How Odds / Payout Pecentages Work

Simply stated, odds are the amount that you will be paid for a unit bet when your bet wins. It is very important for you to know how much you stand to win when you place a bet. This section will first explain what odds are. It will take you through some of the important online casino games informing how you can locate the odds for the various bets in those games. Though odds are important, they are not the only criterion that you take into consideration when placing the bet. This section also explains house edge, which is a related concept.

What are odds?

In online casino games you place a bet that a particular outcome will occur. When you place a bet on red in roulette the outcome that you are backing is that a red number will be called in the next spin of the wheel. The outcome that you are backing in blackjack is that at the end of the hand you will be closer to 21 than the dealer. If that outcome fails to occur then you lose your bet. If that outcome occurs then you get your bet back plus the amount that you win. The odds for that bet tell you how much you will win as a multiple of the bet. Odds are also referred to as payout ratio.

Odds are usually expressed ay Y to 1, where Y is an integer. Suppose the odds for an outcome are 5 to 1 and you wager AU$2. If you win you will get back your wager of AU$2 and will win 5x your bet, which works out to AU$10.

Odds in roulette

In roulette you bet on an outcome that the number that is called will belong to a set of defined numbers. The set may have only one number, which means that you will win only if that number is called. The odds for this bet are 35 to 1. In the bet on red, the set you bet on has 18 numbers and the odds are 1 to 1. In most online roulette variants the odds are given in the Help section.

Odds in blackjack

In standard blackjack variants the outcome you bet on is that your hand will be closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand. The odds are 1 to 1. In blackjack there are a couple of outcomes possible other than win or lose. The hands can be tied in which case your bet is returned but there is no payout. You can win with a blackjack, in which case the odds are 1.5 to 1. However, the practice is that both numbers should be integers, so this is expressed as 3 to 2.

Odds in video poker

In video poker the outcome that you bet on is that the poker ranking of your hand matches with one of the rankings in the payout table. If your hand fails to match then you lose the bet. The pay table does not indicate the odds in the manner described earlier. It directly gives you the number of coins you get back including your bet for different poker rankings.

Odds in online pokies

In online pokies the outcome that you bet on is that you will get a winning combination of like symbols on one of the paylines that you have bet on. As in video poker games, the payout table gives single numbers for each combination. Suppose you wager 5 coins on a payline and get a combination on that payline with a number 100. This means you will get back 500 coins.

House edge in online casino games

You simply cannot say that a bet that offers higher odds or a larger payout ratio is a better bet. Odds that are offered in online casino games are not mathematically correct. If they were then the online casino would not make any money in the long run and would not be able to meet its costs. The house edge is a measure of how much the actual odds fall short of the mathematically correct odds. It is usually expressed as a percentage and lower house edges are better. You have to choose a game that gives a combination odds and house edge suited to your objectives.


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