6 Quick Gambling Math Facts You Need to Know

Person Stacking Chips on a Table Person Writing on Chalkboard

In this article, you’re going to learn how the gambling industry makes money. And you’ll learn how to use this information to stop losing so often and start playing games in ways that help you make profit.

I know these are big promises, but once you see exactly how math is used against you, then you can start learning to change your results. This is a powerful place to be, and every gambler should learn how to navigate odds, returns, and strategy at the casino.

Use the six gambling facts in this article to become a winning gambler.

1 – There’s Math Behind All Kinds of Gambling

Every gambling activity boils down to mathematics and probability. Most gambling activities don’t seem like they have much to do with math. But when you dig deep enough, you find the math that dictates the results.

Once you dig into it and understand how it works, you suddenly have all of the tools you need. Sometimes, the tools show you that a gambling activity can’t be beat. Other times, the tools show you that an opportunity for profit exists, and they show you how to take advantage.

When you’re dealing with math, you’re dealing with certainty. Just like when you add 2 to 3 and get 5 every time, most gambling activities use math to produce precise results. These results are precise over time, but short-term variance makes them look random.

As you learn how the math works for each gambling activity, you gain the most powerful thing that any gambler can have—you gain knowledge. And with that, you start to learn what to avoid in order to keep your bankroll afloat.

If you don’t understand the math used in a gambling activity, then you can’t afford to participate until you learn it.

2 – You Can Use Math When You Gamble

Not only can you use math when you gamble, the truth is that you should only gamble with probability in mind if you want to be profitable. Regardless of the gambling activity you’re participating in, there’s likely a decent strategy that you can use.

Take slot machines for example. While they look and act like an activity that’s all based on luck, the return percentage of slots is 100% based on math.

Different Types of Casino Slot Machines

Slot machine software is set to return a particular percentage of money. Every slot machine produces those specific results over time, depending on the programming. If the slot machine is programmed to return 93%, this is exactly what it’s going to return on average.

Casino card games use math and rules to dictate the return when you play. And you can alter the returns. Most card games are designed so that you can never make a profit. But a few are designed in a way that you can use math to make a profit.

Even sports betting and horse racing can be profitable with a few strategic calculations. A lot of people make a profit in these activities by identifying specific .

3 – Gambling House Edge

The most important math concept that gamblers need to understand is called the house edge. In this case the house is the business or person providing the gambling activity. It can be a casino or sportsbook or poker room or a state offering lottery tickets.

House edge is a percentage of the money bet that the house makes as a profit. In business terms this is the percentage of gross profit. The business still has costs involved that come out of this gross profit, and whatever is left is the net profit.

A gambling activity that has a 2% house edge gives back 98% of the money gambler bet and keeps 2%. This means that if gamblers bet $100,000 on this game, the business makes $2,000.

In order to break even as a gambler, you have to find a way to gamble with no house edge. This is impossible in many gambling activities, but not all of them.

This means that you have to find the gambling activities that can provide a house edge of 0%, or a negative house edge, if you want to have a realistic opportunity to win.

4 – Return to Player Percentage

In the last section, you saw an example of a house edge that returned 98% on a game or activity that has a 2% edge. The 98% in this example is the return to player (RTP) percentage.

In other words, the house edge and the return to player percentage always add up to 100%.

Your goal as a gambler is to use math to find and participate in gambling activities that provide a return of 100% or more. This is how you win.

Casino Slot Machines, Guy Thinking with Hand on Chin, Caution Sign 99% RTP

Most gambling activities are designed so that it’s impossible to get a 100% or higher return. This is important to learn so that you can avoid participating in those activities.

You also need to learn how to use math to change the return to player percentage. You can use two strategies in this area, which I’ll cover in the next two sections. If you only use one of these strategies, it won’t be as effective. If you want to win, you have to use both.

5 – Strategy Math

Some gambling activities are designed in ways that let you use strategy based on math to alter the return to player percentage, and some are designed in ways that don’t let you use strategy at all.

Any gambling activity that’s designed in a way that doesn’t allow strategy at all is an activity that you need to avoid at all costs. In fact, winning gamblers never participate in a gambling activity that doesn’t provide the opportunity to use strategy.

Once you find a gambling activity that allows the use of strategy, you have to learn everything that you can about how the strategy works, why the strategy works, and how to use it in a way that’s profitable.

The next step is to determine whether using strategy is enough to reach a 100% return to player percentage. In most cases, strategy isn’t enough.

Once you do this, you’re left with very few gambling activities that offer a realistic opportunity to make a profit. And in order to get a return of 100% or more, you have to combine perfect strategy with advantage math. The final section in this article covers advantage gambling.

The only gambling activity that you can strictly use strategy to beat is poker games like Texas Hold’em.

6 – Advantage Math

Advantage math is used to gain an advantage within the rules of a gambling activity. The most common use of advantage math is in blackjack, but you can use it to beat a few other casino games as well.

In blackjack, advantage math comes in the form of card counting. The way the rules are designed and the use of decks of playing cards create a special opportunity. The mathematical fact is that when the remaining cards are rich in high cards, you have an edge. In other words, there are times when you play blackjack where the return can be over 100%.

Closeup of Blackjack Table

Counting tells you when this happens, so you can bet more and make an overall profit. This is how professional blackjack gamblers make money playing the game.

Other gambling activities where winning gamblers use math to win include sports betting and horse racing.

Here are the gambling activities that you should consider playing if you want to use advantage gambling techniques. I’m not saying that there aren’t a few more where you can use math to win, but these are the games and options where most winning gamblers can be found:

  • Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Sports Betting
  • Horse Racing

In Summary

Knowledge is said to be power, and this is 100% true when it comes to gambling. And the most important knowledge you can have about gambling is that all gambling is related to math.

Every gambling activity has mathematical principles and probabilities behind it. And with this information, you can influence your gambling results.

When you use math while you gamble, nothing is left to chance or luck or fate. Instead, you can accurately predict everything that’s going to happen. You know if you’re going to win or lose in the long run.

You learned about math and gambling in this article, but your journey is just beginning. Keep learning about gambling on the rest of our site.