Roulette Master


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How to Survive and Thrive in Any Casino in the World

Every game in a casino offers the house a mathematical edge. You don't need a PhD in math to understand how probability stacks the odds in the casino's favor, either. I'll explain most of what you need to understand here.
Consider roulette. It's an easy game that's been played for centuries. A standard roulette wheel in the United States has 38 possible outcomes, each of which is equally likely. 18 of those are red, 18 are black, and 2 are green. Your odds of winning if you bet on black or red is the same—18/38.
Probabilities are always expressed as a number between 0 and 1. Something with a probability of 0 is never going to happen. Something with a probability of 1 will always happen.
You have multiple ways of expressing a number between 0 and 1. A fraction, like 18/38, is one way. Another is to express it as a percentage, which is usually pretty easy to understand. In this example, the percentage probability of winning your bet is 47.36%.
If you bet on black 38 times in a row, and if every possible outcome came up once, you'd win 18 times and lose 20 times. That's how the casino gets its edge.
This mathematical edge holds true for every game. It's referred to as the house edge, which is the percentage of each bet that the casino expects to retain in the long run. In a roulette game, the house edge is 5.26%, which means that the casino expects to win $5.26 every time you bet $100.
As long as you understand that the casino always has this edge, you can relax. It means that nothing you can do will make you into a long-term winner. Anyone who gambles in a casino long enough will eventually come out a loser, because probability will ensure it.
That's why casinos are such profitable businesses. You find rare opportunities where rare gamblers use rare strategies to get an edge over the casino. This is called advantage gambling. But it's outside the realm of this article, and most recreational gamblers aren't interested in putting in the work required to learn how to count cards or otherwise get an edge over the casino.