There are countless online casinos and even more online casino games, so how do you know which games are a better choice? The truth is gambling in any form is not an investment. It’s entertainment with risks.
The choice we refer to above boils down to which games you enjoy and the risks you are willing to take. That might sound strange because how can you compare risks in casino games? Easy, you ensure you understand the rules, the wagers, and the winning odds.
One thing that you should never risk is the safety and security of your personal and financial information. You should only rely on expert recommendations for online gambling platforms from trusted sources when looking for games and casinos to play them at.
Each game has its rules, which you can generally find by checking reputable reviews or opening the game itself. The wager amounts will also be available in-game. We recommend always starting with lower wagers on any game to help stretch your gambling budget and give yourself a chance to learn the game.
Now, that leaves us with the odds. The point of gambling is to have fun and possibly win some money in the process. The odds of a game dictate how much you can win if you get lucky – that’s gambling mathematics.
Mathematics in Gambling
Understanding the mathematics behind different casino games can help players better comprehend their odds of winning. The likelihood that a player will win in a particular game or wager is known as the odds.
For instance, if you toss a coin, your odds of winning are 50/50. Aside from the odds, we also need to consider the house edge and RTP (return to player) percentages. The house edge is expressed as a percentage, representing the casino’s advantage when it comes to the probability of winning against any wager.
An RTP is the average return to players over countless spins – generally more than a few million.
Comparing Slots and Roulette
Comparing odds in online roulette and online slots can be complicated, especially considering that there are so many different roulette strategies. Generally, we don’t talk about odds and house edges in pokies. We talk about the RTP and volatility.
The RTP percentage represents a theoretical return, while the volatility represents how often a slot is expected to pay out and the size of the payouts. An RTP can never be 100%, and the house edge is the difference.
Theoretically, if a slot has an RTP of 98.5%, then the house edge would be 1.5%. Similarly, if a roulette game has a house edge of 1.35%, then the theoretical RTP would be 98.65%. If we compare slots and roulette based on house edges, then we can see which game has better odds, right?
Wrong. The RTP or house edge doesn’t solely determine your odds of winning. Also, some slots have high RTPs, and some have low RTPs. Similarly, some versions of roulette have higher house edges than other versions. So, we’d have to look at the game types as a whole.
Additionally, there are online live roulette versions like Lightning Roulette that have bonuses that can apply to your winnings. And there are bonus features in some slots that can alter the RTP.
Comparing House Edges
If we compare house edges, slots often have higher house edges than roulette. The industry average for RTPs in online slots is 95-96%, which makes the average house edge for slots 4-5%.
In comparison, French and European roulette have average house edges of 2.7%, while American roulette has an average house edge of 5.26%. Therefore, as far as average house edges are concerned, you’re better off playing French and European roulette instead of American roulette and most slots.
You also need to remember that every slot and roulette game has different house edges and RTPs, so your goal is to play slots with higher RTPs and roulette games with lower house edges.
Slots are based purely on luck so you have no say over the outcome and RTPs also work on averages, so you can’t expect to win based on them. Just because an RTP is 97% does not mean that for every $100 you bet, you’ll get $97 back.
The RTP of a game does not affect your specific playing session. While roulette is also based on luck, there are fewer possible outcomes and you can place multiple bets in the same round.
The payouts on slot games can also be much higher than roulette payouts. Roulette payouts can go as high as 35x your bet, while slots can go into the hundreds or thousands depending on special features, jackpots and progressive jackpots.
Some versions of roulette have unique features like multipliers that can increase your payouts, but these are typically live casino versions and should be discussed on a game-by-game basis.
In slots, you have no control over the odds. They are the same every time you spin the wheel. There are also no real slot strategies that players can follow to help improve their winning chances or mitigate losses.
The bets you place in roulette and any strategies you employ can affect your odds. Let’s take European roulette as an example. If you place a bet on black, the odds of you winning that bet are roughly 48.64%.
However, if you place a bet on any single number, your winning odds drop to around 2.7%. If you play multiple bets, your average winning odds percentage per game round will also change.
The Bottom Line
The mathematics of casino games can be complex, but understanding the odds of winning, RTPs, volatility, and the house edge can help players make informed decisions about their gambling.
Slots typically offer low odds of winning and high house edges. Roulette games generally offer better odds but still have significant house edges. Although both games have completely random outcomes, there are strategies you can use in roulette. In slots, there are no real strategies.
If you want more control over your bets and odds, roulette is a better gaming option than slots. Playing single zero roulette variations like European roulette is advisable as the house edge is lower.
Although playing live roulette versions that have multipliers and other special features like Lightning Roulette opens up the possibility of higher payout ratios.