Top Casinos

Casino Offers



Video Poker




Free Games

The House Edge In Roulette

By Charles D.

Level: Apr 26th 2010
When you engage in a game of online roulette, you are trying to overcome one factor and one factor only, and that is the house edge. It should be no shocker that the casino has a built-in advantage in this game, because that is naturally the way in which it continues to exist and serve customers.

What exactly IS the house edge? Well, very simply put, it constitutes the difference between what the casino collects from you in the way of a wager and what it pays out to you in the event you win. You could probably refer to it as the "vig" or the "vigorish." You'll probably hear that expression more when it refers to what sports bookmakers do. The customer lays 11-to-10 on many sporting events. It becomes the losers who are paying that "vig" out.

Understand that if you were to take wagers on something that had a 2-to-1 chance of happening but you only paid off at even money odds when somebody won, you would certainly be sitting with the luxury of a very big edge, derived from the considerable margin between what you're taking in and what you are paying out. Over the long haul, that adds up to a lot of profit.

In the game of online roulette, this particular margin is not nearly as dramatic, but don't kid yourself - there will be a house edge in this game, and it will work on every bet you make. Let's take a look at what that is, and where it comes from.

It's actually rather elementary when you break it down. The chance that any single number winning on an American roulette wheel (i.e., that which there is a zero and double zero) is one in 38. The payoff on any "straight bet," i.e., a bet on a single number, is 35-to-1, which means that you will recoup the amount of your original bet in addition to an amount equal to 35 times that bet.

The rudimentary formula you can use to calculate the house edge is

(Odds Against Winning - House Odds) x Probability of Winning

The odds against winning are 37/1. The house odds (the payoff) are 35/1. That much has already been established. The probability of winning is 1/38. You just have to plug those values into the equation.

When you make the calculations, you get:

(37/1 - 35/1) x 1/38 = 2/38 = .0526315

To convert this into a percentage, you simply move the decimal two places to the right. When it's rounded down, it converts to 5.26%. This is the house edge under which the game of roulette operates. It is rock solid; enough that with only one exception (where the edge is a little lower), it remains consistent. This 5.26% number represents steeper odds than what you'll find most of the time in craps, and it is more than the built-in house advantage in online blackjack, although we say that with the caveat that much depends on how badly you play.

Undoubtedly there are some things you can do to win in the short run; to reduce the house edge to some extent. And when we talk about the "long run" it is really just a succession of short runs. So keep your chin up, don't forget to manage your money correctly, and realize what you are up against.
Lesson 1: Roulette History
Find out the beginnings of the game
Lesson 2: Roulette Rules
How to play this incredible game
Lesson 3: The Roulette Wheel
The first playing tool, learn how to read it.
Lesson 4: Roulette Systems
Betting systems to maximize your playing time and winnings
Lesson 5: Roulette Strategy
How to play Roulette smart
Lesson 6: Roulette Betting
The different types of Roulette bets detailed
Lesson 7: The Roulette Table
The second playing tool, where to place your bet, and how to read the table
Lesson 8: Roulette Tips
Simple rules of thumb to help your game

 532 articles (Calculating Odds in American...)  |   articles home  |   (Double Down Blackjack Strategy)

TopCasinoOffers.com is an independent information website, not affiliated with any casino.
Copyright © 2003-2009 TopCasinoOffers.com - All Rights Reserved

Casino Articles //  Roulette //  The House Advantage In Roulette


Asian Games (2)
Baccarat (10)
Blackjack (79)
Bonus & Keno Games (15)
Craps (14)
Gambling/General (278)
Progressive Jackpots (2)
Roulette (22)
Slots (23)
Table Games (74)
Video Poker (13)


Rank Name
1. WinPalace Casino
2. Slots Plus Casino
3. Rome Casino
4. Cherry Red Casino
5. Rushmore Casino


Playtech Games Microgaming Games RTG Games


Learn Blackjack Learn Slots Learn Roulette Learn Craps Learn Video Poker Learn Baccarat


Casino Articles Casino News Casino Winners Beginer's Guide World Casinos Directory Casino Jokes Tournaments


Online Scratch Cards


 |  Register