There seems to be a direct relationship between skill, luck, and knowledge when you play online casino games. And according to those in the know, a very big percentage of gambling losses are due to poor execution of systems and failure to count with a good cash management plan. The more you know about the games you want to play, the better you’ll prepare to bet smart, and the more likely you’re to win big.
Top 10 Ways To Be A Great Gambler
Here are the top 10 ways that will allow you to get the most out of your gambling experience:
- 1. There’s a big difference between a game of chance and a game of skill, and you need to know the difference.
- 2. Make sure to know what is a house edge on every single game you play.
- 3. Become a passionate student of sports betting and gambling so you always find new ways of winning.
- 4. Work with a fixed budget and stick with it.
- 5. Practice, practice, practice.
- 6. Work with a system where you can establish goals for your winnings and also limits for your losses.
- 7. Don’t be the prey of sucker bets.
- 8. Avoid drinking alcohol while playing any games, and also try to avoid playing while you’re fatigued, or other different factors that can really impair your judgment.
- 9. Make sure to know where to get some help if you really start going overboard with your gambling.
- 10. Even if you’re trying to play like a professional, make sure to always have fun with the games so you can have the best possible quality of life.
Games of skill
Games of skill are all about having the right knowledge to become proficient, and that way being able to have a great deal of influence on winning odds.
Poker and its different variations, and also blackjack definitely fall into this category. So the better you become at these particular games, the more chances you’ll have to win in the long run.
For example, in blackjack, understanding, and following the basic strategy will improve your chances of winning.
And also, when it comes to poker, your win rate will go higher as you become a more experienced player because you’ll be able to notice different plays and make wiser choices, allowing you to know which hands to play, and which ones to throw away.
The typical skill games that you’ll find at an online casino are the following:
- Caribbean stud poker
- Pai Gow poker
- Let it Ride poker
- Red dog poker
- Video poker
- Video blackjack
- Sports betting
- Horse racing
It’s a good thing to notice that Pai Gow, Red Dog, Let it Ride, and Caribbean stud poker are games that involve less skill than the others listed here.
With that said, these are games that feature house edges that most pro bettors consider unbeatable in the long term. Learn how to play poker.
When it comes to sports betting and horse racing, these two are games of skill because understanding and having a good knowledge of sports and wagering directly influence the kind of choices you make when you place your bets.
The more you know your sports and your horses the more often you’ll be making the best choices. On the other hand, if you only rely on your own hunches and your gut feelings you will lose time and time again when placing bets.
Games of Chance
These games are the ones where there’s an independent outcome for each event, just like the flip of a coin. Casino games that are considered of chance include Slots, Bingo, Keno, Roulette, and Craps.
Spinning the Roulette wheel, tossing the dice, or drawing Keno numbers for example are outcomes that are not affected by anything that took place before the action.
And, that particular action doesn’t influence anything in the future either. So we can conclude that the odds of any given outcome in a game that’s considered of chance are always the same.
So what this means is that there’s really nothing you can do as a bettor to improve the odds of a very specific outcome.
If you really want to bet smartly on games of chance, what you need to do is to wager based on the probability of a given outcome.
For example, in craps, the probability of the roller tossing a 2, 3, or 12 is about 11%. The chances of the roller throwing a 7 are about 17%.
There are also a few card games at the casino that are considered games of chance. That is if they don’t allow the player to make decisions that can improve his odds of winning the play at the table.
One of those games is Casino War, where you win or lose based on how the cards turn up.
There are also experts that consider 3-card poker a game of skill, where chance plays a bigger role than skill as your odds to win really depends on the draw of the cards, and there is only one choice you can make: to fold or play versus what the dealer is showing.
There’s really no skill involved in this game.
Here’s the list of games of chance that you will find at most online casinos:
- Wheel of Fortune
- Sic bo
- Casino war
- 3-card poker
Be careful not to fall for sure-fire systems the promises to win games of chance. The reason is that these games are random and there is nothing like a system to beat them. Those making cash from this type of gamblers definitely don’t go for what they promise, so be careful.
What are gambling odds?
Gambling is all about the numbers. It really doesn’t matter if you’re playing cards or dice, or if you’re spinning the roulette wheel, it’s really all about the numbers.
A professional player bases his action on the knowledge he has previously acquired of the game, and a clear understanding of the odds that are involved for each game.
When armed with this knowledge, you can also make better decisions when you’re part of an online gaming table, allowing you to bump up your win rate, and even turn what it’s right now a cool pastime into what it can be a very profitable profession.
What gambling odds mean?
To put it simply, gambling odds are a mathematical calculation concerning the given outcome of a casino play. Here’s an easy example about a coin toss:
When you toss a coin in the air, you get two possible outcomes: the coin will land tails up or heads up. That’s it.
This means that you have fifty-fifty chance of winning your wager if you place a bet on either side. To figure out the odds, you just need to know the total number of possible outcomes.
So when you toss a coin in the air, you have 50/50 chances, and if you toss two coins in the air, then you have four possible outcomes. Both of the coins will land tails up or both will land heads up.
The first coin will land tails up, and the other will land heads up. Or the first coin will land heads up and the other coin will land tails up.
How to calculate gambling odds
An easy way to calculate odds when you have more than one item involved is to verify the outcome for one item, in this case, the coin, and then you can just multiply the outcomes for each item.
So concerning the previous coin toss example, all you need to do is to multiply the possible outcome for one of the coins by the total number of outcomes for the second coin, and that way you will get a total possible number of outcomes, which is four.
You can also roll a pair of dice, with each dice containing six faces. So there are six possible outcomes when you roll one dice. If you roll two dice the possible outcomes go from six to 36, and if you roll three, suddenly you have 216 possible outcomes.
Once you’ve been able to figure out the possible outcomes, it’s time to determine the probability of any of those outcomes, or a series of them actually happening.
For example, in Craps, you can make a bet where you want the dice to land a two, a three, or a twelve. Now, there’s only one way that you can roll a 2, and also one way you can roll 12.
But there are two ways that you can roll a three. So there are actually four possible ways craps out of 36 possible combinations, and that probability you can express it as 4 (this is the number of possible crap combinations)/ 36 (this is the total number of possible combinations).
Playing vs the House
An online casino is an establishment that’s in the business of making money. And they can do this because they can alter their payouts from actual true odds to casino odds, and in this way, they can guarantee that a percentage of every bet is always going to the house.
The difference between casino odds and true odds is what is called the house edge, the house advantage, the vig, or the vigorish.
The house edge will vary from game to game, and it can go from being as low as 1.1% to as high as 40%, and it all depends on the type of game, and the type of wager you’re making.
Casino Odds vs True Odds
Roulette is a game that’s a clear example of the difference between casino odds and true odds. On an American roulette wheel, there are 38 pockets.
The odds of a number coming up on any given spin are 37 to 1, but when you make a wager on a given number the house will only pay you 35 to 1 if you win.
Let’s say that you’re betting one dollar for each number for a total of $38. So if you win, you will get paid $35 for the winning number plus the dollar that you risked for a total of 36, so even if you bet every single number on the table you will lose two dollars.
And that is the house edge: 2/38, or 5.26%, and this is the difference between casino odds and true odds.
If this is a little bit abstract for you just imagine betting on the flip of a coin. As we mentioned before, there are two possible outcomes: you either get tails or heads.
So the chances of either of these occurring is 50%. Let’s put it this way: if you bet $10 that the coin will land tails up, and you win, you get your original $10 dollars plus $9 dollars for winning.
The one-dollar difference is what is called the house edge or the vigorish, in this case, a very nice 10% for the house.
The games of chance are the ones with the highest house edges, such as Keno, which pays 50% to 28% of what it takes in. Games of skill, on the other hand, such as blackjack and variations of poker have lower house edges, just around 5%. What is great is that if you become a pro player you will be able to trim that vig using money management and playing strategies, reducing the house edge to even 1% or even turning odds in your favor.
Remember a combination of discipline knowledge and skill are the best weapons that you can use to battle the house edge, whatever game you choose to play.
Important: Payout odds are expressed as “to.” When the ratio is 3 to 1 this means that you get your original bet back plus triple the amount in earnings. When the ratio is 3 for 1 this means that you’re getting triple the amount you bet, but you’re not getting your original bet back.
House Edge Versus Hold
It’s important to clarify that the hold is not the same as the house edge.
The hold is the percentage of cash that the online casino makes from players and it can vary a lot on a daily basis. Let’s say that the casino is selling 10,000 chips during a 24-hour period.
At the end of those 24 hours, the casino has 5,000 in chips, and the rest of those chips were cashed in by players. In this case, the casino’s hold is 50%.
The built-in house edge on all kinds of bets it’s actually designed to make sure that the online casino always takes in more cash than it pays out in earnings for players.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at playing most games (with poker and blackjack being the exception), if you really play for a long time the house edge will really catch up with you, and the casino’s hold is assured.
What’s great for online casinos is that just a handful of players actually follow a recommended strategy or even bother to try to understand the effects of the house edge.
As a consequence, the real return for the online casino, which is the amount players lose, can be as much as 10 times or more the expected return from the house edge.
A lot of popular online casino games offer extra bets. In blackjack, for example, the add-on is the insurance bet. When it comes to craps is the crapless crap bet, and in roulette is the five-number bet. The house edge for these add-on bets is very high.
For example, the insurance bet in blackjack comes with a house edge of around 6%. The tie bet in baccarat has a 14% house edge, and the side bet in Caribbean stud poker comes with a house edge of more than 25%.
With that said, an add-on bet is considered a sucker bet and you should always avoid them.
Playing Versus Other Players
In a game such as Poker, your cash is matched versus the cash of other players instead of against the house’s cash. And the online casino makes its cash by taking a percentage of the pot, also known as the rake.
When it comes to horses and dog racing, the parimutuel systems used also pool bets of players, and the off-track bookmaking agent just takes a cut from the pooled wagers to cover its expenses and profit. Then, it divides the remainder among the winners.
Other online games in which you can compete versus other bettors instead of the house include bingo and keno.
Also, when your opponents are other bettors, there is no house edge to consider, and instead, your win rate will be determined by your level of experience and skill as well as a little extra luck.