In this piece, we set out to bring you closer to the concept of online casino winning odds and answer the questions such as do online casino games pay more. While at it, we will also walk you through other important aspects of gambling, such as the RTP and house edge, all for the sake of helping you make the most of your time at a casino.
The Basics: Casino Odds Explained
Before playing any casino game, and we really mean any game, you need to understand the concept of casino odds. Online casino winning odds represent the mathematical chance of winning or losing a bet in a casino game.
Typically, casino odds are expressed as a ratio of the number of ways to win to the number of ways to lose. For instance, the game odds of rolling a six on a standard die are 1 in 6 (or 5 to 1) because there is only one way to roll six and five ways to roll a different number.
Game odds are often expressed as a percentage known as the house edge or the expected return, and casinos must state them for every game they offer.
Casino games with the lowest house edge typically offer the best odds for players. These games include blackjack, craps, baccarat, and video poker. On the other hand, slot machine odds are generally lower, but in turn, they offer more substantial payouts. However, it’s important to note that even the best online casino odds still favour the house in the long run.
Now you know why they say that “the casino always wins”!
The Difference Between House Edge, RTP and Game Odds
House edge, RTP, and game odds are equally important aspects of gambling. While closely related, they refer to different aspects of gambling and are calculated in different ways. Let’s see what they stand for:
The house edge, or house advantage, refers to a casino’s advantage over the player. It is expressed as the percentage of each bet the casino expects to keep as profit over the long term. For example, if a game has a house edge of 5%, the casino expects to keep 5% of every bet placed on that game. A higher house edge means that the player has a lower chance of winning and a higher chance of losing over time.
Return to Player (RTP)
The next question is, What is RTP in casinos? The RTP is the exact opposite of the house edge. It is the percentage of all bets expected to be paid back to the player over time. For instance, playing a game with an RTP of 95%, the player can expect to receive back 95% of the total amount of money they have wagered on that game. A higher RTP means that the player has a better chance of winning and a lower chance of losing over time.
Finally, game odds refer to the likelihood of a player winning a particular bet in a game. Online casino winning odds are usually expressed as a ratio or a percentage. For example, if the odds of winning a particular bet are 1 in 5, the player has a 20% chance of winning. The casino game odds are closely related to the house edge and the RTP, but many players erroneously use them interchangeably. The odds can be used to calculate online casino payout rates potential for each bet, while the house edge and RTP give an overall picture of the game’s profitability.
Land-Based Casinos RNG
When we talk about slot machines and other electronic games, one of the crucial aspects to grasp is the Random Number Generator, or RNG, which refers to a part of the hardware that ensures the outcomes of a game are random and unbiased.
Here’s how the RNG works: it uses a complex algorithm to generate a random sequence of numbers that are entirely unpredictable, taking into account a variety of factors, such as the time of day, the temperature of the machine, the number of bets placed by players, etc.
Slot cabinets found at traditional casinos rely on the so-called true random number generators or hardware random-number generators (HRNGs); essentially, the hardware is used to generate a random sequence of numbers that determines the outcome of each spin of the reels.
In HRNGs, each generated sequence represents a function of the current value of an attribute of the physical environment, which constantly changes in a way that cannot be predicted—hence, the thrill of pulling a slot lever: you never know what comes next.
Online Casino RNG
Online casinos, however, work slightly differently than their land-based relatives. Since online slot games have no hardware, they use pseudorandom number generators (PRNG). Why? Apart from the fact that it is physically impossible to install hardware on an online slot, software providers rely on PRNGs because of their unprecedented speed in number generation and reproducibility.
It’s worth noting that, unlike their hardware cousins, PRNGs generate numbers that only appear random but are pre-determined, and their sequences can be reproduced. The PRNG-generated sequence is not genuinely random, as it is defined by an initial value called the seed.
Even though PRNG’s next sequence can be theoretically predicted, you couldn’t do it without knowing the seed value. Therefore, playing online slots remains as random and unbiased as it would be at any brick-and-mortar casino establishment.
Table Games Odds Differences
Casually glancing over table games odds at a brick-and-mortar casino and comparing them to online casino sites, you might surmise they are entirely the same. However, a simple casino RTP comparison shows this isn’t the case.
The reason is rather practical: land-based casinos have many more costs to cover: running expenses, staff wages, security costs, etc. That is why many land-based casino games have low payouts with high odds.
On the other hand, online casino payout rates are often higher and feature better game odds because their expenses are smaller. Therefore, virtual casinos may offer games with a much higher RTP than land-based ones.
Slot Machines Odds Differences
You may have wondered whether all slot machines have the same odds of winning. The answer is no. Each slot game has its own math model according to which it operates, and no two slot machines are the same.
Given that slot machines are the most commonly available online casino games, punters seeking the highest payout slot machines should settle for video slots online rather than land-based slot cabinets.
While the odds of winning on a slot machine may be similar in both traditional and online casinos, there may be some differences in the variety and features of the slot machines. Online casinos may offer slot machine games with various themes, graphics, and bonus features.
Additionally, online casinos may offer progressive jackpot slots, which can offer huge payouts not typically found in traditional casinos.
What all slots have in common is a much higher house edge and lower winning odds compared to table or card games. The online casino odds of hitting the jackpot on a slot machine are typically very low, so they often offer large payouts to entice players to continue playing.
How to Make the Right Choice
Making the right choice is easy when you have all the necessary info. Once you figure out RTP, games odds, and house advantage, you will have a solid grasp of what each game offers and how you, as a player, can benefit from it.
Here are our two cents: if you’re looking for variety and features in slot machines, you should stick to playing online, as video slots are undoubtedly more diverse in both these aspects, in addition to having higher RTPs and heftier payouts.
However, regardless of where you choose to play, always read the rules and payout information for a specific game beforehand to ensure you understand the game odds and casino payout rates.