The house edge is the advantage the house (casino) has over the player. For example, a 2% house edge means that the casino is 2% more likely to win each round.
Another way to look at the house edge is the return to player (RTP) percentage. RTP is the opposite of the house edge in that it’s how much the house pays back (rather than keeps).
For example, if a casino game has a 98% RTP, that means the average player receives 98% back of what they wagered. That game would also have a house edge of 2%.
And while that would be relatively good odds for a casino game, it’s not as good as the online casino games with the lowest house edge.
Blackjack (~0.5% House Edge)
The best online casinos will offer several different versions of online blackjack, which means it will be up to you to find the ones with the lowest house edge.
But before we go into the best rules, it’s important to note that this house edge only applies if you’re playing straight blackjack using the best strategy. The beauty of playing online is that you can shamelessly have the blackjack strategy chart up while you play – and you can take as long as you need during each hand.
The best blackjack rules (for online and in-person blackjack) include:
- Blackjack pays 3 to 2
- Dealer stands on soft 17
- Double after split allowed
- Double on any first two cards allowed
- Resplit up to four hands
The fewer the decks used, the better the RTP as well. However, single-deck blackjack usually has a high table minimum compared to the other variations ($20 rather than $1).
Resplitting aces and hitting on split aces are also great rules, but both are extremely rare.
Also, side bets are purely for fun. While they can pay out big, the odds are bad, so proceed at your own risk. If you’re looking for the best odds possible, side bets should be avoided.
Video Poker (~0.5% House Edge)
You’ll need to search for the blackjack variation with the lowest house edge, and each online casino will have a different selection. But with video poker, there’s only one version with the lowest house edge, and it’s available at practically every online casino. You can also find it built into the bar tops at bars across Las Vegas and beyond.
Jacks or Better video poker offers a house edge of around 0.5%.
If you play Jacks or Better video poker using best strategy, you have about the same overall odds as online blackjack. But blackjack only pays out 1 to 1 or 3 to 2, while you can hit a big hand in Jacks or Better and walk away with serious winnings a lot sooner than you can playing blackjack.
Jacks or Better is usually found within the options of “Game King,” which has other video poker variations like Joker Poker and Deuces Wild.
Make sure to play Jacks or Better at full pay to unlock the best house edge. That means playing five coins for the biggest potential payouts. If you bet lower than the max, the prizes aren’t as high relative to the wager (i.e., you’re rewarded with better odds for betting more per hand).
French Roulette (~1.35% House Edge)
You can find blackjack with good rules and tons of video poker machines at land-based casinos across the US. But French Roulette is a game you can only find at online casinos.
The roulette bets with the lowest house edge are the outside bets that pay 1 to 1. For example, black or red, odds or evens, and high or low. But if the roulette ball lands in a green zero pocket, no outside bets pay out.
American roulette has two green zero pockets, while French Roulette and European Roulette only have one. So if you have to choose between American or European roulette, go with the European version.
But with French Roulette, 50% of your outside bet is refunded if the ball lands in the single green zero. That brings the house edge for 1 to 1 outside bets in French roulette down to around 1.35%.
European roulette, which is pretty much only available at online casinos as well, has a house edge of around 2.7%, while the house edge for American roulette is 5.26%.
Other Games With House Edge Lower Than 3%
Despite being far less popular than craps in the US, you can find baccarat at most online casinos, which will also often have Live Dealer baccarat. If you bet the banker, the house edge can be as low as 1.06%, and a bet on the player as low as 1.24%.
For whatever reason, craps can be extremely hard to find at online casinos.
Thankfully, some online casinos do have it, such as Tropicana Casino Online, 888, and Unibet, which also have French roulette. But BetMGM, BetRivers, Golden Nugget, and others do not. Craps is also not available as a Live Dealer game at any online casino in the US.
Whether you play craps at a retail casino or online, the house edge for some bets can be comparable to French roulette. For example, the pass/come bet has a 1.41% house edge, while the don’t pass/don’t come bet has a 1.36% house edge.
Slots tend to have the worst house edge at the casino. Typically, these games are designed for high win potential but low odds.
However, at online casinos, you can often find RTP percentages as high as 97% or more. Sometimes labeled “payback,” a slot’s RTP is usually found in the information section of the slot. Click the “i” icon, and the percentages should pop up.