When you play games such as blackjack, baccarat and poker, the casino will have what is called a house edge. This is the percentage a casino will win over the long term. Any gambler aims to reduce that percentage as much as possible.

With blackjack, one of the games with the smallest house edge, this is usually around 2%. Therefore, for every £100 you bet, you will lose £2. That doesn’t mean you won’t be getting wins on the blackjack table, but if you keep on playing for long periods, that 2% loss is the expected result.

How can the house edge be reduced when playing blackjack? The solution is to employ some basic strategy. This improves your game and can reduce the house edge to below 1%. This can be as low as 0.5% in some versions of the game.

You need to learn when it is best to double down or split in blackjack next time you visit a casino as part of your trip to London. When is the ideal time to refuse any further cards, or when you should ask for another? It might be fun to have 14 and take the chance of receiving another card, but the casino loves players who are prepared to take such risks.

The key thing about blackjack is to remember that it’s most likely the next card will be 10 since all tens, jacks, queens and kings have that value – 16 cards in every deck of 52. If you can’t make it to your local casino, then go online instead, but make sure you find a licensed and regulated site.

Another popular card game is baccarat, and again the house edge can be low and just above the 1% mark. As with any card game, you need to do some research before beginning to play it. Poker and blackjack are both more popular than baccarat, but it is an enjoyable game to try your luck on.

Knowing just what is needed to win is vitally important. You wouldn’t buy a Monopoly set and then try to play it without looking at the rulebook, would you?

Baccarat, a favourite of James Bond in Monte Carlo, differs from blackjack in many ways. One is that there isn’t the need to decide whether to take another card because the dealer does all the work. Your only job is to decide whether to bet on Player, Banker or whether there is going to be a Tie. Therefore, unlike in blackjack, you aren’t able to influence the outcome.

The house edge is low because of this. Ties aren’t common, so it’ll either be a win for the Banker or the Player. There is a slight advantage to the Banker, though, hence the existence of a house edge. The fact that Banker cards are dealt second is the reason for this.

To reduce the house edge, the aim is to play in such a way that reduces the chances of losing. Backing a tie isn’t advisable; there’s a reason why it pays such good odds. It may well happen, but the number of times you will get a win is very unlikely to prevent a loss from being made in the long-run.

Betting on the Banker can reduce the house edge, but there is still commission to be paid, so the wins won’t be that high. But statistically, this is the correct bet to make every time.

When it comes to poker, there seems to be an endless stream of strategies. Even the most successful players can learn something when they take part in a big poker tournament. Again, using a strategy can reduce the house edge in all casino poker games.

Playing poker and not knowing whether three of a kind is better than a straight really isn’t advisable. Thankfully, plenty of resources can be accessed to increase your knowledge of the game.

The house edge varies with each version of the game. It can be as high as 5.22% for Caribbean Stud Poker but only 1.5% for Three Card Poker.

Be careful not to be tempted by the side bets that a casino may offer. Concentrate on the main game and use the strategies you have learned to improve your chances of success. Don’t play every hand, just the ones where you believe there is a good chance of success. Plenty of decisions to be made in poker, so make sure you fully concentrate on the hand being played.

There will always be some house edge, but as you’ve read, it can be reduced. Your future casino visits may produce better results if strategies are employed.