What is the House Take?
In the casino, the house take is the portion of all bets which is held by the casino, in order for them to turn a profit. Casino games are usually set up to favor the house slightly, so that more bets are retained than won. The overall profit from all games after bets are paid is the house take, and the term can also apply to the profit from each game, or to the profit made over a specific time period.
House Take Explained
A casino is a business like any other, and it needs to make a profit in order to cover staff and operating costs. In order to guarantee a slight profit, casino games are often slightly biased in the house’s favor. The profit made from bets is the ‘house take’. The house take can be calculated by subtracting the value of bets paid from the value of all bets taken. House take figures can refer to the profit from a single table, from a particular type of game, or from all games in a casino.
Most casino games incorporate the house take into the game’s odds. This is known as the house edge or house bias. For example, in roulette players can bet on whether a number between 1 and 36 will be black or red, or odd or even. These bets would offer 50-50 odds, and there would be no profit for the casino over time. A green zero (or two in US roulette) are therefore added to the wheel, skewing the odds of that 50-50 bet in the casino’s favor – and guaranteeing a profit.
However, in games like poker where players compete against each other, the house cannot affect the odds of the game to profit. Instead, the ‘house take’ for poker takes the form of a commission on each game fee, or a portion of the prize pot paid one or more times during the course of a poker game. Bookmakers also include a ‘house take’ in the price of bets, to cover their costs.
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