How Gambling Works
Knowing how gambling works will help you make informed decisions when you spend your money gambling.
When thinking about placing a bet, whether it is on a sporting event, a Casino game or playing Poker, it is vital that you know how the product you are playing works. If you do not, then do not place a bet.
This may sound obvious but the main risk when gambling is losing money. Knowing what you are betting on means that you can make informed decisions about the money you are spending when gambling.
Sports
Betting on sports involves predicting the outcome of (normally) a sporting event. This could either be the final result or any event that occurs within the game. The odds (or price) that you take are set by the company and represents their idea of an event occurring.
To win you simply have to be right, although there is no such thing as a guaranteed winner. Even when backing a big favourite, winning is never guaranteed as sports ultimately are just too unpredictable.
Unlikely outcomes are not just possible, they actually happen quite regularly.
So how do 'odds' work?
The odds are a representation of how likely the bookmaker thinks that something will happen. The shorter the price, the more likely it is to occur and therefore the lower the winnings if you are successful.
Odds can be displayed as either decimals or fractions, both equate to the same chance of winning they are just displayed differently.
For example 3.00 and 2/1 are the same. If you placed £1 on this price and you were lucky enough to win you would get a total of £3 back, your original £1 stake and your winnings of £2.
Some more examples:
£1 @ 2.5 (6/4) would return £2.50 in total if you won. That is your £1 stake and your winnings of £1.50.
£1 @ 1.67 (4/6) would return £1.67 in total if you won. That is your £1 stake and your winnings of £0.67.
£1 @ 11.00 (10/1) would return £11 in total if you won. That is your £1 stake and your winnings of £10.
But remember chance and unpredictability play a part so the outcome that people are expecting doesn't always happen, the favourite might get beat, the outsider that no one thought could win might just have its day in the sun. So never bet more than you can afford to lose, gamble responsibly and within your means.
Slots
Slots are an online player game, similar to traditional high street fruit machines. Often based on popular movies, myths and games; slots in themselves are very easy to play, just choose your stake and press spin. Winnings are then determined by the combination of symbols that appear on the screen when the reel stops spinning.
They are designed to be fun, there is no skill involved, you cannot guess the outcome and you cannot affect the outcome. All you do is choose your stake and press spin, the rest is in the hands of chance.
The result is generated at random by a Random Number Generator, which means that no one can guess the outcome of any one spin until it happens.
There is no form to study, no trends to follow, so nothing you do will affect the outcome of a game; remember this when you place your bets and never bet more than you can afford to gamble. Always gamble responsibly and within your means.
Blackjack
Blackjack is a game that whilst relatively simple on the surface, is actually strategic, requiring a good understanding of probability and the odds to play properly.
The game begins by you placing an opening bet, at this stage you are gambling on chance as you have nothing to base your opening bet on.
You are then dealt two cards (one at a time in sequence with the dealer always getting the last card to be dealt). At this stage you have an opportunity to place another bet, based on the strength of your two cards and the one card of the dealers that is always dealt face up (the other is face down). This is where the game really begins.
You have to decide whether to stick with what you have or ask for another card, with the ultimate aim being to get to as near to 21 (or ideally 21) without getting more than 21.
You can ask for as many extra cards as you want, and all you have to do is end up with a higher final score than the dealer, simple.
The key to playing blackjack is to know when to take another card, 'hit' or 'stand' with what you have got. This choice should be based on two things; firstly what is the dealer showing and secondly, if you do take another card what is the probability of it improving your chances of winning?
Of course, as with all games of chance you can only affect the outcome in the areas that you control. Whilst it is important that you understand how to play the game and when you should make certain betting decisions, you cannot predict what card you or the dealer will get, that is dependent on chance.
Remember this when you place your bets and never bet more than you can afford to gamble. Always gamble responsibly and within your means.
For more information why not use our Player Guide.
Roulette
Roulette is a game of chance; you cannot influence the outcome, although you can choose lower risk options depending on how you bet.
The wheel is typically made up of 37 coloured holes, numbered 0 to 36 (inclusive). 18 are red, 18 are black and one is green (zero). All you have to do is predict which of the numbers the ball is going to land on.
There are numerous betting options amongst which are single number, red or black and odd or even. As you would expect the odds you get are dependent on the probability of them occurring.
Correctly predicting the number that the ball will land on has a 2.7% chance of winning and pays 35:1. Whilst correctly predicting the colour, or whether it is odd or even has a 48.6% chance of winning and pays 1:1.
You can manage your chances of winning by deciding which betting option to take. The higher the odds the lower the chance of winning, however you cannot influence the outcome of the spin or monitor any trends, as the result is determined by a Random Number Generator and is therefore random.
Remember this when you place your bets and never bet more than you can afford to gamble. Always gamble responsibly and within your means.
For more information why not use our Player Guide.
Poker
Poker is predominantly a game of skill, albeit with a large element of chance thrown in, as ultimately you are in the hands of the cards that are dealt.
In its most common form, Texas Hold'em, the idea is to make the best possible five card hand from the seven that are dealt. Initially each player is dealt two cards, followed by three further rounds where five shared cards are dealt (three, then one, then one) with betting opportunities after each round of cards.
At each round of betting you can choose to Raise, Call, Check or Fold your hand, with the ultimate aim being to either win with the strongest hand or force all the other players to fold their hands. The winner gets the 'pot,' that is the total monies bet on that particular hand.
Poker is a relatively simple game in concept, but one that requires a high degree of skill to play well. You need to have a good understanding of probability and the odds of a particular set of cards winning, whilst being able to 'read' another player's actions. Have they got a good hand or are they trying to bluff you?
It is these intricacies that make Poker a great game, and why it is important to understand the game before you start playing for real money. Yes, there is an element of chance involved, as the cards are drawn randomly, but over time the best players tend to win. Do your homework and remember to never bet more than you can afford to gamble. Always gamble responsibly and within your means.
Bingo
Bingo is a simple game, you receive a card on which numbers are printed, numbers are then drawn via a Random Number Generator and you mark them off on your card as they are drawn. There are various winning prizes throughout the game, with the overall winner being the first one to match all the numbers on their card, or 'house' as it's known.
Bingo is designed to be fun, there is no skill involved, you cannot guess the outcome and you cannot affect the outcome. All you do is choose your stake, the rest is in the hands of chance.
The numbers are generated by a Random Number Generator, which means that no one can guess the next number drawn until it happens. There is no form of study, no trends to follow, so nothing you do will affect the outcome of the game; remember this when you place your bets and never bet more than you can afford to gamble. Always gamble responsibly and within your means.
Jargon Busters
Random Number Generator
A Random Number Generator is a computer driven programme that generates a sequence of numbers or symbols that cannot be reasonably predicted better than by random chance.
Return to Player (RTP)
The average amount returned to all customers on a particular game over a period of time. The average return to player is measured over thousands of spins or turns and is not an expectation of return each time a game is played.
For more information on bet365's use of random number generators and RTP please visit Fair Payouts.