How to Win at Casino Games
Standard deviation is how you win at casino games. Obviously you don't lose $5.28 every time you bet $100 on a roulette spin. You either win $100 or lose $100 if you bet red or black, in fact. The house edge is a long term mathematical fact, but in the short run, anything can and often does happen.
The Difference Between the Long Run and the Short Run
Any given gambling session can be considered an exercise in the "short run". In other words, statistically speaking, to get to the point where you're looking at a significant number of events or outcomes, it will take a LOT of them. More than you'd make in a single session, even if you're playing long and hard.
Standard deviation is nothing more than the difference between the actual outcome we experience and the expected outcome based on the probabilities. The smaller the data set, the bigger the standard deviation. And generally speaking, as the data set gets larger, the standard deviation gets smaller.
Flipping Coins Again
If you flip a coin 100 time, you would expect to get 50 heads and 50 tails. But if you actually flip the coin 100 times, you'll likely see very different results. But flip a coin 1000 times, and you'll see something closer to 500 heads and 500 tails, but still, probably not exactly that amount.
But the difference will be smaller.
And that's where the casino makes their money. A small casino might serve 5000 customers in a day, and a larger casino might serve 50,000 casinos in a day. Multiply that by 365 days per year, and the casino is going to see numbers very close to what they would expect.
But the individual players will see radically different results based on how much action they've put in. The less they've played, the further from the expectation they might get.
In the short run, you can win, or you can lose. But in the long run, you will invariably lose to the casinos. The longer you play, the more money you will lose. That's mathematical reality.
No big deal. You're paying for entertainment, and it's fun, and you might hit a jackpot. And casino gambling beats the hell out of lotto tickets. The house edge on THAT gem of a game is 50%, which makes one question why casinos are illegal and the lottery is legal and state-run.
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