Do Some Online Casino Games Have Better Odds Than Others?

1 week ago
Do Some Online Casino Games Have Better Odds Than Others?
08:55
13 Jan

Online casino gaming is a huge part of the entertainment lives of many people. It’s surprising what criteria people use to select their preferred online casinos: some people choose them based on the color and aesthetic of the website, for example, while others go for the range of themed games that they have on offer.

It’s only really the hardcore gamblers, though, who make their decisions based on the odds. Unlike some other gambling contexts, such as horse racing, in the casino world, odds don’t form as large a part of the experience of gambling. What’s more, not all casinos choose to divulge this information or make it easily accessible – which can complicate the question further. This blog post will delve into the question of online casino gaming odds and ask whether it’s really true that you can pick and choose games on the basis of the return you’re expected to receive.


Understanding the odds

First of all, it’s vital to really understand the way that “odds” – so to speak – actually work in the casino world. They don’t play out in quite the same way as odds do in other gambling contexts, such as horse racing. The common formula you see for racing or sports betting odds – in which the extent to which a particular outcome is likely to happen is represented by a positive or negative symbol and a three-digit figure – isn’t used in the casino world.

Instead, the odds are represented by what is known as a “return to player” figure, which calculates the amount won by players divided by the amount put in by players. This isn’t the same as the odds, although it achieves the same function in the long run. The return to player figure demonstrates the amount that a casino has to pay out in winnings, although the formula used means that the amount is related to the amount that players bet.


Do these differ?

The short answer is that yes, they do. It’s normal for a return to player ratio to be different from casino game to casino game, especially between games offered by different developers – or between different categories of games, such as poker and roulette. However, there is not a huge amount of difference within the ranges, and those who are taking a mathematical approach might want to look for return to player ratios which are close to 100%. A 100% return to player ratio indicates that the likelihood of the player winning is the same as the likelihood of the casino winning, and it’s not uncommon to see RTPs which are close to this.

Don’t get too excited, though. It’s very uncommon for expected return to player amounts to exceed 100%, or to get close to there. After all, online casinos are profit-making businesses, and a return to player ratio that is well over 100% would represent a catastrophic loss that makes it barely worth the provider offering.


How can you find out the RTP?

The RTP, as the return to player statistic is known, can sometimes be hard to spot. A handful of online casinos make the information available in a very public way, but these are few and far between. If the information isn’t displayed prominently next to the point at which you choose your slot game, you might have to look somewhere else.

Some online casinos maintain a central database of the RTP levels for each of the games on their books, for example. In other scenarios, you may have to reach out directly to the casino platform operator and ask them for a breakdown. Whether or not they’re obliged to tell you, or whether they will if they’re not obliged to (and how quickly they’ll do it), is another matter altogether. The answer to this question might depend on the regulatory framework in which they operate, the customer service staff resources they have and their relationship with their game software suppliers.

In summary, online casino gaming can be hard to get your head around when it comes to the odds. Some online casino games certainly do offer games which have a marginally better “return to player” numbers than others – although these can be hard to find. If you’re determined to choose your preferred online casino games on the basis of the odds and the expected return to player, it’s going to take some time and effort – so you’d best get started.


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Writer and semi-retired poker pro from Edinburgh (UK).Read more

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