Every winning gambler uses a system to compare their gambling options, even if they don’t realize they’re using a system. If you don’t identify the most profitable option every time you gamble, you leave money on the table.
You can find an opportunity that works time after time and focus all your energy on it. An example of this is card counting.
But when you focus too much on one opportunity, you can miss out on even better options when they come around.
Here are 7 ways winning gamblers compare every gambling option, including sports gambling, poker, and casino games. The most profitable bettors use all 7 of these to maximize their potential profits.
1 – Comparing Your Competition
Profitable poker players always compare their competition to find the most advantageous situation. This is because they know that most of their profit comes from competing against poker players who aren’t as good as them.
But comparing your competition isn’t just about poker. When you play blackjack, your competition is the casino. When you’re betting on sports, your competition is whomever you’re betting against. It might be a sportsbook. Or it might be an individual.
Learn how to compare your competition in every gambling situation. Then, when you put yourself in the best position to win, you have a better chance to win.
2 – Availability of Basic Strategies
If you want to have the best chance to win when you gamble, you must use a gambling strategy. You’re going to learn more about advantage play strategies in the next section, but even if you’re not an advantage player yet, you can still improve your results by using basic strategy.
Some gambling options have a strategy, and some don’t. Unfortunately, the ones that don’t have a strategy, like slot machines and lottery games, are usually terrible options.
Games like video poker and blackjack have a strategy, and the difference between gamblers who use strategy and those who don’t can be enormous when it comes to how much they lose.
Here are the basic rules:
The first rule is only gamble when you can use strategy. In other words, never bet where there’s no strategy you can use.
The second rule is to learn the best approach for every game you play and never deviate from this strategy.
3 – Availability of Advantage Play Strategies
Advantage play is what truly separates winning gamblers from everyone else. Winning gamblers use at least one advantage play strategy. The truth is that there are multiple advantage play strategies, and you should use as many of them as you can.
The issue is that there are only specific gambling options that have advantage play strategies available. So you need to compare every gambling option based on if there’s an advantage strategy available and how well you can use the system.
For example, blackjack has a few different advantage strategies, including card counting. On the other hand, roulette doesn’t have any advantage strategies unless you happen to find a biased wheel.
Sports gamblers can also use a strategy called handicapping to get an advantage. But they still need to find the most profitable lines, and if possible, make as many bets without vig as they can.
Master as many advantage play strategies as you can, and then you can compare all of your options.
4 – Long Term Expected Value
It doesn’t matter if they know how to use expected value or not; every winning gambler has found a way to play with a long-term positive expected value. If you know how to use expected value, it helps you compare every gambling option.
Expected value is a deep and complicated subject. In some situations, it’s easy to determine long-term expected value, but it isn’t easy in many cases because you don’t know every variable and have to make estimates.
If you’re playing Texas hold ’em poker, you have to call a $125 bet to stay in a pot with $625 in it, and you’re on the turn with a flush draw, you can figure out exactly how much the expected value is.
You have 9 outs, and there are 46 possible cards for the river. When you win, you get back $750, plus any bet you can collect on the river. It costs you a total of $5,750 to play 46 times, which is one time for each of the possible cards. The 9 times you win, you get back $750, for a total of $6,750.
This is a profit of $1,000 over 46 hands. When you divide $1,000 by 46, you get an expected value of $21.74 for each hand.
Winning gamblers play in situations where they have positive expected value. They also avoid problems where they have a negative expected value. Unfortunately, most gamblers never play with a positive expected value, so they continue losing.
5 – Return to Player Numbers
A quick way to compare gambling games is to look at each game’s return to player percentage number. You can even compare individual wagers in some games using the return to player percentage.
The basic idea is that the higher the return percentage is, the better the game or wager is. If a game or bet has a return of 99%, it’s usually better than a game or wager that has a return of 97%.
To make a profit, you have to find a way to get your return over 100%. The only way to do this is to use an advantage play strategy.
6 – House Edge Numbers
Some gamblers prefer to use the house edge instead of the return to player percentage number. You need to understand that these are both the same thing but presented differently.
For example, with a return of 99%, the house edge is 1%. The house edge is 3% when the return is 97%. In other words, when you add the return and the house edge, they always equal 100%.
Your goal is to make the house edge a negative number. If you can get the house edge to -1%, the return to the player is 101%. It means that you’re making 1% on your bets over time.
7 – Ease of Finding Profitable Opportunities
You walk into a new casino complex that has a poker room and a sportsbook. How do you find the most profitable opportunity, and how fast can you find it?
If you’re focused on blackjack, you go over to the pit and look at the games and rules to see if there’s a profitable counting opportunity.
But what if there isn’t a profitable opportunity there?
If you’re a poker player, you look in the poker room to see if some tables have a combination of players that you can make a profit from.
And what if it’s going to be an hour or longer to get a seat?
You can see where this is going. If you only know one way to make a profit gambling, it’s better than most gamblers, but you’re limiting your opportunities. So to maximize your profit potential, learn more than one way to make a profit by gambling so you can always find the easiest way in any situation.
Winning gamblers put a lot of effort into finding the best opportunities. Sometimes, this can be as simple as finding options with the highest return to player percentages, but this will only take you so far.
To maximize your profits when you gamble, you must consider and compare a wide range of things. You also have to realize that the best opportunity today might not be the best opportunity tomorrow.
The most important skill you can develop is to remain flexible. When you use the 7 ways to compare gambling options listed in this article, you can quickly identify the most profitable option every day.