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Why are there so many slot machines in a Las Vegas casino?

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Casinos are businesses. They always want to make a profit. Here we explain how they do it.

The Edge

The edge is the mathematical advantage that the casino has over their players on games and gambling. There is no legitimate strategy or betting pattern that can beat it. But an understanding of how it works can help you, forewarned is forearmed.

House edge works a differently depending on the game.

Slot machines

The edge is programmed into the software to pay back a % of wagers over time. Therefore a sign such as“our slots payout 97%” means that the house edge is actually 3%. Doesn’t sound so good now does it? Casino’s love slot machines, their edge is controllable, forecastable and predictable. This is why are there more slot machines than any other games in Las Vegas.

Broken down further – for every $1 wagered the machines pay back $0.97, leaving $0.03 as profit for the casino. Over millions of spins the casino knows they will make 3% of wagers as a profit.

Table Games

Blackjack, Video Poker and Pai Gow Poker. No fixed house edge, as the player can make a decision about their wager so the edge is variable (and reduceable with good play).

Double Deck Blackjack

Where the dealer stands on soft 17, player can double and split on any two cards and blackjack pays 3-2

House edge = 0.17382% with perfect strategy

(In reality the edge is around 0.25532%, as most players don’t play perfect strategy).

Roulette

In Roulette the true odds of hitting Red, Black or a single number are higher than the odds that the casino pays you and therefore the casino keeps a small profit over time.

Baccarat

The 5% commission charged on Banker bets is the house edge.

Examples

$100,000 worth of wagers

  • Slot Machines – $5,000 – $10,000 Profit (5%-10% Edge)
  • Blackjack – $250 – $2,500 Profit Depending On Rules
  • Baccarat – $1,500 Depending on Sides Played
  • Roulette – $5,240 On Average

 

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