Gambling mechanics are something everyone who likes a flutter should have in the back of their mind. We all know that casinos and sportsbooks are money making machines. But when you know exactly how they make money, you can help yourself to make smarter and more realistic decisions.
1. Sports is never guaranteed
As anyone who’s followed sports for a long time will tell you, there are no guarantees. Sports are played by humans and humans are unpredictable. Sure, it makes sense to do a little research before placing a bet. But just because one team usually beats another one, doesn’t mean they definitely will next time.
So keep that in mind next time you’re placing a bet.
Another thing you should know is how the odds work. For USA sports wagers, odds are usually expressed in decimals. For example, if you see 2:00, that means if you bet $10, you get $20 back. Meanwhile over the pond in the UK, the same bet is more likely to be expressed as a fraction like 2/1.
2. Blackjack is all about strategy
The gambling mechanics in a blackjack game are all about strategy. Knowing what actions you should take in certain situations minimizes your losses. So if you don’t know about how blackjack works, brush up before you take on the dealer again.
But remember, even if you win big in the short term on blackjack, there’s a big chance you’ll make at least a small loss over the long term playing the game.
3. Practice and strategy can help your chances in poker
Knowing good strategy and understanding odds can help you even more in a game of poker. It’s also a game of skill and can take a long time to master. But as professional players will tell you, sometimes even if you make the exact right decisions, lady luck doesn’t always shine on you.
Always be prepared to go into a poker game and lose whatever you put in, because with the best will in the world, you might suffer a bad beat.
4. Slots gambling mechanics are all about RTPs and RNGs
Each slots game clearly outlines what it’s return to player percentage is. Based on tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of spins, it tells you how much a slot pays out on average over a long period of time.
These RTPs are always under 100%. That’s because over time, most players will end up losing money on slots. The same as with any other casino game. After all, it’s how casinos are profitable. Therefore you should always play for fun, not as a money spinner.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that slots are governed by Random Number Generators. That means there’s absolutely nothing you can do to give yourself a better shot at winning. It’s all pure luck of the draw.
5. Bingo gambling mechanics are totally random
Just like in slots, bingo games online are dictated by Random Number Generators. There’s absolutely nothing you can do to improve your chances of winning. You just sit back and enjoy the game.
However, if you’re playing offline, make sure you know what combinations result in payouts so you can claim your prize if you do win. And, of course, make sure you’ve got your hearing aids in to hear the caller!
6. Roulette odds are very predictable
There are a limited number of outcomes on the roulette wheel, so it’s easy to predict how often they happen. The gambling mechanics in both European and American roulette are the same, but the odds are different.
Because American roulette has a double zero, the odds are slightly better in European roulette. If you enjoy roulette and American is all you have the option of playing, go for it. But if you have the choice, European definitely maximizes your chances of losing less over time.
Like with the other games, you need to remember that even if you place the safest roulette bets, you’re likely to lose over the long term. So you should only ever play for fun, not for making money.
- Single number bets have a 2.7% chance of winning in European roulette and 2.6% in American (35:1 payout in both)
- 2 number combination bets have a 5.4% chance of winning in European roulette and 5.3% in American (17:1 payout in both)
- 3 number combination bets have a 8.1% chance of winning in European roulette and 7.9% in American (11:1 payout in both)
- 4 number combination bets have a 10.8% chance of winning in European roulette and 10.5% in American (8:1 payout in both)
- 5 number combination bets have a 13.5% chance of winning in European roulette and 13.2% in American (6:1 payout in both)
- 6 number combination bets have a 16.2% chance of winning in European roulette and 15.8% in American (5:1 payout in both)
- Column and dozen bets have a 32.4% chance of winning in European roulette and 31.6% in American (2:1 payout in both)
- Even/odd, red/black, low/high bets have a 48.6% chance of winning in European roulette and 47.4% in American (1:1 payout in both)
Getting help for gambling problems
If you’ve spotted some gambling problem warning signs in yourself or a loved one, you need to get help. You should self-exclude from any online gambling sites you have accounts at. And most importantly, you need to get help from an independent and trustworthy place.
The National Council on Problem Gambling is available for anyone based in the USA, with plenty of online resources and a phone line on 1800 522 4700. Outside of the USA, you can find plenty of other international gambling help organizations located in your local area.