How the Casino Determines Its Odds of Winning


There are two types of mathematical formulas that every casino uses to determine its odds of winning. These formulas are called house edge and variance, respectively. The former tells the casino how much money it makes each time a player wins, while the latter gives it an idea of how much cash it has in reserve. These equations are carried out by computer programmers and mathematicians who are known as gaming mathematicians and analysts. Since casinos rarely have in-house experts in this field, they often outsource the work to companies that specialize in this subject.

Modern casinos are more technologically advanced than their predecessors. Computers and video cameras now routinely monitor and supervise gaming. Similarly, “chip tracking” involves the use of microcircuitry in betting chips, enabling casinos to monitor wagers minute-by-minute. Roulette wheels are also monitored to determine statistical deviations. There are also enclosed versions of games, such as baccarat, where players bet by pushing buttons instead of using the traditional dealer.

The casino makes its profit by charging customers a fee to play games. Some games have mathematically determined odds, making the casino an advantage over players in the long run. While other games provide a predictable edge to the casino, some have a skill element that makes it possible for players to eliminate the house’s long-term advantage. These players are known as advantage players. The casino’s house edge is calculated based on the percentage of each pot that is returned to players.