Gambling Odds Research Paper

Gambling Odds Casino gambling in the United States is growing rapidly and shows no signs of abating. Since the first casinos opened on Native American reservations, many states have seen the potential revenue that gambling can add to its coffers. When Pennsylvania decided to add casino gambling in 2006, it was with the idea that it could generate enough revenue to supply some tax relief. But within just five years, eleven casinos have opened in the state brining in a total of $3.66 billion in revenue, surpassing New Jersey to become the second-largest casino destination in the country behind Nevada (Walters). This remarkable surge in gambling would not exist if not for the desire of average people to make large amounts of money in a short time. Every person who enters a casino seems sure that their large payday is imminent and they continue to spend, reasoning that eventually one good hit can make up for previously accumulated losses. The reality of the situation is, of course, much different. Casinos are in the business of making money and they would soon close up if they were in the habit of giving it away. The odds at a casino are gamed so that the vast majority of visitors will leave with less money than they had when they arrived. In spite of this, an army of gamblers continues to believe that they are the exception to this rule. They get caught up in the moment and focus more on luck than they do on the real reason for their mounting losses: the house edge.

Odds of Casino Games

Most people entering a casino are there to spend a little of their hard-earned money and have a good time so, for them, the slot machines with their bright lights and loud noises, including the sound of coin payouts, are the ideal destination. These machines are placed near the entrances to the casinos to entice people to begin spending money immediately upon entering. This is the ideal situation...


Because of this, slot machines are strictly for "recreational" gamblers.
Those who are serious about wanting to make money at the casinos eschew these machines and head to the areas where they believe their odds are inherently better. At least, that is what the prevailing wisdom seems to be. However, upon closer inspection this may not be the case at all. Casinos have built into all of these games a so-called house edge, or house advantage. This can be defined as the percentage that the house takes out of every dollar bet on average (Eadington 179). This house edge can range from blackjack, with its fairly modest 0.50% average advantage, up to keno, with a whopping 28% (Eadington 179). From simply perusing these numbers, one might determine that blackjack offers an almost even chance of winning, but this appearance is deceptive as there is more to the equation.

There are many different ways to play blackjack, with the so-called "perfect strategy" being the preferred method of serious players ("The Odds of Gambling"). This strategy was derived by computers and is based on the law of large numbers, which states that over time averages and tendencies gain strength. By utilizing this method, players can move the house edge slightly in their favor, setting it at 1.2% to 2.0% ("The Odds of Gambling"). By using a method of counting cards, the house edge becomes even lower, ranging from 0% to 2.0% ("The Odds of Gambling"). But, for normal players who do not know these rules or methods, 10% to 20% is the normal house advantage ("The Odds of Gambling"). From these numbers it is easy to see how varied the house edge actually is. Regardless of the method utilized, however, the odds still remain in the house's favor,…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Walters, Patrick. "Pennsylvania Now 2nd Biggest Gambling Market in America." NBC10

Philadelphia. NBCUniversal, Inc., 4 Apr 2012. Web. 18 Apr 2012.

Eadington, William R. "The Economics of Casino Gambling." The Journal of Economic

Perspectives 13.3 (1999): 173-192. Print.

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