The Price Of Gambling

People of all walks of life and of all types of backgrounds gamble. Ancient civilizations even had forms of gambling, whether it was wagering on the winner of a footrace or whether it was gambling on the outcome of a roll of the dice. There is just something in our blood that makes us love the thrill and the excitement of having the chance to win something from nothing. In turn, casinos make billions of dollars each year from this need that we have to gamble. Taking advantage of our love of gambling is extremely profitable, and this begs us to examine just how much we lose when we decide to gamble.

The first thing to consider with examining any aspect of gambling is what the odds are. Simply put, how big of an advantage does the house have? While this can change drastically from game to game, it generally becomes an exercise in mathematics. The easy way out, however, is to just look it up, whether online or in reference books. It’s not terribly difficult to find the house edge for any game offered at a casino or in a lottery. For example, most forms of blackjack have a house advantage of less than one percent, while some lotteries have a house advantage of over thirty percent.

Well, these are the popular ones because you even have cards and judi online to look forward to where the house advantage is nearly forty percent with much higher stakes and little to lose.

The second thing to consider when examining the risk when gambling is how much money are you putting at stake. While it’s obvious that the less money you wager, the less you have at risk, betting too low of an amount has an effect of killing the thrill and excitement–the very reason you were gambling in the first place. For these reasons, you should take some time to figure out what the right amount is for you to gamble with. You want to be wagering enough that you have fun and experience that thrill of gambling, but you don’t want to wager more than you’re comfortable with possibly losing.

Using a minimal amount of math, I’m going to show you how to use these two pieces of information (the house advantage and how much you want to gamble with) to figure out just how much you’re spending when you’re gambling. supposed you’ve decided that you want to play a blackjack game with a house edge of one percent, and you are going to be making bets of $10 on each hand. You’ll probably play about 30 hands an hour, so you’ll be wagering a total of about $300 an hour. Since the house’s edge is one percent, you can expect to lose about $3 in an hour of play. If you are having fun and decide to play for two hours, you’ll lose $6 on average, which is cheaper than going to see a two-hour movie in theaters. This seems like a good price for the entertainment.

You can make similar calculations using a very small a mount of math for nearly any gambling game. Suppose you live in North Carolina like I do and you want to buy a lottery ticket, maybe as a cheap Christmas present for a grand-son or cousin. You decide on a $5 scratch-off ticket, and after a little bit of research you discover that the North Carolina lottery has a house advantage of 50%. That means on average, your $5 ticket is really only worth $2.50. If this is a Christmas present, then you better hope that whoever gets it has $2.50 worth of excitement over it, or you’re better off buying them a $5 gift card.

A lot of people say gambling is a waste of time and money, but they don’t understand that entertainment has value as well. This would be like saying it was a waste of time and money to go out and watch a movie you really enjoyed. Hopefully now you understand how to decide if gambling is really worth the entertainment you get from it. Otherwise, you’re probably better off going to watch that movie.

Read More