“Men must not believe they can win, especially at bets. They can win in the short run, but they can’t win forever.”
Michael Piggot, Tabcorp
Gambling is seen as an easy way to make money. Other see it as a loss of time, that leads to addiction and leaves wallets empty. Others come into the casino just to have fun, not interested in winning. One thing, however, is certain. The affirmations above cannot be interpreted separately, as they complete each other.
Although you can win impressive amounts as a punter, specialists recommend that you have a limit, as it was demonstrated that experience does not always bring the wanted winnings. On the other hand, casinos aren’t charity houses either, so if you’ve ever won once, don’t expect to have that luck again any time soon. And that is because all the games you find in the casino work on well defined mechanisms, thought out on mathematical probability and series, so as to make the win depend solely on the winner’s luck.
The casinos know that, in order to make money, they have to sometimes lose, to give the player a sense of satisfaction, to make him/her believe that he/she has beat the system and that he/she has won the big jackpot. That is why there are several games which present high chances of being won by players.
The most popular card game in casinos is Blackjack and not poker, as you would have expected. The rules are simple. Blackjack is usually played between a dealer and several players, but it may also be played one on one, and given the fact that it is relatively easy, it’s no surprise that it’s liked by everyone. The purpose is that of having a better hand than the dealer. In order to achieve this, you must have cards that have a total value greater than the dealer’s hand, without exceeding 21. In the case in which the value of the dealer’s hand exceeds 21, you can win with a score lower than 22. If the total value of your hand is 22 or greater, you automatically lose the money you bet. There are also various combinations which, once memorized, can come in handy for the player and are a disadvantage for the casino. This casino game can have a winning margin (house edge) of only 1% or even lower, which means that even a beginner can become a master with a drop of luck. Therefore, it’s no surprise why Blackjack brings over one billion dollars in winnings annually, for those who play it.
Roulette is a synonym for gambling. It’s one of the oldest attractions in a casino, and its origins date back to the XVII century. There are three types of roulette: French, European and American. For a greater chance of success, we recommend that you bet on the French or European roulette, as they are very similar, and that you avoid the American one as much as possible. Ordinary roulette has 36 numbers and a green pocket for the number 0, while the American roulette has two such spaces, cutting winning chances in half. The numbers on the roulette are red or black. Players are allowed to bet on a single number, one color or one row of numbers. The casinos’ winning margin, in the case of American roulette, is of approximatively 5%, while in the case of European or French roulette, that percentage is cut in half: 2.7%.
Another perfect game for those with a true passion for gambling is Baccarat, one of the most known games that can be found in all the casinos in the world, and its presence in the James Bond series has contributed to his popularity. You might have heard of baccarat as “the game of great rich punters” and that might make you believe that we’re talking about a complex game, based on skill, when in reality, it’s actually simpler than roulette. The purpose is to have as large of a score as possible. In baccarat, you only have three bets from which to choose, with different risks and margins: dealer (1.06% chance of winning), player (1.24% chance of winning) or tie (14.36% chance of winning), which is in the casino’s favor. In baccarat, you simply bet money and hope to get lucky. There are, however, certain disadvantages. The game is so alert, that you can win or lose very quickly.
We kept for last a game which is fairly complicated if you are a beginner, but not impossible to win at, especially after you get the hang of things. It would be a shame not to give it a shot in the context in which casinos have a winning margin smaller than 2%. Practically, the game is on your side.
Craps is played with two dice and you can be a “shooter” (the one who throws the dice) and you can just throw them or simply bet on the result of the throw. The craps table has all the bets possible marked on it and you will indicate the bet you make with your chips. In a traditional casino, this procedure can seem intimidating, however, if you’ve just learned to play craps, you should bet on the “pass line” until you learn more about the options you have. Everybody places their bet and then the “shooter” throws the dice with one hand to show the result. The first dice throw is called a “come out roll” and if you bet “pass line”, then you will wish that the shooter throw a 7 or an 11, as this will make you an immediate winner. If the result is a 2, 3 or 12, then you have craps, which means you lose. Any other number establishes a point. The next dice throw will have to produce a point before throwing a 7, in order for you to win.
PAI GOW POKER
All the games discussed generate huge winnings for the casinos, especially slot machines. Incredibly, there are only a few games which are not very profitable for casinos. Of all casino games, Pai Gow Poker is the least profitable game for casinos. This can happen as not many casinos offer this game as an option. Pai Gow is an old game, hundreds of years old, which was initially played in China, not with cards, but with domino pieces. Pai Gow Poker was created at the beginning of the 1980s by an American with Chinese heritage, who wished to introduce his childhood game into casinos. The chances of winning a hand at Pai Gow Poker are of approximatively 95%, which is almost the same as in the case of other types of poker. Even though Pai Gow Poker is popular among Asians, the Americans don’t like it, as it is much slower then the poker game average.
Punters must remember that luck eventually runs out. The winning margin or the house edge, as it is known, can be found in any type of commercial gambling. The more you play over time, the more you’ll lose. You can have luck in the short run, but if you continue to play, you will eventually lose, so you must be capable of restraint.
by Paul Dan