House Edge Issues in Online Casino Games
Casinos have a thing called the fig (a short for tiger), which is basically the advantage that the home gains on all “true” or even money bets, on the same track and at the same odds, that you have bet on. In horse-race betting, you stake against everybody else at the race track, and, in general, the casino takes 17% of all money beted. So when you say “Vig,” it means “advantage.” That means that any time a casino has a bet and comes out ahead, that casino is “taking advantage” of you by paying you less than if you had bet the amount they wagered on the race. It is a form of gambling.
So how can casinos take advantage of you? One way is to give you the advantage that they themselves cannot: timing. In a typical baccarat game, the game is played fast-paced and on an immediate basis. In casinos where the speed of play is slow, baccarat players often feel that they are getting shortchanged. Therefore, it stands to reason that the casino would try to get as much of the baccarat game away from you as possible by employing an official or live dealer, who may well be more experienced than the dealer at the real track.
Thus, you may ask, why do casinos even offer baccarat to high rollers? Why don’t they just pay out to the minimum bet? The answer to that question lies in the nature of online gambling. In a typical online baccarat game, there are a very large number of participants. If you were playing in a brick-and-mortar casino, with perhaps only 100 participants, it’s quite unlikely that you would draw the attention of many high rollers. Online, because there are thousands of participants, high rollers tend to flock to casinos all the time.
Therefore, if there are any high rollers in attendance, they have plenty of free choices. They can play on video baccarat tables. There are also numerous video poker websites. They can choose whichever table game they find most interesting, and they are getting money from all over the world. They don’t have to worry about paying taxes, dealing with salespeople, waiting in line, or dealing with people who are less skilled than they are. In a brick-and mortar casino, these options might be closed to them.
Therefore, casinos find themselves in a position of leverage when they offer video baccarat. Video poker offers players free money as long as they keep their bets up to date. This is the perfect strategy for a casino that wants to maximize its profits, but it can work in either situation.
With online casino games, however, this leverage doesn’t exist. Players in an online game are playing for real money. And, though it is difficult to keep bets up to date online, there is no way to know what those old bets are going to cost in the near future. Because no taxes are due, and because bonuses may not be taxed either, the potential for losses is much greater. As a result, in online casino games, baccarat game players tend to hedge their bets with larger bets that mirror their real world counterpart.
This is why some online casinos have banned baccarat games altogether. At least one has. One popular online casino recently banned online baccarat due to the huge number of fake wins. “We received a large number of complaints regarding these fake wins,” the online casino said in a statement. “The baccarat system is absolutely legitimate; however, it cannot be used to replace cash.”
On the other hand, online baccarat casinos are not entirely void of risk. Players do risk more money when they bet large amounts of money on a game where they do not yet know the outcome. That is true even in games with no house edge, as there is always a chance to lose more money when you bet large sums than when you bet small amounts. That said, the players at these online casinos get the opportunity to win more money than players in real casino casinos, and they also have the opportunity to lose less money. They get to live by a principle: if you play the games you can win. If you don’t, well, you just lost part of your paycheck.