Slots are great fun and really simple to play but do they offer good value to the player or are they just a great way for the casino to make easy money? We take a look at the house edge on slots and, along with other pros and cons of the spinning reels, access how they compare to other casino games such as blackjack and roulette.
Easy and instant comparison of the house edge of slots and other games is not easy because there is no fixed house edge for slots in the same way there is in games such as roulette, craps and baccarat. Whilst the house edge for blackjack varies according to the exact rules and game variant, the basics remain the same and, moreover, if you know the rules it is possible to calculate the exact profit margin the casino is taking.
With slots, things are a little different because not only do all slots have their own house edge, many software providers allow individual casinos to alter the house edge of their games, meaning that the same slot may be more or less profitable at one casino than it is at another.
In general slots have a significantly higher house edge than many other games you’ll find at an online casino, with video poker, blackjack and baccarat generally being the games that offer the player the best chance of making a profit over the long term. Whilst the house edge on many variants of those games can drop to 0.5% or lower, the edge on slots is more likely to be around 5%, with 10% or even 15% not uncommon.
However, slots have two HUGE advantages over many games you’ll find at an online casino and this is where their value and worth becomes apparent and why they remain well worth playing.
Almost all casinos count slots at 100% towards any bonus rollover, whilst blackjack, roulette and so on may count at a rate of as little as 2.5% or even not at all.
The Big Win
In blackjack, baccarat, craps and to a lesser extent roulette, you can’t win big without staking big. In contrast slots and especially progressive slots offer the chance to win hundreds or even thousands – or even MILLIONS – times your stake.