What is the ‘House’?
In casino gaming, the ‘House’ is the casino itself – the company or person facilitating the games. The house hosts the players and operates the tables, and for this it must pick up its own fee. This comes in the form of the ‘house edge’ – the advantage in odds which is commonplace in gaming. ‘House’ is also a bingo term, more commonly used as ‘full house’. This means that the player has matched all the numbers on their ticket, and therefore wins that round’s largest prize.
The ‘House’ is the casino – the place a player plays their games. Games in a casino are almost always played ‘against the house’, with the exception of poker which is usually played with other gamblers only. Games against the house might be played against a dealer, such as blackjack, or against a table game, such as roulette. The house also fronts the chips for play, exchanges chips for cash at the end of play, and provides entertainment for the players in the form of drinks and music.
The House always has an advantage over the player, known as the ‘house edge‘. This is where their money is made. Over time, the probabilities of wins are in the casino’s favour, not the players’. While some lucky individuals might make a lot of money, and others might see moderate successes, the average swing will favour the casino thanks to slightly reduced payouts and some manipulation of the random probabilities. For example, the ‘house edge’ in roulette is created by the zero on the wheel. No red/black or odd/even bet is 50/50, because of the random element. This means the house wins just over half of the time. Chips and cash retained by the house after players have finished their gaming session are known as the ‘house hold’.