What’s chance got to do with it?

The main characteristic of casino games is the fact that you always will play against the house, therefore you are wagering against games designed to give the house a higher chance of winning. As little as that edge maybe it’s still intended to give the house advantage over you. But it’s not all out of your hands. Some games will be determined by a mix of chance and skill and in some others the edge will be determined by how you play the game, meaning you can influence the result by playing in a certain way. The goal is to either minimize the house edge or increase your chances using skill.

What they all have in common is that all offer a payout percentage, meaning they all will pay a specific fraction of the money wagered in them. This amount is given out as a percentile. In other words, if you play on a 98% payout percentage game, when you win you will earn 98% of the money used in that machine.

Now that means if you play the optimal way you will be able to earn up to that maximum payout percentage, it doesn’t mean every time it will pay out the exact figure. The software designers and the casino assume that the player will play following all the rules and strategies to maximize his or her winning, meaning that in the games that do require skill it will be up to the player to cash out as much money as he can, and in those that are up to chance only the player has absolutely no influence.

There are many ways (some less rational than others) in which players try to influence the results of the games. Some will rely on absolutely irrational methods like lucky charms or prayer and other will take a more mathematical approach like calculating real odds and others will rely on “every day logic” which is not really logic but more of a feeling, like placing a bet on “red” only because the last 5 spins landed on “black”.

Truth is red and black will have the same probability regardless of how many times either color came up in previous spins. Perhaps the best method is to simply acknowledge that game of chance or purely reliant on chance and nothing will influence the results. Once you realize this you will start to enjoy playing much more and worry less about winning or losing and if you do win, well then you have an added joy.