Gambling is all about playing the odds. To win big you need to know what your chances of success are, and how you can tilt the odds in your favour to give yourself a greater probability of coming out on top.
The best gamblers have minds sharp enough to calculate fluctuating odds as things change in a game – for example on the deal of cards in poker or blackjack. They also know how to spread risk and when a bet is worth going all-in on. Once you understand these and other aspects of the gaming world, we suggest you join one of our featured online casinos that all offer a high payout percentage as well as a big welcome bonus.
These are skills we all need to learn and this page should serve as a great place to start that education.
Gambling odds serve as an equation for the potential return a player can collect in relation to the stake they put down. If a betting site sets odds at 5-1 on a horse winning a particular race, for example, you stand to take home five times your original stake if that bet comes to fruition.
You also get to keep your original stake in that example, so a C$10 bet would see you collect C$50 in winnings plus that original C$10 for a total of C$60.
In some cases, such as sports betting, odds are set by the gambling site and can fluctuate based on numerous factors. In other cases, such as American roulette, the odds of the ball landing in a certain pocket remain constant for every spin. You are always looking at a 1 in 38 chance if you pick an individual number, and this never changes.
Understanding how odds work is very important when it comes to informing how you bet. If you're playing the roulette wheel you need to understand that betting on a single number gives you a very low chance of success. That doesn't mean it's not worth trying, but you might be best advised to spread your risk by also betting on some more likely outcomes at the same time.
If we look at sports betting, understanding odds is at the core of what it takes to be successful. Those who win regularly are able to identify good odds from bad odds, and bet aggressively when they see odds offered that represent a great opportunity for success.
As odds apply to online casinos it's good idea to know the payout percentage at sites. Some sites will pay out at a higher rate than others, which means you'd be better served playing games like slots.
Your best odds are going to come with betting either on red or black, or odd or even numbers. You've got slightly under a 50% chance of success, taking into account the 2 zero pockets on the American wheel and 1 zero pocket on the European and French wheels.
Poker odds are impossible to calculate accurately without knowing every other players hand. You can work off certain formulas, but be mindful that they will always be part guesswork.
That being said, we do know that the chances of being dealt a flush are roughly 3%. Three of a kind has a likelihood of just below 5%, while getting two pairs in a seven-card hand is somewhere close to 23%.
The same premise applies for blackjack as it does in poker. You can't know for certain what cards the dealer has, but using a formula can help you to decide whether to stick or draw.
Smart blackjack players have rules in place for their actions after the initial deal. There are probability statistics to show how likely you are to win with a certain hand, and leaning on this data can help improve your win percentage.
A strong pay out percentage for an online casino slots game would be in the high 90s, with some sites touting your chance of winning at 97% or higher. Those are pretty good odds and better than you'll find at a land-based casino.
One of the most popular ways to bet on sports is to go either way on the spread line. This is where two teams are given a number that relates to how they might be expected to fare in competition.
Let's say the Toronto Blackhawks are posted at +4.5 against the New York Rangers, who are at -4.5. This means the Blackhawks are underdogs and a bet on them not only comes good if they win, but also if they lose by four or less goals.
Those backing the Rangers are banking on them winning by five or more. If they win by less than five, your bet loses.