When it comes to luck-based games, there’s a belief that the chance for winning or losing is simply mathematical. While this is the case in theory, in practice, this is usually not so. For instance, when you’re playing a card game, regardless of how many bets you place, the total number of these games is far too low in order to be representative. Still, when you take all the card games played in the world, the sample is so large that it’s quite easy for the anomaly to slip by.
That being said, the truth is that a lot of people tend to assume that they know the right answer. This is because something appears logical or intuitive, but these things can often be misleading. For instance, if someone asked you what the odds of a coin flip are, you would say that it’s 50/50. In reality, the result is closer to 51/49. This is because, depending on the coin, the texture on one side is always slightly heavier than the one on the other. This tips the scales slightly in favor of the heavier side. Needless to say, this is also the reason why toast always falls on the buttered side.
While this may not affect or reflect on your overall betting experience, here are some interesting facts on the best/worst casino game odds that you may encounter.
Blackjack – 49%
The main reason why the odds at Blackjack are close to 49% is that, in its very nature, Blackjack is a 1-on-1 game. Sure, multiple people may sit at the dealer’s desk, but each of them is playing their own game against the dealer (they’re not playing each other).
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that, unlike some other games, this is a game that’s heavily affected by your skill and decision-making. Sure, you can hit on 19 and still win, but if you play rationally, you’re less likely to lose money by avoiding this type of risky behavior.
While there are always myths about ‘cheating the casino,’ in reality, the dealer depends on luck as much as the player. The biggest difference lies in the fact that its player’s decision-making that’s affected by emotions.
Slot Machines – It’s complicated
This is probably the most complex game to figure out in terms of odds. Namely, a lot of people may accuse slot machines of being easy to rig. Sure, these machines are programmable; however, not in the way you think. In order to start untangling the web, you need to try and understand the following – what does high volatility mean? Volatility is a KPI (key performance indicator) used to calculate the performance of a slot machine.
When making a division (or a classification), it’s important to mention that there are three types of slot machines:
These figures are determined in terms of variance. There are also two additional categories (medium-high and medium-low), which are also sometimes used. This determines the harshness of the RNG (random number generation), which affects the outcome of every roll.
In practice, this is really not as complex as it sounds.
Roulette – 49% (approximately)
This one is a bit controversial for several reasons. First of all, there are a lot of ways for you to bet on roulette. You can bet on a specific number or several numbers and, in this situation, the equation of your odds would look quite different. At the same time, you can play just red or just black. You can play numbers from 1 to 12 or 1 to 18. You can even play odd or even numbers.
So, if you can just play odd or even numbers or only play red, why is it not 50%? Well, because you also have 0 (on some roulettes even 00), which means that there’s always a chance that it goes neither of these two ways. Still, these odds are much easier to strategize with, especially if you decide to apply one of the betting strategies. Some of the most common roulette betting strategies are:
- James Bond
Learning a couple of these can change the way you play roulette.
Poker – it’s all up to a player
Lastly, it’s important that we include at least one game like poker on this list. Why? Well, because this game (although heavily dependent on luck), is all about skill. Sure, you can have a horrible hand, or you can have the best hand ever; still, this is merely a starting position. What you do with this hand will determine the outcome.
Also, unlike other games, you have tough competition, all fighting for the same prize pool. This means that who you’re playing against determines your odds. Again, since every game is luck-based, even the best player in the world can have a bad day. All of this makes us come to a conclusion that there are simply too many variables to make a definitive conclusion.
Still, there are tournaments, people who use poker as their main source of income, and people who get rich playing poker (both in-person and online). In other words, regardless of the fact that the game is luck-based, the skill plays a far bigger role here.
While knowing the odds doesn’t change your chance of success, it’s always fun to learn a thing or two about the game that you’re playing. A piece of trivia may affect the way in which you access these risks and it may help you choose between certain strategies.
At the end of the day, knowing the odds is not going to prevent you from playing. Gambling is primarily a form of entertainment and for as long as it’s fun, game odds are quite insignificant. This is why some people don’t even care about the odds.
Lastly, for some, gambling is a chance for socialization. In these circles, casino etiquette, knowing the terminology, and even a piece of trivia here and there, can be a great conversation starter or an ice breaker.
Knowing more is never a bad thing.