Gambling information might seem like a cheap commodity during the internet age. After all, thousands of websites have hundreds of pages each offering gambling information. The problem is that much of this information is next to useless.
I discuss the why behind that equation further along in this post.
But by way of introduction, I want you to know that the goal of this post is to share with you some gambling information you need to be aware of in 2020 and beyond. Most of this gambling information is timeless–but not all of it.
I encourage you to leave comments and ask questions about information I haven’t covered.
1- The best place to get gambling information is from books, not the internet.
Much to-do has been made over Google‘s efforts to improve the quality of the pages in their search results. In fact, some people (myself included) think that Google’s quest for quality has hurt their relevancy in their results.
A few years ago, they rolled out a new algorithm called “Panda”. The goal was to punish sites that were publishing low-quality pages with low-quality information. There were websites out there targeting specific micro-phrases and offering minimal quality info on those pages.
But since they were the only pages on the hyper-specific subject, they ranked.
Google now prefers to feature less relevant but higher quality pages in its results, but it’s still far from perfect.
Books, on the other hand, tend to be a labor of love for most people. The book publishing industry has a level of oversight that’s lacking when it comes to web publishing.
Books also tend to delve more deeply into any subject, especially gambling. Readers on the internet prefer to scan content quickly.
Someone who sits down to read a book usually wants to really grok the subject matter.
So if you really want to learn about gambling, start by reading some books on the subject.
2- High-quality gambling information websites are few and far between, and you can’t count on Google to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Why are gambling information websites on the internet so lame?
Not all of them are, of course. I like to think the stuff I write here is interesting and high quality, for example.
But you can find literally dozens–even hundreds–of examples of pages with errors, opinions, and shallow treatment of subjects that deserve better quality content.
The problem is the profitability of the industry. An average casino customer is easily worth at least $1000. Most online casinos have no problem paying between $200 and $400 to any website that refers them a customer.
This has turned gambling information into a small but hugely profitable cottage industry.
And like any other industry, webmasters want to maximize their ROI (return on investment).
If a page costs $20 to produce and generates a single real money player referral per year, it earns $180 in profit the first year.
Take that same page and improve it by spending $200 on it instead of $20, and you’ll see no profit at all the first year.
Long term thinkers might see the profit potential in future years. But one of the keys to thinking creatively about money is accounting for its time value.
$200 tomorrow is worth more than $200 next year. For one thing, you can invest it and earn interest on it. For another, the money you make next year probably isn’t as valuable because of inflation.
So webmasters of gambling information sites have the incentive to create cheap pages to get a higher immediate return on their investment.
3- You should question everything and ask questions all the time, especially if you’re going to risk money gambling online.
Asking questions creates a more thoughtful approach to gambling. If you’re gambling online for the first time, you probably have a steep learning curve ahead of you. Your goal should be to get enough gambling information via answers to your questions that you’ll minimize your losses.
For example, you should ask lots of questions to yourself when you’re visiting a site like this one:
- Does the information presented on this site seem trustworthy?
- Is the information presented here specific and helpful?
- Do the casino recommendations seem since and legit?
- Are the owners of the website desperately trying to sell me something?
You should also feel free to get in touch with any online casino, poker room, or sportsbook you’re thinking about signing up with. Ask the customer service department there lots of questions.
You can learn a lot about what your experience will be like as a customer there just by asking them some questions.
4- Gamblers speak their own language. You should learn the lingo.
I’ve only recently published a gambling glossary on this site yet, but it’s been on my list of topics to cover since I launched this site. For now, you need to know that gambling involves a lot of jargon. When you don’t understand what the various words and phrases mean, it can cost you money.
Here’s an example of a word many non-gamblers don’t understand in its gambling context:
Action refers to the amount of money you have riding on a bet. It also refers to the amount of money you’ve wagered over a period of time. It’s also a way for the casino to track how good a customer you are.
Contrary to what you might think, casinos aren’t rooting for you to lose. All they care about is how much action you bring.
That’s because of #5.
5- The house edge is a mathematical force of nature.
I’ve written about the house edge before. It’s an average of what you can mathematically expect to lose on every bet you make — over the long run.
The thing is, the long run doesn’t kick in until thousands or tens of thousands of bets.
In fact, it’s impossible to see results in the short term that mirror the house edge.
The house edge in blackjack is 0.5%. This means you expect to lose 50 cents every time you bet $100–ON AVERAGE.
The ultimate short term play is a single bet. If you bet $100 on a hand of blackjack, though, it’s impossible to lose 50 cents. You might lose $100, or you might lose $50 (if you surrender).
On the other hand, you might win $100, or you might win $150 (if you get a blackjack). When you take into account splitting pairs, you might even win more or less.
You couldn’t even lose an average of 50 cents per hand over 2 or 3 hands of blackjack. When you’re betting $100 per hand, it’s just not possible.
Over the long run, though, the house edge will bear out. That’s why casino writers always suggest that you’ll lose all your money if you play long enough.
It’s also the reason casinos are able to stay in business.
6- Online casino bonuses ain’t what they’re cracked up to be.
When you sign up at an online casino, you’ll usually get a bonus to your first deposit. For example, you might deposit $1000 and get a 200% matching bonus of $2000 added to your account. You have $3000 to play with.
This seems like one of those too good to be true deals.
But it comes with a catch or 2:
For one thing, you can’t cash out your winnings until you’ve made wagers equal to a certain multiple of your deposit plus bonus. This is called the wagering requirement or rollover requirement.
For example, the wagering requirement might be 35X your deposit plus bonus. In the example above, you’d need to make $105,000 in wagers before being able to cash out.
Furthermore, you can usually only count wagers placed on the slot machines toward this wagering requirement.
Most online slot machines offer excellent payback percentages, but you’re still facing a house edge of 5% or so. On $105,000 in action, you’re looking at a predicted loss of over $5000.
Since you started with a $3000 bankroll, you can’t expect to finish with a profit.
In some cases, you might get lucky and hit a big jackpot toward the end of your wagering requirements. If you hit a big enough jackpot early on, you might even have some money left when it’s all over.
I once hit a $6000 jackpot when playing at an online casino. By the time I finished my wagering requirement, I had $2000 left. That was a nice payday.
But the days when an advantage gambler could take advantage of signup bonuses and buy themselves something cool like a jukebox are long gone.
7- Betting systems sometimes work better than some of the other gambling writers say they do.
Betting systems absolutely cannot overcome the house edge in the long run. Most gambling writers are right about that.
What most gambling writers ignore is that most recreational gamblers are only interested in short term results anyway.
The Martingale System, for example, is great if you want to play a little roulette and wind up with some small profits. Sure, eventually you’ll lose enough money to eliminate all those profits and then some. But it’s a fun way to make a little money in the short run.
In fact, almost any betting system can be useful in the short term. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that these systems turn the tide in your favor.
This is a gambling information blog, but my goal is to entertain as well as educate.
But I do think there are some gambling facts you need to know. I’ve covered some of them in this post. I’ll cover more in future posts, too.
Feel free to leave questions in the comments.