Why Do People Play High Stakes Roulette If The House Edge Is So Bad?

Beutiful people playing roulette dressed up in a casino

Of all the casino games available to play, whether online or not, roulette is one of the worst to play in terms of the hefty house edge. This makes it more likely that the casino will win money from the player than the player will win from the casino, and is obviously not the best choice therefore for those whose primary goal for gambling is to make money, even if this is a financially dangerous and even the first sign of a gambling illness. Even so, many players will still play high stakes roulette online or in a bricks-and-mortar casino with the goal of winning large sums of money from it. This therefore begs the question as to why if the house edge is so bad for the player, why does anyone play roulette for high limits at all?

A Lot of People Do Win at Roulette

The answer is that even though statistically the odds are not in your favour when it comes to making money from roulette, some people will, and many more people try in the hope and dream of getting rich.

Just as the odds of winning the lottery are statistically-horrendous, and in the long-run will end up costing most people more money on tickets than they receive back in winnings, millions across the globe still play the lottery week in, week out in the hope of striking it lucky and getting that grand payout.

High stakes roulette is no different in that whilst the odds may not be great, there aren't many other games or circumstances out there in which a player can wager £20,000 and about ten seconds later receive back £700,000 (assuming a 35 to 1 payout on a single number roulette win). The attraction for high rollers, and even those playing roulette for low stakes, is obvious as betting on a single number and choosing the right one for the next spin of the wheel can transform even a modest stake into an enormous win.

It must be remembered though that the chances of correctly guessing the number are small (1 in 37 on a European roulette wheel and 1 in 38 on an American roulette wheel), which means that in all likelihood dropping £20,000 on the table is much more likely to disappear into the casino's coffers in that ten seconds than transform itself into a big cash pile for you! Still though, high limit roulette has been played for decades before now by players looking to win it big, and is not likely to change anytime soon!

Are There Alternatives to Roulette for a Better House Edge?

There are better alternatives available than roulette for players who are looking for a lower house edge and therefore a better chance of actually winning money from the casino. Blackjack for one offers a lower house edge, and indeed all the games with the exception of slots offer much slimmer house edges.

In fact, certain video poker games such as many versions of Deuces Wild video poker offer a payout above 100% when played according to perfect strategy, which means over a long period of time there is statistically more chance of the player coming out ahead! You will need to ckeck the payout table though, and of course, playing to perfect strategy is exceptionally hard if you are not a robot!

Even so, the probability of coming out ahead is much greater with these casino games than it is with roulette or slots, so it may be worth spending more time with these games than sat at the physical or virtual roulette table.

A High Limit Online Casino and Minimising House Edge

In some casinos, especially those located in a gambling resort such as the Las Vegas Strip, only those playing for high stakes - or at least higher limits than many people would like to play for - will be able to access the tables with the favourable house rules. For example the game of blackjack in Las Vegas Strip casinos can have a whole host of different rule variations such as only paying 6 to 5 on blackjacks instead of the more traditional 3 to 2, which can have serious implications for the chances of a player coming out ahead in terms of winning money from the casino.

The Lower the House Edge, the Greater the Potential for Profits

These rule variation can turn a house edge which is already favourable for the casino into one which is extremely generous in their favour; so much so that many people will simply stay away from these blackjack games at all costs, even if they cannot get a seat at their table stakes of preference and have no other alternative with regards to playing blackjack at that moment in time. Fortunately though in the vast majority of high limit online casinos there will always be the option for high limit gamblers and low stakes players alike to play blackjack or other casino games for the stakes and limits which they desire, and with a better house edge for the player. Even low limit gamblers can play games such as blackjack for the most favourable terms insofar as minimising the house edge.

As far as odds are concerned though, playing games like online roulette will not change the odds depending upon how much money is being wagered on each spin of the wheel. Whilst casinos enjoy high limit players playing roulette because of the already favourable house edge, this is further enhanced when players are forced to play American roulette which features an additional number in the form of a double zero as opposed to European roulette which does not have this and so slightly improves the chances of a player winning. In a number of casinos, again predominantly on the Las Vegas Strip, low stakes roulette bettors can only play the American version, with the European wheel only being available to high limit gamblers in order to try and encourage players to wager more money.

The sheer variety of games and in particular those with a low house edge such as blackjack that are present in an online casino means that playing online can often be far more preferable than gambling a "real casino" where availability may be an issue for players according to whether they wish to gamble for high stakes or low values. The availability, combines with favourable rules for high limit and low limit players alike, often make an online casino the better option if winning money is a priority over other reasons for gambling such as savouring the atmosphere that is present in a casino resort or being able to show off in front of other people because you are able to wager more than them.

Why is the House Edge Important When You Choose Between Different Tables?

It is no surprise that all casinos have a built-in advantage that allows them to make profits. All profits that a casino gets come from the gamblers' pockets. The built-in advantage is known as the house edge.

Why is the House Edge Important?

The point of calculating the house edge is to find out the average loss for every win you make. Players need to calculate the house edge before choosing a table because a high house edge translates to low payoffs. Even though the house always wins, you can reduce the amount you lose.

A player who doesn't know the house edge has no way of using it to their advantage. If you choose to play blind, you are likely to lose a lot of money on the wrong tables. Calculating a casino's house edge is the first step towards coming up with an effective strategy.

If you are unsure of your chances of winning in a game, it may be difficult to know a dealer's chances of beating you, when to place a big bet, and when you are likely to get the highest returns. Players who learn the house edge are likely to win more than those who don't.

The house edge is one of the variables that determine your average loss. Other variables include:

  • The total number of hours you play
  • Rounds per hour (the speed of play)
  • The average bet size

  • Casino games with the lowest house edges include baccarat, blackjack, craps, and video poker. Slots (simple) and keno have some of the highest house edges.

    Why Play When There's a House Edge?

    Many players wonder why they would bother to play when the house has an advantage. Even though it is a good argument, there is a chance of winning. Even though the casino takes a part of your winnings, it is possible to get big winnings. Many players consider casinos a form of entertainment, so spending some money on them is not a problem. In every casino game you choose, the more you play, the more you stand to lose as a house edge.

    House Hold vs. House Edge

    House edge is different from house hold, though they are often used interchangeably. House hold defines how much a player's chips are won back by the house. In online games, the house hold is the percentage that is taken from the chip pool of online poker tables.

    Using the House Edge to Your Advantage

    Calculating the house edge when choosing between different tables is a waste of time if you can't use it to your advantage. The following are some of the most common ways to use the house edge to your advantage:

    Know When to Quit

    If you have a winning streak, you can calculate the right time to leave. Although casinos are going to win over time, knowing when to stop playing can be helpful.

    Be Responsible

    When you know the house edge, you have to play responsibly. If you are on a losing streak, do not assume that the next win is around the corner. In most cases, the house edge is against the odds. The responsible thing is to stop playing. Always have a budget to avoid overspending.

    Picking the Right Games

    The house edge calculations for most casino games are readily available. It, is, therefore, easy to find the best game to suit your level of qualification. Beginners, for example, can pick games that promise high payoffs and a low house edge. The house edge lets new players know how much they will be putting at risk if they choose to pursue a winning streak.

    It Reduces Gambler's Fallacy

    Even the most rational gamblers can have gambler's fallacy. Learning about the house edge promotes rational gambling.


    The main reason why it is important to learn about the house edge is that numbers don't lie. Whether you want to play online or in a brick and mortar casino, you must use the casino house edge to your advantage. If you don't, you may lose a lot of money. Do not choose a table before researching the house edge, how to use it to your advantage, and how much you stand to win or lose.

    Why Does the House Edge Differ Between Online and Brick & Mortar Casinos?

    The house edge for brick and mortar casinos is different from online casinos. Some players assume that casinos make money by cheating players. That is not true. They make money from guaranteed profits, which are built with every bet. This profit is the house edge.

    Players can use the house edge to identify the profitability of different games. If a game has a high house edge, it has a low payout.

    Understanding House Edge

    House edges are about your initial bet. You can define them as the ratio of your loss to the initial amount you wagered. It is not the total amount of cash that you wagered on a bet, because when you increase your bet, you often have a higher chance of winning.

    House edge can be explained with the concept of a coin toss. If, for example, you and your friend decide to place wagers on a coin toss, you have an equal chance of winning. If you decide to place a wager of £2 playing at the same odds, you may win an even £2. If, however, you were playing in a casino, you may win £1.90. The difference between your true odds and what you receive as winnings is the house edge.

    Why is the House Edge for Online Casinos Different from Brick & Mortar Casinos?

    There are different house edges for different games. In baccarat, for example, it varies depending on the position you are wagering on.

    If you know where to look, online casinos tend to have a lower house edge than brick and mortar casinos. The competition for players is fiercer and there are lots of deals. Since there are lots of online casinos, players can always find casinos with a better house edge. Many brick and mortar casinos may have a high house edge, especially if they are popular establishments.

    In most places, there aren't many brick and mortar casinos. Players have to travel a few miles to find one. Since players don't have a choice, brick and mortar casinos can get away with a high house edge.

    Reducing the House Edge

    You can reduce the house edge for both online and brick and mortar casinos. A low house edge means more payouts for you. The following tips may help you lower a casino's house edge:

    1. Understand the Rules of the Game

    Different strategies work for different games. With blackjack, for example, coming up with a strategy can be difficult because the possible card combinations are numerous. Coming up with a strategy for baccarat is easy.

    When you learn and understand the game strategy, you can avoid mistakes and recognise the hidden edge.

    Even though edges change from one casino to another, the general figures are as follows:

  • Blackjack: 1.5%
  • Craps: 2%
  • Baccarat: 1%
  • Keno (bingo): 25-29%

  • 2. Blackjack Leverage Dealer Disadvantage

    In blackjack, the house has an edge since players go first. It isn't fair that the game makes you play first. If you choose to bust out, the dealer's cards won't matter. If you play by the 'hidden edge', you will hurt your chances of winning.

    3. Know Your Bets When Playing Craps

    This is one of the most popular games and it gives players some control over the house edge. Since there are many bets to place, the house edge may vary depending on where you place your money. If you place a bet on 6 or 8, the edge can be as low as 1.52%.

    To play the odds in craps, you need to make a pass or don't pass bet. The house has an edge on your first bet. Therefore, taking or laying the odds may help lower the house edge.


    Whether you choose to play your casino games online or in a brick and mortar casino, you will always be confronted with the harsh reality of the casino house edge. Even though they are different, they can both be frustrating. Fortunately, there are various ways to minimise the house edge and boost your payouts.

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