A person playing a pinball slot machine in Las Vegas won $320,000 recently. That kind of win doesn’t happen often which is why it’s a big news story.
Whether you’re playing at a casino or real online gambling, you need to know your odds of winning. You don’t want to constantly lose money because you didn’t understand the math behind the casino games.
You may have no use for algebra and trigonometry that you learned in school. The real math that’s the most useful in gambling is the field of probability.
Read on to learn the basics of probability math and how you can use it to win at the casino.
The Basics of Probability Theory
Human beings want nothing but certainty in life. We don’t want to deal with uncertainties like what’s going to happen in the future because the unknown is a bit scary.
Probability theory helps us alleviate those anxieties around the unknown because we have a little more certainty and understanding about what could happen and what’s likely to happen next.
Probability takes one situation that occurs with the exact circumstances, looks at all possible outcomes, and then creates a ratio of the probability of those outcomes.
A coin toss is a perfect example of probability. One of two things can happen. The coin can be heads, or it can be tails.
The ratio is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. In the case of one coin toss, the ratio is .5 heads and .5 tails.
As you move into multiple coin tosses, the probabilities will change. If you do 4 coin tosses, the probability of heads will be .25.
You can look at gambling purely from a mathematical perspective and understand a little bit more about your odds of winning. There’s one thing that casinos understand and take advantage of that goes beyond the numbers. That’s behavioral economics.
Behavioral economics is the science that seeks to understand the psychological, social, and cultural influences as it relates to money.
People are emotional when it comes to money. They’re emotional when they win, they’re emotional when they lose. All you have to do is look at the stock market as an example. The volatility of the stock market is due to emotional influences more than anything else.
Behavioral economics is in play when you gamble. There are 7 key principles of behavioral economics. Among them is the principle that people are bad at computing probabilities. They’ll put a lot of weight on recent events and act accordingly.
A good example of this in action is the gambler’s fallacy. When you play an online casino game that hasn’t had a win in a while, you convince yourself that the next game is going to be the winner.
The probability of the win hasn’t changed. What has changed are your behavior and beliefs in thinking the game is a sure winner.
What Casinos Know That You Don’t
Online and in-person casinos are designed with two things in mind. The first is that you have fun and enjoy yourself. The second is that you will part with your money.
The casino industry studies behaviors and mathematics to learn how to get you to stay at the casino longer and to keep you engaged online. The reason is simple, the probability of you losing money is greater the longer you play.
Have you ever played a game where you spend $20, won $13 back and you felt like a winner? That’s enough to keep you hopeful and play more, but the sad fact is that you still lost $7 with little chance you’ll make it up.
Playing Casino Games to Win
The house is against you. Once you realize that, you know that you are expected to lose money. It is always possible to win, you just have to know how to play the odds. Here are the things you have to look out for when you are playing online gambling games.
Know Your Games
Every game has a different level of probability. Your probability will be different when you play blackjack, baccarat, bingo, or online slots.
You should know the games that you’re playing inside and out to understand the probability.
Slot games have paylines that impact the probability of winning. These are the ways you have to line up the symbols in order to win. Some games have 10 paylines, and others can have 100 paylines.
Bingo games can be played with 36 balls, 96 balls, or another variation. On a 36-ball game, you have a higher probability to win.
Always Think Clearly
Have you noticed that when you go to a casino, alcohol is readily available? You may make it a habit to relax on the couch with a drink in one hand and your phone in the other, playing online gambling games.
The problem with that is that your aversion to risk comes down when you drink, making you more likely to spend more money.
You always want to be responsible when you gamble by limiting the number of drinks you have when you’re playing.
Real Online Gambling the Right Way
The next time you’re playing a casino game, you’re going to approach it a bit differently than just throwing money into your account and clicking a button.
Real online gambling combines the probabilities of mathematics and behavioral economics to keep you playing longer. That’s because casinos understand that the longer you play, the more you will lose.
When you play again, you’ll understand how to play and have fun without losing your money. Do you want some more fun articles? Head over to the Lifestyle section of this site.