One of most confusing and misunderstood concepts in gambling is the odds.
Keep reading to learn more about the odds and how this concept relates to other concepts like house advantage.
Information about the actual odds and costs of playing particular games is available at the bottom of this page. GameSense.ca is another place where you will find information about the odds and the probability of winning.
Odds and Probability Vs. Gambling Odds
Odds and Probability
Odds are commonly understood to be the likelihood of one thing happening, rather than another.
In the case of the example at right, the word ‘odds’ is used to describe probability.
When flipping a coin, the odds are 1 in 2 (or 50% probability) that the coin will come up heads.
In gambling, the ‘odds’ often refers to the amount paid out by a gambling operator for a certain outcome.
The examples to the right show that, in the gambling industry, odds are not usually matched fairly with probability.
If the odds at roulette are given at 2-to-1 for wagering on a particular outcome, then the gambling operator would pay out $3 for a $1 wager if that outcome is successful. $2 for winning + $1 initial bet returned.
Alternatively, if the odds are given at 1-to-2, the gambling operator would pay out $1.50 on a $1 wager. 50¢ for winning + $1 initial bet returned.
Other Real-Life Probabilities
|Living to celebrate your 100th birthday||1 in 50|
|Dying from falling down stairs or steps||1 in 6,330|
|Being killed by a venomous bite or sting||1 in 160,000|
|Being struck by lightning||1 in 240,000|
|Dying from flesh-eating bacteria disease||1 in 1 million|
|Winning the Lotto 6/49||1 in 14 million|
Casino Gambling Odds
In BC Casinos, most chance-based games have their payout odds listed on the tables or machines. House advantage for these games is generally between 1% and 10%, with greater advantages being enjoyed on higher payout outcomes such as bonuses, baccarat ties, sic bo specifics, etc.
For poker and other skill-based games, casinos simply rake the pot to earn their commission.
In practice, slot machine games come in many varieties, each with different jackpots and different outcome possibilities. The probability of winning the top prize at maximum coin play can range from 1 in 4,096 to 1 in 33,554,000.