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Online casinos have house edge, too
 One of the things often misunderstood about the online casinos, usually by people who have some experience playing the land-based casinos, is the presence of house advantage at the internet casino, as well. We always say that the online casino is just a better, prettier and more convenient version of the regular casino and this applies to the existence of house edge, too.

 And let's make this clear from the very beginning - just because the online casinos are working entirely in the virtual world, it doesn't mean that there is no house edge the same as at the land-based casino and gambling halls. For example, the house edge at the local casino for the game of Blackjack is 0.50%, in other words you should expect to lose 5 for every 1,000 wagered at the blackjack table, if we take the house edge into consideration in the long term. The same percentages apply to the standard for of blackjack at the online casinos, as well. Why? Because of the Random Number Generator (RNG) built into every online casino. In other words, when the dealer at your local casino shuffles the cards (or uses a machine to shuffle for them), the cards are arranged in the deck randomly, just like the online casino RNG randomly shuffles the cards for its virtual deck. For more information on the RNG and the house edge see the menu to the right.

 And because of this random number generator - every online casino has a house edge, too. And when it comes to table games and card games, the house edge at the online casinos is the same as you'd get at your local brick&mortar casinos. However, the house edge at the online casino is usually smaller than the one at the local casino. It sounds a bit confusing, after what we just said about both being equal in card and table games, doesn't it? The thing that makes the online casinos house edge better for the players is the bonuses the internet casino customers receive and the special extra payouts some web casinos offer on certain card games and table games.

 Let's take blackjack as an example to demonstrate this oddity; the example would be simplified quite a bit, but we have done this to demonstrate the difference between the house edge at the two forms of gambling - online and offline. Let's say you walk at your favourite local casino, purchase 100 worth of casino chips and sit at the blackjack table. The house edge, as we mentioned is 0.5%, so for every 100 pounds wagered you should expect to lose 0.50. And if we discount luck and probabilities - after you wagered 100 you will be left with 99.50 in front of you. Now, the same scenario at the online casino - you open an account and deposit 100, but the casino gives you 200% bonus and you begin playing with 300 instead of just 100. After you wager 100 in blackjack bets you would be left not with the 99.50 but with 299.50, simply because the online casino gave you 200 bonus. Of course, the online casino house edge is still there and you will still lose money at the same expected rate, but because you have a larger bankroll now - you would do so at 1/3 the rate you would at the offline casino.

 On the other side, there are games at the online casinos which are generally with lower house edge than those at the land-based casinos - the video slots. It's no secret that the offline casinos make their money from the slots, that's why they are represented 8/10 compared to the rest of the games on the gaming floor. This is true for the online casinos, too, but there are video slots at the online casinos on which the gambling firm is actively losing money all the time. Those are the much coveted 100%+ payout slots. Most of the good online casinos for the UK punters will have a few video slots that will payout on house edge in the negative, instead of the positive, making it a "player's edge" rather than a house edge. These are often new video slots the online casino has just introduced to its lineup and will be heavily advertised on the casino's website. Those video slots are actually expected to make the players money in the long term, completely opposite of the purpose of a casino.

 Why do the online casinos risk losing money? Advertising, that's why. Let's say an online casino introduces a video slot machine that has a 101% payout percentage, in other words, for every 1,000 wagered the casino will lose 10 or for every 1,000,000 the online casino is expected to lose 10,000, way less than running an expensive advertisement campaign, yet what better advertisement than word of mouth that the casino has a super-loose slot machine? And of course those payouts are based on a long-term odds probability, while the casinos will only run the slot at this kind of payouts for a short period of time, making their loss even smaller.

 That's why, to summarize, the online casinos not only have a house edge, too, but contrary to the land based casinos, the online casino house edge could not only be shortened, but with careful planning and strategy it could be reversed to benefit the player in the short term.


This article is part of our Casino Gambling 101 Guide

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