The heart of gambling is probability. What is a probability? It is the chance of achieving a particular outcome
compared to all possible outcomes. The ratio is often called the law of averages. Understanding a little about the
mathematics of probability will help you to determine which are good bets to make and which are bad. Casino
management knows all about probability, and so do professional gamblers. You, as a gambler, should have at least a
working knowledge of probabilities.
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If you use a coin toss as a means of determining probability, you find that there are only two possible
outcomes: heads or tails. Thus you have a one in two chance of getting heads. Therefore, the probability of getting
a head is .5. We can talk about probabilities in decimals or fractions, or we can say the odds of getting a head is
50-50, which is a ratio. How it is expressed doesn't matter as long as you understand the chances, or the
probability of a specific event occurring. In blackjack, the probability of getting an ace and a 10-value card is 1
in 20 hands. When we look at roulette with a single zero, the probability over 100,000 spins will be about 49% red,
49% black and 2% green. In other words, each game has a probability of a specific event happening, and you should
what the probabilities are.
By studying each game, you will learn what the probabilities are. The main thing to remember, though, is that
the probability of the event happening can be considerably different from that the casino will pay you. This is the
price you pay for playing.