Perspective on Gambling – House Edge

I know a lot of gamblers, mostly social and those who do it for entertainment plus one or two for whom it’s more like a way of life.  One thing that always occurs to me is that I hear an awful lot of stories about how much they win.  Tales of winning streaks, luck bets and just basically earning huge profits on one casino game or another.   Now I do win occasionally but overall this is unfortunately not my experience of gambling at all.

You just have to walk down the Vegas strip to see that I cannot be alone, these incredible hotels built on million dollar real estate land are not built on winners.   That money comes from someone, and I suggest it’s from about 99% of us gamblers.  This is the truth simply because whatever game you play in a casino there is always a mathematical advantage, and it’s always on the same side – the casino.  Which is why it’s commonly known as the house edge.   It’s the positive advantage that the casino has over each individual player.   The house has therefore a positive expectation for winning while because of their disadvantage the player has a negative expectation.

The house edge does in fact fluctuate depending on which game you play.  There are some games of skill like Blackjack which minimize the advantage but it’s still there.  What is worse the advantage exists whatever the player does (at least legally) but if the player plays badly or erratically it can rise even further.   Which is why you should develop a tactic or technique perhaps on one of the many free online roulette no download sites on the web.

Imagine all these positive expectations, and consider that a large casino in Vegas might have 50,000 players in a single day. Every single one is ‘expected’ to lose because of the laws of probability and the built in house edge.  Of course, not everyone will lose, some will win, some will even win big but overall the majority will lose money.  In fact the more people the play the more likely the casino is to fulfill this positive expectation whether it’s roulette or something like Blackjack.

A mathematician called Olaf Vancura once calculated that a casino which saw 100,000 roulette spins in a single quarter would have a 99.9% chance of making between 4 and 6.5% of the total wagered. It has to be as close to a surefire winner of a business model that exists anywhere.  The only way the casino really loses if not enough people come and play, if they do the mathematics will deliver them a healthy profit.

It’s why the casino doesn’t mind a few winners even big ones, as long as it gets the numbers the casino will win.  Of course we all really know this deep down, but it’s something you should  keep at the back of your mind.  No amount of clever betting or super secret roulette system will change this situation that the house has the advantage.  Yet of course, people hit it big all the time – a single spin on a slot, a few lucky turns of the wheel can produce a huge win for people.

Safe USA Online Casinos

There are of course many ways to get scammed over the internet, however it’s difficult to find an area so completely dominated by con artists, thieves and fraudsters.  Yes, I’m talking about online casinos – there are literally thousands of them and the majority of them are simply scams.

They are actually not that hard to spot, here’s a couple of pointers to watch out for:

  • Bonuses – scam casinos offer huge bonuses in the way of free money, spins and deposits.  They seem ridiculous because they are, you won’t see any of these when you start playing.
  • Fake Software/Pirated Games – also very common,  they are little more than  pirated casino games built into a copied website.  Typically littered with spelling mistakes and poor grammar – these are often created and copied en masse.
  • No contact/help information – scam casinos exist to steal your money, they don’t offer support or help – check out their contact details if they exist. If there are phone numbers ring them to see if they’re legitimate.

It’s made more complicated in the US due to the 2006 gambling legislation changes and so the legitimate choice is slightly more restricted too. Ultimately the safest option is to go for a casino with a decent reputation and a brand to protect.   You can usually get a reasonable bonus and a decent free play section to check out the various games and software.

Bovada is a very safe option and one of the most respected names in the online casino world.  It’s actually a rebranded version of Bodog specially created for the American market,  as far as safe USA online casinos they don’t come much safer than this.  They accept all major US credit cards and even bitcoins if you use them.

There’s a free play section which includes the vast majority of all their games of which there are hundreds if you include all the slots. The bonus varies but at the moment you can get up to $3000 in matching your initial deposits.  However remember the crucial difference between Bovada and thousands of other online casinos (with perhaps bigger bonus offers) is that their bonuses are real and they’ll payout if you win.