June 21, 2024

The House Edge at the Casino

Whether you’re itching to hit the slots, spin the roulette wheel, put on your poker face or throw dice at a craps table, casinos are the best place to satisfy that gambling urge. But there’s one thing you should know before you go: It’s not just about luck. There are a number of built-in advantages that ensure the house will always win, known as the house edge.

Casinos take a number of steps to keep their gamblers happy and distracted. Free food and drinks might get them inebriated, which reduces their awareness of the passing of time and makes them less concerned about how much they’re losing to the house. They also use chips instead of cash to make it harder for patrons to keep track of their winnings and losses.

Security is another big concern at casinos, which deal with large amounts of money and attract criminals. Mobster money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas in the 1950s, and mob members took over some of the venues, often becoming sole or partial owners.

Employees keep an eye on the floor to spot cheating by players or pit bosses, and monitor video cameras for any suspicious behavior. Some casinos use technology to oversee games themselves, with betting chips wired to electronic systems that allow them to be monitored minute by minute for any statistical deviations. Casinos also employ a network of dealers to handle their card and table games, with each dealer having a higher-up manager who watches them from afar to spot any cheating or deception.