# The Relationship Between Math and Gambling

Can you crack the code and become a master at online casinos? There are indeed people who dedicate their time to understanding the different probabilities of every game by using math to their advantage. You don’t have to understand complicated mathematics; knowledge of probability and calculating risk are two of the primary things you need to use math to your advantage when gambling.

## The Link Between Math and Gambling

Curiosity began long before we could ever quantify luck – something Gerolamo Cardano took into his own hands in the 16th century. He wrote one of the first manuals in gambling that outlined the navigation of what he called a ‘sample space’ of possible events. An example is that two dice will make 36 different combinations, but only one of those would produce two sixes. Some say this was the beginning of the theory of probability — what they based strategic gambling on — and paved the way for a new field of mathematical study.

How has it developed over the years? Players can now use mathematics to mitigate their gambling risk; whether they’re playing wizard-themed online slot games or a live game of poker, the same rules of probability apply. Of course, that’s layman’s terms. Players assess the risk of a bet they’re willing to play by considering the probability of winning, the expected value, duration of the gameplay, volatility index, and the bet placed.

The one you might not understand is the volatility index. The volatility index is the term for deviation, which tells a player if they will earn more or less than the expected value – therefore quantifying luck by letting people know their odds of making more than the expected value.

## Using Math For Online Casino Games

You can use math to beat casino systems anywhere, but it is far easier to do online. Online casino games take place in a less pressurized environment, making it far easier to work out the probability on the spot. Although you can use math to calculate your risk in any online casino game, some games favor math more than others – blackjack being one of them.

Blackjack is a hugely popular casino game, both in land-based and online casinos. Like most casino games, it’s hard to pinpoint the origin, but experts say blackjack emerged in French casinos around the 1700s.

It’s a relatively simple game to plan for fun, but if you want to take it a little more seriously, use math to your advantage. Strategy in blackjack should be based on decisions made on the hand played. Strategy charts are great if you’re playing online blackjack, but they wouldn’t go down so well in a land-based casino.

This YouTube video explains the use of math in blackjack perfectly:

## Players Playing The System

Land-based casinos are far more intense, and stories emerge all the time about players beating the system using math. For the average Joe, beating the system in land-based casinos in places such as Las Vegas doesn’t happen often. For a group of MIT students, it happened pretty fast.

In the 1990s, a group of MIT students realized that blackjack was the only beatable casino game and made regular trips to some of the biggest Las Vegas casinos to win big. One weekend saw the group bringing home over \$400,000 – which at the time was huge. The team was one of the first groups of people to realize you could use math to win big at a casino without cheating. They used card-counting to predict the probability of the next card being drawn and won big. A clever concept that many people now use.

## Does It Matter?

The question we all want to know is, does it make a difference? If you were to spend hours learning about probability and how to use math to mitigate risk, would you be in a better position? The answer is yes, although it is harder to use it to your advantage in land-based casinos, in particular. Changes in the way cards are dealt and how games are played have made it harder to use math, but it is still possible

Most players play for fun and chance it with luck, but for those willing to invest the time to learn how to play the system – there are more substantial cash rewards.

Math can and will increase your chances of winning – there’s no argument against it. YouTube tutorials and articles on the internet can guide you towards using mathematical techniques to win without overcomplicating it. Professional players use math to win big, and you can too. Will you use math to win your next casino game, or will you leave it down to luck?

### Written by Austin Crane

Austin is the principle web director for Untamed Science and Stone Age Man. He is also the web-director of the series for the High School biology, Middle Grades Science and Elementary Science content. When Austin isn't making amazing content for the web, he's out on his mountain bike or in a canoe.