# Understanding Gaming Mathematics – How does it work?

When they start playing at an online casino, beginners often buy documents designed to help them win. It includes systems for various games, and there are entire books on correct strategy. Much more important, however, is a basic understanding of gaming mathematics that is the foundation of gambling.

Although extensive knowledge or understanding of the Martingale system can make you feel like a pro, it will hardly help you if you are ignorant of your chances.

## Understand opportunities and payouts

First of all, you need to understand how payouts and odds are calculated in the casino.

## Payouts and odds

When it comes to casino games, the most important thing to know is gaming mathematics that is used to calculate odds and payouts. Payouts are the sum you will receive if you correctly predicted the outcome. The amount is determined by the casino. For example, betting on a single number in roulette gives you odds of 35: 1. So if you bet ten euros, you can win 350 euros. If, on the other hand, you bet on red or black, the odds are 1: 1. So for a stake of 20 euros, you get a profit of 20 euros.

The odds on a particular bet differ from the payouts. For example, in American roulette there are 38 numbers, so your chances of winning if you bet on a single number are 37: 1. If you bet on two numbers, your odds go up to 18: 1.

If you know the payouts and odds and understand the calculation, you will be able to calculate the house edge for some games yourself. When betting on a single number, your odds are 37: 1 while you get a payout of 35: 1. So the house has an advantage of two rotations of the roulette wheel. If you divide these two games by the 38 numbers on the wheel, the house has an edge of exactly 5.26 percent. So you should avoid this game and if so, only play the free version.

## Expected Value, Variance & Volatility in Casino Games

If you’ve read anything about improving your profitability when playing at the casino, you’ve probably read terms like expected value, variance, and volatility. To better understand exactly how casino games work and how to get an edge on your favorite games, you need to understand these terms.

In this article, we’ll look at the basics of these terms without getting into the gaming mathematics details and equations. This will enable you to develop a general understanding of these terms and put the concepts into practice when playing at a casino.

The expected value is the average amount you will win or lose when you place a wager at the casino over a long period of time. To explain how the expected value is calculated, let’s use the example of a coin being tossed. If you bet one euro on a coin toss the odds are 50:50, so you will either win or lose one euro. The calculation is as follows:

0.5 (for the 50%) * 1 + 0.5 * (- 1) = 0

This means that the expected value in this game is 0 over a longer period of time. So in the long run you will neither win nor lose money.

However, if you take part in a game in the casino where the house edge is three percent and you place a bet of 100 euros, the loss is three percent of this 100 euros, i.e. three euros. When you play popular games like European Roulette on the internet, the expected value is always the same for every stake of the same amount.

While the expected value for stakes of the same amount on some games in the casino remains unchanged, the variance and volatility of these games can be very different.

Variance and volatility are very similar concepts. For this article, we’ll assume it describes the same concept. These terms relate to how volatile a casino game is, i.e. how often you experience switching between big wins and ongoing losses. If we look at the example of roulette and assume stakes on a row and on red of ten euros each, the variance (and the volatility) is significantly higher when betting on a single row.

The terms volatility and variance refer to the relationship between risk and return. Low volatility means that both the risk and potential rewards are low, while high volatility means that you can win very large amounts of money on a particular game. Low volatility slot machines provide you with a payout table that is very similar to an opportunity to win at every level of the game. Therefore, there are fewer discrepancies between losses and high profits. With some video poker variants, however, the volatility is very high. This is then about a huge jackpot, while no payouts are possible in the course of the game. So it’s all or nothing

## Expected value

Another factor that plays an important role in gaming mathematics is the expected value. In short, this value describes the amount of money that you win or lose if you play for a long time and always make the same bet.

To illustrate this with an example, let’s take a look at the pass bet in the game of craps. The house has an advantage of 1.41 percent over the players, so the expected value is 0.9859. So if you bet five euros each in 100 games, the expected value is -7.05 euros (500 x 0.9859)

In almost all casino games, players must expect long-term losses. Exceptions are some variations of video poker, poker (since you compete against other players), and blackjack when you have the chance to count cards, which is not possible in online casinos. Many people question the point of gambling, as it is very likely to lead to losses in the long term. However, you can definitely win in the short term while using gaming mathematics, which is why gambling is an attractive pastime.

## Gambling strategy

While the casino has an edge on almost every bet, if you use the right strategy and gaming mathematics your chances of winning (or avoiding losses) increase. Basically, it’s about making the best bets through gaming mathematics to minimize the house edge. For example, if you have 15 points in blackjack and the dealer reveals a five, stick with your cards and not add any more cards.

Most games in the casino have a simple strategy in which a certain bet is statistically the best alternative in every situation. When you really understand gaming mathematics and the payouts and odds, you can adjust your strategy accordingly. However, some games, such as poker and blackjack, are not only about gaming mathematics but also about psychology.

Depending on which casino games you are interested in, you should learn more about the strategies involved and gaming mathematics. It is very easy to find information about gambling and gaming mathematics on the internet, so there is no excuse for not acting accordingly.

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