If you want to improve your results in the casino, math is your best option. Most casino gamblers avoid math because they don’t think they’re good at it or they’re afraid of it. But casino math is simple if you know how to use it.
Forget about everything you think you know about math. In this article you’re going to learn 6 simple ways to use math at the casino and each of these 6 things is going to make your results better.
You’re also going to see that all of the heavy lifting is done before you get to the casino, so you don’t have to worry about thinking too much when you play.
1 – What’s the House Edge?
The two most important math concepts that casino gamblers need to understand are the house edge and the return to player percentage. This is what you’re going to learn about in this section and in the next section.
House edge is a percentage that you can use to compare casino games and gambling opportunities. Casino games with the highest house edge are the worst to play. Casino games with the lowest house edge are the best to play.
The house edge on some slot machines is 10% or higher. The house edge on some blackjack and video poker games is 1% or lower.
House edge is basically the percentage of money that the casino gets as profit based on how much you’re betting. If you bet $1,000 on a slot machine that has a house edge of 10%, the casino is taking $100 of the money you bet for profit.
When you bet the same $1,000 on a blackjack game with a 1% house edge, the casino only takes $10 for profit.
Learn what the house edge is for each game in the casino and learn how to play the games with the lowest house edge. This is going to instantly improve your casino gambling results.
2 – What’s the Return to Player Percentage?
The return to player percentage is basically the house edge displayed in a different way. Return to player percentage is the percentage of what you bet that is returned to you. When you add the house edge to the return to player percentage it equals 100%.
This is important to understand because it means if you know the house edge or the return to player percentage for a casino game you can quickly figure out what the other 1 is.
A slot machine with a house edge of 10% has a return to player percentage of 90%. A blackjack game with a house edge of 1% has a return of 99%.
In the last section you learned that you need to play casino games with a low house edge. This also means that you need to play casino games with a high return percentage.
If you bet $1,000 on a slot machine with a return of 90% you get back $900. This agrees with the computation in the last section of losing $100. Betting $1,000 on a blackjack game with a return of 99% is a return of $990, which is a loss of $10.
3 – Using Math and Strategy
The next steps after you understand the house edge and return to player percentage is to learn how to use strategy to push the house edge lower and the return higher. All casino game strategies use math to help you accomplish these things.
Blackjack strategy is simply using math to determine the single best way to play each hand. Every blackjack hand has exactly 1 right way to play based on the card the dealer shows and the odds of drawing each card left in the shoe or deck.
The same is true when you play video poker. Other casino games have simpler strategies, like craps and baccarat. And some games don’t have any strategy that works, like slot machines.
You don’t have to develop a good strategy by yourself. In fact, you don’t really need to understand how or why strategy works at all. You just have to find the best strategies and use them.
Other gamblers have already determined the best strategies. You can find them in good gambling books and online. Spend some time before you go to the casino to find the best strategies for the games you want to play.
4 – Basic Card Math
Many casino games use cards, so understanding some simple mathematical facts about cards is smart. And it’s easy to do if you spend just a little bit of time working on it.
A basic deck of cards is built using 52 cards in 4 suits. This means that each suit has 13 cards. The cards run from ace to king, and the deck has 4 cards of each rank; 1 in each suit.
This is useful because you know if you have an ace and are drawing another card that there are only 3 aces left in the deck. If the first card is an ace, the second card is going to be an ace 3 out of every 51 times. You know this because the deck has 51 cards left and 3 of the cards are aces.
Get a deck of playing cards and start dealing out hands based on whatever game you want to play. If you play blackjack, deal 2 cards for your starting blackjack hand and deal 1 card face up for the dealer. Do some quick math to determine how many cards are left in the deck that helps your hand and how many hurt your hand. Keep practicing this way and you’re going to be able to quickly learn how gambling math works.
5 – Basic Dice Math
Craps is the main casino game that uses dice, but there are a few others. Dice math is really easy once you learn a few basics.
Each die has 6 sides, and craps uses 2 dice. This means that each die only has 6 possible outcomes, and each outcome happens 1 out of 6 times on average.
This means that to roll a 1 on both dice, you have a 1 out of 6 chance to roll a 1 on the first die and a 1 out of 6 chance to roll a 1 on the second die. This means that you’re going to roll a pair of one’s 1 out of 36 times on average.
It’s easier to roll a total of 7 on both dice because there are more combinations that add up to 7. You can roll a 1 and 6, 2 and 5, etc. To roll a total of 7, there are 6 possible combinations, so you’re going to roll a 7 6 out of 36 rolls on average.
Play around with a pair of dice to learn how many combinations of each possible total are available so you get a better understanding of how dice odds work.
6 – Using Math With Your Bankroll
Using math with your bankroll is simple. You need to learn how to determine how much you should bet when you play casino games and how long your bankroll should last.
The best way to gamble in casinos is to bet the lowest amount possible. This helps your bankroll last longer.
When you know what the house edge or return to player percentage is for the game you’re playing, you can use this information to figure out how long your bankroll is going to last.
If you have a $1,000 bankroll and are playing a game with a 3% house edge, you can divide your bankroll by the house edge to determine how much you can bet before you lose all of your money. In this case you can bet a total of $33,333 before you run out of money on average.
You can check this math by multiplying the house edge of 3% times $33,333 to predict your losses.
Using math when you gamble in a casino is more about looking at the math before you gamble instead of making quick mathematical calculations during play. This makes the use of math in casino gambling easy, even if you’re not great at math.
The house edge and return to player percentages are so powerful that if you just use them to pick the best casino games you’re going to improve your results. And if you take the next step and learn how math and strategy work in casinos you’re results are going to be even better.
Understanding basic card math and basic dice math doesn’t take much time. And spending a little time now is going to create benefits for the rest of your life.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …