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Should you make that bet?

Should you make that bet?

All casino players must understand that all casino games entail probabilities and statistics. Experienced gamblers use this information in order to make their decisions when it comes to online gambling.

When it comes to casino games in general, there are three strong elements that come into play: Probability, expected value as well as volatility. Understanding fully these concepts along with comprehending how online casino games work, can help protect your bankroll, and perhaps achieve a few wins.

Probabilities, Value and Volatility

All outcomes in casino games have probability encompass a number of possible outcomes. For example, if you roll a die with six sides, the probability of landing any particular number is one in six. When it comes to casino games with bigger spaces, such as poker, they have smaller probabilities.

So, for example, in a five-card poker game, the probability of drawing out a four of a kind, is a minuscule 0.000240.

Experienced gamblers know very well the probabilities attached to each and every result and can, therefore, calculate the odds of a specific hand. Ultimately, they base their gambling decisions on these odds.

Gamblers are not only interested in probabilities but also on how much money they can win in a game. The average amount they can expect from a win is expressed as Expected Value (EV). It can be mathematically defined as a set of possibilities multiplied by gains or losses.

Let’s put this into perspective. Let’s imagine a dealer is flipping a coin, and a gambler is betting £1 for every time the gambler flips heads but loses £1 if the result is tails. In this case, the expected value would be zero, since the probability of heads turning up is the equivalent of tails happening. Since there is no monetary advantage or disadvantage, it is considered a fair game even if it’s played many times. As such, there is no house edge attached to this.

If £1.50 is won for heads, then the Expected Value would be £0.25. If the same game is played 100 times, then the player would win a total of £25.

Players must understand fully the concept of Expected Value since it plays a pivotal role in gambling. It ultimately informs players how much money they can expect to win or loss in general.

When it comes to online casino games, they have negative Expected Values associated with them, since the longer you play, the more likely the house edge will get to you. It is, after all, how casinos make money.

Why do players gamble even if there’s a house edge?

Since luck plays an important role in gambling, there is still a mathematical difference between expected and actual values. Although Expected Values inform the player of how much he is likely to win in the long run, players are more inclined to know the actual values of every hand and the fluctuation from the Expected Value.

It is the volatility index, that informs the player, the chance of gaining more or less than the Expected Value.

Let’s use the earlier example again. After 100 games of toss the coin, the player has a 68% chance of walking away from the game between -£10 and £10 and a 95% of walking with -£20 and £20.

The volatility index gives a numerical value to luck by detailing the odds of gaining more than the expected value for the number of games played.

Experienced gamblers tend to assess the risk of their bets or rounds based on probability, the odds of winnings, volatility, expected value, how long they are going to play as well as the size of their bet.  This helps them create a picture based on the risk element and if it is worth going ahead with the bet.

That being said, we should make it clear that gambling entails a lot more than just mathematics. In games such as poker, experienced gamblers apply some knowledge of social psychology to be able to read other players from non-verbal cues.

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