6 Ways Gamblers Can Use Math to Win

By in Casino & Gaming on
6 Minute Read

While most gamblers don’t think about how much math is used in gambling, the fact is that almost everything about gambling uses math in 1 way or another.

You can choose to ignore how math is used in gambling or you can choose to start using math to improve your gambling results. While your first instinct might be to run from gambling math, the truth is that it’s not that hard to learn.

Here’s a list of 6 ways that you can use math to become a better gambler. Math helps you pick the best gambling options and helps you play the best way possible.

1 – How Gambling Businesses Make Money

Gambling businesses use math to make money. While they know how to make money in other ways, the main source of income is by offering gambling opportunities that give them an edge.

Whether it’s a casino, poker room, sportsbook, or race track, gambling businesses work in a way that give them a percentage of the money that gamblers risk as a profit. These businesses don’t have to take a huge percentage from each bet, as long as they consistently take a percentage.

Casinos offer games that give the casino anywhere from 1% to 15% or more of each bet made in the long run. The particular percentage depends on the game offered and the strategies that the gamblers use.

Sportsbooks take a slice by charging vig on every bet made, and keeping the vig on losing bets. Poker rooms take a percentage of every pot in the form of rake. And race tracks cut a percentage off the top of every bet before paying the rest out to winning bettors.

A well run gambling establishment is always profitable as long as they can take enough bets. This is what you’re fighting against every time you place a wager.

2 – Choosing the Best Gambling Opportunities to Play

The percentage of money the gambling establishment keeps can be expressed in many ways. The most common term is the house edge. This is mostly a casino term, and it’s the percentage the casino makes as a profit.

You need to learn what the house edge is for each gambling game you play. When you learn what the house edge is, you can choose to play games with the lowest edge. And when you do this you reduce the amount of money that you lose.

The best casino games to play include blackjack, real money video poker, and baccarat. The rake that poker rooms take is hard to compare to a house edge because it’s more like a seat or table fee. When you play poker you’re not battling the poker room. Instead you battle the other poker players. And if you’re good enough you can win more than you pay in rake.

Sportsbooks can be beat is you can win more games than you lose to cover the vig that you pay in losing bets. In most cases if you can win 53% or more of your spread bets you can make a profit betting on sports.

Horse and dog race tracks take a cut or 15% to 18% off the top of the total bet pool, so you have to be quite good at picking winning bets to overcome their edge.

3 – Use Strategy and Math to Fight the House

Learning how gambling establishments make money and how to choose the best gambling opportunities isn’t enough. You also need to learn how to use math and strategy to reduce the house edge as much as possible.

For Example:

You have to find good blackjack games and then you have to use the best strategy to achieve the highest return to player percentage. If you play poker you have to learn how to use better strategy than most of your opponents to win enough to beat the rake.

Every good gambling opportunity has a strategy component you can use. Most bad gambling opportunities don’t have a strategy component that you can use.

This means 2 important things. The first thing is that if a gambling opportunity doesn’t have a strategy that you can use, it means that you should avoid it. The second thing it means is that playing a good game without using the best strategy is almost as bad as playing a bad game.

4 – Online Gambling Bonus Math

Gamblers who play online often have the opportunity to get a bonus. You can get online casinos bonuses, online poker bonuses, online sports betting bonuses, and online horse race betting bonuses.

Each online gambling bonus that you get has rules that you must follow, and many of these rules are math based.

You might get an online casino bonus that gives you 200% of your deposit, so if you put in $400 you get an extra $800 to gamble with. But the bonus rules also state that you have to risk 40 times the total of your deposit and bonus amount before you can get money back out.

This means you have to make a total of at least $48,000 in wagers before cashing out. This is important to know because you need to understand what it takes to get your money back out.

The main thing you need to do is read the rules. Make sure you understand all of the rules, and if you don’t understand them you need to ask for clarification before you make a deposit. Most gambling bonuses use math that almost guarantees that you lose all of your money before you can cash out.

5 – The Math of Comp Schemes

Many gambling establishments offer a comps scheme for their players. The basic way a comps scheme works is you gamble and the gambling establishment gives you a small percentage of your money back.

These comps schemes aren’t worded this way, but this is how they work. And what you get back is often something other than cash.

This doesn’t mean comps schemes are bad. In fact, anything that you can get from the casinos is better than getting nothing. But you should get an idea of what you can get back based on the level of your play.

Each gambling establishment that offers a comps scheme has their own calculation for what they give back. A common number is somewhere around .1%. This is a small number, so you can’t get enough back in comps in most cases to make more than you lose.

If you’re a great blackjack player and find a game with great rules the house edge might only be .3%. If you get back .1% in comps, your effective return still leaves the casino with a .2% edge. And most games have a much higher edge than this, so comps are just a small dip in the bucket of what you’re losing.

6 – What Does Math Have to Do With Your Bankroll?

Most gamblers never think about math and their gambling bankroll. But it’s important to use math when dealing with your bankroll.

The First Thing Is That You Need to Have a Gambling Bankroll

Without a bankroll for gambling it’s hard to track how much you win or lose and to make smart decisions about the size of the wagers you make. If you’re gambling on sports you should set the size of your wagers based on the size of your sports betting bankroll. The same is true if you bet on horse and dog races. As a poker player you need to choose table limits or tournament entry fees based on the size of your bankroll.

The important thing to understand is if you’re not careful with your bankroll you run the risk of running out of money. And you’re not going to be able to keep gambling if you deplete your bankroll.

If you’re not using a gambling bankroll yet, set aside some money to start 1. Then use it to track your results and learn how to make wagers that are the right size to help you maintain your bankroll in the long run.


Once you understand how gambling businesses make money you can use this information to choose the best gambling activities to participate in. When you pick the best opportunities you have the best chance to win.

You can use math to help you find and use the best strategy when you gamble. Using the best strategy is the main thing you can do to help you get better results from the best games.

It’s also important to understand how the math works with online gambling bonuses and comps schemes. And finally, math is an important part of using your gambling bankroll.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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