your favour. 

With slot games, you will need to make sure that you’re paying attention to the RTP and slot type in terms of variance. If you are looking for a game that pays little and often (especially as a beginner to slot machines), it may be rewarding to begin on low variance slot games, and build up your tolerance to the playing style that is integrated within the slots. Do not forget too that if you are playing at an online casino, there could be ways of utilising promotions and bonuses towards your online slot experience. Meaning you could essentially could be playing with no risk at all, if using slot bonuses such as free spins for example. These are great to maximise your returns from a slot machine.

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