Playing casino games for both fun and money is great entertainment, but there are ways you can maximize your chances of nailing the game against the dealer without losing any of the thrill—one of these is to understand house edge and play games that have a high payout percentage.
In this guide we will take you through the best casino games to play with a low house edge. You’ll also learn what Return to Player means, how to calculate house edge and why it’s important.
Then, we cover the 10 best casino games to play with a low house edge. Of course, house edge isn’t the only deciding factor to picking a top casino game – but it certainly helps to improve your knowledge of online gambling before diving in!
What is a House Edge?
Before we look at the top casino games with a low house edge, it’s worth us understanding what the term actually means. In gambling, a house edge is the advantage the casino has over the player. Every casino has a house edge on all its games, otherwise it wouldn’t be able to turn a profit and invest in its casino infrastructure–whether that be a casino lobby, website or app.
A house edge is calculated as a percentage, which states how much the casino would likely earn over the player on average during the course of a particular game. It is actually the flip of Return to Player percentage (RTP) which stipulates the average returns the player can expect to gain from their bets.
So, for example, if a blackjack game has a 99% RTP, it means the house edge (the percentage that stands in the casino’s favor) is 1%. This means players can expect to win back $99 for every $100 they bet, on average. The greater the house edge, the lower the RTP and the more chance the casino has on winning each game.
Top 10 Casino Games with a Low House Edge
Now let’s take a look at the 10 best games to play that feature a low house edge, or high RTP:
10. Video Poker: Up to 5% House Edge
Depending on which video poker game you play, you could be dealing with a house edge of as much as 5%. Video poker originated from Las Vegas casino halls where players would be dealt poker hands on a video machine and play out games from there. There are some video poker masters in the online betting community and nailing a strategy is your best way to reaping rewards from this game.
Depending on the software and type of video poker game, you could be playing with a house edge between 5% and 0.05%. Low RTP games include Aces and Faces (25 hands), Jacks or Better 3x and Louisiana Double.
9. Backgammon: 3% House Edge
Playing backgammon online is perhaps not the first thing you think of when considering joining a casino. Backgammon is considered more of a board game than something you can bet on, such as poker or blackjack. But some online casinos do offer you the chance to play backgammon and compete for big wins.
The aim of backgammon is to roll the dice and move your pieces over the Jump bar and then over the Out bar. There is a house edge as low as 3% on Jump and Out bets at a point of 4, and 4.29% at a point of 1. It’s smart to read the rules of backgammon first before deciding to play, as sometimes the house edge can rise to as much as 6.39%.
8. Caribbean Stud Poker: 5% House Edge
Don’t dismiss Caribbean Stud Poker because it has a high house edge—this does the game a slight disservice. This is a quick-fire poker game against the dealer which is perfect for players who are developing their knowledge of card strengths and willingness to flirt with risk.
The aim of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand of five cards. You’ll place an ante bet to receive your cards and then must at least call it to advance to the reveal.
The issue some players have with Caribbean Stud Poker is the dealer’s hand defaults if they don’t nail a qualifying hand of ‘ace and king or higher’. This can mean the dealer squeezes out of a lot of dud hands which the player would have won – but a smart player will take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to call.
7. Roulette (European: Single Zero): 2.6% House Edge
Roulette is the grandfather of the casino hall and any online betting site will likely have plenty of roulette tables to satisfy every gambler. Single Zero Roulette, also known as European Roulette, has 37 segments of the roulette wheel, with numbers from 0 to 36. Unlike American roulette where there are numbers ‘0’ and ’00’, in Europe they have just one.
What this means is the house edge is greatly reduced. In fact, in American Roulette the edge is 5%, compared to 2.6% in Single Zero. As a game roulette is all about tactics, luck and willing to risk it all. There are various different roulette strategies but one of the first decisions players usually make is to head to the Single Zero table.
6. Pai Gow Poker: 2.5% House Edge
The aim of Pai Gow Poker is to beat the dealer with both a five-card hand and a two-card hand. That’s not actually as difficult as it sounds and players can quickly pick up how to play Pai Gow Poker if they have played Five Card or Texas Hold’em before.
The difficulty is in winning both hands, and this is what gives the house the edge when you’re playing one-on-one against a dealer. Still, it’s a fun game to play and develop your poker skills – and smart Pai Gow players will be able to calculate when to play single pairs in the first hand, and when to keep them back for the five-card hand.
5. Craps: 5% to 1.4% House Edge
The craps table is where you’ll find the most fun and laugher in a casino hall as players throw the dice in search of their lucky numbers. And playing craps online is also an enjoyable experience – especially if you can live chat with other players at the same time.
The house edge in craps ranges wildly depending on what is rolled and what bets you’ve placed. Some bets have a higher RTP than others and it depends on your strategy as to whether you want to go for big wins or incremental payouts. Check out our how to play craps guide for a better understand of this amazing game.
4. Baccarat: 1.1% House Edge
Baccarat is one of the most simple casino games on the planet and the strategy really comes down to house edge. You can bet on the Banker, Player or Tie in baccarat, and the game effectively plays out by itself.
In basic one-deck baccarat, the Banker bet has a 1.1% house edge, the Player bet 1.29% and the Tie 15.75%. It makes sense, therefore, to always bet on the Banker.
3. Three Card Poker: 1.5% House Edge
If you’re new to the online casino world but know something about card strengths then Three Card Poker is the perfect game to get started. The rules of Three Card Poker are simple: receive three cards and beat the dealer’s hand. You’ll have to place an ante bet to receive your cards and a second bet to stay in the game before the reveal.
The only house edge the dealer has is that they cannot play if their hand is worse than Queen High. As far as quick games are cornered, there’s none faster than Three Card Poker.
2. Blackjack: 1.5% House Edge
The aim of blackjack is to hit 21 with the combined value of your cards, or at least beat the dealer’s hand, without exceeding 21. Simple, right? Well, blackjack strategy experts would say differently, as there are scores of different ways to play blackjack effectively.
Blackjack house edges range depending on each game’s format, but the basic edge is that the player plays their hand first. Therefore you could go bust before the dealer even reveals their cards. Check out our guide on how to play blackjack.
1. Slots: 1% to 15% House Edge
Online slot machines are the centerpiece of internet casinos and the house edge can range greatly between games. Depending on the slot you could have an RTP as low as 85% or so high it surpasses 99%.
The big thing to remember with online slots is the house edge can often change depending on the size of your bet, or if you trigger a bonus feature. For example, betting the maximum stake per spin can trigger a smaller house edge, while some slots provide special buys where you can purchase a number of spins at an improved RTP.
Check out our casino reviews for our favorite casino sites to play online games with a low house edge.