Getting good odds at the casino

Paying less than the true odds
Another way the casino makes money is to payout less than the true odds. Take roulette: With 38 numbers on the wheel, your odds of guessing the winning number are 37 to 1. So you bravely place a $100 bet on a single number and hit it. Congratulations! After you quit jumping up and down and kissing the cocktail server, dealer, and anyone else who couldn’t quickly escape, you collect $3,500. But, wait a minute. $3,500 means a payoff of 35 to 1. What happened to the true odds of 37 to 1?The fact is, even though you win, your payoff is less than the true odds. The bottom line? Casinos take $200 out of every $3,800 wagered, which leaves the house with a hefty edge of 5.26 percent.

Muddling the odds
Casinos offer three types of games – games with fixed odds, games with variable odds, and games where skill can affect the odds. They all have different styles of play and appeal to different kinds of gamblers. Although you should naturally gravitate toward the games that are the most fun for you, you need to be clear on the three classes of games. This section looks at the three types more closely Games with fixed odds When the odds are fixed (not subject to change), the bean counters in the back room can calculate exactly how much each of these games wins for every $100 gambled. That’s because, no matter how much gamblers vary their play, the casino has the same edge. The house seldom has a losing day on games with fixed odds, such as Slots, Craps, Keno and Roulette.

Even though the profits fluctuate each day (due to short-term luck), casinos can easily forecast for the long run because they have hundreds of machines and tables all operating at once. Games with flariabfe odds In this classification, the odds change, depending on how well gamblers play their cards or place their bets. Several of these games may yield better odds for smarter players. But the gain in these games can only go so far because over the long run, the odds still strongly favor the house. In other words, even if you play better than anyone else at the table, these games can’t be beaten.
Some examples of these games include
– Pai Gow poker
– Three Card poker
– Let It Ride

Games where skills affect the odds
A few games reward skillful play and allow a tiny minority of gamblers to get an edge over the house. These games are variable-odds games, but they offer an advantage that the others don’t: Gamblers actually have a chance to win money in the long run. But don’t think you can walk in off the street and start pocketing Ben Franklins. Winning requires study, discipline, patience, and practice. Here are the games where skill can get you over the hump:
– Blackjack
– Video poker
– Regular poker
– Sports betting
– Horse racing