Can I Make A Lot of Money Gambling? Betting Chances Explained

Can I Make A Lot of Money Gambling? Betting Chances Explained

Can I Make A Lot of Money Gambling? Betting Chances Explained

Published:

Jun 12, 2024

Published:

Jun 12, 2024

Published:

Jun 12, 2024

Gambling – whether through sports betting, casino games or lotteries – entices and attracts many consumers as a potential route to quick riches. However, that perception is often very distant from reality. According to professional gambler Jim Makos, the industry is composed of 85-90% losing players, 5-10% casinos and gambling operators and 1-5% winners (< 1% of which are serious winners). 

Making a consistent profit through gambling is incredibly challenging due to the inherent advantages held by the gambling institutions. This article explores the odds of making money across various forms of gaming, including the immensely popular sports betting sector, emphasizing the difficulty of achieving profitability.

Rigged: The “House” Edge & Advantage in Gambling

No matter the gambling format, gambling operators build natural profit margins into their products. We begin with sports betting because this is a format that has exploded in popularity in recent years. The global sports betting market was valued at nearly $100 billion by the end of last year, accounting for 25% of the gambling sector’s $400 billion value. 

Sports Betting

In sports betting, the odds are typically set by bookmakers to ensure they turn a profit regardless of the outcome. The "vig" (short for vigorish) or "juice" is the commission taken by the bookmaker for facilitating the bet, which means bettors generally have to win 52.4% of their bets to break even.

Vig is accounted for and pre-built into all odds and lines for a given sports betting market. When oddsmakers believe a sporting event is a true toss-up, the odds won’t exactly reflect that. You never find two teams with +100 (even-money) odds matched up against one another. Instead, the standard is -110 on either side, meaning an $11 bet could win $10 (or $110 in hopes of winning $100). A successful $10 bet would earn $9.09. Vig is essentially imposing a charge on the bettor for taking and processing the bet. 

While oddsmakers won’t always create lines that attract an equal amount of wagering on each side of a betting market, they can incorporate vig by ensuring “plus” odds are always lower than “minus” odds – to build in the theoretical “hold” and be likely to make a profit. 

Standard odds of -110 on either side create a vig of 4.77%. The closer the vig is to 0, the more advantageous it is to go up against the sportsbook. 

The formula for calculating vig is:

(Favorite odds/(Favorite odds + 100) x 100) + (100/(Underdog odds + 100) x 100) – 100

Casino Table Games

Each casino table game is designed with a house edge, a mathematical advantage that ensures the casino makes a profit over time. Here are the house edges for some popular table games:

  • Blackjack: The house edge in blackjack varies depending on the rules and the player's strategy, but it typically ranges from 0.5% to 2%, depending on how many decks of cards are being used. With casual players, the house edge is usually closer to 2%, but by learning how to play optimally, players can reduce that advantage to less than 1%. In any case, there always is a house edge in blackjack. 

  • Craps: The house edge in craps varies by the type of bet. For example, the popular "Pass Line" bet has a house edge of about 1.41%.

  • Roulette: In American roulette, which has both a single zero and a double zero, the house edge is about 5.26%. In European roulette, with just a single zero, the house edge is approximately 2.7%.

Slots: Casinos’ Favorite Money-Maker

Slot machines are among the most profitable for casinos due to their high house edge and rapid play. With slots, each machine displays how much has been paid out over its lifespan. The house edge is defined as the ratio of the average loss to the initial bet. 

The house edges on slot machines are generally between 5-10%, but can at times be as low as 2% or as high as 20% or more. Unlike table games, where strategy can influence outcomes, slot machines are purely luck-based, making it very difficult for players to gain an edge.

Lottery

The lottery offers some of the worst odds for players. The house edge in lottery games can be extraordinarily high, often exceeding 50%. For example, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are approximately 1 in 292 million. Despite the low probability of winning, the lottery remains popular due to the (extreme longshot) potential for a life-changing payout.

What Does the House Edge Say about your Chances?

While gambling can be an exciting and occasionally rewarding activity, the odds are heavily stacked against players. Understanding the house edge and the difficulty of achieving long-term profitability is essential for anyone considering gambling. Jim Makos advocates that the only way to ensure big, consistent profit, is through starting your own gambling business. 

For those who find themselves unable to control their gambling habits, resources like those offered by Birches Health are available to provide support and treatment.

Gambling Addiction Help & Treatment Resources

For those who may be struggling with Gambling Addiction, it's crucial to seek help. Birches Health offers a range of insurance-covered treatment options, all tailored to each individual’s specific needs. These treatments include telehealth counseling, support groups and educational programs designed to help individuals regain control over their lives and finances. With treatment administered confidentially from the comfort of home, Birches’ care helps ensure that improving quality of life is top of mind for each individual. 

SOURCES:

jimmakos.com

Business Wire

Forbes

Investopedia

Casino.org

Techopedia

Gambling – whether through sports betting, casino games or lotteries – entices and attracts many consumers as a potential route to quick riches. However, that perception is often very distant from reality. According to professional gambler Jim Makos, the industry is composed of 85-90% losing players, 5-10% casinos and gambling operators and 1-5% winners (< 1% of which are serious winners). 

Making a consistent profit through gambling is incredibly challenging due to the inherent advantages held by the gambling institutions. This article explores the odds of making money across various forms of gaming, including the immensely popular sports betting sector, emphasizing the difficulty of achieving profitability.

Rigged: The “House” Edge & Advantage in Gambling

No matter the gambling format, gambling operators build natural profit margins into their products. We begin with sports betting because this is a format that has exploded in popularity in recent years. The global sports betting market was valued at nearly $100 billion by the end of last year, accounting for 25% of the gambling sector’s $400 billion value. 

Sports Betting

In sports betting, the odds are typically set by bookmakers to ensure they turn a profit regardless of the outcome. The "vig" (short for vigorish) or "juice" is the commission taken by the bookmaker for facilitating the bet, which means bettors generally have to win 52.4% of their bets to break even.

Vig is accounted for and pre-built into all odds and lines for a given sports betting market. When oddsmakers believe a sporting event is a true toss-up, the odds won’t exactly reflect that. You never find two teams with +100 (even-money) odds matched up against one another. Instead, the standard is -110 on either side, meaning an $11 bet could win $10 (or $110 in hopes of winning $100). A successful $10 bet would earn $9.09. Vig is essentially imposing a charge on the bettor for taking and processing the bet. 

While oddsmakers won’t always create lines that attract an equal amount of wagering on each side of a betting market, they can incorporate vig by ensuring “plus” odds are always lower than “minus” odds – to build in the theoretical “hold” and be likely to make a profit. 

Standard odds of -110 on either side create a vig of 4.77%. The closer the vig is to 0, the more advantageous it is to go up against the sportsbook. 

The formula for calculating vig is:

(Favorite odds/(Favorite odds + 100) x 100) + (100/(Underdog odds + 100) x 100) – 100

Casino Table Games

Each casino table game is designed with a house edge, a mathematical advantage that ensures the casino makes a profit over time. Here are the house edges for some popular table games:

  • Blackjack: The house edge in blackjack varies depending on the rules and the player's strategy, but it typically ranges from 0.5% to 2%, depending on how many decks of cards are being used. With casual players, the house edge is usually closer to 2%, but by learning how to play optimally, players can reduce that advantage to less than 1%. In any case, there always is a house edge in blackjack. 

  • Craps: The house edge in craps varies by the type of bet. For example, the popular "Pass Line" bet has a house edge of about 1.41%.

  • Roulette: In American roulette, which has both a single zero and a double zero, the house edge is about 5.26%. In European roulette, with just a single zero, the house edge is approximately 2.7%.

Slots: Casinos’ Favorite Money-Maker

Slot machines are among the most profitable for casinos due to their high house edge and rapid play. With slots, each machine displays how much has been paid out over its lifespan. The house edge is defined as the ratio of the average loss to the initial bet. 

The house edges on slot machines are generally between 5-10%, but can at times be as low as 2% or as high as 20% or more. Unlike table games, where strategy can influence outcomes, slot machines are purely luck-based, making it very difficult for players to gain an edge.

Lottery

The lottery offers some of the worst odds for players. The house edge in lottery games can be extraordinarily high, often exceeding 50%. For example, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are approximately 1 in 292 million. Despite the low probability of winning, the lottery remains popular due to the (extreme longshot) potential for a life-changing payout.

What Does the House Edge Say about your Chances?

While gambling can be an exciting and occasionally rewarding activity, the odds are heavily stacked against players. Understanding the house edge and the difficulty of achieving long-term profitability is essential for anyone considering gambling. Jim Makos advocates that the only way to ensure big, consistent profit, is through starting your own gambling business. 

For those who find themselves unable to control their gambling habits, resources like those offered by Birches Health are available to provide support and treatment.

Gambling Addiction Help & Treatment Resources

For those who may be struggling with Gambling Addiction, it's crucial to seek help. Birches Health offers a range of insurance-covered treatment options, all tailored to each individual’s specific needs. These treatments include telehealth counseling, support groups and educational programs designed to help individuals regain control over their lives and finances. With treatment administered confidentially from the comfort of home, Birches’ care helps ensure that improving quality of life is top of mind for each individual. 

SOURCES:

jimmakos.com

Business Wire

Forbes

Investopedia

Casino.org

Techopedia

Gambling – whether through sports betting, casino games or lotteries – entices and attracts many consumers as a potential route to quick riches. However, that perception is often very distant from reality. According to professional gambler Jim Makos, the industry is composed of 85-90% losing players, 5-10% casinos and gambling operators and 1-5% winners (< 1% of which are serious winners). 

Making a consistent profit through gambling is incredibly challenging due to the inherent advantages held by the gambling institutions. This article explores the odds of making money across various forms of gaming, including the immensely popular sports betting sector, emphasizing the difficulty of achieving profitability.

Rigged: The “House” Edge & Advantage in Gambling

No matter the gambling format, gambling operators build natural profit margins into their products. We begin with sports betting because this is a format that has exploded in popularity in recent years. The global sports betting market was valued at nearly $100 billion by the end of last year, accounting for 25% of the gambling sector’s $400 billion value. 

Sports Betting

In sports betting, the odds are typically set by bookmakers to ensure they turn a profit regardless of the outcome. The "vig" (short for vigorish) or "juice" is the commission taken by the bookmaker for facilitating the bet, which means bettors generally have to win 52.4% of their bets to break even.

Vig is accounted for and pre-built into all odds and lines for a given sports betting market. When oddsmakers believe a sporting event is a true toss-up, the odds won’t exactly reflect that. You never find two teams with +100 (even-money) odds matched up against one another. Instead, the standard is -110 on either side, meaning an $11 bet could win $10 (or $110 in hopes of winning $100). A successful $10 bet would earn $9.09. Vig is essentially imposing a charge on the bettor for taking and processing the bet. 

While oddsmakers won’t always create lines that attract an equal amount of wagering on each side of a betting market, they can incorporate vig by ensuring “plus” odds are always lower than “minus” odds – to build in the theoretical “hold” and be likely to make a profit. 

Standard odds of -110 on either side create a vig of 4.77%. The closer the vig is to 0, the more advantageous it is to go up against the sportsbook. 

The formula for calculating vig is:

(Favorite odds/(Favorite odds + 100) x 100) + (100/(Underdog odds + 100) x 100) – 100

Casino Table Games

Each casino table game is designed with a house edge, a mathematical advantage that ensures the casino makes a profit over time. Here are the house edges for some popular table games:

  • Blackjack: The house edge in blackjack varies depending on the rules and the player's strategy, but it typically ranges from 0.5% to 2%, depending on how many decks of cards are being used. With casual players, the house edge is usually closer to 2%, but by learning how to play optimally, players can reduce that advantage to less than 1%. In any case, there always is a house edge in blackjack. 

  • Craps: The house edge in craps varies by the type of bet. For example, the popular "Pass Line" bet has a house edge of about 1.41%.

  • Roulette: In American roulette, which has both a single zero and a double zero, the house edge is about 5.26%. In European roulette, with just a single zero, the house edge is approximately 2.7%.

Slots: Casinos’ Favorite Money-Maker

Slot machines are among the most profitable for casinos due to their high house edge and rapid play. With slots, each machine displays how much has been paid out over its lifespan. The house edge is defined as the ratio of the average loss to the initial bet. 

The house edges on slot machines are generally between 5-10%, but can at times be as low as 2% or as high as 20% or more. Unlike table games, where strategy can influence outcomes, slot machines are purely luck-based, making it very difficult for players to gain an edge.

Lottery

The lottery offers some of the worst odds for players. The house edge in lottery games can be extraordinarily high, often exceeding 50%. For example, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are approximately 1 in 292 million. Despite the low probability of winning, the lottery remains popular due to the (extreme longshot) potential for a life-changing payout.

What Does the House Edge Say about your Chances?

While gambling can be an exciting and occasionally rewarding activity, the odds are heavily stacked against players. Understanding the house edge and the difficulty of achieving long-term profitability is essential for anyone considering gambling. Jim Makos advocates that the only way to ensure big, consistent profit, is through starting your own gambling business. 

For those who find themselves unable to control their gambling habits, resources like those offered by Birches Health are available to provide support and treatment.

Gambling Addiction Help & Treatment Resources

For those who may be struggling with Gambling Addiction, it's crucial to seek help. Birches Health offers a range of insurance-covered treatment options, all tailored to each individual’s specific needs. These treatments include telehealth counseling, support groups and educational programs designed to help individuals regain control over their lives and finances. With treatment administered confidentially from the comfort of home, Birches’ care helps ensure that improving quality of life is top of mind for each individual. 

SOURCES:

jimmakos.com

Business Wire

Forbes

Investopedia

Casino.org

Techopedia