The Chance for Success: The Role of Luck and Odds

Although the chance for success is low, anyone that gambles do so to win. No one plays to lose. Sadly, only a few know how the system works and can frequently beat the house. Those that are successful have one thing in common; they understand how casinos work. They know about odds, probability, and the importance of the house edge. Some are knowledgeable enough to see past the age-old clichés, and they understand luck isn’t enough to increase their chance for success.

What is Luck?

Luck, in simple terms, means a brief variation from ordinary events. For example, winning a $1 million lottery is an example of pure luck. The chance of success is almost nonexistent. No skill or knowledge helps with winning the lottery.

Also, many think that the same luck that applies to win a lottery is the luck that also gets you rich in a casino. However, it is further from the truth. Riding on luck alone, many spend their savings chasing shadows. Their only visible achievements are life-crushing debts and broken relationships.

To better understand luck, think of a six-sided dice toss. For every toss, there is an equal chance you get any of the six faces. Persistently getting the same face after several tosses is a deviation from normal, which depending on the circumstance, may constitute luck.

Probability and Chance for Success

Most people don’t understand that the chance for success in a casino is closely tied to probability. All you need is a basic understanding of what probability means.

Probability simply means how frequent an event is likely to occur. Inlay terms, it translates as odds, which gives the likelihood of occurrence and nonoccurrence of any event. For example, if the odds of winning a on a slot machine is 1:10, then it means you are likely to win in 1 out of 10 trials.

To better understand probability and odds, you also need to know that two different events maybe be related or unrelated. 

Independent Events

An outcome from an event that is unrelated to a previous outcome is an independent event. For example, the outcome of a dice throw is independent of past and future throws. Most games you would see in a typical casino produce independent outcomes.

Dependent Events

Related or dependent events are those events whose previous outcomes affect present or future outcomes. An example of a dependent event is blackjack. Therefore, the more aces used in a game, the lower your chances for success. Blackjack is particularly popular amongst gamblers because of this unique property.

Considering Odds

To increase your chance for success in a casino, you would have to understand how odds, probability, and statistics intersect. Statistics help you know the likelihood of the occurrence of an event, while probability enables you to know how it affects you. Odds tell you what you are likely to get out of the event if it affects you. A coin toss has a 1 to 1 odd, which means you have a 50-50 chance of winning or losing.

House Edge and Chance for Success

Casinos are businesses, and like every business, are out to make a gain. Additionally, they make use of genuine business schemes and a sound understanding of statistics to make a profit.

As such, you cannot beat the house. However, you can know enough about the house edge to tip the scale in your favor. House edge describes the small ratio within all bets, which gives casinos the advantage as they expect to pay winners less and gain more from losers. Casinos use probability to ensure that payout odds are always lower than true odds to guarantee profit out of every wager.


With games like baccarat and sports betting, the house charges players fees for every win. Such fees always exist to ensure profit.

Gaining Less Than the Wager

Casinos always pay winners less than true odds of a game. This rule is evident in roulette, where winners receive less than the true odds of a wager. Therefore, if successful, a $50 wager would only get you $1,750 instead of the value of true odds of $1,850.

Types of Odds and the Chance for Success

Games may have fixed or variable odds. For other games, odds change relative to the level of skill of players. Fixed odds games have the same success regardless of ability. The gains for such games are known and predictable. Such games include slots and roulette.

Variable odds games depend on how bets are made. The better you are, the more likely you win. However, you can only win as much as the odds allow since the game is heavily stacked in the house’s favor. Three card poker is an excellent example of a variable odds game.

In games where the odds change depending on skill, it provides an advantage for gamblers that can edge the house. Knowledgeable and patient gamblers can win big in these types of wagers. Such games include horse racing, blackjack, and sports betting.


Finally, the next time you step into a casino, be sure to do your homework. You wouldn’t want to rely on luck alone. You would want to know your odds, play what you like, and make some money.

Stay focus, be smart, and always think before putting in a wager.

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