Which casino game offers the highest house edge?

The house edge is the integral mathematical advantage that a casino, or ‘house’, holds over the player in any game of chance. The house edge is the reason why a casino will always win, eventually, and the higher the edge the more profit the establishment can reasonably expect to make in the long-term. Some casino games, as a whole, and some aspects of others, offer a low house edge, but others – usually those that require little, or no, involvement or thought by the player – offer such a high house edge that they are best avoided by anyone bar the solely recreational, minimum-stakes player.

Astute casino gamblers may already be aware that the addition of a green triple-zero to a double-zero roulette wheel increases the house edge from 5.26% to 7.69%, but even triple-zero roulette pales into insignificance when compared with some of the worst culprits to be found on the casino floor. Slot machines, for example, are easy to play and typically offer a house edge between 2% and 15%; the problem occurs if you encounter a slot machine at the ‘tighter’ end of the scale, because the fast rate of play means that you can lose money hand over fist.

Worse still, though, is the Big Six, or Big Six Wheel, which is often positioned front and centre in a casino and manned by an attractive, young employee in an effort to part customers from their hard-earned cash. That isn’t too difficult, with the lowest house edge available, under Las Vegas Rules, standing at 11.11% and the highest at 24.07%. Keno, in which players pick a few numbers and bet on them in lottery style, is another lucrative money-spinner, for the casino, offering a house edge between 25% and 40%.