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Costs of Casino Games Based in Payback Percentage and Hands Per Hour

Calculating Cost Per Game

You heave heard that payback percentage is the measure of how much of a casino's earnings it gives back to players as winnings. This is true; however it would be mistake to use payback percentage solely as the basis for judging how much games actually pay. There are other factors that need to be weighed, including the speed rate at which the game is played and the amount of bets made.

Taken together, these give us the Cost Per Hour of a casino game. The formula for determining cost per hour is:

Cost Per Hour = House Edge * Games Per Hour * Average Bet

Note that house edge is the reverse of payback percentage; a 91% payback percentage is the same as an 8% house edge.

So for example, blackjack has a house edge of 0.5% and its minimum bet is $5. If played by a single player at a rate of 250 hands per hour, the cost is:

0.5% * 250 * 5 = $6.25

The average loss per hour is $6.25

Examples of Costs Per Hour of Casino Games

Now here are some common casino games and their associated costs per hour based on example figures. Based on these examples, you can learn to compute the costs of other games. Please note that costs per hour vary with rule variations, e.g. number of decks in blackjack, surrender, etc.

BACCARAT HOUSE EDGE GAMES/HOUR BET SIZE COST/HOUR Bank 1.06% 60 $10 $6.36 Player 1.24% 60 $10 $7.44 Tie 14.36% 60 $5 $43.08

6-DECK BLACKJACK HOUSE EDGE GAMES/HOUR BET SIZE COST/HOUR Basic Strategy 0.6% 80 $5 $2.40 Average Play 1.5% 80 $5 $6.00 Bad Play 3% 80 $5 $12.00 Awful Play 6% 80 $5 $24.00

CARIBBEAN POKER HOUSE EDGE GAMES/HOUR BET SIZE COST/HOUR 5.32% 45 $5 $11.97

KENO HOUSE EDGE GAMES/HOUR BET SIZE COST/HOUR Traditional 30% 10 $1 $3.0 Video 8% 400 $1 $32.0

LET IT RIDE HOUSE EDGE GAMES/HOUR BET SIZE COST/HOUR 3.5% 45 $5 $7.88

PAI GOW HOUSE EDGE GAMES/HOUR BET SIZE COST/HOUR No Bank 2.54% 40 $10 $10.16 W/ Bank 1.27% 40 $10 $5.08

ROULETTE HOUSE EDGE GAMES/HOUR BET SIZE COST/HOUR Inside Min. 2.7% 40 $1 $1.08 Inside Norm. 2.7% 40 $20 $21.80 Outside Min. 2.7% 40 $5 $5.40

SLOTS HOUSE EDGE GAMES/HOUR BET SIZE COST/HOUR Quarter 7% (Ave.) 600 $.75 $3.15 Dollar 5.5%(Ave.) 600 $3.00 $99.00

VIDEO POKE HOUSE EDGE GAMES/HOUR BET SIZE COST/HOUR 1% (Ave.) 600 $1.25 $3.75

As you can see, the house edge/payback percentage is only part of what determines cost per hour. Do not be deceived by payback percentage. Just because a game has a low house edge, that doesn't mean you will lose less money from it. Some games with a high payback percentage like baccarat still cause heavy losses if they are played fast, and baccarat is played much faster than 60 hands per hour in lower stakes tables. Conversely, slot machines may have a low payback percentage, but with penny and nickel slots around, they don't cost as much as you may think.

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