Scientific Process behind Games of Chance

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 8 October 2016

Scientific Process behind Games of Chance

The prospect of winning the price money is one of the most influential if not primary reasons why people engage in casino games. The degrees may vary, but there will always be a certain desire to win. Even the player who once failed continues to hope that luck will turn to his or her side in the following round. For some, winning gives a certain sense of achievement. There are those who are simply thrilled by the momentary joy it brings. Still, some simply want to gain money for profit. The prospect of winning usually conceals the truth behind the likelihood of success.

Luck is one thing, but the possibility of winning in casino games primarily lies on its mathematics. Scientific Process behind Games of Chance Generally, people obtain a certain amount of pleasure whenever they engage in a form of recreational activity such as playing games. In any case, such recreational activity provides a chance to have fun, a test of fate, escape and diversion, and intellectual stimulus. However, the kinds of games played with the desire to win the money are the ones that are even more challenging, thrilling, and pleasurable.

The desire to succeed in a game of chance or wits is supported by the desire to collect the monetary reward. In addition, although most people are motivated to engage in gambling not solely because of the most coveted prize of money but for the entertainment that games of chance can offer, money nonetheless remains to be an essential if not dominant factor. Money is a means to keep track of the score. Likewise, it is the prize for a game well played and a price to pay for a bad game (Vancura, Cornelius, & Eadington, 2000).

By definition, gambling is a gaming behavior that involves running the risk of valuables or money on the result of a certain game, event, or contest for that matter (Author, year). Arguably, the result of a gambling activity is completely or to some extent dependent on chance. It remains to be a controversial topic to date. There are those who take pleasure in the likelihood of winning. There are those who simply appreciate having a good time in playing the games.

Still, there are those people who are not interested in any form of gambling activity for they believe that the appeal of the monetary prize will only trigger the players to develop an addiction to the game. In essence, the casino gaming business is simple. It thrives on its games due to the laws of probability. Effective marketing strategies and sound management practices may help bolster the bottom line, but in the end, the house usually wins the game. This is due to the mathematical edge the casinos have over its players. This, of course, is no secret.

People have been gambling and trying to figure out the house edge for the longest time. Nonetheless, even the average gambler is at least indistinctly aware that casinos make money because of the mathematical edge provided by the games. The details, though, are a mystery to many who fail to grasp the subtleties, and sometimes the obvious, about the mathematics behind the games (Hannum, 2005). All things considered, commercial gaming, an industry that is built upon statistics and probability is a huge and thriving business enterprise Commercial Gaming and the Math

If a player would want to advance his or her winning chances, he or she must initially try to rise above his or her hesitations to the degree that is possible. Afterwards, the player must then consider the consequences of his or her possible strategy. The manner of management is certainly dependent upon the real basis of the uncertainty. For instance, if a players would want to come to a decision whether he or she would engage in a game of chance, then such player must initially consider the odds to see whether or not they are appealing in contrast to the amount to be gambled (Bewersdorff & Kramer, 2004).

Critics of the gaming business have long blamed it that in order to sound more politically correct, they refer to their venture as a gaming rather than a gambling enterprise. Representatives of the gaming business did not coin the term, though. It has been in existence for several years already. Perhaps, the term more correctly describes the business for the reason that casino operators usually do not engage into gambling activities. Rather, they depend on the mathematics of the games to assure positive cash flow. The House Advantage

The money generated from a gambling game derives from the expected value, or expectation, of the wager. This value represents the monetary value that a bettor can expect to be losing of winning sooner or later if the wager were to be made a large number of times. In principle, the expected value can be found by multiplying each possible outcome or payoff by its probability of occurring, and then summing these products. In double-zero roulette, for example, a $5 even-money bet on the color red has expected value equal to (+5)(18/38) + (-5)(20/38) = -0.

263 (Hannum, 2005). It is important to note that in a double-zero roulette, there are 18 black, 18 red, in addition to the 0 and 00 green numbers. Generally, more than $. 25 for every $5 bet on red will be lost by a player, generating a 5. 3% house edge on such bet (Hannum, 2005). For some games, the relevant probabilities for the outcomes of a wager may be difficult to derive, and it is necessary to use more sophisticated mathematics or computer simulations to estimate the game’s statistical advantage.

Notwithstanding of the method applied in computation, the house advantage can be regarded as the cost to a player for engaging in the game. Everything else equal including bets for every hour as well as average bet size, a player who bets in a game with a four percent house advantage is likely to lose his or her money twice as quickly as the other player who is betting in a game with a two percent house edge (Hannum, 2005). The Winning Advantage There is wide variation in house advantages for wagers found in casino games, depending on the particular bet, the rules in effect, and, in some cases, the level of skill of the player.

There are those who believe that certain casino games such as slots machines, the big wheel of fortune, keno, baccarat, crap, and roulette are games of sheer chance. They argue that in these games, no amount of strategy or skill can influence the eventual outcome of the game. They further argue that with a house advantage of less than 1% and 1. 2% taking into consideration a conservative play, the games of craps and baccarat provide the best chance of winning (Hannum, 2005). For slots, on the other hand, it would cost a player five up to ten percent on the average. For double-zero roulette, it would register at 5.

3%. In keno and the big wheel of fortune, however, the average house advantages will be about thirty and twenty percent, correspondingly (Hannum, 2005). Games wherein a certain degree of skill can influence the player’s expectation are the popular poker-based games, video poker, and blackjack. Optimal strategy will produce a house advantage between a three up to five percent, in as far as the popular poker-based games are concerned (Hannum, 2005). Statistical advantage in video poker differs from every machine. Nonetheless, in general, video poker can be quite player-friendly.

Taking into consideration an expert strategy, it is not unusual to produce a house advantage of fewer than three percent for this game. There are those which fall below one percent, and occasionally a player can find a video poker game with a return greater than 100 percent. The house edge for the blackjack game differs with the number of decks used as well as with every rule applied. With typical rules, taking into consideration a player employing a basic strategy in a typical six-deck game, he or she will only play against a house advantage of 0. 5 percent.

Nonetheless, the average player of a blackjack game will ultimately give about two percent advantage to the casino whenever he or she decides to deviate from such strategy (Hannum, 2005). Flaws, Myths, Faults, and Misconceptions Most casino wagers have a negative expectation. However, there are certain exceptions. A few professionals can make a living at race or sports betting or at a card room poker wherein the opposition is other players. Blackjack can be played with a positive expectation using card counting. A few video poker machines can be played with a player advantage.

Moreover, the odds waged in craps have a house edge of zero even though such wage is not possible without making one more negative expectation wager. Occasionally, a casino will likewise give a promotion that offers an edge to the player. The aforementioned are the common mistakes caused by overzealous casino personnel who did not bother to check the math, and in such cases the promotions are usually terminated quickly when it becomes apparent the players have the mathematical edge. Odds Explained The term odds can mean several things.

However, it is commonly used to refer to the chances of winning. For example, the odds are a million to one of hitting the jackpot. When used in this sense, many people confuse odds with probability. When a card is selected at random from a standard deck of 52 playing cards, there is a probability of 1 in 4 that the card will come out as a spade. The odds that the card will not turn out to be a spade are three to one. It is not uncommon for people to mistakenly interpret 3 to 1 odds as meaning the event will occur on average once in three tries.

In the game of lottery, the odds of winning the jackpot can be derived from a mathematical calculation. In the Lotto 6/49 game, for instance, 6 digits are drawn from a pool of digits ranging from 1 up to 49. Here, the amount of possible combinations is only less than fourteen million (Smitheringale, 2003). Hence, the odds to win the jackpot on one ticket will be 1 in fourteen million. Selling more tickets will not influence the odds since it remains constant. Selling more tickets will only effect in an increase in the jackpot price as well as on the potential number of winners (Smitheringale, 2003).

Each Video Lottery Terminals, otherwise known as VLTs has their own game program and processor board which works separately from all of the other Video Lottery Terminals. A random number generator is built-in every VLT. It is that which controls losses and wins. In this case, a winning outcome cannot be predicted. Moreover, there is completely no pattern or order to the emergence of the results. For slot machines and VLTs, the payback works on percentages. More wagers eventually lead to more money lost in the game (Smitheringale, 2003).

On the other hand, in a roulette game, there are thirty-seven numbered slots where the roulette ball could drop on any single turn of the wheel (Smitheringale, 2003). In one bet, the real odds of selecting the right number are thirty-six to one. Conversely, the payoffs for selecting such number are thirty-five to one. The distinction between the payoff odds and the real odds generate a 2. 7 percent house advantage. This indicates that a player will eventually lose 2. 7 percent on the average of every bet he or she makes (Smitheringale, 2003).

In case of the blackjack game, the house advantage can fall somewhere from one up to twenty percent (Smitheringale, 2003). It all depends on the player’s skill as well as on the set of rules applied. Those who play following a perfect strategy can lower the house advantage to one percent. Nonetheless, those players remain at a drawback and will ultimately lose money. Playing a perfect strategy means playing a in a prearranged fashion, considering the up-card of the dealer and the players’ hand.

No other than the card counters which are rare, can expect to obtain quite a slim advantage or to totally even out the odds in the game. In another use of the term, the payoff for a winning wager is at times reported in terms of odds – a winning bettor who gets odds of 3 to 1 is paid three times as much as he or she bets (Hannum, 2005). The real odds correspond to the payoff that would produce a better fair. In a double-zero roulette for instance, a bet on one number has probability of 1 in 30.

This means that for a player to ultimately breakeven, he or she would have to be paid 37 to 1 (Hannum, 2005). The Working behind the Games In terms of gambling, the concept of randomness denotes that every possibility on a device is consistently possible on every trial of the machine (Smitheringale, 2003). It is incorporated into gambling games to guarantee that the players cannot exactly calculate what the subsequent outcome would be like. Examples of gambling devices which generate numbers or events in random order are slot machines, VLTs, dice, cards, and roulette wheels.

Generally, a random number generator is incorporated in nearly all forms of gambling games. Every attempt on a random number generator is not just random. Rather, it is likewise independent of all the others. In this sense, preceding outcomes have no bearing upon the present or upcoming results. House advantage is a term used to refer to the mathematical advantage that the gambling operator has to guarantee that eventually, the house will generate money (Smitheringale, 2003). It is usually in a form of a percentage. It can go from a comparatively small value to a fairly huge percentage.

For instance, the house advantage for blackjack players can be at approximately 1% while it can register to approximately 50% for those who play the lotteries (Smitheringale, 2003). The value corresponds to the amount in average that a player will suffer the loss of for each and every bet he or she makes. It is otherwise known as the percentage, theoretical win percentage, or house edge. There are those who use the term house advantage to refer to the odds of the game and try to avoid games with bad odds. Confusion regarding independent events and the so-called law of averages are at the core of many fallacies about gambling.

Arguably, the most common of these is the gamblers’ fallacy. It is manifested in different forms. Some gamblers will bring into play this fallacy following a series of losses and chase, as they say those losses with larger bets, believing that their so-called luck must now change direction (Bewersdorff & Kramer, 2004). The casino industry was build upon probability laws as well as on proper game analysis that can guarantee positive casino revenues on the long term. For some, the requisite fluctuations can be considered as bad luck or otherwise depending on the direction to where it leans toward.

Nonetheless, in reality, as far as the gaming business is concerned, winning does not depend on pure luck, it lies rather in the math. References Bewersdorff, J. , & Kramer, D. (2004). Luck, logic, and White Lies: The Mathematics of Games. Massachusetts: A K Peters, Ltd. Hannum, R. (2005). Risky Business: The Use and Misuse of Statistics in Casino Gaming. Chance, 18, 41-47. Smitheringale, B. (2003). FastFacts on Gambling. Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, 5-50. Vancura, O. , Cornelius, J. , & Eadington, W. (2000). Finding the Edge: Mathematical Analysis of Casino Games. Reno: University of Nevada Press.


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

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  • Date: 8 October 2016

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