January 21, 2021

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How Gambling Works

2 min read

How Gambling Works



GambleAwareTM aims to promote responsibility in gambling

Many people gamble without any real understanding of how gambling actually works.

Do you know what ‘odds’ and ‘house edge’ mean? What about ‘average return to player’? When you gamble, are you playing a skill based game or is it all down to chance – and does it matter? What are your real chances of winning? Can you separate fact from fiction amongst the many myths surrounding gambling? Before you decide to gamble it is a good idea to know how gambling works so there are no hidden surprises.

What is gambling?

Gambling is taking part in a game during which you risk money, or something of monetary value, in order to win money or a prize. The outcome of the game is usually down to chance, so when gambling you might leave with less money than you started off with, and sometimes with nothing at all.

There are many forms of gambling, including lotteries and scratchcards, card games like poker and blackjack, betting on sports or events, playing casino games, gambling machines or bingo. Many people enjoy gambling, whether having a flutter on the Grand National or buying the odd scratchcard, or taking part in gambling on a more regular basis. Gambling is not a bad thing, but it can be risky, so we need to keep ourselves informed and make responsible choices.

What are the odds?

Probability is the likelihood of a specific outcome or event taking place. To work this out, you divide the number of specific outcomes with the number of possible outcomes.

For example, if you were rolling a dice and wanted the number three to come up, there is only onespecific outcome; at the same time, there are six possible outcomes because the dice could land on one, two, three, four, five or six. So the probability of you rolling a three is 1 in 6.

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