Gaming Odds Part II

Every time you bet at a professional establishment, there are a series of odds that are mathematically calculated to determine the probable outcome of the result. The higher the number the less likely you are to be successful in your bets. Tossing a coin gives you a one-in-two chance of being correct on a call of heads but will win you little money whereas placing a chip on 0 on a European Roulette table gives you odds of 36-1 of the outcome ending in your favour as a result of there being 37 different numbered zones on a Roulette wheel. Most players enter into a casino often just to play their favourite game on the off chance of winning some money, but few stop and think which games offer the best odds of success. Those that do often walk away far more successful and this is what professional gamblers use to increase their chances of scooping the big prizes.

Roulette is an independent variable game. Unlike Poker and Blackjack where odds are forever changing and player skill can be used to influence the result and increase chances of success, Roulette is determined purely by chance. Despite this fact, Roulette is still a hugely popular game that offers punters the opportunity to win up to 35 times the amount of money they stake on the table. The layout of the table makes it possible to hedge your bets as you play giving you the greatest chance of success.

Furthermore Roulette offers players the opportunity to place bets on areas that allow for the greatest possibility of a return. Betting on red or black, odd or even, 1-18 or 19-36 gives a player a 1-in-2 chance of success and should lady luck shine on the player, wins can be accrued quickly and any losses can be made back with some conservative gambling. Betting on a single digit, although enticing, actually offers the worst return relative to the odds of striking them. From odds of 36-1 the return is only 35-1, not representing the true difficulty of being correct. If a player was to place a dollar chip on every number, then he/she would receive $35 plus their $1 stake but lose the 36 other losing bets making the player break even or lose money if they were playing on an American table.

The House Edge in Roulette comes from the presence of the green 0 in Europe or 0 and 00 in America. Should the ball land on either of these two numbers then all outside bets (bets with the best odds of winning) are null and void and the majority of inside bets will naturally be too.

Craps, like Roulette is a game of chance that relies heavily on the luck of the person with the dice, but certain bets can limit the house edge in favour of the thrower. A pass line bet offers the best chance for success as it can be combined later with a pass line point bet. When making a pass line bet, the most common of craps bets, the offer of seven being a winning number gives the player 6 variations of totalling seven and odds of 5-1 of chance of landing the number. The presence of 11 also being a winning number further increases the range of a successful roll despite it being a 17-1 chance and the house edge is just 1.4%. The numbers 2, 3 and 12 are all losing numbers, with 2 and 12 being the least likely numbers to be rolled in a game of craps. If any other numbers are rolled, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10, a point is secured, then the player has the chance to place an additional bet up 5 times that of the pass line bet behind the pass line.  A pass line point bet reduces the house edge to 0% and offers true odds. If the player then hits rolls their initial roll again then they win depending on the total sum of the die. Other bets that reduce the house edge are single and double odds on pass line and don’t pass line bets. As they are low odd gambles, the opportunity to double or triple your stake reduces the edge to below 1%.

Bets to avoid are the individual numbers, hi-lo or craps due to the significant house edge. It is true that 7 is the most common combination but the casino recognise this and the payout is only 4-1 when the odds for rolling a 7 are 5-1 giving the house a huge 16.67% edge. Similarly betting on 2 or 12 gives the player a potential return of 30-1 but with initial odds of landing either of them at 35-1 the house again has a significant edge, this time at 13.89%.

For slot machines it is difficult to nail down precise odds. Because of the enormous range of machines and games out there the odds vary massively across the board. Slot machine odds are generally referred to through the payout percentage of the machine, the higher the percentage the better the player’s chance for success. At most casinos the payout percentage starts at around 92% and edge up towards 100. In some of the larger casinos, machines are available that offer more than a 100% payout. These are generally hidden amongst others as the impression of a machine paying out will encourage players around it to play other machines. The higher the denomination i.e. the higher the amount it costs to play the machine, the greater its payout percentage will be. Simply stated a $5 machine will be more successful than a 25 cent machine.

Back to games with ther best odds part 1.

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