Embrace the Math Not the Myth – Accept the House Edge

Recreational Gambling with Acceptance is the key to your gambling woes. As we say at NETimeGambling, Embrace the Math, Not the Myth – Accept the House Edge.

Many recreational gamblers use exaggerated statements or claims meant to be taken literally by the listener. Nonsensical myths and mathematically proven superstitions permeate the gambler-sphere. I hear three phrases ad nauseam –I always win,” “I always lose,” and “the casino is/isn’t paying out today.”  Let’s take a look at the truth behind these three sayings.

Embrace the Math, Not the Myth

When entering a casino, often declare that “millions of dollars paid out!” Just once, I’d like to see another running total saying, “Thank you for your deposit!” Embrace the math – and the math says the Casino Industry is in the business of making money.

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The math insists you expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less. However, in his article How Casinos Make Money: The Handle, House Edge & More,  Al Moe explains that With so many bells, whistles & lights showing other guests winning, it convinces you you can do it, too. And everybody knows you can’t win if you don’t play, right?

“Casinos make a profit by offering games of chance where the average payouts are lower than the income produced by the overall wagers.” 

Al Moe

Video Poker – Harder and Harder to Accept Poor Paytables

It’s getting harder to arrive home a winner – especially when the game is Video Poker. Gone are the days of many full-pay games. Instead, lower VP payables occupy the VP landscape. Lately, the newest trick to increase the House Edge is to shorten a Royal Flush payout. We have found the example below in Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Bally’s (TR and Tiverton), and MGM. And that’s just here in New England. So be aware and check the paytable before you play.

Video poker is changing as the rest of the casino floor. Casinos are adding confusing bonus slots with higher volatility and new table games. And knowing the correct strategies for these games lead to the risk of ruin.

Don’t Be a Whiner

Don’t be a recreational gambler that’s annoyed that you never win. Instead, make a win limit according to your bankroll, deciding the amount you will cash out if you’re ahead. The casino edge brings their self-fulfilled prophecy of losing by continuing to play.

Embrace the Math, Not the Myth - Accept the House Edge.

Related Post – Gambler’s Fallacy and Randomness

Embrace the Math

Mark Maremont and Alexandra Berzon at the Wall Street Journal analyzed new data that shows gamblers won money on 30% of the days they wagered. But continuing to gamble is a bad bet. Just 11% of players ended up in the black over the entire period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.

This particular study used 4,222 casino customers of different levels of play. It showed that just 2.8%—or 119 big losers—provided half of the casino’s take, and 10.7% provided 80%. So again, this shows that the casino industry takes advantage of high-end gamblers, maybe even problem gamblers.

Related Post – Slot Machines and Bankroll, The House Edge


Gamblers need to embrace the house edge. The recreational gambler needs to understand how casino games nibble away at your bankroll. The more nibbles they have, the more significant losses you have. The recreational gambler should accept the following:

  1. The Casino Industry is in the business of making money. Therefore, I should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less. “Embrace the math, not the myth.”
  2. Determine your bankroll before your casino visit. Only take what you can afford.
  3. The money you win is not “house money” – it’s yours. Try leaving when ahead.
  4. Stop believing in absolutes. No one always wins or always loses. But everyone can Gamble on their terms.
  5. Gambling is a leisure activity for most of us. Recreation should bring joy, but only if you accept the house edge. Gambling doesn’t make you happy – find another recreational activity. Life’s too short -Gamblingbling can be TOO expensive!

That’s all for now. But remember, “Embrace the math, not the myth.”