In Blackjack, the player has to get a hand total of 21 or less to beat the dealer. If the former's total exceeds 21, he goes bust. On the other hand, in Roulette, the player isn't competing against a dealer; rather he is laying bets on the numbers on the wheel. However, both the games have house-edges.
Understanding Blackjack and the house edge
In a Blackjack game, you play your hand first. If the total crosses 21, you go bust. You would still lose your game even if the dealer's hand is also over 21. This is the house edge at work. In a fair game, it would be a tie. And had you played perfectly, your chances of winning would be 42%.
However, in a fair Blackjack game, that probability is 50%. In spite of all this, the house edge is just 0.5%. Why is the house edge in Blackjack so low? This is so because once in a while you do get a Natural. In this situation, you are paid at 3 to 2 odds.
Understanding Roulette and its odds
Many Roulette players place even money bets in their games. These bets are placed on Black/ Red or Odd/ Even numbers. Since there are as many black numbers as red in a wheel, the winning probability should be 50%, right? However, the presence of a 0 and 00 in American Roulette, reduces this number to 47.37%.
This means the house edge in a real money Roulette game is a massive 5.26%!. Obviously, you lose much more in Roulette over long term. When you place bets of $100 regularly on your Roulette game, your average loss turns out to be $5.26 on an average. In Blackjack, this loss is just 5 cents.
Average hourly loss in Blackjack and Roulette
A Roulette player loses roughly $13.15 in an hour. In the case of a Blackjack player, this loss is smaller; just $2.50. You can use a very simple formula to calculate how much profitable a game is. Multiply the number of bets and average player makes per hour with his average bet size.
This gives you the average hourly action of the game. When you multiply this figure with the house-edge, you get the hourly loss for that game. In Blackjack, the hourly action is $500. For Roulette, this figure is just 50% of Blackjack- $250. All this goes on to show that Blackjack is better than Roulette.
What about Blackjack versus other Roulette variations?
Since there is a single 0 in European Roulette, the hourly loss goes down to $6.75. Now the house edge is 2.7%. Even in this scenario, Blackjack has a better hourly loss figure. Now let's consider the "en prison" version of European Roulette. Here the house edge is just 1.35% which is half of European Roulette.
Look at the hourly loss of "en prison". It is now $3.38. Even in this case, Blackjack is a much better game than Roulette. However, this doesn't mean you should never play Roulette. Every gambler has his own reasons to play his game, such as excitement, simplicity, pace, etc. That said, Blackjack pays more than Roulette.
Calculating the game's eodds
Suppose you are asked to pick a red ball from a bucket containing red and white balls. You can calculate the odds of picking a red ball if you knew how many balls are red, and how many are white. Now suppose you have 3 red balls and one white ball. The odds of winning a red ball is 3:1.
Now if that bet pays 2:1, what's the house edge? Suppose you bet $100 in 4 trials. This means you bet $400 in total. If one of your bet wins, your profit is $200, but the net loss is $100 (300-200). Divide 100 by the number of trials (4), and your average loss is $25. The house edge is 25%.