Why Do People Still Play Casinos If “The House Always Wins”

Austin Reynolds
by Austin Reynolds

We have all heard it. Perhaps, most of us even know it. “The house always wins” is a nagging cliché that has been eating away at gamblers’ joy and happiness visiting casinos or playing online and trying their luck at casino games of chance. Today, we look at this adage – as old as gambling itself, and we try to explain whether it contains a grain of truth and whether there is something to know besides the statement.

Well, nothing is as it seems, that’s a fact. For the most part, gambling isn’t a clear-cut process. It has sinuous twists and turns, and yes – the house has a house edge. Sometimes it's as small as 0.5%, sometimes it’s as small as 0.1% and it’s there, eating away at your long-term prospects to win. But we don’t always care for the long-term. After all, gambling is just about having fun and trying to get Lady Fortune to smile at you.

Is It True: Does the House Always Win?

Yes, it’s true – if you were to play indefinitely, the house will always win. It’s a mathematical inevitability. The house edge will gnaw away at your chances to win, but you know what? This shouldn’t stop you from playing either way. Gambling is predicated on the idea that you can place a small wager and turn it into a big win.

Is this going to happen statistically? Not really if you trust the odds, but jackpots do fall and millions are being awarded (if not billions in fact) across casinos in Nevada and New Jersey, Ontario, and beyond. The truth is the house has the upper hand, but there are also those of us who walk away winners.

So, should you really feel bad about knowing the truth? Not necessarily – casinos do not hide the fact that they are favored in the long term, but even before you read that you knew. So, what of it? Well, it’s simple. You can keep enjoying your gameplay and sessions as you see fit without feeling pressure to “win.”

This is why gambling is advertised as a fun product and just like you pay for going to the cinema, so is gambling designed to give you a small chance of winning some money back.

Can You Still Win Despite the House Edge

Yes, it’s possible BUT we need to define the winning conditions we are looking at. As we said, playing indefinitely would always result in a loss, but if you recalibrate the winning conditions, well – then you have a chance.

Winning at a casino would not really be about walking away with a big pile of money if you play three hours straight. In fact, you should forget about defining durations beforehand. Sometimes, people can get lucky after ten minutes of play and even double their bankroll.

It’s at this point that people will be oblivious to the truth – it’s time to leave the table as you have won a hefty amount and it’s unlikely that you will be able to maintain this advantage. So, winning at casinos is possible, but it boils down to people being able to say no to temptation.

In this sense, it’s possible to win if you are willing to accept that sometimes you must stand up and walk away (a little unsatisfied admittedly). This is precisely why people play – even if the house always wins.

After all, you are there to have fun, not to turn your fortunes around in a financial sense. It’s all about the thrill of the chance, the click of the reels and the spins of the roulette wheel, the flick of cards and clank of poker chips. So, there you have it – people love to play at casinos and don’t mind that the house edge has a head start that you will probably never be able to close no matter how hard you can try.

Is There a Way to Beat the House

The question is – is there really a way to beat the house? Well, there is! But beating the house can only exist as a “short-term concept.” This means that as soon as you have amassed a decent bankroll you need to end your session.

Statistically, many people are tempted to continue playing. After all, why should you do just that? You are looking to amass even more winnings, but the chances of that happening are, well, slim. So, the only way to beat the house is to actually know when to quit – usually while you are ahead. But this conflicts with the urge to play.

That is why many people ask if strategies can be of any help. Well, in theory, they are! But once again, a strategy is usually used to double after every loss. Statistically speaking, you will get a session in which you will lose 10 times in a row, and that is really bad, as you will very likely break the betting limit and not be able to recoup your losses by doubling your bet (or simply running out of bankroll to do that).

But the good news is that many of these strategies could end up winning you a small fortune early on (or at least a fortune relevant to your bankroll). There is no way to beat the house and even though “the house always wins,” people seem to care very little about that. 

You can always try your luck at a recommended online casino.

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