Before a player decides to gamble it is a good idea from them to know exactly how gambling works so there are no hidden surprises.
Do they understand what the words ‘odds' and ‘house edge' mean?
What about the term ‘average return to player'?
When players gamble, are they playing a skill based game or does it all come down to chance – and does it matter?
What are the real chances of winning?
What is Gambling?
Gambling is taking part in a game during which players risk money, or something of monetary value, in order to win money or a prize. The outcome of the game usually comes down to chance.
There are many forms of gambling, including lotteries and scratch cards, card games like poker and blackjack, betting on sports or events, playing casino games, and gambling machines, or bingo.
What is Probability?
Probability is the likelihood of a specific outcome or event taking place. To work this out, the number of specific outcomes is divided by the number of possible outcomes.
For example, if a player was rolling a dice and wanted the number three to come up, there is only one specific outcome; at the same time, there are six possible outcomes because the dice could land on one, two, three, four, five or six. So the probability of you rolling a three is 1 in 6.
What is Randomness?
Randomness means that each possible outcome has the same chance, or probability, of occurring.
- When a dice is rolled, the probability of rolling a two is the same as the probability of rolling a six, which is the same probability of rolling any of the other numbers. So you could say that the chance of rolling a specific number is one in six.
- When you flip a coin, the probability of it landing on heads is the same as the probability of it landing on tails, so you could say that it has a 50% chance or it's 50/50.
The reason each outcome is as likely as all of the others is that it all depends on chance. If a flipped coin landed on heads several times in a row, it's easy to think that it has to come up tails on the next flip. However, the coin doesn't "remember” what it has landed on before in the same way that it doesn't "decide” what to land on next. No matter what has happened already, the probability of it landing on heads or tails is always 50/50. Unless you can see the future, the result of a rolled dice or flipped coin is unknown and unpredictable, so we can say that the outcome is random.
What is the difference between Chance and Skill?
Some forms of gambling come down to chance, and some may involve some skill.
Here are some examples:
- Scatch cards
Skill (at least partially):
- Sports betting
What is Return to Player?
Return to Player, or (RTP) is the term used to describe the percentage of all the wagered money that a game will pay out over time. RTP is calculated over the long term, rather than being a calculation of short term (e.g. session, daily, or even weekly) payout. In the short term, the outcome may be vastly different.
Players should play and have fun – but they should remember these suggestions.
- consider that the money spent in the game is the price they pay for their fun
- set their game limits and shouldn’t go over them - ever
- play only the amount of money initially determined
- stop playing when they’ve exceeded the time limit set initially
- not play sums of money they cannot afford to lose
- avoid spending money on gambling that is intended for other purposes
- strive to maintain the goal, if they have decided to stop playing, or to play less
- not play when they lose to win back losses
- avoid considering gambling as a solution to their problems or concerns
- NEVER borrow money to gamble
- not lie to their loved ones about the amounts they have gambled, or the time they have devoted to playing
- ask for help if they think they're spending too much, or playing too frequently
- not take time off of work to play
- not play when they're feeling depressed, lonely, bored, tense, or anxious