The Secret Science of Winning Casino Games
How to become a ninja at choosing the best casino games!
Let’s face it, ninjas are awesome! They can do things no one else on the planet can do. Ninjas are quick, stealthy, and adept at making correct split-second decisions. They are quite frightening to most foes, because as Tim Minchin has so eloquently taught us, “only a ninja can sneak up on another ninja!”
Not every ninja is an assassin, though. You don’t have to wield a katana or train under a master sensei to become one. You can become a ninja of any strategy-based operation in the world. And if there’s one thing that requires optimal strategy to accomplish, it’s winning casino games.
Be a Ninja at Choosing the Best Casino Games
Choosing the right casino games is all about understanding probabilities. Don’t run away from that statement. You don’t have to be a mathematical savant to understand how odds works. In fact, most experienced casino ninjas can determine whether a game is worth playing just by taking a moment to examine the rules and payouts.
I won’t bombard you with a strain of math formulas. Sure, some players do have an Albert Einstein mentality. They can utilize such formulas to pick their games. But it’s not necessary. Just understanding the basics of how probabilities work, and whether they can change, will get you very far.
Probabilities that Don’t Change
Static probabilities are odds that do not change, no matter what. The easiest way to explain this is by flipping a coin.
Go ahead, grab a coin and flip it. Was it heads? Tails? Give it nine more flips, and examine the results. You might expect to have exactly 5 heads and 5 tails. With a perfect 50/50 chance either way, wouldn’t probabilities lean towards that outcome? Yes, in a way, but probabilities are a long-term evaluation of results. They rarely work out in the short term.
Similarly, you may think that if heads lands 5 times in a row, tails is more likely to appear next. Or, you may think heads is on fire, and is more likely to appear again. Both assumptions are wrong. Static probabilities have nothing to do with history. The next flip always has a 50/50 chance, no matter what.
The truth is, you’re just as likely to have a streak of heads as you are to have a streak of tails, or perfectly even amount of each. That’s how short term results work. If you flipped the coin one million times, you’d probably be much closer to the mathematically correct 50/50 results.
Winning Casino Games with Static Probabilities
Casino games that have static probabilities come with a very precise and unwavering house edge. Roulette is a perfect example. Every spin of the wheel has the same odds of landing in any particular position. Whether a number has hit three times in the last five spins, or hasn’t hit once in the last five hours, changes nothing.
Your job as a casino ninja is to choose the bets with the highest probability of winning. In European roulette, betting on 8 has a 1-in-37 (2.7%) chance of winning. Paying 35:1, if you place this $1 bet 37 times, probability says you’ll win one of them, losing $2.
Betting on black has a 18-in-37 (48.6%) chance of winning. If you bet $1 on black 37 times, you can expect to win 18 bets, losing $1.
As we’ve determined, streaks do happen all the time, so these are only theoretical probabilities. But to be a casino ninja, you must bet with the theoretical probabilities. Thus the bet on black – or any bet that comes closest to 50/50 odds – is the better choice.
When Probabilities Can Change
The only casino games in which probabilities can change are card games; not all card games, but most. This is because every time a card is removed from the deck, and we can see that the card has been removed, we know that the odds of that same value card coming again will decrease. Blackjack and poker are prime examples of this.
With a fresh deck, you have a 1-in-52 chance of being dealt any particular card. If you’re dealt an Ace of Spades, the odds that another Ace will be dealt drops from 4-in-52 (7.7%), to 3-in-51 (5.9%). Likewise, the odds of another Spade being dealt will drop from 13-in-52 (25%) to 12-in-51 (23.5%).
This is how blackjack card counters gain an advantage, by knowing what cards are, and are not, more likely to come next. You don’t have to know exactly what those odds are to choose the best casino games. You just have to know when they are rising or falling to make the best decisions.
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