Have you ever wondered if there is an advantage to playing at the casino instead of placing a bet at a bookmaker and vice versa? Is the house edge on a roulette game higher than a bet on the Premier League? Of course, most games of chance are a matter of taste. While serious gamblers worry about earning every little edge, the rest of us do it for fun or rely on a bit of luck. However, it is fascinating to see the difference between the house edge in a casino and the house edge in a bookie.
Take a game of roulette, especially American roulette, for example. A single bet on red or black pays 1: 1 on your bet. Since two of the 38 sections of roulette are green (0/00), this means you have a 47.37% chance of winning either the red or black bet. This represents a house advantage of 5.26%. In fact, every bet in American roulette has this house advantage, with the exception of the "top five" (bet 0-00-1-2-3), which has a house advantage of 7.89%. In fact, most experienced roulette players will choose European roulette because the single zero section reduces the house edge to 2.70%.
The Advantage of Sports Betting May Surprise Some
So, what are we looking for when it comes to sports betting? Let's look at something as simple as the FA Cup semi-final between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United (April 21). In a market with two straight outcomes, like who qualifies for the final, Bet365 offer odds of 8/15 for Spurs and 11/8 for United. The implied probability of Spurs winning is 65.2% and the implied probability of United winning is 42.1%.
The percentage totals 107.3%. This amount of 7.3% out of 100 is called the "overround" in bookmaker terms, which is actually the profit the bookmaker expects to make in the market. Without going into profit margin calculations, you can see that the relative house edge in bookmaking can be higher than in roulette.
Before rushing to close your bookmaker account, you should also consider that predicting sports outcomes is more scientific than pure roulette odds. For example, we know that when Spurs and United last met at Wembley, the former won the match 2-0. This is an indicator of the semi-final result, whereas if red were the last result in a roulette game, it would have no influence on what the next result will be.
Promotions Are a Great Way To "beat" The Bookmaker's Odds
Of course, the best way to negate bookmakers' over-rounding is to wipe out your spending, so check out these free bets from all of the leading brands to use for your next bet. But there are also intangible aspects to consider in a football match: the Spurs will miss the striker Harry Kane, United seem to have turbulence in the locker room with coach Jose Mourinho. None of these things affect the outcome of a roulette wheel.
What do we learn from this? All and nothing. The score in the FA Cup match could end 4-3 for United (340-1 with 188Bet, if you were wondering) in terms of possible outcomes, as easily as a 2-0 (10/1) repeat behind from the last game between the two teams. The same goes for hitting red '7' three times in a row in roulette. The likely results are, of course, slightly different
In the end, most of us gamble for fun and thinking too much about math takes it away. It is something to keep in mind though.
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