While we play at online casinos for entertainment, most of us are still interested in how to maximise our chances of winning at the games we play, after all, winning is half the fun! If you’re even remotely interested in improving your odds at the casinos, then you need to be aware of the factors influencing them, how they work and what you can do to offset them.
Here we’ll take a look at house edge, payout rate and volatility, three of the primary factors affecting your winning potential, and what they ultimately mean to you as a player.
In essence, the house edge is the average amount of money that the casino will take from you over the long term on a particular bet, based on the size of that bet. For example, a casino game that carries a 5% house advantage like certain slots, will payout on average $0.95 for every $1 spent. This means that the higher the house edge, the lower your chances of coming out on top over the long run because the house edge is always at play and you’ll effectively be losing that amount on average with every wager you make, so you end up being able to make fewer bets over the long run before your bankroll is depleted, which of course equates to lower chances of hitting the jackpot.
In simplified terms, the payout rate for a slot or table game is calculated by subtracting the house edge from 100. For example on a slot where the house edge is 5%, the payout rate is said to be 95% which is generally the percentage of the bets you make that you expect to get back on average over the long term. For example, in the game of European Roulette, the house edge on the even bet is generally around 2.7%, so the payout rate is said to be 97.3%. This is generally a higher payout rate than most slots, but slots still offer good chances of winning because jackpots can be hit on a single spin. In a game of Roulette however, it will generally require a few good spins in a row to equal that amount, which is far less likely.
Finally, one needs to always remember that none of these factors exists independently, and Volatility always comes into the equation and does affect the wins you achieve even if the house edge is constant. Volatility is for a lack of a better word how “spread out” your results are from the average projections. In roulette, volatility is generally very low, while some slots, like progressive jackpot slots, have very high volatility. This means that that you can experience some major swings in wins and losses even though the house advantage stays the same. Volatility is also the factor that can most influence your bottom line, so manage your casino bankroll wisely and account for times when you have to endure ongoing losses while you wait for the next upswing.