The excitement of online gambling pulls in many bettors, but most fail to make a profit. If you listen closely, you’ll hear it time and again—an exasperated player exclaiming, “I thought I could win at online roulette!”
The truth is, they can, but there’s more to winning than simply placing a bet and hoping for the best.
Whether you’re playing at an online casino, betting on sports games or purchasing lottery tickets online, your success comes down to one thing: beating the odds.
Many people think that means outsmarting the house, but really, the house edge is just one aspect of beating long odds—and even that is a fallacy in some cases. Study the odds enough, and you’ll come to understand that they’re there to stay unless something drastic changes—which means if you really want to beat them, you have no choice but to change something drastically.
One of the most beneficial skills any gambler can learn is how to read numbers. That doesn’t just mean knowing that a roulette number on red pays 35:1 instead of 36:1. It means understanding what each number is likely to do in the future and how your wager alters those odds.
That said, let’s take a look at the various forms of online betting and why they present a particular challenge. We’ll also examine the core reasons bettors lose and how they can avoid those pitfalls.
Machine Games: An Easy Trap to Fall Into
There’s a reason why machine games are so popular—they’re easy money once you understand their inner workings. Instead of studying up the subtleties of each game, all you have to do is mimic what the machine tells you. You can double your money in a slot or a video poker machine by hitting a set pattern of symbols and sometimes even just doing what feels right!
After all, how could it be more rational to play a machine based on cold, hard statistics or how it feels in your gut?
The answer is simple: because the numbers don’t lie. A machine programmed to come up with a certain pattern will only do so 50% of the time. The other half of the time, you’ll lose everything on that spin and end up no better off than before you started.
People who play machine games are the ones most likely to go home with an empty wallet. There’s no way to read the patterns because they’re created by the machine—not the player! Instead, players need to learn how these machines work and exploit them accordingly.
Online Casino Games: A Wager for Every Occasion
To be honest, online casino games really aren’t all that different from machine games. The only difference is that they’re more difficult to read and come with different rulesets. Most of the time, players will find themselves repeating their moves over and over again in hopes of striking it rich—and therein lies the problem.
You can never truly predict what cards will come next, and even if you could, nobody can predict future results. That means the only way to make money is to master a particular game and play it well enough that your odds of winning increase accordingly.
That might sound like a tall order, but actually, casinos are making it easy for you—all you have to do is understand how they work.
One of the most common forms of online casino play is roulette, and it’s a perfect example of why you can’t just rely on your gut instincts to get ahead. Yes, every number on the wheel has an equal chance of coming up next—but that doesn’t mean all numbers have an equal chance of coming up over the long haul.
Roulette is biased towards certain numbers—for example, black and red numbers have a greater chance of coming up than green and purple ones because they’re grouped together on the wheel. Understanding those odds and betting accordingly can make it impossible for casinos to stay afloat: too many people beating them at their own game!
Sports Betting: The Same Old Story
Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of online gaming, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. As with other games, you need to know how sports bets work and what sets them apart from all the others.
To start out, players have to understand that wagering on a single game is almost always a bad idea. Yes, you might get lucky and win big on the first try, but you’re more likely to lose everything and be left holding an empty wallet. That’s why many sports gamblers use wagering systems—sets of rules that dictate when to place certain bets or how much to wager—to take the emotion out of betting.
As always, however, you can’t rely on systems 100% of the time. No matter what system you use, it’s virtually impossible to beat sports wagering without some element of unpredictability built into your play!
Sometimes the best way to make money is to step back and let the money come to you. With the right online casino and sports betting strategies, you can turn even long shots into winners—all without resorting to gambling in the traditional sense.