As gamblers, we must accept the fact that the house always has the advantage over the long run. Those big casinos in Las Vegas and online gambling sites don’t pay the bills by giving out free money. Play any casino game long enough and you’ll eventually lose your money. We choose to play anyways because it’s gambling and anything can happen in the short run. On any given night, you might lose your shirt in blackjack or win that million-dollar progressive slots jackpot.
What we don’t have to accept, however, are excessive house advantages. The industry is too competitive for anyone to have to settle for anything but the lowest house advantage casino sites. My purpose with today’s post is to list a couple of online casinos that I have confirmed to have payout rates of 96% or higher. I’ll also explain how payout rates work so you can continue your journey armed with the knowledge you need to preserve your money.
|Rank & Casino||Payout Rate||Certification||Visit Now|
|1. Betfair||97.17%||Gaming Associates (view)||www.betfair.com|
|2. William Hill||96.05%||Gaming Laboratories International (view)||www.williamhill.com|
The table that you see above lists the average payout rate across all games at each casino site. In the next column over from the payout rates is a link to the certification. These certifications are provided by third party companies whose job it is to audit casinos for fairness and then calculate the average return to the player.
Reputable operators turn to these companies for various reasons, including reassuring players that the odds are fair and achieving licensing from the UK Gambling Commission and other regulators. Both of the auditing companies shown in the payout table above are reputable, independent, and approved by the UK Gambling Commission.
Full Breakdown at Each Casino
The above figures only show the average house advantage for all games. Below is a full breakdown of the “return to player” rate for each game type at each casino. If you have a certain game type in mind, you should compare the return at each casino and choose the one with the highest number.
- Slots: 93.79%
- Table Games: 96.97%
- Card Games: 98.07%
- Video Poker: 99.12%
- Fixed Odds Betting: 98.08%
- Scratch Cards: 93.14%
- Live Dealer Games: 97.83%
- Slots: 94.31%
- Table Games: 96.65%
- Card Games: 97.41%
- Video Poker: 98.22%
- Fixed Odds Betting: 90.87%
How do these compare to the real world?
Online slots and other casino games have significantly higher payout rates than games found in the real world. Depending on what part of the world you’re in, payout rates may even be completely unregulated. And in areas where the law does state a minimum, that minimum can be as low as 80%. From what I can tell, the average payout rate for slot machines in the real world sits at around 90% if you’re lucky.
Things are much more competitive on the internet where all it takes is a few clicks of the mouse to take your business to the next casino site. Plus, virtual betting sites don’t have buildings to maintain and dealers to pay. It’s actually financially viable for gambling sites to offer very high payback rates.
What Payout Rates Mean
The payout rate refers to how much money, on average, the casino returns to the player per dollar wagered. The keyword there is “wagered” because even games with high payout rates can eat through your deposit faster than expected. If you deposit $100 at a casino with a 95% payout rate, it does not mean you’re guaranteed to cash out $95 when you’re done. In fact, the payout rate has nothing to do with depositing vs. cashing out.
If you deposit £100 at a casino and play at a £1 slot machine with a 95% payout rate, you’re going to lose £0.05 per spin over the long run. Also, note that this is just a long-run average. A 95% payout rate does not mean you’re going to lose exactly 5% on every spin of the reels. The payout rate is just a running average.
Consider this: You round up a billion people and take them to the biggest casino in the world. You give each of them £1 and tell them to spend it all on one spin at a 95% slot machine. These players, happy to get a free slot spin, drop the money in and give it a go.
Now, you and a million accountants go around and tally every single player’s wins and losses. Some of them have won huge jackpots, some have lost a little money, some have won a little and some have lost the whole £1. If you add up all their wins and losses and average it out, you find out that the average loss was £0.05.
The important thing to keep in mind here is that this is just the expected return on a single wager. It’s entirely possible to lose all your money in a single day if you play furiously and aren’t lucky enough to catch any major wins. It is also entirely possible that you go on a hot run and win enough money to buy a new car. All the payout rate gives you is a general average of your long-term expectation at any casino game.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.