Gambling is a wide subject. Sports betting is one activity that is regarded as gambling. There are also casino games. A widely popular means of gambling is spreadbetting. But other types of gambling include bingo, lotteries, and poker machines.
Some types of gambling are winnable – that is you really can beat the bookie – and some really will lose you money no matter what.
Types of gambling that will lose you money are those where you have a negative expectation. On the other hand those where you can use your skills to get yourself a positive expectation. An example where you can get yourself a positive expectation is BlackJack.
As you probably know, Blackjack can be beaten by so-called ‘card counters’. The reason it works is because as cards are played out of the deck, the remaining deck will have a concentration of particular cards that may give players a positive expectation or not as the case may be. When a Blackjack player is sure of the positive expectation, he or she bets big. In this way, the game is winnable.
Roulette is a casino game that is engineered by casinos to always be in favour of the House. For the punters therefore it is, as they say, a “mugs’ game”. It is a losing proposition. However, there are rumours that some people have managed to get themselves a system, where they tilt the game ever-so-slightly in their favour and have been able to take the casinos for millions. Not surprisingly, their methods have been kept a closely guarded secret.
Bingo is an out and out mugs’ game. There is no system that can beat ‘bingo’. Lotteries are also a sure fire way of losing money. The payouts are rarely above 50 cents in the dollar.
Games you can win though are the ones where you can get yourself an edge on the house or bookie. “An edge” is another expression for “positive expectation”.
For example, you can often take out spread bets on a very large number of events, for example, presidential elections, football games, pool games, quiz shows, basketball games and horse and dog racing. Winning doesn’t usually mean that you’ve picked a winner, just that you’ve beaten the point spread on the bet.
For example, if you are spread betting on sports, those with their ear to the ground and knowledge of the form of the teams and other factors such as weather and the state of the sports grounds, can find profitable bets.
Let’s take for example a football match. Barcelona and Newcastle are playing in Spain. We can do a research and view that in 5 last games Barcelona at home had 4 wins and one draw and Newcastle away from home had 2 draws and 3 loses. We can also see that the second team will have absences of important players. Using this research and common logic that says that Barcelona is one of the best teams. However, it would be a mistake to bet for Barcelona without having regard to the spreads being offered by the bookies, in fact it might, in this example, be better to bet on Newcastle. It all depends….
More in a later post.