Every casino player wants to crack the code and find a way to beat the odds. In this industry, there are people who gamble professionally, dedicating tons of time on understanding the odds and probabilities of different games by using math.
This doesn’t mean that you can constantly win if you are good at math or learn some secret formula. The only way to win big bucks without any financial risk is if you play free online pokies or gamble with a big bonus rewarded by the casino you are using.
Still, there are ways to improve your chances to win money and in some cases, the choices you make while gambling based on your knowledge can make a significant change.
The Connection between Gambling and Math Explained
People started connecting betting with mathematics in the 16th century. Gerolamo Cardano, an Italian polymath wrote a gambling manual back then, navigating his ‘’sample space of possible events’’. According to him, two dice can make 36 different combinations, but only one produces two sixes. Some go as far as to say that this started the theory of probability.
Nowadays, the idea that math makes gambling more rewarding for players is widely accepted. All over the world, players are testing the rules of probability to access the risks of bets they take, calculate the expected value, volatility index, gameplay duration, and more.
However, this is mostly done on games like poker and blackjack, and not so often on real money pokies. Considering how popular these are with gamblers and how numerous they are nowadays, it’s only natural to wonder:
Can Mathematical Strategies Be Applied to Pokie Gambling?
Obviously, there’s no strategy that guarantees your success in a pokie or any other casino gameplay. You can’t really beat the casino’s random generator and win the jackpot just because you’re great at math. Unlike games like poker where players are known to remember and count cards and use a variety of other strategies, pokies are not that simple.
Even though this is the case, understanding the mechanism and workings of pokies put you in a much better position to get higher and more frequent wins. If you know how much a game pays out, how frequently this happens, or how much you need to bet to play for the jackpot, this can turn the odds in your favor – even if it is only slightly.
That being said, here is what you need to know:
Return-to-player is a percentage that many gamblers consider when picking their pokie. This is something you should definitely know – it’s what determines the percentage and frequency of winning money on a selected pokie.
Take for example, the 1429 Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick. This pokie has one of the biggest RTP percentages, 98.5%, which means that you can win about $98.6 for every $100 that goes into the game.
The higher the game’s RTP, the higher your odds of winning more often. Even so, you still need to include some other factors in your math and decision-making, such as the house edge and game variance.
During your gambling journey, there will be pokies that hardly ever give you a win, but their winnings are the biggest you can get. Some will have many frequent wins, but small ones. This is why you need to consider variance also.
Variance is the profit rate measure in a pokie, which equates to the risk involved in playing it. Most pokies will have a medium variance today, which makes for a good balance of payout and win rates. If the one you select has low variance, it’s highly likely that its rare wins are huge, and that machine is a big jackpot slot. Winning those amounts is nearly impossible, but if it happens, it is life-altering.
On the other hand, high variance machines offer many and frequent payouts, but these are often very small.
Random Number Generator
For every casino game, there’s a RNG working in the background. This is an algorithm that decides whether your pokie spin will result in a miss or a win.
The PRNG in online pokies recreate real-world, completely random results via complex algorithms, which creates endless possible results for different players. That being said, you can’t really delve into this or recreate how the RNG works in a pokie game.
The last thing to add to your math and decision-making process when betting on slots is hit frequency. Many mistake this with RTP, but it’s not the same thing. Hit frequency is the slot’s ratio of missed and winning spins.
Some pokies have high hit frequency, but offer a low return compared to your bet. Others have a high frequency, but the wins often trouble, or even triple what you’ve bet.
To get the hit frequency of a pokie, you need to add up all possible wins per spin. This requires some calculations. You should consider the symbols in the pokie and the paylines.
And, of course, you need to know how the machine works to calculate this. For example, both ways slots count matches that are made in both directions – right to left and left to right. In this case, you need to double the paylines.
One Last Tip: Do Your Math on Your Budget!
This is probably the best and smartest way to use your math while playing pokies – to keep track of your winnings, losses, and your gambling budget. It can be easy to get carried away, especially after a significant win or when you come across a really entertaining game. The most important math you can make while gambling on any game, including pokie machines, is to calculate everything to stay within your budget.