The General Principles of Betting on Anything

December 12, 2014


No matter what type of game you're playing in an online casino, the principles of betting are always the same. If you understand these principles, then you can evaluate any new games or unfamiliar wagers whether they are in an online casino or not, and this gives you a ton of opportunities to take advantage of situations that come up. We're going to help you along by introducing you to everything that you'll need to know to be able to quickly and easily evaluate any betting scenario that comes up in your day-to-day life.

In any betting situation, you need to first identify every possible outcome. In many scenarios, the only options are winning and losing, but sometimes you have to get more detailed than that. For each outcome, you need to know two pieces of information: the chance of that outcome happening and the profit (or loss) from that outcome. If you can figure out all of this information for all of the outcomes, then you can put a price or percentage on exactly what your advantage or disadvantage will be in any kind of bet. We'll look at some basic examples.

Suppose we want to know the house advantage on a AU$100 bet on European roulette. The chances of winning on a straight-up bet is 1/37, and the chances of losing are 36/37, so we have the chances of each outcome down pat. The profits are -AU$100 for losing and AU$3500 for winning, so we have those in place. Now all we have to do is find the average profit for each outcome by multiplying the profit for each outcome by its respective chance. The value of winning is then 1/37 * AU$3500 which comes to AU$94.59, and the value of losing is 36/37 * -AU$100 which is -AU$97.30. Add these together to get -AU$2.70 which shows us that the house advantage is 2.7 percent.

The whole point of this isn't to get deep on some mathematical wizardry. Instead, it's to give you a quick go-to guide if you need to work something out quickly, even if it involves estimating the quantities involved in your head. Overall, this is a great way to add clarity to where the value and loss of value are coming from when you're making bets of any kind, and that's why it's so important to really understand how this process works.