If you’re looking for the best casino game at all casinos, house edge must be taken into account. Casinos are built for gambling entertainment, and that game entertainment comes at a cost. To offset those costs, casinos build a house edge into their games, card or table games like baccarat or craps. This casino "cover" is an average percentage of money that the casinos collects from all initial wagers made over the long run of casino play. There are many ways that the house edge could influence game play. For example, it could be reinforced by the rules that give the casino Dealer an advantage over game players, which is the most common scenario when you play online table games. Alternatively, as is the case with slots, it could be built into a game through software that programs a certain percentage of player losses over the long run of casino game play

One thing that these formulas do not take into account are subsequent gambling wagers placed after the initial one is made. Double down in Blackjack and “Raise” bets in Let ‘Em Ride are examples of games that allow for betting to occur beyond the initial wager. That’s why it’s important to understand the house edge of each game that you’re playing and to identify ways of reducing the casino "cover" when possible.

All casino games enforce a this on their primary bets, but some casino games offer lower house edges than others. If you’re interested in making the most of your casino dollars, the six games listed in this online table games guide should be on your radar. Read on and make note of a game that you currently play or may play in the future.




Craps House Edge

Craps is king when it comes to low casino "cover." It’s one of the best casino games online and at land-based casinos because it offers a bet with zero house edge attached: the odds bet. To access it, players need to first bet on the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line. Once players have done that, players can boost the initial bet by laying or taking odds. 

The Pass Line bet comes with a 1.41% house edge, and the Don’t Pass Line comes with a 1.36% house edge. After betting on one of them, players can boost the game bet by taking or laying odds at the table. Always bet as much as the casino allows on the odds because they’re essentially free bets. At Bovada, players can bet 3X your Pass Line bet when players take the Pass odds, and 6X the Don’t Pass Line bet when players lay the Don’t Pass odds.

Blackjack House Edge

Bovada offers a series of Classic Blackjack games with house edge percentages that range from 0.037% to 0.535% when played optimally—these are some of the best casino game odds available. The biggest indicator of casino house edge is the number of card decks included. Playing Single Deck Blackjack optimally brings the house edge down to 0.037%. Double Deck Blackjack offers a slightly higher house edge of 0.424%, and the standard six deck variant has the biggest house edge of the bunch: 0.535%. Bringing the edge down to these tiny levels requires learning optimal blackjack strategy – something that’s easy to do when playing online. 

Another rule that affects casino house edge is the casino Dealer hitting or standing on soft 17 hands. Most games have the Dealer hit on soft 17, which adds 0.22% to the game’s house edge. But two of our Blackjack games have the casino Dealer stand on soft 17: Double Deck Blackjack and European Blackjack. 

Baccarat House Edge

Easy game play with low casino house edge exists in Baccarat. This game is made to be simple; all the player does is bet on one of three outcomes: the Banker winning, the Player winning, or a Tie outcome. When playing the Baccarat game online, the action unrolls systematically, with the side coming closest to 9 points winning the round.

To decide which outcome to bet on, the player needs to know the casino house edge for each side. The best casino odds with Baccarat comes from the Banker, which has only 1.06% casino house edge for six and eight-deck variants. The reason the Banker enjoys the lowest house edge is because he makes his move after the Player, which results in the Banker having a positional advantage that results in a greater win probability (45.86%). This advantage is mitigated by the Banker’s payout, which is even-money minus a 5% commission. 

The next best bet in Baccarat is the Player, which costs 1.24% over the long run. The Player wins 44.62% of the time and pays even-money. No commissions are charged to Player bets when they win. 

Ties offer big payouts in Baccarat because they have a low probability (9.5%) of winning. At Bovada Casino, Tie bets pay 9:1, which translates to a 4.931% house edge. Be aware of casinos paying 8:1 for Tie bets; the house edge jumps to 14.44% for these bets.

Video Poker House Edge

In our casino, we have 11 video poker games, and each one has a unique house edge based on the payout table offered for each winning player's hand. The fastest way to figure out the house edge of a video poker machine is to take the payout for each hand and punch it into a video poker return calculator; this will spit out the theoretical returns based on optimal play. Full Pay Jacks or Better, for example, comes with a 0.46% house edge, while the house edge in Bonus Poker Deluxe is 1.51%. 

There is an optimal way to play every video poker hand based on math. For example, when you land a hand comprising 5c,7c,8c,2s,2d, you’d want to take the pair of Twos instead of the Straight Flush draw. To learn about video poker strategy, you must consult with a video poker chart, which provides a ranking of the potential hands from top priority to lowest priority. 

Tri Card Poker House Edge

Tri Card Poker pits the player against the Dealer in a race to the better three-card poker hand. After the player places the Ante bet to get started, the player receive three cards and the Dealer receives three cards. You choose to Raise and continue the round at the table, or forfeit your Ante bet and start a new round. 

As house edge does not take into account additional money bet after the initial wager, the house edge in Tri Card Poker concerns only the Ante bet made at the start of the round at the table and is calculated using the Bonus Ante payouts, which are awarded for Straights and up regardless of what the Dealer has. Our version of Tri Card Poker offers a bonus payout of 5:1 for a Straight Flush, 4:1 for 3 of a Kinds, and 1:1 for Straights, which makes for a total house edge of 3.37%.

Pai Gow Poker House Edge

Pai Gow Poker is played with a standard deck of playing cards plus a Joker that is semi-wild (can be used to complete Flushes, Straights, etc.—otherwise is used as an Ace). You receive a 7-card hand from the Dealer, and you must divide the cards into two hands—one 2-card hand, and one 5-card hand. The 2-card hand must be lower value than the 5-card hand, and if you fail to do this in a brick and mortar casino, you automatically muck your hand. There’s no chance of losing your bet when you play Pai Gow Poker online though, as you simply get a reminder to rearrange your hands.

To win the round at the table, you must have the stronger high and low hand. If just one of your hands is stronger, the round is a push and your money is returned.

House edge for Pai Gow Poker is reinforced by a rule that states the Dealer will win in the event of a tie and also a 5% commission that is applied to all payouts. So if you both have a hand that has identical cards, the Dealer wins it. While there’s no universal Pai Gow Poker strategy, reducing house edge comes from being good at dividing your hands. A solid approach involves making sure both of your hands are strong instead of going all-in with your 5-card hand. If you were to have a Full House, for example, you’d want to keep a Three of a Kind in the high hand and a Pair in the low hand—that way you can maximize your chances of winning both hands. 

While there’s no doubt that house edge is part of all casino gaming, learning how to reduce it can help get you more out of your gambling dollars. That’s why we’ve developed this article and many other to help you improve your odds and get the best online casino payouts possible for each of your bets. Keep reading our strategy articles to learn the best ways to optimize your approaches and over time, you’ll see a boost in the number of hands you win as well as your bankroll.