How to gamble at casino online: Learn about payouts and variance

How to gamble at casino online: Learn about payouts and variance

The principles described in this article are relevant to almost all gambling games where the player plays against the casino. To be more specific, all games where you can bet and where the casino pays potential winnings. The best known are: slot machines, roulette, blackjack and baccarat. Probably many of us already know that in a long game, the advantage is on the side of the casino. Otherwise, all casino owners would be losing money on these games.

For each game, the casino advantage is different and depends on the rules of the game and the rules of payouts when you win. These rules apply from round to round, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of rounds. The casino owners have complete confidence that the money collected from players will be greater than the winnings paid out. Long games work in the casino’s favor; the statistics work in the casino’s favor.

A long game works in the casino’s favor and against you. It is often possible to come to a casino online, play, win and leave with a win. The main reason is that a few dozen rounds are enough to win. In this case the statistics do not work. The result of a casino visit will be random (depending on your luck), i.e. it does not depend on statistics. It is the chance that lucky players win and can knock down the statistics of Indian casino online advantage. For this it is very important to know the 2 main characteristics of the game: payout ratio and variance.

Gambling randomness and payout ratio (RTP)

The payout (also known as payout percentage, RTP – return to player) of gambling games is calculated by the formula: the sum of all winnings divided by the sum of bets. In the opposite case, the coefficient on the side of the casino. Percentage advantage of the casino is calculated: 100% minus the payout ratio. If payout percentage is 95%, then casino advantage percentage is 100% – 95% = 5%.

Roulette payout percentage

In European roulette, the odds of winning if you bet on black is: the ratio of 18 black numbers to 37 all the numbers (don’t forget about zero). That is, if we bet on any colour, our winnings are doubled. Then the ratio of our roulette winnings is: 2 * 18 / 37 = 0.973 = 97.3%. Probability of winning the casino is 100% – 97.3% = 2.7%. Roulette has the same RTP for all types of bets (on colour, numbers etc.).

Percentage of payout (RTP) in a game of blackjack

Blackjack rules may vary from casino to casino. RTP can also vary. But in general, a blackjack game using a basic strategy gives you an RTP of 99.5%. In a real casino, the RTP varies from dealer to dealer and from packs of cards. Usually in real casinos, the RTP ranges from 95%-102%. It depends on how you count cards. Players who estimate an actual blackjack RTP will try to bet higher, provided the RTP is above 100%. This is done in order to win in the future. On the other hand, the casino also has a means by which it tries to prevent the player from counting cards.

Slot machine payout percentage

The RTP in slots ranges from 92% to 97%. Payout percentage of slot machines depends on the characters on the virtual reels, payout table and other rules applicable to a particular game.

Payout percentage of games and betting systems

It’s important to understand that the payout percentage is determined by each game. Suppose you bet $100 on roulette and win $1200. You go on to play and place 12 more bets: $100 = $1200. RTP should be calculated for each round separately. The statistical expected casino profit in this case would be:

($100 + $1200) * (100% – 97.3 %) = $1300 * 2.7 % = $35.1

Note. This 97.3% is the RTP of roulette. If you continue to play with your winnings, expect to lose more. Many players continue to play with their winnings over and over again.

If you want to be a smart player, you must distinguish between the RTP of a game (which is counted for each specific game) and the payout percentage of the betting system. The betting system is determined by the game of your entire stay in the casino. It includes: the type of game, the varieties/settings, the betting size rules and the decisions to stop playing. Let’s understand what the RTP of a betting system is. It is the ratio of the sum of all wins by all other unlucky players.

Keep in mind that some websites can confuse and interchange these 2 concepts. Their definition of RTP can mislead you into thinking that players only lose a small part of their money (exactly as much as the casino wins). Then, the rest of the money has to be redistributed to the winners. In fact, if players bet money from their previous winnings, they lose much more. In this case, the RTP of the betting system can fall by as much as 50%. Even for blackjack with an RTP of 99.5%. As you can see, the RTP of bad systems is close to 0%.

An optimal betting system is one where the RTP is the same for all games. To achieve this goal, you should avoid betting out of winnings. Theoretically, the easiest way is when you bet all your money in one round. Keep a satisfying bet in play until you win or lose. Roulette is great for this strategy, where you can assess your odds. Let’s assume you have $100 and a winnings rate of $900 should satisfy you. In this case, placing $100 on the square (4 numbers) would be an optimal strategy for you. In this case, you will either win a good amount from the casino or go $100 short. In this case your odds are fair enough. The biggest disadvantage is that you won’t be playing for long.

Dispersion/variability in gambling

Dispersion in gambling

Simply put, the variance of a game determines how quickly your capital changes while playing. With a small variance, you win often, but in small amounts. In this case, your capital varies evenly (unfortunately, downwards). With a large variance, you lose most rounds, but when you win, your winnings are large. A slow loss of money is justified by a big win.

The variance of a game can also be described by a statistical distribution of the amount won. As a rule, winnings are proportional to the bet, we are talking about multiples of winnings. For example, when betting on a colour in roulette, it increases by a factor of 2 when winning. At the same time, betting on a particular number increases the winnings by a factor of 36.

The variance (variance) on slot machines is more complex. You can, repeatedly, win in different combinations, an amount multiple of your bet. That’s why it’s hard to be specific about slots, as a lot depends on the provider and is defined as a “small”, “medium”, “high” loss. We felt that slot machine variance, should be better described, and decided to create a separate topic about it.

Dispersion has a big impact on your chances of walking away from a casino with a win. The rule of thumb is “The higher the variance, the better”. The first reason for high variance is that in one round, you may win an amount that will satisfy you. The second reason is that you lose more rounds and don’t want to bet further (has a negative effect on RTP). In other words, you lose your funds very quickly. The third reason is that if you can win an amount greater than a multiple of the bet, then you reduce your bet to win the same amount. This again reduces the bet amount and your long term losses.

To illustrate, let’s assume a game with a variance of not 99% RTP. Let’s say in this game, at a bet of $1 we get paid out $0.99. The outcome of each round is predetermined and it is impossible to win in this game. Of course, no one would want to play such a game.

I wonder why many do not assess variance the way RTP is assessed. Many so-called experts judge a game solely on its RTP – roulette is worse than blackjack as it has a lower RTP. This approach is wrong. Roulette with its 36:1 ratio (when betting on a number) pays much better when winning than blackjack (without card counting). Higher variance beats RTP very easily. Every smart player should learn to work with this and use it to their advantage.

How variance affects the RTP of a betting system

Now, we will demonstrate one simple betting system. Note how the variance of the game affects the RTP of the betting system. Let’s imagine 2 players: each of them comes into the casino with $100. Player X bets $10 on the roulette number. Player Y bets on a colour. Each of them loses some part of their money to the casino. The player walks away if his winnings total more than $500 or simply loses all his money. We have simulated this situation a million times (with a simple program, it is very easy to simulate).

Player X left the casino with 14.8% of his winnings. His average capital was $648 and he played an average of 16 rounds. This means that the RTP of the betting system was 95.19%.

Note: RTP of a betting system is calculated as the ratio of winnings to net losses. The net winnings are calculated as: 14.8% * ($648 – $100). Net losses are calculated as $100 * (100% – 14.8%). It turns out (($648 – $100) * 14.8%) / ($100 * (100% – 14.8%)) = 95.19 %.

Player Y only managed to win in 5.15% of all attempts. His system yielded an average win of $500 and an RTP of 21.42%. Player Y, on the other hand, likes to play for a long time – he played an average of 274 rounds.

From this example, we can see that variance affects the odds of winning at the casino. Player X’s system payout ratio was 4.4 times higher than the system RTP used by player Y.

How bet size affects the RTP of a betting system

As a general rule, the amount won in gambling depends on the size of the bets. In addition, the total payout ratio of the betting system also affects the bet size. The rule is simple: The higher your stake size, the higher the (usually) RTP of the betting system. We assume that all other rules of the betting system remain the same.

Let’s take an example to show the effect of bet size on the outcome of a betting system. As an example, let’s take the game of roulette again. Players return to the casino with $100 and are stopped if their equity is $0 or over $500. Player X bets $20 and player Y bets $5. Both players bet on a colour.

After simulating player X a million times, we find that in 10.9%, players won $500. This means that the RTP was 48.68% and an average of 84 rounds were played. Player Y, on the other hand, managed to reach the $500 figure in only 0.88% of attempts (an average of 706 rounds, RTP 3.55%). This suggests that if player Y wants to walk away from a casino with $500, he needs to win 80 times more than he loses. This phenomenon seems to be very rare for roulette.

The statistics are very clear in this case. With low variance, you can play longer, but your chances of winning a certain amount of money drops considerably.

The other side of the combination is a combination of high variance and high stakes. Player Z came to the casino with $100 and decided to bet everything on 1 number. As a result of a million simulations of this situation, player Z has a 2.71% probability of winning. If he wins, each player will walk away with $3600 (RTP 97.4%). Each player Z plays only 1 round.


The website, which specialists in reviews of gambling games and platforms, has generated a detailed article for you and summarized the key findings:

  • The gambling payout percentage is only calculated for 1 particular round. Your actual payout percentage will be much lower, as you are betting the money you won in the previous round;
  • Statistically, you lose in every bet. Smaller bets mean that statistically the casino will get less money;
  • The RTP of your betting system depends on the RTP of the game, the variance of the game, the size of the bets and the rules when leaving and continuing to play;
  • The variance of the game is determined by the size of the potential winnings (multiples of the bet). The more multiples you win, the greater your variance;
  • Games with a high variance are usually favorable. A high variance can easily beat a higher RTP;
  • The higher the variance, the greater the chance of turning small amounts into big amounts;
  • The higher the bet per round, the higher the RTP of your betting system;
  • If you’re playing to relax, choose a game with a high variance and small stakes. A few wins will lead you to your desired winnings or you will lose them all. Keep in mind that you have to find a compromise between the duration of the game and the RTP of your betting system.
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