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HOME > STRATEGY > Strategies & Tips > The cost of playing

The cost of playing

18 November 2017

By John Marchel

Modern gambling facilities earn their profits by charging the customer a fee or commission for the privilege of playing in their facility. This fee is known as the edge or house advantage, which is built into each and every wager made in the casino or at the racetrack. The formal tern used in the gambling business for this commission is vigorish, or vig.

One way of looking at this edge is by tossing a coin. In this hypothetical coin toss game, let’s say you bet $1 and hope to win on the side of heads, and lose to the casino if tails comes up. If tails does come up you lose $1, but if heads wins, you receive only 99¢. That 1¢ difference is the house edge or vig, which the casino uses to make its profit.

It’s also known that the house receives a lot more return than the game really offers. The reasons for this are simple: lack of skill at playing the game, and poor money management techniques on the part of the player. Overcoming these two simple obstacles can and will greatly improve your win-rate when playing games in the casino.

When you see professional gamblers who play the horses, sports betters, blackjack and poker players, and video poker professionals, the one thing they all have in common is knowledge. Knowledge is what separates winners from losses. It pays to learn the games and manage your bankroll.

Bet You Didn’t Know

• The exact derivation of “vigorish” is indeterminate but it probably stems from the word “vicarage,” which means “the small or privy tithes that accrue to a parish vicar.”

• Even though a knowledgeable player can reduce the house edge to less than 1% at craps, the Nevada Gaming commission reports that casinos are earning approximately 14% returns from the game.

• John H. Winn, A New York dice maker, designed the modern craps layout in 1907. Winn added one simple feature – the players can bet both in favor and against the shooter. Winn is also known as the inventor of the 5% charge for booking craps bets, called “vigorish” or “vig.”

• In 2006 it was reported that online gambling on hurricanes had become quite popular. The gambling operators who offer these types of bets claim that the historical data on hurricanes make for great odds due to unpredictable weather predictions.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine. Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

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