Statistics can tell us a lot. They can tell us how likely we are to be struck by lightning in our lifetime (odds at 1 in 3,000, getting slimmer each day you go without being struck) or how likely we are to be bitten by a shark (odds at 1 in 11.5 million) or even how likely it is that we might win the lottery (odds at 1 in 13,983,816). These events are often cited as being down to luck, but most things that require luck actually rely on odds, too.
Take casino games, for instance. Each game has a set of odds of achieving victory, some of which can be altered throughout the game. Even games that rely solely on chance and luck have odds attached, meaning that strategies can be developed. So, what are the casino games with the best odds?
Roulette is commonly known as a game that is solely down to luck. You spin the wheel and nothing you do can affect the outcome of where the ball lands. So, what are the odds of winning at roulette? Well, that depends on what kind of rules you’re playing by. There are two main kinds: European roulette and American roulette. European roulette offers better odds to players by only having one green zero slot, while American rules roulette has the green zero and the green double zero.
The standard bet on roulette is one that gives you roughly 50/50 odds – so an even/odd split, numbers 1-18/19-36, or blacks or reds. In European roulette, the odds of winning these bets are 1.055 to 1. For American roulette, they are 1.111 to 1. Not a huge difference, but it can be enough. For a single bet, such as 17 black, the odds of winning are 36 to 1 on the European rules and 37 to 1 on American rules. Given the commonality of betting red/black or even/odd, roulette has the best odds of winning.
Blackjack also has a set of odds associated with winning. The game takes a considerable deal more skill than roulette, but there are certain elements of the game that are fixed in place. The wiggle room for players is smaller than games such as poker, so the odds are more straightforward. For instance, the probability of an outright win in blackjack is 42.22%. The figure is near enough evens, accounting for the house edge.
For a tie, the probability drops down to 8.48%, while a loss has a probability of 49.10%. Many online games omit the ability to tie, so the probability of winning in that case would be 46.36%. Indeed, mathematicians who have studied blackjack have found that there is no way of improving your odds for the next hand based on the outcome of the current hand. So, when playing blackjack, it’s important to consider that each hand has its own probabilities of a victory, and that probability is on the smaller side of 50/50.
Poker is more difficult when it comes to the odds of winning. Each round changes the odds as you can judge them based on what you could possibly create based on the cards you can see in your hand and the hole cards on the table, and the cards in the deck that you can’t see. So, let’s say you have two cards in your hand, and four cards have been dealt in the flop and turn. This leaves 46 cards left in the deck that could help you achieve the winning flush. Out of the 46 cards in the deck, nine of them will bring you victory. So, you have a 37 to 9 chance of getting the flush, or a 4 to 1 chance of that particular hand. This theory can be duplicated across different combinations of winning hands.
There is as much likelihood of getting a straight flush as a royal flush, with the probability each turn that the next card will be the one you need dwindling. The closer you are to completing the flush, the less likely it will be that the next card dealt will be what you need. The reason poker is susceptible to rising odds is that each turn impacts the succeeding turn. So, the odds will change continuously throughout the game. This is not the case with blackjack, as each hand resets the odds. The strategy doesn’t come down to anticipating what comes next, it comes down to adjusting your wager depending on how likely it is that the cards you need will appear.
The difference between slots and poker in terms of skill needed varies greatly, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a set of odds that could help you plot a strategy for both. Take three-reel slots, where you need three of the same symbols out of 20 different symbols. The odds of getting one symbol is 1 in 20; the odds of getting the second one rise to 1 in 400, while the odds of achieving the final symbol can be 1 in 8,000. There are thus 8,000 combinations possible in a three-reel slot game – meaning the tension rises with each spin.
The range of online video slots available does alter the odds of winning – as some games have provisions to Win Both Ways across the payline or even Win Anywhere Along the Payline. This slashes the odds as the combinations that result in a win are more flexible. The development of online casino means that the standard gameplay of slots can be modified and can be made trickier for the player or can help the player with more favorable odds, which would be reflected in the game.
Almost any game can be reverted down to probabilities. While some are straightforward, such as flipping a coin or spinning the roulette wheel, others can be more complex as each previous turn impacts the next one. Most casino games have odds – whether it’s the odds of outright winning against the house or the odds of achieving something in the next turn. Identifying these odds can help you comprehend each game better and perhaps even be able to play them better – or plan a strategy around your understanding of the way the odds work.