Mathematics of Gambling

Many people around the world love the games of chance and bet on their favourite sports. Many of us love playing poker, roulette, blackjack or the widely famous slots. All these games give us thrills because the chance to win the big money lies somewhere between the pack of cards or the favourable outcome in the preferred sports event. But experienced players know that gambling relies not only on luck but also on certain mathematical calculations. Throughout the years, many have tried to explain how mathematics is connected to gambling and how exactly it can give players an advantage over the course of a certain casino game or how it can help us calculate the most profitable bet.
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If you want to be the best online gambling master, don’t count to pure luck only. Actually, mathematics has always been an integral part of gambling. In casinos, it has been implemented to help both players and casinos generate profit. In sports betting it is used to calculate the results and to assure that bookies will have an income no matter what the result would be. It is not a secret and we all know that the software of the slot games, for example, is made in a way that allows the slot machine to be profitable every time. The casino software is developed long time ago and even nowadays, when casinos are almost 100% online, the development of new software continues. And it is not anything else but mathematics that stands behind this software. There are calculations concerning the average payout of the machines or the timeframe In which it is supposed to give a pair of winning symbols to the players. It is developed in a strict way and everything is precisely calculated. The machines are working exactly the way they are supposed to.

But mathematics in gambling has another aspect too. Many people claim that it can be used to take some advantage over the casino games or even the slot machines. Using mathematics can help players not only predict the outcome in certain parts of the game but also to make a very possible win. However, it is not such an easy thing to do. There are experienced gamblers who have gained knowledge throughout the years and are using mathematical techniques to be one step ahead in the game. We can even think of mathematics as a special part of the gambling as it can help players master the gaming experience and use it to take advantage when possible. Although becoming a real gambling expert requires a lot of skills and concentration, there are some interesting ways in which mathematics can help you a lot in achieving significant know-how and various competencies. Many books are written on the topic and there are many experts in this sphere who have shared their knowledge and experience.

Mathematical Methods And Casino Games

Throughout the years some common methods have been acquired as they proved their functionality while using some kind of mathematical expertise. Some of them seem to rely on probability and prediction of events but it is interesting and intriguing that they are actually backed-up with extensive mathematical calculations. In the next paragraphs, we will give you a brief example of one of the most well-known and widely used ‘’tricks’’. You can always learn some basic casino math and use it to take a well-calculated risk in different casino games such as roulette, blackjack, poker and others.

Mathematics In Casino Games

Cards Counting

Card counting is sometimes defined as unethical or a cheating technique. But in some casino games, counting cards can give you a quite good advantage. If you know the cards that are being dealt with and if you know the pair of cards at your hand, making some predictions is possible. Many of the experienced players know how to do that and many have succeeded in achieving good results. In fact, there have been many discussions and many written articles on this topic as it seems that this technique understandably plays a significant role in card games. A lot of games involve many opponents and counting the cards may give you a clue what hands eventually your opponents would be having. Also, strict observation of your opponent’s cards will help you predict your chances; thus you will be able to make better decisions in the course of the game. However, the favourable outcome for the player will always vary depending on the circumstances. For example, in a game such as blackjack, experts have always been arguing whether card counting can give you the chance to beat the dealer or not. Some say that this is a major myth, while others emphasise on it as a beneficial advantage.

The Probability Model

The probability model more often refers to games such as craps or roulette, where the chance of winning depends on what will be the total number of the dices thrown or what number will the ball hit in roulette. Here, the calculations concern the eventual outcome on the next throw of the dices. For example, if we know that each dice have numbers from 1 to 6 and when we know the number of dices that are being thrown we can make some predictions of what our chances for guessing the numbers would be.

For example, in a simple game such as the roulette, the so-called ‘’standard deviation” can actually be calculated with the help of a ‘’binomial distribution’’ formula. This formula is √npq. Here ‘’n’’ refers to the number of rounds played, ‘’p’’ is the probability of winning and ‘’q’’ stands for the probability of losing. Although it seems that the calculation is simple, have in mind that if the number of rounds increases, the expected loss may exceed many times the standard deviation. This may lead to the impossibility to make a long-term prediction. This is why this formula or theory is more wisely to be used for short-term calculations. In addition, there is also the “Volatility Index” which is used to define the standard deviation for one round and the variance ‘’V’’ which is defined as the square of the volatility index.

Mathematical Methods And Sports Betting

In sports betting, different sorts of mathematical calculations are also applicable and are being used very often. Bookies use lots of calculations to determine the risks, to settle the odds for certain sports event or to establish the ratio between expenses and possible revenues. But bettors can also use mathematics to get closer to an eventual win. First of all, the term ‘’Advantage Gambling’’ refers to the legal methods that can give players or bettors some advantage while placing bets. Experienced bettors know very well how to calculate the odds and how to predict the possible outcomes from the different game events. In fact, there are various possible ways where bettors can make good betting decisions by making some calculations or using different betting methods. Here are some examples:

Mathematics In Sports Betting

Arbitrage Bets

In Arbitrage Betting (or Surebets), a bettor can take a certain advantage if he or she places a bet at different bookmakers that are offering different lines. Mathematically the arbitrage bet occurs when the player places bets on the opposing outcomes at different bookmakers. Thus the bettor can guarantee a possible win, no matter what the outcome of a certain event would be. Bookmakers are in constant competition and often they set very different odds from one another. This makes a favourable situation for the experienced bettors to scan the odds and by making some calculations to place bets that can guarantee a profit. Some bookmakers claim that this type of betting is a sort of cheating and usually try to suspend the accounts of those who are suspected of doing it.

Betting Exchange

This type of betting is offered by many bookmakers and can also be in favour of the bettors as they can ‘’trade’’ the outcome and ‘’sell’’ or ‘’buy’’ throughout the event, thus having the possibility to either cut some of their losses or to lock their profit. At the same time, bookmakers generate revenue by charging commissions on the winning bets. Here, good mathematical calculations are also required in order to make the most favourable move and take advantage of the situation.

Final Words

In the end, the things that we gave as an example above are a small part of the various methods to use mathematical calculations in gambling. This topic consists of many different elements and details that have been studied throughout the gambling history. There are theories and gambling books (such as ‘’The Mathematics of Gambling’’ of Dr. Edward O’Thorp from 1984) describing the possible use of mathematics in the different casino games such as roulette, blackjack, poker or methods that can be used to beat the odds. Most of the experienced casino players and sports bettors who have gained extensive knowledge and who have acquired vast skills have succeeded in applying most of the methods and have proved that winning is possible. In every aspect, gambling is not only a matter of luck but can definitely be considered as a phenomenon that comprises a mathematical background.

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