True Odds versus House Odds  

I’ve previously discussed house odds vs. true odds, but not in such length. On this website, you can read about the fundamentals of probability as well as the house edge. Examining the distinction between payoff odds and true odds is another way to approach these ideas.

How Do Odds Work?

Simply stating a probability is what odds are. That is merely a mathematical method of assessing the likelihood that something will occur. Ratios between events define all probabilities. As an illustration, consider the following A coin is flipped. The likelihood that it will land on heads is what you are interested in knowing. Heads or tails are your only two options. There is only one of them whose likelihood you are interested in knowing. The likelihood of the coin landing on heads is one-half. There are several ways to state that probability. A fraction is one way to express something, but you could also change it to a percentage (such as 50%) or a decimal (0.50). However, odds are the topic of this article. How do you turn odds from probabilities. You simply contrast the possibilities that it cannot occur with those that it may. This indicates that the odds are even, or one to one, in the coin flip example. Another illustration is this One six-sided die is being used for the roll. You’re interested in the likelihood of rolling a 6. Six options are available. Just one of them has a six. The remaining 5 are NOT 6. The probability of rolling a 6 is therefore 5 to 1.

How Do House Odds Work?

In terms of the payout for a bet, one way to view house odds is in this manner. Over time, the house will turn a profit if payout odds are lower than your chances of winning the wager. Here’s an illustration: You’re in a casino where placing a single number wager on the roll of a six-sided die will pay off at a rate of 4 to 1. There is a 5 to 1 chance of winning. Each time, you wager $1, for a total of $6. You lose $1 on each of those five rolls. That’s -$5. You receive $4 if you roll one of those. (Remember that the payout on the wager is 4:1?) $1 is the net loss after subtracting $5 from $4. Of course, in the short term, you might experience a run of victories or setbacks. However, over time, your real results will start to resemble your predictions.

True Odds versus House Odds   (1)

How Do True Odds Work?

The true odds of winning the wager are those. Where the house gains an advantage over players is in the discrepancy between true odds and payoff odds. This is how the casino consistently turns a profit. Here’s another illustration: You bet a single number on the number 2 while playing roulette. Each of the 38 numbers on a roulette wheel has an equal chance of appearing. This wager offers 37 ways to lose and just one way to win. This wager has a 35 to 1 payout. This wager has true odds of 37 to 1. Let’s consider a hypothetically ideal scenario where you place 38 consecutive roulette bets. You receive $35 if you win one of those wagers. But you lose $37 on the other $37 bets, leaving you with a $2 overall loss. This is how all casino games function. The casino pays off bets at a lower rate than your chances of winning. The casino is almost certain to make a profit that is very predictable for each game over a sufficient number of trials.

A Payback Percentage: What Is It?

When speaking about these kinds of topics, the term “payback percentage” is also frequently used. This metric is used to rate slot machines. While video poker and slots are measured by their payback percentages, table games are almost always discussed in terms of their “house edge.” Simply put, the payback percentage is the portion of each wager that the casino anticipates paying out in winnings over the long run. 100% minus the house advantage. Here’s an illustration: A Las Vegas bar’s casino is programmed to pay out 80% of the money bet. This implies that for every dollar you invest, you receive 80 cents in return. But that’s not exactly accurate. You might win $2 on one spin, $20 on another, lose 30 spins in a row, and then win $2 again. However, the odds on that machine are set up so that they will eventually add up to 80 cents for every dollar. In fact, slot machines reach their long-term potential faster than you might anticipate. The average slot machine user makes 600 spins an hour; occasionally more. Imagine a casino with 1,000 slot machines that receive a combined 600 spins per hour, seven days a week. That is more than one million spins each day. The casino anticipates seeing actual results that very closely resemble the anticipated results at that rate.

What Other Situations Employ Odds?

Poker is one of the games where payoff odds vs. actual odds analysis is most frequently used. Players compete against one another, and it is not a casino game. Poker players use the idea of “pot odds” to guide their decision-making when deciding whether or not to call specific bets. Here’s an illustration: You have four cards to complete a flush in Texas hold’em. The likelihood of filling your flush is about two to one. You can stay in the hand for $2 and there is $10 in the pot. If you make a flush and are paid off, your payoff was 5 to 1. Given the 2 to 1 odds of winning, this is a profitable scenario. On the other hand, the situation wouldn’t seem as favorable if the pot contained only $2 and you had to contribute $2 in order to remain in the hand. Even though you have an equal payout if you win, your chances of winning are not equal. However, this is one of the factors that makes poker a game in which you can gain an advantage. When it is not advantageous to contribute funds to the pot, you can fold. All you need to be able to do is compare the pot odds to the chances of winning the hand, then take appropriate action.


Understanding house odds and true odds is not difficult. But they are essential to gambling games. Casinos pay off bets at a lower rate than the likelihood of winning, which generates profits. This is accurate for all casino wagers. The first step in becoming an informed gambler is understanding how odds work.