How Gambling Works
Gambling is the act of risking something valuable (usually money) against an event that may or may not happen. Generally, when talking about gambling with an online bookmaker in Australia, gambling refers to betting money on the outcome of a racing, sporting or novelty event.
The amount of money you can win from a bet is determined by the odds. Odds are calculated and offered by the bookmaker as an indication of how likely the bookmaker believes that particular outcome to be. As an example, odds of $2.00 mean the bookmaker is willing to pay you back $2 for every $1 you spend on that bet. Excluding margins, fees and taxes, odds of $2.00 are generally considered to reflect a 50/50 probability of the event occurring.
What is the margin?
Bookmakers stay profitable by incorporating a margin in the odds they offer. The margin is intended to help cover fees, taxes, and so that after many bets on both sides of the market, the bookmaker is more likely to still make a profit.
This means when you are offered odds of $2.00, the bookmaker believes your likelihood of winning is actually less than 50/50.
So how do I beat the bookie?
There is a commonly held misconception that bookmakers can be just as easily beaten at their own game. While it is true some people can make a living from gambling, these people are highly skilled professionals with years of research, practice, experience, and usually large historical losses.
Because of the margin built into every bet, even with the same knowledge-base, resources and skills as a professional bookmaker, you immediately have a disadvantage against the bookmaker, hence the term: “The house always wins”.
What if I just bet on really low odds to guarantee I always win?
There is a popular myth that betting on an event with odds of $1.01 is impossible to lose. Odds of $1.01 are often correlated to there being a 99% probability of the event occurring. This might seem fairly likely, but imagine if this was good enough for air travel safety? Approximately 650 planes take off from Heathrow airport every day. If only 99% of these planes took off without crashing, there would be more than 6 plane crashes every day in London alone! Another thing to keep in mind when you are betting on odds of $1.01 is that the bookmaker’s margin has already been accounted for, so the likelihood of the bet winning is not as high as it seems.
Why gamble at all if I can’t use it to make money?
Gambling is designed to be a fun entertainment activity, not a way to make money. If you are gambling with the intention of making money, or winning back money you have previously lost, you are gambling for the wrong reasons and likely to cause yourself more loss and anxiety.
Why are you telling me all this?
Entain values its customers and the community very highly. Problem gambling can often evolve from people being naïve to the risks associated with gambling. At Entain we want our customers to enjoy using our services, and we believe that means being open and honest about how our products work, so that our customers can make informed decisions about betting.