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Probability in Gambling Explained

Probability in Gambling Explained

Gambling Probability for Newcomers: Examples and Explanations

Did you know that sports and casino gambling is all about math? Every time you sit down at a slot machine, blackjack table, or even place an office bet on a bracket during March Madness, you’re participating in applied mathematics. The ability to understand probabilities and place wagers accordingly is what makes a successful bettor. It’s certainly a better idea than just throwing money around when it comes to badminton betting or other sports betting events. Here are some of the best ways to hone your edge with a probability guide to gambling you can use.

Nobody is Ever 100%

The first thing to remember is that a hurricane of variables governs sports from marbles to horse races and everything in between. When it comes to your ‘hit rate’ nobody is right every time – they can’t be. For instance, who would have bet on a pandemic cancelling every sporting event across the world? Let’s break down the types of probability and some basic strategies for novice bettors.

Understanding Odds

Three different styles represent odds that all mean the same thing, whether using the British, European, or American system. Breaking it down, the three forms are:

  • Moneyline (American) system: First, the odds are presented with a + or – sign, indicating the favoured winners – but it might not work the way you’d think. For the likely winner, the odds are represented by a – sign to indicate the amount you’d have to stake to win $100. The + sign indicates the underdogs. So if you had to +500 to make $100, you might as well toss your cash onto the barbecue and make s’ mores. 
  • Fractional (British) system: The first number represents the amount you can win over the amount of your stake. If you have odds of 10/1, you can win ten dollars for every dollar wagered. 
  • Decimal (European) system: The first number represents the return on your stake. So if you bet a dollar on odds of 3.00, you would win back $3. 

Probability Strategies: The Basics

Basic probability is a binary system where 0 represents impossibility, and 1 represents certainty. So, in this system, one means that an outcome has a 100% chance of happening. When flipping a coin, there is a 50% chance of heads or tails, and when rolling a necessary six-sided die, the odds are 16.66% of the desired face presenting itself. In casino games like blackjack or roulette , it’s never as straightforward. The more variables introduced, the higher or lower the odds become. While math and computer science majors can author betting algorithms, the rest of us novices can work with simple betting strategies. It goes without saying that the more you know about what you’re betting on, the higher a likelihood of a win.

  • Basic Value: This entry-level strategy is based on the odds of a selected entity and the probability of the entity winning a given event. Let’s call it a bet on a game between the Detroit Lions and the LA Rams with the sportsbook giving the LA Rams a decimal odds of 1.75 – or 57% chance of winning. You place your bet on the Rams to win.
  • Chasing Steam: This is a more esoteric form of probability that involves tracking significant movements in the betting markets. These movements happen when large bettors and betting groups place their bets. Mostly, it’s following big money with your stake. However, these movements are like a tide going in or out; almost all betting organisations are affected. This instantaneous and simultaneous movement makes it harder to ‘surf.’
  • Fading: Fading is a lot like short-selling a hot stock on the premise that it’s going to tank hard. You’re betting against the market and the ‘sure thing.’ It works best for notable venues that attract recreational bets based more on home team spirit than actual probabilities – such as betting on the Detroit Lions.
  • Backing Favourites: Favourites tend to be winners, so by betting on an entity with an excellent record of wins, it’s more likely that you will win. However, this is not going to bring in the big bucks. You’ll make money relative to your stake, but it’s beer money at best.
  • Streaks: This is bound to cause some argument over what can be considered a streak. A winning streak means that the team has won X number of their previous games in a row. So, if a team has played six games in a season, and of those six has won the last three, that might be called a streak, and placing a bet might not lose you money. Conversely, you can also bet on teams that have losing streaks to lose.

Dipping into the Betting Pool

Learning to bet is like learning the stock market. You can do it and make some money, but you’re not going to be rolling in a Lamborghini right away. As with most pro or semi-pro bettors, it takes time to roll that small stake into a real bankroll. Dedicate time to learn about what you’re putting your money on, and learn by doing. You’ll have a great time, and earn extra money, too.

However, it is best recommended that you practice at reputed online platforms like SuperLenny to enhance your potential and reach optimal efficiency.