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 that are meant to be taken literally by the listener.  Nonsensical myths and mathematically proven superstitions permeate the gambler-sphere. Three sayings are heard 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.

Let’s first look at all those casino payouts.  I swear that I have no idea how these properties stay afloat. Signs exclaiming “millions of dollars paid out!” want you to think it’s the winningest casino ever. The numbers of the daily payout keep scrolling higher and higher. Just once, I’d like to see another running total next to it showing the money being made by the casino in real time. One New England casino is always announcing “another jackpot winner” It happens so often I just can’t believe it. (BTW, it rhymes with Attila the Hun.)

House edge. Embrace the math, not the myth

The math insists the casino is the big winner. Al Moe, in his article How Casinos Make Money: The Handle, House Edge & More, explains that “Casinos make a profit by offering games of chance where the average payouts are lower than the income produced by the overall wagers.”  With so many bells, whistles & lights showing other guest wins on your walk around the casino floor, it makes sense that you can win if they can. And everybody knows you can’t win if you don’t play, right? Embrace the Math, Not the Myth – Accept the House Edge.

The winners

Embrace the math – and the math says the Casino Industry is in the business of making money. You should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less. What about the luckiest people on the planet? You know, those people who say they win all the time?. LOL!

Fun Gambling

I hear that so much that I’m surprised casinos are still in business.  Usually I hear it from a third party – “My wife never loses at slots – it’s uncanny.” Or  “My brother-in-law told me his cousin’s sister’s mom always wins at blackjack.”

The math tells me to not believe it. “Embrace the math, not the myth.” The fact is it is getting more difficult to win – lower VP pay tables, confusing bonus slots with higher volatility, and new table games without knowledge of correct strategies all lead to the road to ruin.  So how can there be so many winners?

And then there are the whiners – those recreational gamblers who are so annoyed that they never win.  What they don’t realize that they must include playing with a win limit. For example, if you’re ahead, decide on the amount stop that game or machine, still being ahead. By continuing to play, eventually losing forces themselves to live their self-fulfilled prophecy.


Embrace the Math, Not the Myth – Accept the House Edge

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 full period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.

This particular study, they said, 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% of the take. Such revenue concentration has been quietly acknowledged in the casino industry. Additionally, it show that the casino industry takes advantage of high-end addictive gamblers.

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

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

Related Post – Slot Machines, EV & Bankroll

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


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