At the risk of jumping the gun, there are no conventional casino games whatsoever that are completely skill-based. In fact, there are only a couple of games out of the thousands available (online and offline) where you can even slightly influence the odds with skill.
Even then, the overwhelming majority of people wouldn’t be able to grasp the complexities of card counting, so it’s more or less a moot point.
One of the biggest mistakes players make when indulging in casino gaming is assuming they’re at least partially in control of the outcome. They’re not – every single thing that takes place in a casino is an event of pure chance. And when you think about it, that’s exactly what makes casino gaming so fantastic.
The fact that neither you nor anyone else knows what’s going to happen next is where the thrill and enjoyment of the whole thing lies. If it was even remotely predictable, it would be boring. Most casinos would have gone out of business long before now.
Biting the Bullet: The House Always Wins
The online and offline gambling sectors only exist because the house always wins. What this means is that irrespective of the games you play and how you place your bets, the odds are always tipped at least very slightly in favor of the house.
Take roulette, for example. When betting on Black or Red, it’s seriously close to a 50/50 outcome. But as there’s a zero ‘0’ and sometimes a second double zero ‘00’ on the wheel in the case of American roulette. You’ve a slightly higher chance of losing than winning.
Statistically, therefore, this means that if you play long enough, the casino will make a profit and you’ll make a loss. This is essentially the basis of the entire casino gaming industry worldwide, and the most important fact about gambling that needs to be acknowledged.
Hedging Your Bets Strategically
To say that casino gaming is popular would be a major understatement. Each year, up to 45 million people head to Las Vegas with the intention of hitting the casinos. Annual gaming taxes collected in the US alone hover around the $10 billion mark, and the sector is currently growing at a rate of around 3.5% per year.
If there wasn’t something seriously satisfying and enjoying about the whole thing, the figures wouldn’t be nearly as impressive.
But even now, there are far too many gamers (experienced or otherwise) who genuinely believe they have a degree of control over the outcome. In all instances, failing to realize that each roll, spin or turn of a card is a completely unpredictable mathematical event.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you can’t at least control the odds to an extent, in the sense that you can reduce your likelihood of losing. And in doing so, maybe increase your chances of winning.
This means adopting a strategic approach and avoiding anything with completely insurmountable odds. For example, some low-volatility online slots have an average return to player (RTP) rate of more than 95%. This means that for every $100 they take, they give at least $95 back. Stick with these and you’re unlikely to win much, but you’re also unlikely to face heavy losses.
Then you have progressive slots, where the odds of taking home a top prize can be one in 34 million. For obvious reasons, spending a great deal of time or money on these doesn’t come highly recommended.
Over at the blackjack table, it’s technically possible to reduce the house edge to just 0.5%, if you know exactly what you are doing, and which moves to make. They’ve technically still an advantage over you, but not to any devastating extent.
As mentioned, roulette is another game where you have the opportunity to keep things relatively balanced. The odds aren’t bad at all when betting on those near-50/50 outcomes mentioned above. Playing money on a single number in the hope of winning big is a different story entirely.
Skill vs Experience
Though some firmly believe the opposite, there really is no skill involved in most casino games. However, this doesn’t mean that experience and common sense can’t work in your favor.
The only thing you have control of in a casino is the bets you place, how much you wager and the level of risk you’re willing to accept. Coupled with an understanding of the odds, this puts you in the best possible position to make the most of your online casino bankroll.
But even then, influencing the outcome of any game you play simply isn’t an option.
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