Online Casino Scrutiny > Casino Strategy > October 2007

Casino Gambling Strategy - The Basis Behind "Quitting While Your Ahead"

In my last tip about betting on the wrong shooter in craps, you may recall me mentioning that the House makes its money whenever players win bets, rather than when they lose. I know this sounds impossible; However, mathematically speaking, this statement could not be further from the truth.

Although the specific techniques that casinos use to give themselves an advantage over the player (the House Edge) will vary, the common factor of all these techniques is that the amount of winnings the casino offers is less than the risk a player is willing to take. Of course, if you get lucky, you can walk away with an unusual amount of profit despite the House Edge. But if you're like most people and your wins and losses conform to mathematical laws of probability, you will walk away a loser.

Here is how the casino makes money when you win. It's like playing a 50/50 coin toss with your buddy. You agree to pay your buddy $1 every time he wins, but he only agrees to pay you $0.90 when you win. He still pays you when you win. It's just less than what you have to cough up when he wins.

It's pretty easy to see that the House is going to earn profit when you lose a bet. So yes, figuratively speaking the House earns money when you lose. However, that earned money is just as good as gone if the House doesn't protect itself when the player wins. And it protects itself by paying less money than what the player is willing to pay/risk. How's that for a happy ending.

I don't mean to sound pessimistic or anything, but that's the reality of the situation folks. The longer you play, the closer your betting wins and losses will conform to this probability. That's exactly why you always hear people say to quit while you are ahead.

If you are ahead, consider yourself lucky, or at least consider yourself on one side of the probability scale, because you will eventually come to the other side of the probability scale. And depending on how deep your luck runs and how skillful of a player you are, just how far that scale tips is anybody's guess. That's the lucky part.

Bet a couple more times and you could earn another $50 bucks. Stick around and you could dig yourself in a hole. This is why skill and strategy are an important part of the equation. It helps to minimize the House Edge, because yes, it fluctuates. Knowing when to quit and take breaks is excellent advice and every gambler should heed it.

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