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Introduction to Casino Math


By Nicholas Colon

When most people walk out of a casino they usually ask “Why did I lose?” This is because most casino games by nature have a negative expectation for the player. This means that for every wager that is made on a game, slot machine or table game, it gives back less than the wagered amount.

For example, when 1 million players wager $1 each and one player wins $500,000, the casino makes a profit of $500,000 and the average loss per player is 50 cents. In slot machines the advertised pay back is often in the neighborhood of 97-99%.

This is over the entire life of the machine, where a machine may collect 100s of millions of dollars in action over its lifetime. Table games are slightly different because some include a skill component and the percentage advantage of the casino varies from player to player.

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