Are zero house edge crypto casinos too good to be true?

Having the house edge has always been an important factor to the success of a casino venue. If you’re not familiar with the term, the house edge describes the mathematical advantage that the commercial gambling venue has over players over time. In poker machines the mechanism for the house edge is the Random Number Generator. In roulette, the house pay outs are 35 to 1, meaning the house won’t lose out over time. If you’ve ever heard of the phrase ‘the house always wins’ this is what it refers to. And while it’s not true every time, it is true overtime. 

It’s traditional that both online and land-based casinos have held this edge on the games they offer. They need this to ensure they’re making profit in the long term — and worth their while staying open. Having zero house edge is risky for casinos because it means that they could lose profits over the course of being open, which ultimately would mean they’d have to shut their doors (or if online, close their website). But many new casinos are now promising something that up until this point hasn’t been an option — no house advantage.

The proliferation of No House Edge Casinos and blockchain

The proposition of no house edge casinos is straightforward. You can simply play casino games without facing the house edge and potentially profit in the long run. But with the rise of new cryptocurrencies, there’s come with it a rise in online casinos offering no house edge. 

But what are cryptocurrencies and why have they become so popular? An internet-based medium of exchange, cryptocurrencies leverage blockchain technology to conduct financial transactions. 

The benefits to casinos

The way that zero house edge casinos benefit from the services happens in two different ways. The first is through skill-based games like online video poker and online blackjack, which has a variable house edge based on the players skills unlike games like slots. 

Another way that casinos can benefit from zero house edge is through running an initial coin offering (ICO) and keeping some of the tokens for themselves. ICO’s work in a similar way to stocks, so when the online casino sells their new digital currency – or a ‘token’ – to the general public, if the cryptocurrency is a hit and appreciates in value, the online casino will have made a profit, meaning the tokens can be worth a lot of money. Buying tokens is renowned as being high risk, but the rewards for the online casino and the investors can be huge. If the ICO is a success, the online casino should keep some of the tokens in the hope that the value of them will continue to increase in the future, this enables them to offer zero house edge games.

This strategy can be compared to the business model of the search engines such as Google, they provide free search services to the general public while profiting from displaying ads and charging the publishers for it.

And the risks? 

There are some real downsides players should take into account, too. One is the risk around crypto investment. Just as it could quickly rise, your bankroll (based in crypto token investments) could depreciate in value over night — so you’re essentially gambling with a gambling investment. 

Unfortunately, there are people offering ICO’s with the wrong intentions. If you’ve not fully researched the ICO, and the teams behind them, you may end up in a situation where you’ll be scammed. It’s important to be very cautious about buying tokens from brand new house edge casinos who haven’t developed a reputation. 2018 was a particularly bad year for this, rife with questionable ICOs

Another thing to bear in mind is around regulation. Unlike many other established casinos (and currencies) no house edge casinos aren’t as closely regulated which means you could be getting into a riskier situation than you would be otherwise. Countries around the world have some very different stances when it comes to regulating cryptocurrency. In fact, only a handful of nations actually regulate crypto gambling. 

Marketing themselves as crypto casinos is certainly one way to stand out from the crowd and gain some positive media attention, but beyond that is it of any great benefit? Clearly there are some who don’t feel as though it is worth it. Many established names within the industry have not yet made the move to facilitate crypto transactions, but why? 

For an online casino to be a regulated, it must verify players ages and the source of their funds to ensure no dirty money and money laundering is involved, so not accepting cryptocurrency in any form is the safest way to go. As a regulated leader of the industry, 888 casino ensure their players are well protected through being transparent when it comes to the transfer of funds, which is why it is the choice of online casino for so many people.

But what are the advantages to the player?

Of course, the most obvious benefit to playing at zero house edge sites is the fact that players have a stronger chance of winning — theoretically they have a 50% chance of winning. This is especially true if you’re playing a game like roulette that is non-skilled. If you’ve invested in tokens (which essentially act as your bankroll), you could ‘win’ so to speak if they being to rise in value. The crypto industry has some high stakes, with the market falling and rising by 10% on any day. 

Blockchain casinos also allow you to cash out everything and not leave some of your funds on the casino. 

Where to go from here

It’s important to do your research when it comes to playing at zero house edge casinos. There have been some exciting advances when it comes to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin — and zero house edge casinos have taken part. Of course, there are those great advantages, like having a stronger chance of winning, especially on non-skilled games like roulette. But you should be wary of the disadvantages too, like potentially being scammed by those running the game, and the high rise and fall of tokens. 

While the decision is ultimately yours, it’s always good to stick with a reputable brand and choose casinos that follow government regulations, wherever you may be located in the world.