Is it worth playing at the casino?

Alex (Casino-Okay.com)
November 18, 2020
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Lohnt-es-sich-im-Casino-zu-spielen

“You’ll either become a criminal or a bum,” the teacher told Klaus F. Schmidt. 40 years later, he has become a multi-millionaire with water fizzy drinks. And yet, in the end, the teacher is to be proved right. About five years after he was paid his share, only 50 Poundss of his 2.5 million are left. He gambled away the rest. In the casino. At the same time, we see reports on every corner of people who have become millionaires through gambling. 8.5 million Poundss here or 17.8 million Poundss there. So the question that inevitably arises is: is it worth playing at the casino? And that’s exactly what we’re going to find out on Casino-Okay today.

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Whoever has ever seen the inside of a casino in Germany must have been amazed. In contrast to what you see in American films, German casinos are convincing in their class.

Everyone wears smart clothes, they are magnificent palaces, beautiful interiors and a lot of decency and class. It is certainly indisputable: casinos have a unique atmosphere. But is it worthwhile to gamble in a casino? After all, someone has to pay for all the pomp.

The nature of gambling

Gambling is all about luck. Some might also say that the game is about one’s own luck. This is certainly true for many problem gamblers. Basically, however, games of chance have one thing in common: the skills of the participants play no role. Only chance decides. If you win, it is called luck. If you lose, it is called bad luck.

In its simplest form, a game with a lucky outcome can be compared to a coin toss. Heads or tails? If you and I each place a Pounds bet and you bet on heads and I bet on tails, then the winner is the one whose result ends up on top as a result of the random toss.

Naturally, many players assume that lost money automatically goes to the casino’s winnings. However, this example shows that lost bets do not end up in the pockets of the casinos. In fact, a large part of it is distributed back to other players in the form of winnings.

But of course casinos have to earn money somehow, otherwise it would not be worthwhile for them to offer this service at all. This happens in the form of the so-called “house advantage”. Everyone has heard this term before. This house advantage is the only reason why it is actually not worthwhile to play in the casino. In the following we explain why this is the case.

The house edge

So casinos don’t make money on their players’ losses. Yes, but then what do they do to earn the money for all the pomp? The answer to this lies in the house advantage. This provides revenue to the host of the games and comes in two forms. Why it is very easy to calculate what the actual odds are. And why it might still be worthwhile to play in a casino, you can find out here.

House advantage in table and card games

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Let’s use the coin toss example again to explain. Suppose you often argue with your friend about the final outcome of the game.

So you decide to involve an independent third party. His job is to toss the coin and determine the results. He also collects your bets at the beginning of the game. And pays them out to the winner. But how does he profit from the game?

There are two ways to do this and both are also used by casinos. One is that your friend could build in a house edge, as is often used in table and card games. The green zero in roulette, for example.

With this, the players who bet on it do win. However, not those who bet on simple outcomes such as “red or black” or columns of numbers. In the coin toss game, this would be the case if the coin stops on the edge. Neither heads, nor tails wins.

In this case, no player wins. However, the stakes would not be returned. Rather, in this exceptional case, the money would remain with your third friend. Of course, this rarely happens. But it would be enough to create a worthwhile game for him, too, if there were a large number of bets.

Statistically, in a coin-flip game without an organiser, the two players would get their bets back. If only they played long enough. However, the organiser – i.e. the third friend – changed this. Even though the coin may not land on the edge very often, it has now become a losing proposition for the players. Of course, this is only true in purely statistical terms. It is not likely that both players will do the coin toss every second for the rest of their lives.

In this respect, statistics will not do much here. It may still be that a player leaves the game with a fat profit in his pocket. And that is exactly how casinos work.

House advantage in slot games and slots

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A house advantage is also built into slot machines and slots. This depends entirely on the machine you are playing and is listed transparently on them. In the world of slot machines, this metric is called the “return to player” (RTP) or payout ratio.

This is usually between 95% and 98% for online gambling. This does not mean that you will win at this frequency. Rather, it means that for every Pounds you deposit, the slot machine will only pay out 95 to 98 cents back to players.

In the casinos located in the next village, these odds are even significantly lower. Often you will find percentages of only 60% there. This means that 40 cents are withheld from every Pounds wagered. Again, this is a statistical value.

So if you go into the casino or the gambling house with GBP100, you will not automatically walk out with GBP95 and GBP60 respectively. It can be significantly more. Or significantly less. But if you gamble very frequently over your lifetime, you will get closer and closer to this value.

So is the game worth it?

The answer to the question, “Is it worth playing at the casino?” is clearly no, it is not worth it. The more often you play and come back, the more likely it is to be a losing proposition for you. The house advantage, which is built into all games of chance, ensures that.

Casinos, arcades and gambling houses are very transparent about this. So why do people gamble anyway? Quite simply: because there is still the chance to win big. Jackpot wins affect few people, but when they do they are life-changing. In the classic lottery, where a lot of people play, the payout rates are even worse.

And yet there seems to be a mechanism in us humans that is willing to pay for the chance alone. The chance to go into the casino with 100GBP and come out with 2,000.00GBP. Or winning the lottery, which changes your life and makes you forget all your worries. In this respect, the house advantage is perhaps even worth it. At least if it gives us at least the temporary opportunity to indulge in dreams.

Author Alex (Casino-Okay.com)

Alex is editor of the Gl├╝cksspiel und Online Casino Kompendium, a widely quoted book on the topic of online gambling. He possesses many years of experience in the online gambling industry. His passion for online casinos is evident in the extensive testing he does, combining his enjoyment of the exciting thrill of online casinos with his interest in sharing 100% objective experiences with readers. To date, he is still an enthusiastic player in online casinos and is annoyed by every player who ends up in a dubious casino. That's why he wants to make sure that readers are spared this at Casino-Okay.com.

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